9 Ways Atheist Moms Are Different From Religious Moms

9 Ways Atheist Moms Are Different From Religious Moms July 18, 2018

Almost daily, I get comments on my Instagram posts or replies to my tweets that I’m doing some sort of disservice to my kids for raising them without religion. Y’all know me, I don’t give two bleeps what anonymous internet users think of me, but I’d like to destroy this sentiment anyway. Let’s be honest, some of the voodoo woo woo horsebuggery that religious moms feed their kids is what is truly detrimental to a growing mind. It ought to be pointed out that I recognize not all religious moms are the same. Some (I’d even suggest most) are wonderful and accepting and truly do a great job with their kids. Others, well, others seem to take that book of theirs too seriously and do or say things to their kids that no atheist mom ever would. Not a single, hellbound one of us.

With that in mind, here are nine ways atheist moms differ from religious moms:

1. We would never refer to our children as sinners. Certainly not for being a normal human being. If you think it’s romantic to see yourself as broken and in need of saving, that’s on you, Bible buddy, but keep it to your damned self. Don’t infect your kids with that BS. As atheist parents, there is nothing our children could do to make us see them as sinners because we don’t believe in sin. Calling a child a sinner is something only really awful moms would do. It’s demeaning, dehumanizing and abusive. While I recognize that not all religious moms would do this, there are zero atheist moms who would.

2. We would never tell our children that some people go to a place after death to be tortured and burned for eternity. For a child, hearing from the adults they trust about such a place, is absolute terrorism. Even if they’re not picturing people they love there, you’re planting images of humans being treated like trash; images of extreme pain and fear; images of flesh melting away from bones; images that will haunt them for their entire lives. An atheist mother would never tell their child that hell is a real place, where real people are sent to live in anguish for eternity and I hope any mother who does has to clean up extra poopy pants from her scared crapless kids. Poop messy and hard, kids. Do it often. Your mom needs some humbling.

3. We would never tell our children that if they engage in certain behaviours, that they too, may end up in hell. We don’t need to terrorize our children into fearing their own human nature. We don’t need to cripple them with the dread of making mistakes. We embrace their mistakes, we embrace their nature and we would never, ever use the threat of eternal torture to get the behaviour we want out of them. We might threaten to take the iPad away, but we would never threaten them with burning forever. That sort of lazy parenting is reserved for those who think women are just man-ribs and Jeeby is coming, albeit late, to save us all from him.

4. We would never tell our children that the wafer they are eating is the flesh of a man who died 2000 years prior. You see, some of us think cannibalism is not just a bad thing, but possibly the worst thing. Some of us want to instil a good sense of morality, of compassion and concern for our fellow human beings. Some of us want to instil a respect for life in our kids and not teach them that man-flesh is just another option to throw on the barbecue. Some of us -and this may be the biggest shock- try to teach our kids that biting is not cool. You know, every once in awhile in a school cafeteria in the deep south, some kid loses control and stabs another kid with a fork, and the mom is all, “I don’t know what possessed him to do that!”. That’s claptrap, honey pants. He’s stabbing kids with his fork because you told him to eat people. You go to cannibalism meetings and line up to eat flesh and drink blood. “I don’t know where he got that idea!”. You, saggy knockers. He got it from you.

5. We would never tell our kids that they are being watched by an invisible man who casts judgement on their behaviour. Mostly because we have enough respect for our kids not to try and sell them on something so heinously ludicrous. Also because the idea of someone watching and judging their every move is a terrifying thing for kids. This is a great way to make your children fear trying new things, or make them afraid 0f going to new places, or lower their chances of growing into a well-rounded adult. I think moms who tell their kids this should have to be put in zoos, because you’re goddamned animals.

6. We would never decorate our homes with execution methods or give our children jewelry with torture devices on them. We feel extreme unease letting our kids go to places that seem to think this is okay. Hanging bloody corpses on the walls of your home makes it about as wholesome as a porno directed by Quentin Tarantino. You wouldn’t put a guillotine on your wall, nor an electric chair. You wouldn’t decorate with a syringe used for lethal injection or photos of firing squads. I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t erect a gallows in your backyard. So, why just this one execution method? Why is this somehow better than the rest, and perfectly fine to expose your children to on a daily basis?

