Children of an Atheist talk about God

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So the Atheist channel at Patheos has been chatting about whether or not atheist parents should teach their children about religion, and whether or not atheist parents should raise their children to be atheists. The discussion appears to have started over at Natural Wonderers, picked up by On the Margin of Error and continued by Love, Joy, Feminism and  Camels with Hammers.I've thought quite a bit about this topic having been raised to be conservative christian, and leaving that mentality as an adult. I feel scarred by religion in many ways, and that makes me feel the urge to "protect" my children from it. On the other hand, I remember the scorn and disgust and fear that permeated co … [Read more...]

“When The Christian Issue Comes Home”

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A close friend called to tell me that I had a new religion in the family. After nearly 20 years as a strong atheist-identified family, my family scratched one member off the list. “Have you heard about Jessica?” she asked. “She just announced on facebook that she’s a Christian.”The new Christian, it would seem, is my sister.My sister is 12 years younger than me, and grew up loving science and being a part of her girl scout troop. She beamed with pride when she won that “Future Leader Award” in highschool.Today, though, Jessica identifies as a Christian. “I am not an atheist,” she declared in her facebook announcement. She is legally changing her name to Jael after the Biblical cha … [Read more...]

On Being Evangelized

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I can usually spot them when they come in. The "superchristians". The excessively patronizing men make the order while the women stand quietly in their long skirts behind them. The group of middle aged women who come in for their bible study, order each of their drinks individually, and never ever tip.Or the conservatively fashionable woman who takes forever to make up her mind what she wants, and then when she decides on an herbal tea for it’s health benefits, she plucks up her courage and shakily makes her evangelistic comment about how amazing it is that god has made tea.One time I spotted a middle aged couple sitting rigidly next to each other across from their long-haired  adult … [Read more...]

“The Easy Fix”

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There is this religious long-time understanding of humanity as a broken and in need of being fixed by a savior. The idea that people are messed up and only a third party intervention by a deity is going to make them good and perfect again. In this understanding, people can try all they want to fix themselves, but in the end the only thing that is going to redeem them from their inherent awfulness, is a savior.I used to think of any human attempt to get help as similar to slapping a band-aid on a gaping wound. They were trying to treat the symptoms, instead of dealing with the root problem and solving everything once and for all.For example, in my mind at the time, taking an Advil for … [Read more...]

I’m proud to be her Mom

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I wake her up by crawling into bed next to her, and we cuddle for a few minutes. She yawns and stretches; I sing her the song I sang to her when she was a small baby. Suddenly her eyes pop open with excitement “Is this the day I get to go to school mom?”My heart skips a beat, but I affirm that yes this is her big day and then listen while she chatters about her hopes for school. We eat some fruit together and wonder what she will eat for breakfast at school. She puts on the outfit that she picked the night before and then we brush her teeth. We take a picture, and then her and Haley walk down the street to where the bus stop is. I stay home with the other kids who are still sleeping, not … [Read more...]

Learning to Fall

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I came across this excerpt recently and it moved me. It’s from Philip Simmon’s book called “Learning to Fall”, and it is written from his perspective as a 35 year old husband, father and teacher diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease which killed him a few years later.It’s the first time I have ever heard of “The Fall” as anything but this evil horrible disobedience of humanity that has led to all things that are wrong with the world. But it also speaks to me on a very basic level.I used to think that being a Christian gave me this magic out. If I just lived the “right” way, and did all the “right” things, then life would be peaceful and calm, perfect as god was perfect. Whenever lif … [Read more...]


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