You’ve been brainwashed; or, following after fleshly lusts

Sometimes, from time to time, a fundamentalist or evangelical child grows up to question and reject her parents' beliefs and values. The funny thing is, this shift in belief is rarely seen as a legitimate rethinking and change of belief. Oh, no! Far from it! After all, how could a child raised on the Truth (tm) go on to reject the Truth (tm)? How could a child raised to know Jesus and the amazing life he brings go on to reject him and his gift? It's incomprehensible! And so, an explanation must … [Read more...]

What kind of atheist are you?

PZ Myers recently posted a piece attempting to create a "taxonomy" of atheists. I found his post fascinating - and, I think, well merited. After all, during my time as an atheist, through my experience with other atheists both online and in real life, I have found that there is a lot of variation and variety among atheists. PZ's post is an attempt to make sense of and organize this variation (not surprising, given that he is a biologist!). Now first of all, PZ divides "thoughtful atheists" … [Read more...]

In which Sally masters grace and I relax

praying child

As you may have noticed, I can sometimes be a bit angsty about raising my young daughter Sally without God. For one thing, God was just about the most important thing about my upbringing, and that makes raising children outside of religion seem completely foreign. For another thing, essentially all of our relatives on both sides are devoutly religious, and being the only ones in the family to be raising our children without religion can present interesting challenges. I think, though, that it's … [Read more...]

Does the Bible make people atheists?

I'm often confused by two assumptions I have heard many atheists make: first, that Christians don't actually read the Bible, and second, that if they did they couldn't help but see the inconsistencies and atrocities and become atheists. Why am I confused? First, because while I'm sure there are plenty of Christians who don't read the Bible, everyone in the evangelical community where I grew up read it on a daily basis, and not just the easier books like the Gospels. Second, because I read the … [Read more...]

Raised Quiverfull: Coming “Out”

family q3

For those who are no longer Christian, are you “out” to your parents or siblings? If so, how did you do it and how did they respond? Joe: I am out to everyone and their grandma.  Most of them roll their eyes.  Others have followed in my footsteps.  Some mock me behind the scenes.  Some even confront me with an audience.  Regardless, I still love them all. Latebloomer: I still consider myself a Christian, although I’m so liberal in my opinions that many Christians would not want to … [Read more...]

Teaching Children about God: How to Get Started?

A couple of months ago I wrote a post called "Are You Teaching Her about Jesus?" I wrote about how a relative had put this question to me in a letter, clearly concerned about my daughter Sally's spiritual well-being. And I wrote about how I'm still not sure how to respond to such questions given that we're not "out" as atheists to our relatives at this point. One of my readers left this comment: There is teaching “about” and there is teaching “to blindly believe in”. You can probably … [Read more...]

The People in the Pew

I recently visited my husband's side of the family, and while there I had an interesting discussion with a teenage family friend. We were discussing feminism, etc, and I said something that disagreed with the Catholic Church. He was surprised, and asked how I could hold that position while still being Catholic. I told him discreetly that we don't go to church anymore, etc, and he told me that while he believes in God, he's basically a deist and definitely not Catholic. The next day, I saw him … [Read more...]