German atheist kids’ book slammed

preacher pigsApparently the German Family Ministry has a list of books considered “dangerous to young people” – and they want a new children’s book about religion added to it.

Titled “How Do I Get To God, Asked the Small Piglet”, the book tells the tale of two little friends (a pig and a hedgehog) who set out to look for God. Their adventure leads them to discover certain things about Christianity, Islam and Judaism. According to the ministry “the distinctive characteristics of each religion are made ridiculous”.

That can’t have been difficult.

The two tiny chums meet a rabbi, a bishop and a mufti who are portrayed as insane violent and continually at each other’s throats. Perhaps the book is considered to close to real life for sensitive German children?

The Deutsche Welle article linked above isn’t exactly sympathetic to the book, but is quite amusing in the descriptions of the three faith leaders featured.

The bishop, a pale fat man with a clearly insinuated predilection for child abuse, makes up the unholy trinity which eventually convinces piglet and hedgehog, after they have survived the long search in the maze of religions, that nothing of any importance has been missing from their lives.

The publisher, Alibri, has condemned the ministy’s action as an attack on free expression, and the author, Michael Schmidt-Salomon, said the book was

desperately needed considering the enormous mass of religious children’s stories.

Children also have a right to enlightenment. They should not be left defenseless to the scientifically untenable and ethically problematic stories of religion.

We need an English translation – NOW!

9 Responses to “German atheist kids’ book slammed”

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  2. martyn says:

    I totally agree about the need for a translated version. Too many hysterical religious rantings are in book form to brainwash the young, there should be more of this to illustrate the other side of the coin.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I have no issue with someone being an Atheist. My question is this: why do atheists have a problem with me being a Christian? Supposedly Atheists believe in a live and let live philosophy, yet this “Children’s” book says quite the opposite. Questioning religion is one thing, but making those that believe in God look like monsters is another thing. This book does nothing more than preach hatred. While it may have some good points, they are clearly drowned out by the hatred and narrowmindedness that is the books focal point.

  4. Andrew Nixon says:

    As an atheist (not a capital A by the way) I personally have no problem with people believing the clap-trap that makes up the Christian religion, and I think you’ll find that most atheists feel the same way. Indeed, it is more often than not that Christians have a problem with people being atheists than the other way round.

  5. […] Family Ministry is pushing (via) for the children’s book “How Do I Get to God, Asked the Small Piglet” to be […]

  6. Tim Atkinson says:

    I must admit I have mixed feelings about this book. Admittedly I have not seen the item itself, but judging from the article about it the book does sound as though it errs heavily on the side of very nasty caricature rather than either a sensible critique of institutional religion or a positive defence of non-believing lifestances, either of which, I’m sure, could be rendered in a manner that children would understand and enjoy. ‘How Do I Get To God’ does not sound like a very helpful offering at all.

    That said, in response to Jonathan, and backing up what Andrew Nixon said, most non-believers are perfectly happy to leave Christians quite alone; the majority because they really do have absolutely no interest in the entire subject whatsoever, most of them to the point of not even bothering to label themselves as ‘atheists’ ever. It tends to be that section of the non-believing community who retain some ‘interest’ in the subject – and in the second-class way that they themselves are treated within the community – who identify themselves as such.

    As for atheists supposedly having ‘a live and let live philosophy’, yes, for the most part we do, but that certainly doesn’t preclude using the freedom of speech we all supposedly share to express our own ideas, to criticise and critique others’, particularly where we think those other ideas have done and still do great harm to the world, and even to ridicule. All too often this latter is the only option left open to us as the religious power-brokers do all they can to control more and more aspects of our lives, our government and our education system, and do all they can to have measures implemented that will render them totally immune to criticism.

    Also, the abuse heaped upon atheists and other non-believers by the Christian community, much of it truly vile and hateful, outweighs anything the atheists have directed in the opposite direction a thousand to one. I have lost count of the number of blogs and articles and web-pages I have had the sad duty to witness in which Christians have, at best, grossly misrepresented those who don’t worship their Hebrew thunder-god, and at worse, screeched to all who would listen that we are evil, satanic, immoral, criminal, cowardly, life-and-god-hating, hypocritical nihilists.

    By and large, we bear all of this vitriolic, libellous noise with great equanimity. Conversely, the moment the religious community feels its ego territory to be even remotely threatened by some criticism or abuse from us, and the cries of persecution and intolerance ring out loud. It is pure hypocrisy.

    I greatly doubt that ‘How Do I Get To God’ is in any way a sensible approach for non-believers to express their views to children or anybody else, but I also can’t help feeling that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    Or to use a religious admonition, “before attending to the mote in thy neighbour’s eye ….”

  7. Romi says:

    I like the fact that someone has writen a secular oriented book with universal values. Religious communities have had too much power. No one is targeting one religous community.
    I look forward to reading it when its translated into English.

  8. bootoh says:

    I have not read this book but would like to – even more, I would like my children to. It seems to me that there is an awful degree of righteous indignation by the holy – and often not wholly holey – about anything that suggests a non-theistic view of the world. (Though, actually, and more offensively, I think, human ethics.) On the other hand, I would like some advice as to whether there is any reasonable text that my children (of 9 and 13 years) could read that is as meaningfully powerful as the bible or any other work of stone age barbarism.

    By reasonable, I mean rational but also appropriately audience specific, of course.

    You see, I do not want my children to grow up into atheists because I taught them that – and their theist mother was not strong enough to oppose me. I want them to be able to respond to theistic claims with some detachment and (probably, scorn) reject them out of a conviction of their own personal confidence about being right rather than some adult’s cartoon view of religion (no matter how richly deserved that satirization might be).

    Has anyone written ‘The Dummy’s Guide to Rational Thought’? Perhaps, if they read “How Do I Get To God, Asked the Small Piglet”, I could have a rational conversation with them, though. That would be a significant step forward in these dark, anti-atheist times.

  9. shevek says:


    in case you haven´t found it yet, the authors of the Ferkel-Buch/piglet-Book have now published the translation of the book on their page, which means you can download and read it for free. You will find the download of the text here:
    On the left side you will have to choose “read the book”
    A link to the images of the book will also be found there.