When asked whether she will raise her son as an atheist:
It’s very interesting that you ask that. My life before I had my child was abstract. Now, once you have the child, that’s no longer theory. You actually are now bringing up this tiny human being, innocent, helpless.
And so you have to ask yourself, “Do I really want to bring him up with the idea that there is no God?” And my approach is — and my husband agrees with me — no, I’m not going to tell my son there is no God. Why? Because when I was growing up I was told there is a God. I’m just going to tell my son, in regards to morality, once he’s old enough to understand, that there are people who think there is a God, and there are different gods, and there are people who think there is no God, and there are different forms of atheism.
That’s one of the crazy jokes we make. Kids at some point like to rebel against their parents, and so how will I respond? In theory, I think I’ll keep a straight face.
In literature, all the clashes between children and parents, where people who hate homosexuality, the kid comes and says, “I’m gay.” Protestants who hate Catholics, the kid says, “I’ve converted to Catholicism,” or the other way around. People who hate God, their child comes and says, “I’m a devout believer in this.” It could happen to me. My son could come and say, “You know what, mom? I’m a devout Muslim.”
And I have to do what my father and my mother were incapable of doing, which is to say, “Alright, go for it.” I’m hoping it does not happen.
You have to let individuals make their own choices and respect that, even if it’s your own child. And that’s what was taken away from me. My father passed away thinking I still had to go back to his way of believing. My mother constantly tells me, “You’re wrong, you’re wrong.”
I want to be strong enough to tell my son, it’s your choice.
Wise words from one of the most eloquent atheist writers around.
(via Canadian Atheist)