Some religious, and specifically Christian, commentators are indignant that the money from the Atheist bus campaign has been rolled over to support another poster drive which raises questions about the religious identity of children in the context of faith schools.
Why should they care how Humanists spend their money? Usually it’s the other way around. Humanists are deeply unhappy that Christians get their proselytism funded through tax relief on charitable donations.
The reason is that when the original poster campaign was launched, some Christians thought it would be a clever move to make a very public donation to the campaign. Reminiscent of the story Jesus told (the ‘widow’s mite’) about the arrogant religious leaders who made gifts for all to see, they then tipped off the media about what they had done.
Let no one be under any illusions about what was behind the move. The main aim was to take the wind out of Humanist sails. The donations were made in order to try and score a goal in the Match of the Day between religion and atheism.
See, you might be thinking: ‘this argument can’t possibly be going where I think it’s going, can it?’. And you’d be wrong:
Whether Humanists are right to use money, given by Christians for point-scoring reasons, for a poster campaign that highlights [problems with faith schools] is certainly debatable.
The other message of the article is a lot more humanist-friendly, and asks whether Jesus would have approved of faith schools discriminating against other faiths (or non-faiths). Which is a good point, from a religious perspective, although still misses the message of the posters: they’re about the problems of labelling children, and aren’t anti faith-school. The BHA’s anti faith-school campaign is being run in conjunction, but they’re not the same thing.