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


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


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...]

Jesus, Zeus, Persephone—and Fairies


"Mommy, what god to you believe in?" Sally asked me recently."I don't believe in any god, honey," I told her."But mom, you're supposed to believe in a god!" Sally responded."Uh, no, actually, people can choose what they want to believe," I said. "Who told you that you're supposed to believe in a god?" I asked."No one," she said. "I just knewed it.""Well okay, what god do you believe in?" I asked."Lots of them," she told me. "I believe in Jesus, and Zeus, and … [Read more...]

When God Took a Journey in a Cave


We were walking to the car one night when Sally commented on the stars."Do you what makes them stay up there?" I asked her."God put them there!" Sally exclaimed."Who is God?" This was the first time I'd heard her use the term."God is Jesus," she replied."But what is God?""Mom!" Sally exclaimed. "God is just his name! He has two names, God and Jesus!""Well, then how did he put the stars in the sky?""I will tell you the story," Sally responded with a smile, and her … [Read more...]

Interfaith Marriage and Interfaith Parenting: A Reader Asks


A reader recently emailed me with some questions and I thought you all might be able to help him out. First I'll quote from his emails (he has given me permission to do so) and then I'll give some guidance for your responses. I married my Baptist wife while I was still searching within Christianity. I was enjoying going to a Presbyterian church in Tulsa because the sermons the pastor preached were often from a viewpoint that I hadn't heard in the version of Christianity I experienced growing … [Read more...]

Sally, Clara Oswald, and Doctor Who


***Doctor Who Spoiler Ahead***"I am going to die and come alive again," Sally informed me recently."Um, okay," I replied. "Do you know of someone who did that?" I asked, curious where her comment was coming from."Yes," she answered confidently."Who?" I persisted. I frequently read her Bible story books, alongside fairy tales, Greek mythology, and Curious George, so I expected that the answer would be "Jesus.""Clara in Doctor Who!" she replied with excitement.In other words, when … [Read more...]

Medusa, the Weeping Angels, and Mary’s Fairy Godmother


Last night I was in the middle of reading Sally a book of Greek mythology when she stopped me. She was excited and wanted to tell me something. She pointed to a picture of Medusa."That's an angel," Sally said."What? Are you sure?" I responded, surprised. How could she think that monster was an angel?"Yes. That's an angel." She was sure.And then I suddenly it all made sense and I understood not only why Sally identified Medusa as "an angel" but also why she identified the angel w … [Read more...]