Reza Aslan (Muslim) and Jessica Jackley (Christian) tells their love story and marriage as an interfaith couple in a recent Tedx Talk. Of particular interest to Unfundamentalist Parenting is beginning at 17:09 they specifically tackled the complicated task of raising children in faith when the parents are of two different religions. Image: Unsplash Right off the bat, they dismiss the idea of indoctrinating children in religion. Jessica says, “this is something neither of us are interested in, even if we… Read more

According to PEW, the SBNR (Spiritual-But-Not-Religious) demographic continue to grow, particularly among Millennials. This demographic is also approaching, or are at the age in which they enter parenthood. Confusion often ensue as they aren’t sure they want to pass on the religion of their own upbringing but yet want to give their children the robust spirituality that they still enjoy. As if becoming a parent isn’t already panic-inducing enough, how does one navigate their own fast-changing spiritual identity with the… Read more

Children are not simply to submit to authorities, whether those authorities are parental or governmental. Children are made in the image of God, not the image of their parents. As a result, children have a right to decide what they believe, to determine who they want to be, and to speak up about those things if they are different from their caregivers’ opinions—the very things that parental rights advocates find horrifying.[i] If children did not have this right, and if… Read more

Sherry asks, My youngest recently asked me if he is going to hell, he says, “I’m pretty sure I’m going to hell because I don’t really believe in God anymore.” My heart just broke. I tried to listen, wanting to reassure… I explained that God is love, period, He does not send people to hell. My very perceptive 11 year old responds, “But all those religious people certainly make it sound like that.” I tried talking about how hell really… Read more

How do we raise kids to be advocates for social justice? This is a central value of unfundamentalist parenting, that we raise up a generation of young people who will fight for a more just world. And there are many wonderful resources out there to equip parents, but as I’ve said before, parenting is often not what we teach the kids, but cultivating what is already there. The truth is, children are wired for justice. They innately have a sense of… Read more

I was raised to believe what sets Christianity apart from other religions is how God is a personable God. God is all-powerful but One who is accessible. I can still sing the familiar chorus without skipping a beat, God knows my name, God knows my every thought, God sees each tear that falls, And God hears me when I call. God cares about the smallest details of our lives. Image provided by writer I think this can be a beautiful… Read more

More and more, churches are waking up to the reality of child abuse in their communities. We see this as increasingly larger numbers of churches implement child protection policies. As important as such child protection policies are, however, they are all too often myopically focused on child sexual abuse. Other forms of abuse, such as physical abuse, are either glossed over or entirely ignored. This is particularly tragic because the Church has long been the primary sociocultural proponent of one of the… Read more

Our best conversations usually happen around the dinner table. Between bites of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets (or whatever “adult” food I’m attempting to get my children to swallow), we try our best to enter into conversation. Sometimes, we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for, because giving thanks really is one of the purest forms of prayer. Sometimes the boys sing, Thank you, God, thank you, God, for this food, for this food… It’s a… Read more

Image: Unsplash Gas lighting is a term to describe psychological manipulation inflicted on a victim to make them question their perception of reality. The term stems from a 1938 stage play, Gas Light, in which a husband dims the lights in the house, and when the wife accurately points out the fact, he convinces her she is delusional. Gas lighting is emotional abuse and occurs in an attempt to control others. As with other forms of abuse, victims typically are in… Read more

A boy asks a girl out in sixth grade. She texts her Dad for advice and the conversation is as follows: Too many things to love about this. First, can we take a moment to appreciate how cool it is the daughter’s first impulse is to ask her Dad for advice about a boy? And then, BEFORE he interjects with advice that SHE asked for, he makes sure to solicit her OWN DESIRES. !!! The awesomeness doesn’t end there: he reiterates her… Read more

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