Please Don’t Label Me

Don't Label Me campaign

It’s quite ironic that the latest Atheist Bus Campaign billboard posters feature children of a well-known Christian musician. Made me laugh anyway.

Seriously though, I do believe that the campaign has a point. Children should not be labelled by their parents’ beliefs (whether that’s Christian, Muslim, Sikh or Humanist). My Northern Irish childhood would have been very different if children of Catholic and Protestant children were not segregated into different ghettoised schools. (Although how much of this segregation was a product of ethnic rather than religious divisions is debatable).

Parents ought to be able to communicate their own worldview and values to their children. The most sensible parents will obviously encourage their children to be inquisitive and open to different ideas. They will know that it is counterproductive to bring up children in a narrow and restrictive environment, whatever the parents’ beliefs.

But let’s not build stereotypes of adults either. People who have a religious faith are often just as open to other people as those who have a non-religious worldview. Let’s all promote acceptance of diversity, even if others don’t share our worldview.