7. We would never lead our children to believe that if they wish in just the right way, an all-powerful being may grant that wish, despite billions of people wishing daily for the very basic necessities of life. No, your kid wants a remote control BB8 with sound effects. Sorry Africa, you’ll have to starve another day.

8. We would never tell our kids that illnesses of any sort can be cured by a magic man, so long as you say the right prayers just enough to please him. No, we want our kids to grow up understanding that their best chance to beat an illness is to see their doctor. Why? I guess we just want our kids to live long, healthy lives. Call us crazy…

9. We absolutely would never insist to our children that an invisible man in the sky is more important than family. Not all religious moms are like this, but some put God before family and make no qualms telling their babies this. Nevermind that their kids are real, observable and demonstrably so, or that their kids are the ones who will bring them great joy throughout their lives, or that their kids may be all they have to rely on in old age. Nevermind any of this, because they have this special book they know is true because their special book says so. Can you feel it? Can you feel the circular reasoning? Cannagitta r’amen?

I’m inclined to believe that these things all harm children and stop them from becoming healthy, intelligent thinkers who can take care of themselves. If you still need to believe, though, that not doing any of these things to my kid means I’m doing a disservice to them, then so be it. It’s not like adding one more delusion to your already lengthy list of delusions is really going to make a difference. Think of me what you wish, but I know, without these parenting techniques, I’m doing a better job than many.

Cheers to all the unbelieving moms out there teaching their kids reason and critical thought, and to all the religious moms who, in spite of their holy texts and faith in god, treat their kids with the respect they deserve.

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  • D. Holt

    The most significant way an Atheist mom is different from a “Christian”
    mom is the fact that the children of the Atheist will have no foundation
    for life but will be subject to the evil that pervades our World and
    have no Intercessor and no hope. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ea17ca53163266ba09e2f9c43f98a40996b04e3776b6af197405791d309bfca6.jpg

  • Antigone10

    What? Do you honestly think that atheist families have no foundations for life? Dude, there are thousands, and all people have to choose one. The fact that you (apparently) opted with “default Christian in the US” doesn’t mean you didn’t make a choice.

    Every person is subject to the evil and indifference of the universe and/or other people. Being Christian doesn’t stop that. Hope is not dependent on being religious.

  • starmom

    Your self-imposed ignorance and cowardice are noted.

  • Raging Bee

    Actually, atheists of all ages have PLENTY of foundation for life: it’s called reality.

  • Raging Bee

    Also, what about the evil that pervades your churches? Where’s your Intercessor then?

  • Yes. I was raised in a religious (SBC) household – grandson of the peacherman. We were taught that we had no self-control; that we were as depraved as one can imagine (literally); that the penalty for not picking the correct religious path (given no evidence whatsoever) was eternal torture. Because there’s nothing worse than not beleiving you when you make wildly implausible claims, right?

    I was born again and baptized at age nine, because I trusted my family. I was an atheist at 13, because I could read and think. That was over half a century ago, and my kids and grandkids turned out pretty good. We’re social animals, you see, like dogs – only more complicated, and we are hard wired to learn proper behavior, just as we are hard-wired to learn a language. Just as they will learn Mandarin as readily as English, they will learn any religious beliefs (including no gods) and usually keep them all their lives.

    If we teach them a decent behavioral code (e.g. good manners, kindness to the weak, courage when necessary, etc.) and reinforce that with examples from our own behavior, they turn out pretty well. If we teach them to fear the Other, to believe things contrary to evidence, to practice magic that never works better than chance (i.e. prayer), then we get folks who might be nice, but they can’t do the right thing because they don’t understand how it all works. They will be determinedly ignorant if they’re biblical literalists, and they might even be brutish racist neo-Nazis if they are taught to fear outsiders too vigorously.

    No, D. H., religion won’t necessarily break people, but it rarely improves them, and it will to some degree break society as a whole.

  • You, saggy knockers.

    Heh heh! Sometimes the low road is the only way to go.

