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Last year, Scottish schools gave students an anti-bullying guide encouraging Christian prayer. It was a veiled way to push God into the classroom.

So the British Humanist Association announced this week that they would be countering that by delivering a copy of Alom Shaha‘s The Young Atheist’s Handbook: Lessons for Living a Good Life without God to every school:

Alom Shaha

… BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said, ‘We couldn’t be happier that young people in Scotland will now have access to this wonderful book. Alom’s message will no doubt inspire young people who are looking to find fulfilment and meaning in their lives, whatever their family background.’

But one religious leader is claiming this is all just atheist indoctrination:

Moderator Elect of the Free Church of Scotland David Robertson, reverend of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee, said: “The Free Church has no problem with the faith of humanists and atheists being studied alongside other faiths; it would make a pleasant change from atheism and humanism being assumed to be the default position of our schools. But this book is not intended for education — it is intended to indoctrinate young children.

“Fundamentalist atheists do not want any religion or philosophy taught in Scottish schools, except their own.”

The Humanist Society Scotland’s Gordon MacRae had the perfect response to the silly slam:

“Attempts to draw a parallel between one copy of one book in the school library with the promotion of Christian prayers in an anti-bullying guide to every pupil in a school is gross and deliberate misrepresentation.”

No one’s forcing the Humanist book into students’ hands; they will simply have access to it if they want to read it. If Robertson considers that “indoctrination,” he doesn’t know the definition of the word.

(Thanks to Scott for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.