Raising Freethinkers Released!

I’m excited to say that my friend Dale McGowan‘s new book, Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief, has finally been released!

I had the chance to see a preview copy a couple weeks ago and it looked fantastic. In fact, it made me want to rush out and have babies immediately.

The book is by the author of Parenting Beyond Belief and features co-authors Molleen Matsumura, Amanda Metskas, and Jan Devor.

As I mentioned before, this book deals with issues such as moral development without religion, death, and dealing with religious people (including extended family members). Also included is a list of over 100 activities non-religious parents (specifically) can do with their children.

If you’re a parent who is looking for ways to raise a child without religion, this is your guidebook. Your ultimate reference. Your Bible. (Yep. I said it.)

You can get your copy from Amazon like I did — or run to your local bookstore and make them order copies if they don’t have them already.

(And when they do, take those copies and put them on the Bestsellers shelves. Not that I’ve ever done that or anything…)

  • Jason

    I will *not* be buying this book.

    If you raise the babies then you’re wasting a good meal.

  • Kelly

    I’ve had it pre-ordered for months! Can’t wait to get it. His first book is my Bible, this will have to be my Koran…

  • Nightowl35

    I love the first book … can’t wait to get my hands on this one, too!

  • http://abandonallfear.org.uk Lex Fear

    As I mentioned before, this book deals with issues such as moral development without religion, death, and dealing with religious people (including extended family members). Also included is a list of over 100 activities non-religious parents (specifically) can do with their children.

    There’s something wry about a book entitled “Raising Freethinkers” which seeks offers guidance on preventing children from thinking about certain things.

    Wouldn’t a better title be “Raising Not to think about Certain Things”?

    A free-thinker I imagined was someone who has an open mind to all things and is free to choose what they believe.

    Better yet, what’s wrong with the wealth of parenting books on the market now which deal with parenting and don’t mention religion at all? These must be more freethinking than any other.

  • http://bligbi.com Karen

    Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been waiting for this book to come out for months now.

  • JohnFrost

    I’m sorry, Lex, but where does it say anything about “preventing children from thinking about certain things”?

    I smell a troll.

  • http://mylongapostasy.blogspot.com ATL-Apostate

    Lex,

    Dale’s books do precisely the opposite of what you suggest, “teach children not to think about certain things.” If you’ve read his books, or his blog, you’d know he thinks about god, and encourages his kids to do the same. He just does it without the dogma, encourages critical analysis, and concludes it’s all make believe (god, that is).

    Atheists don’t “not think about god,” any more than most people don’t ‘not think about the tooth fairy.’

    Too many double negatives? Yeah, probably. Oh well.

  • http://micketymoc.mchronicles.net/ micketymoc

    Lex, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    I’ve read Dale McGowan’s blog, and if his blog is indicative of his book’s content, he’s not preventing his kids from thinking about anything, far from it.

    But instead of encouraging open-mindedness to the point that their brains fall out, he gives his kids a solid grounding in critical thinking (this post is a great example).

    You’re obviously a believer, Lex, so I imagine you have difficulty understanding an atheist parent’s need to counterbalance religious programming from well-meaning family, friends, and institutions.

    Instead of insulating his kids from it, Dale gives his kids the ability to understand it, and in the process rise above it. Here’s hoping his book shows the rest of us how to pull that off!

  • Siamang

    A free-thinker I imagined was someone who has an open mind to all things and is free to choose what they believe.

    Congratulations, Lex Fear, you just described Dale’s last book, “Parenting Beyond Belief” to a T!!

    Here’s Dale writing in the Preface, page ten:

    “… I really do believe I’ve made the best moral and intellectual choice in setting religion aside. I think the negatives of religious belief outweigh the positives, but I would never want to see someone forced to believe as I do. That includes my children. They deserve an honest chance to work things out for themselves. The process, not a given outcome, is the thing.”

    So you imagine freethinking correctly, yet you accuse Dale of doing the opposite without reading his book or his blog. Why is that?

  • http://micketymoc.mchronicles.net/ micketymoc

    “The process, not a given outcome, is the thing.”

    As a proud dad of a three-month-old, I look forward to the process, and can only hope for the best regarding the outcome. :)

  • Siamang

    Congratulations Micketymoc!

