“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...]

A humorous post on reading Bible story books to my daughter

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 children receive them as gifts, and that's fine, but I didn't want to do that. Now I know I could just read them to … [Read more...]

Atheism through the holidays, part 4: How to deal with religious relatives

I know this is late - the holidays are now over - but I don't really have all that much experience with this one, having only been an atheist for a few years, and I wanted to let another holiday season go by before addressing it.When it comes to dealing with religious relatives during the holidays, my biggest strategy is simply keeping my mouth shut. First of all, some of my relatives know I'm an atheist while others don't, which makes things complicated and makes keeping my own counsel … [Read more...]

Atheism through the holidays, part 3: Family, generosity, and the true meaning of Christmas

Most Christians want Christmas to focus on the birth of their savior. Mass marketing, on the other hand, forwards the idea that Christmas is about getting stuff. Children come into contact with all sorts of ideas about holidays, but it is a child's parents that set the tone for the holiday celebration at home. So as a parent, I ask myself, what do I want Christmas to be about for my children? What meaning for the holiday do I want to convey to them? I think that every parent should ask this … [Read more...]

Atheism through the holidays, part 2: What to do about baby Jesus

My parents homeschooled me in part to "shelter" me - to keep me from what they considered "bad influences." They carefully monitored what movies we watched, who we were friends with, what we read and learned, and where we went or what we saw. The goal was to raise us to share their beliefs, unadulterated by potential corruption from ideas and beliefs they considered "wrong."Having been raised this way, I have to avoid falling into the same pattern. Sometimes it's tempting to think that I … [Read more...]


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