  • igotbanned999

    You know, every once in awhile in a school cafeteria in the deep south, some kid loses control and stabs another kid with a fork, and the mom is all, “I don’t know what possessed him to do that!”. That’s claptrap, honey pants. He’s stabbing kids with his fork because you told him to eat people. You go to cannibalism meetings and line up to eat flesh and drink blood. “I don’t know where he got that idea!”. You, saggy knockers. He got it from you.

    This seems like a stretch to me. Then again, I wasn’t raised Catholic.

    We would never tell our kids that they are being watched by an invisible man who casts judgement on their behaviour.

    Actually some atheist parents do let their young kids believe in Santa Claus…

    We would never lead our children to believe that if they wish in just the right way, an all-powerful being may grant that wish, despite billions of people wishing daily for the very basic necessities of life.

    You don’t let kids wish on stars or when blowing out the candles on their birthday cake?

  • Daffodil

    #5. When my daughter was about 6, she was afraid of the dark. In trying to soothe her to sleep, I told her that god was watching over her while she slept. I kid you not, she literally pulled her bedding up to her neck and with wide eyes said, “Someone’s watching me while I sleep?!” And I had no answer for her because she was right – that’s a really creepy thought! Thankfully, I was in the process of deconverting and never terrified her like that again.

    I’m glad I did convert because my daughter has always been one of the most logical people I know! She told me not too long after that that she didn’t believe in god. How would I have reacted as a Christian mom?

  • Otto

    I properly taught my children how to sacrifice chickens to Moloch…they will be safe.

  • adhoc

    Interesting that Christians use the bible as an excuse to separate children from there parents. Where is Christian interception and hope you are spouting?

  • PeterCumbria

    You know Courtney, that is a pretty perfect post. Love it. 🙂

  • Illithid

    Ramen! I actually intentionally tried to vaccinate my son against religion. Not by ranting against it, but by teaching skepticism. I think he was five when I told him we had an invisible, silent dog named Sparky. Sparky (I revealed in response to questioning) didn’t eat, or poop either, and was smart enough to always run out of the room if you tried to trap him. He was dubious from the start, and figured out the joke in about a day. He’s 21 now, and apparently immune to con jobs of all kinds. Mission accomplished.

    Oh, and thank you for not breaking this up into a nine-page monster. I hate that. I understand the motivation of those who do, but I ain’t playing along.

  • MadScientist1023

    I was raised Catholic, and went to Catholic school, and I don’t know a single kid who actually mistook that cracker for human flesh. There were some jokes about it at the time, but no one actually took it that seriously. Frankly, this whole cannibalism thing smacks of anti-Catholic propaganda.

    Also, you beat me to the Santa Clause joke.

  • justagirl

    Re: #5… I can’t count the number of times I’ve used “Santa is watching you” as a deterrent to bad behavior.

  • Well put

  • Very true

  • Jerome Jerry Reiter

    Very well written article, Atheist Mom. The only comment trying to rebut your argument is just the usual fear and damnation nonsense.

  • Penn Jillette in one of his books said they do not even do Santa Claus, and he made a point Selling Bullshit is hard, not selling it is easy. One sign that the Bible God is BULLSHIT, they have to keep teaching it to you. You learn 2+2+4 once and you do not need to have it constantly reinforced. What Kosh said in Babylon 5 “The Truth points to itself.” People do not drift off and think 2+2 now equals 5. God, Santa, Dental Pixie etc you have to keep tending to the belief and that requires energy. You have to go to church every Sunday, put elves on shelves etc just to keep that shit alive.

    STOP feeding the beast.

    I say FUCK ALL THAT NOISE and make your life easier, say Kids NO GODS, NO BUNNIES, NO FAIRIES NO SANTAS and let that shit go as you are just wasting energy to prop up some stupid myth out of obligation to tradition or society. Most of the time this shit just makes you tired and miserable and you get no return on that investment. . Santa tradition we know of was created in the 1880s by Retailers and Manufactures as a marketing scheme to get kids to want mass manufactured toys and not the small homemade or locally produced stuff. It was all about getting kids to want those Red Ryder Wagons and other stuff out of a Sears catalog.

    Imagine if Santa idea ever existed and Amazon tried that with some Cyborg Jeff Bezos who flies around in an flying Tesla-X Space Car he got from Elon Musk to get kids to beg their parents to buy them toys from his website. Or if Nestle tried to sell choco milk powder with some “Get them to believe in the bunny” campaign.

