Jesus, Doctor Who, and My Preschooler

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"What is that?"Sally had a Bible story book in her hand, and was pointing to the empty tomb. The picture showed the tomb with the stone rolled away, a radiant Jesus standing outside talking to Mary Magdalene, and two sleeping Roman guards off to the side."That's the empty tomb," I told her. "After Jesus died they buried him there, and then he rose again. That means he came alive again."Sally looked from the picture to me, confused. I wrote last month that ever since I overheard Sally call … [Read more...]

How I Lost My Fear of Reading My Daughter Bible Stories

Bible story book

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about my concerns about reading Bible story books to my daughter Sally. Any atheist parent with religious relatives will have to figure out how to deal with the Bible story books their children will inevitably be given for birthdays and Christmas. This is something that’s been on my mind lately because a Noah’s Ark board book has suddenly become my young daughter’s favorite book.Some atheist parents may just return Bible themed story books when their child … [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...]

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 truthfully … [Read more...]

“Are You Teaching Her About Jesus?”

A letter from a relative recently asked me this question with regards to my daughter: "Are you teaching her about Jesus?" The trouble is, this is an older relative that I love deeply. She has never been anything but kind to me. I really don't want to hurt her. But when I eventually answer that question, and truthfully - I don't feel I can lie - I know that I will hurt her, a lot.Now for the moment, I am planning to just not answer her question. It was one line in a newsy letter, and I don't … [Read more...]

Atheist Parenting: Call-Out for Tips and Anecdotes

I'd like to invite any of my readers who happen to be (a) atheists or agnostics and (b) parents to offer tips and anecdotes on parenting without God. Figuring out how to go about raising children outside of religion in a very religious country is an especially difficult one for those who, like me, were raised in religious families. Simply write your tip or anecdote (or several) as a comment on this post. I will collect together whatever tips and anecdotes you have to offer and create a page of … [Read more...]

“Because that’s how God made you”

The other day my daughter asked me a question:Mommy, why do I have two legs?As I looked into her curious face three answers ran through my mind:Because that's how God made you.Just because.I don't know! Let's go look it up. … [Read more...]


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