  • http://abandonallfear.org.uk Lex Fear

    @miketymoc

    Aside from borrowing material from Calvin and Hobbes, I don’t see anything particularly revolutionary or new in that post (granted I haven’t read the whole blog).

    I wonder though, why teaching kids critical thinking has to be exclusively atheist or non-religious? Which leads it to be sadly biased.

    I mean, as an atheist don’t you want religious people to teach their kids to be critical thinkers? So why set out to make this exclusive? It’s a rather passive way of causing division – pick a side, your either an atheist and a critical thinker or your religious and believe whatever you want to believe.

    If he released a neutral book that was open for all parents regardless of background then this would not only be a good thing but show he really is interested in free-thinking. However the phrase “parenting beyond belief” is going to passively exclude ‘believing’ parents who see this as just another angsty dig at religion in general.

  • http://micketymoc.mchronicles.net/ micketymoc

    I don’t see anything particularly revolutionary or new in that post

    Whether it was “revolutionary or new” was not the point. My link to his site directly contradicts your earlier assertion that Dale teaches “preventing children from thinking about certain things,” in your own words.

    I wonder though, why teaching kids critical thinking has to be exclusively atheist or non-religious? Which leads it to be sadly biased…

    If he released a neutral book that was open for all parents regardless of background then this would not only be a good thing but show he really is interested in free-thinking.

    Who the hell claims that critical thinking has to be exclusively atheist? Apart from you, of course.

    If Dale chooses to market his book to atheists and non-religious, so what? That’s not an overt claim that only non-religious can think critically.

    Non-religious parents are, however, more interested in his message, and more likely to pay attention – compared to “all parents regardless of background”, who (taken together) are (a) proportionally less interested in Dale’s message, and (b) are already being bombarded with other competing messages.

    The book’s chosen angle has nothing to do with “causing division” or “passive exclusion”. It’s just good marketing.

    But if you really think a critical thinking book aimed towards a broader audience will sell even better than Dale’s, hey, nobody’s stopping you from writing your own.

  • Siamang

    Awesome lex! Ignore all facts that contradict your premise. Actually ignore my post with a direct quote from Dale McGowan that shows you need to read a little deeper.

    You’re literally judging a book by its cover, and you come here and presume to lecture us on open-mindedness?

    I hope if/when you have kids, you’ll take them all to atheist meetings and send them to atheist camp to prove how open minded you are.

    Bet you a dollar my kid has logged more hours in religious services than yours has listening to Dawkins lectures on the BEEB.

    And yes, I have Dale’s previous book, which I read because it gives parents tips on how to actually, broadly raise a child to have respect for people of different faiths who will *not ever* respect your beliefs in return.

    Though hard for you to understand perhaps, some non-religious people actually have religious parents or mixed-faith parents. And it helps to have something to tell your daughter as to why grandma and grandpa believe in hell, but you don’t, and to say that in a way that doesn’t load the child down uneccesarily, or give the kid nightmares, or make them think that the moral choice for “saving mommy and daddy’s soul from hell” is up to them.

  • http://www.bernerbits.com/ Derek

    Lex, freethought precludes indoctrination.

    As a child, I was taught to think critically and make my own decisions. I was also told that God loved me, Jesus was Lord, and I had to accept him as my personal savior or burn in Hell for eternity. When I pressed the question of whether I was to critically examine my Christianity, the answer was more or less “yes, if you arrive back at Christianity. Which you will if you are honest.”

    My teenage and young adult years were wrought with angst over trying to resolve this conflict. We were admonished to “test everything” and “make our faith our own” (all of this, of course, under the watchful guidance of an appointed spiritual mentor). But no matter how hard I tried, I was simply repeating my parents’ faith. I believed it, but I didn’t know why. When I finally did “make my faith my own”, it wasn’t faith.

    Which is why, if I have children, I will teach them to think critically, examine everything, and make their own decisions, without requiring the presupposition of any religion. And if they do arrive back at Christianity, I will certainly not try to bully them out of it. Hell, it might even convince me to take a fresh look.

  • http://abandonallfear.org.uk Lex Fear

    Sorry for not responding, there was some kind of issue where I couldn’t access this blog last week.


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