    A good example is the SCAM that is now youth sports, the generation that had free pick up games now has convinced others that their kids somehow will be disadvantaged if you do nto PAY OUT THE ASS to join some league that you will have to drive an hour away after work 7 day a week to particapate in, Becuase it instill life lessons, values or some shit. GO to any game and nobody looks like they want to be there anymore Adults look tired and the kids look BORED, everybody really wants to be somewhere else. fact is 75% of all children will burn out and quit these activities before 12 and adults are getting into fist fights with each other. Church of the Subgenius talks about SLACK, and how the conspiracy conspures to STEAL your slack, they do it by convincing you to pay out the rear to do things people once did for FREE this is a tool of the conspiracy.

    I say FUCK THAT and go be somewhere else, bout you do it out of fear. But the kids will sit in front of th e XBOX all day, from the same adults who now sit their ass all day infront of ESPN all day.


  • Jim Jones

    > who think women are just man-ribs

    … man penis-bones (see ‘baculum’)

    > I’m inclined to believe that these things all harm children and stop them from becoming healthy, intelligent thinkers who can take care of themselves.

    “We all know that any emotional bias — irrespective of truth or falsity — can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value…. If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.”

    ― H.P. Lovecraft

  • Jim Jones

    > “Someone’s watching me while I sleep?!”

    I wouldn’t mind if it was Sofia Vergara. I’d be afraid that it was Pat Robertson.

  • Jim Jones

    The whole cracker & wine seems like a buy-in from some other religion. Along with a 3-in-1 god.

  • Jim Jones

    The evil that pervades our world is religion. And bad grammar.

    Religion is riddled through with bad values of every sort.

    Church minister ‘raped girl, 9, on her dad’s grave and threatened her with demons’

    A CHURCH minister has been accused of raping a 9-year-old girl on her dad’s grave and threatening her with demons if she reported the alleged sex act.

    The victim claimed she lost her virginity to Mack Charles Andrews, pastor of the strict United Pentecostal Church.

    It allegedly followed two years of “grooming” at the hands of the 55-year-old.

    He also stands accused of violating the young girl when she was just seven with drumsticks, pens, letter openers and even a torch (flashlight).

    And he could have abused as many as eight other children in the late 80s and into the 90s, officials said.

    The victim, who is now an adult, said: “He told me if I didn’t say anything, he would come back and put flowers on the grave.

    “If I did, he said demons would come and get me from my bed.”

    “I’ve had members of the church try to bail him out of jail. Some wouldn’t even entertain the thought that he might have done it,” David Connor said. “He is a master of manipulating people and, for lack of a better word, brain-washing them.”


  • I was so upset as a kid thinking that jesus was able to see me naked in the shower or going to the bathroom

  • Kermit, I had a similar upbringing. It has taken awhile to get over the psychological damage of SBC teaching. Add to that – SBC was starting to teach complementarianism when I was a teen
    Then i knew I had to get out

  • Damien Priestly

    Traditional Catholics take it very seriously…never joked about cannibalism around my parents !!

  • John Gills

    Re: ‘sinners’. As a third grader, in parochial school, a dear friend was DENOUNCED as a demon by a nun who then stuck her tongue out at him! What’s up with that?

  • Mental illness? I mean, that’s all I can think of.

  • TheMagus84

    Hmm… then it’s funny how children raised without religion are more kind & generous than children raised with religion.

  • TheMagus84

    My 3yo son thinks of Santa the same way he thinks of his other favorite cartoon characters. He’s pretend but we still talk about him like he’s real.
    His grandma, who doesn’t know we’re atheists, gave us a few religious story books. We treat them just like Spiderman & Paw Patrol. We do skip over certain parts that get extra preachy. But stories like David & Goliath are still good even when you don’t believe.

  • DesertFlower

    So you take a few distorted individuals and negatively label 2.3 billion of the world’s people? All because of your prejudice? Well, I hope all your kids find a religion of some kind and have tolerance in spite of your reactionary nasty anti-religious bigotry. Look up the Harvard study re: benefits of growing up in religious homes….then ask yourself if you’re being a good parent.

  • DesertFlower