Why You Shouldn’t Teach Your Children That Hell is Real

Dan Arel has written a wonderful book about raising children as an atheist parent. It goes well beyond how to deal with baptisms, extended family members, etc. Dan also discusses equality, homosexuality, race, and other ways religion manifests in our society.

The book is called Parenting Without God:

In the exclusive excerpt below, Dan explains why you shouldn’t teach children that Hell is real:

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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 10: Dale McGowan, Author of In Faith and In Doubt

***Update***: We’re now on Stitcher.

Our latest podcast guest is Dale McGowan, the author of In Faith and In Doubt:

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Should Atheist Parents Actively Guard Children Against Religion?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Should atheist parents actively guard children against religion?:

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Humanism for Children: A Book for the Balkans

A group called the Center for Civil Courage is trying to publish a book about Humanism aimed at children:

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Ask Richard: Grandmother Proselytizing Young Boy Behind His Atheist Parents’ Backs

Dear Richard,

My mother is a practicing Pentecostal Christian and has recently begun heavily witnessing to my five-year-old son. I was raised in this cult-like religion, but have been an atheist for nearly 10 years now. Although my mother and I have never had an in-depth conversation regarding my deconversion, she knows where I stand on the issue of religion.

The past few times my son has spent time with her (she lives several houses away so he doesn’t see her regularly) she has taught him religious songs and has talked to him about inviting Jesus into his heart, praying, Heaven, etc. She has placed prayer cloths (strips of cloth church members pray over) in his room and once when she kept my son and infant daughter overnight at her house she took them to choir practice and had the choir members pray over them.

To make matters worse she has asked my son to keep these things a secret from me, and his father who is also an atheist. Being five, my son of course cannot keep a secret, and told us what happened after each event. I’m not sure how to approach my mother regarding her behavior.

My mother and I have always been extremely close and I love her very much, but I am deeply saddened and hurt by her actions. I know that I cannot have a rational conversation with her because I have tried this in the past. When my son was one, she said she wanted to take him to Sunday School and I explained in as nice a way as possible that this was not going to happen. She became enraged and cried uncontrollably. The subject was never broached again by either one of us. My husband is angry with my mother and wants me to talk to her ASAP. I know that I have to speak with her about this, but I don’t want to permanently damage our relationship. Do you have any advice on how I can talk to my mother?

A Concerned Mother

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