Why I Take My Kids to the UU Church

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Earlier this spring I spoke with my kindergarten-age daughter about holidays and stories. I explained that many different religions and cultures have holidays that celebrate spring, and that Easter is our culture's spring holiday. I also talked about the history of Easter, and the religious significance the holiday has for Christians. I explained that we as humans create stories about the world around us, and drew parallels to other religions and other cultures."Can you think of any stories w … [Read more...]

What Kind of Atheist Parent Are You?

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Some months ago I mentioned Temperance Brennan in a blog post on atheist parenting, and my readers had a lot to say. To be specific, many of my readers argued that it was unfair that Brennan, an atheist, felt the need to defer to her Catholic partner, Booth, and let their daughter, Christine, be baptized. I did not write a followup post at the time, but my thoughts have been percolating and I think I'm ready to put them on paper. Or rather, in pixels, I suppose.Let's turn to an analogy for a … [Read more...]

What Makes a Person an “Atheist” Parent?

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I was going back through my feed reader lately, and came upon a post on the Friendly Atheist from December. In it the author, Kate Cohen, writes about her interest in how atheists are represented in TV shows and movies shown on TV. She focuses especially on the representation of atheist parents.She leads with this: I found one! I found one! I found an atheist mom on TV! She goes on to explain that she is talking about Doris Walker in Miracle on 34th Street. I've never seen Miracle on 34th … [Read more...]

Does Atheist Parenting “Work”?

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I recently came upon an interesting comment (screenname Angellius) on a scholarly post titled "Does Homeschooling Work." The post addressed whether homeschoolers with religious motivations are successful in producing religious children.You could put the question this way: A lot of atheist parents are highly concerned that God not be mentioned in school: No prayers, no overt professions of faith by teachers, no prayer meetings during school hours, etc. Is anybody asking, “Do atheist efforts … [Read more...]

How Not to Teach Children Critical Thinking

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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...]

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

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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...]

In Which I Explain Easter to Sally

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We saw my family over the Easter holiday, and in preparation I wanted to make sure Sally knew the Easter story. She already knew pieces, and as I helped pull it together I was trying to figure out how to bridge fact and fiction, or at least what scholars think happen historically and what exists in the grey area beyond that."These stories were all written down a very long time ago," I told her. "Sometimes with things written a long time ago it can be had to tell what part happened and what … [Read more...]


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