Where This Atheist Parent Is This Christmas

Nativity Set

Last year my in-laws gave us a really nice toy nativity set, for the kids. This year I got it out again, and it has been getting a lot of use.When I first had children after leaving my parents' conservative evangelical beliefs behind, I was afraid. Mainly, I was afraid that my children would be hurt by religion in the way I had. And so I tried to shield them from it, to keep it away from them. When relatives gave us a book about Noah's Ark, I changed the words and the story when reading it … [Read more...]

Whitesplaining Racial Disparities in STEM Fields

black_scientist

Today I came upon an article on Chris Stedman's Religious News Service blog, titled Instead of hating on social justice, atheists should tackle STEM segregation. The article was written by Sikivu Hutchinson, a black activist and author. At this point it’s a cliché that white “New Atheist” elites love to saber rattle against the inclusion of social justice in atheist organizing. Yet, when it comes to anti-racist social justice, even the “kinder, gentler” Humanist community often nods its head in … [Read more...]

How Not to Teach Children Critical Thinking

child

I found this series of comments on a post I wrote about atheist parenting a couple of weeks ago very interesting and thought provoking: Two Pi Man: [I]t's about allow[ing] other people to make their own choices and respecting their decisions if they make different ones. And for children, yes absolutely it's about passing on critical thinking skills so they can evaluate philosophies & religions for themselves. Teaching, for example, that "homeopathy is bad" as an article of faith, just … [Read more...]

We Prosecute People for Actions, Not Beliefs

sam_harris

About a month ago, a blog post by Terry Firma titled "The Dishonesty of Some of Sam Harris’ Foes (Who Clearly Know Better But Smear Him Anyway)" went up on the Friendly Atheist. In it, Terry explained that some of Harris's opponents had been tweeting a specific quote from one of Harris's books and labeling him a "genocidal fascist maniac." Here is the quote: “Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.” According to Terry, Harris's opponen … [Read more...]

Science, Privilege, and Power

irish-white

Organized atheism has a love affair with science. It's not just that science offers explanations for things that have often been explained supernaturally, it also provides many atheists with a sense of awe. But it's something more than that, too. For some, science seems to replace religion. I've had atheists tell me, for example, that science will show us the way forward, let us know how to live, and give us solutions to the world's problems---never mind that, as I have pointed out, science does … [Read more...]

Why I Won’t Teach My Children That Religion Is Nonsense

parents_and_children

I was raised an evangelical Christian. I went through a time of questioning while in college and I ultimately found myself an atheist. The hardest part of my deconversion was the way my parents treated me as a result. My parents could not say “We disagree with you and think you are wrong, but you are entitled to your own beliefs and we respect that.” Instead, my entire relationship with my parents imploded over their belief that their beliefs and their beliefs alone were acceptable. In other wor … [Read more...]

“God” and the Borders of Belonging

god borders

Several weeks ago, five-year-old Sally spent a great deal of time making something for her teacher and then left it at home on accident. When I noticed she had left it, I took it to the school to give it to her. The busses had only just dropped the children off, and when I reached Sally's classroom students were still coming in, putting their lunch containers on the shelf and taking off their jackets. As I left the school after giving Sally the gift she had made, the school's intercom came on … [Read more...]


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