I have no idea why an atheist would object, to be honest.
As an Atheist, I can see no reason not to have such a course. One of the problems that I see with the world today is lack of knowledge of other views. Hitting what is real and why a particular group believes in whatever can only strengthen their own beliefs & ideals. If one objects to bringing out the views of others, then they must not have much faith in their own beliefs.
There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002
Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969
Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008
If parents feel that the kids are being taught something that they don't agree with I would agree that it is best to have them take the course and then discuss it, however I don't believe that they should be forced into that position.
The problem is that parents are always a generation behind in everything they've learned as children. And if we leave it to parents to decide what their children are and are not to learn, then the children will be a generation behind as well.
And if those children teach their children only what they've learned, then those children are two generations behind. And so a nation falls further and further behind in its education.
All the while the rest of the world laughs and wonders why the hell a mighty nation full of resources and skilled teachers is letting the ignorant school the innocent.
ABE: I don't mean to be directing this specifically at you, but just your first comment. I realize you've changed your stance since you posted the message this is a reply to.