Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Godless parenting

for over a year, I lied to my 3-yr old and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.

 One day he would know this, and he would not trust my judgment. He would know that I built an elaborate tale—not unlike the one we tell children about Santa—to explain the inconsistent and illogical legend of God.
And so I thought it was only right to be honest with my children. I am a non-believer, and for years I’ve been on the fringe in my community. As a blogger, though, I’ve found that there are many other parents out there like me. We are creating the next generation of kids, and there is a wave of young agnostics, atheists, free thinkers and humanists rising up through the ranks who will, hopefully, lower our nation’s religious fever.
 Here are a few of the reasons why I am raising my children without God...
Why I Raise My Children Without God - CNN iReport

Thanks for the link, Meghan!

1 comment:

  1. I also struggle with this. While I have always been unable to believe myself, there have been times that I have been envious of religious people and the comfort their faith brings them, even if I believe it to be false or misplaced. So on one hand I have a strong urge to raise my children to be rational free-thinkers who look at things from an analytical standpoint and question things that just don't make any sense (aka to make decisions about life based on reality). But on the other I have a hard time taking away faith and comfort if they choose it. I have been walking the fence by telling them that they are free to believe whatever they feel is right. My wife is a believer, and I don't prevent her from taking them to church when she goes. But I present an alternative to them, and explain that I don't believe in that so I don't go to church, and that's okay too. I make it clear to my kids that they don't have to believe the stories they hear at church just because an adult is telling them. To be fair, I also tell them they don't necessarily have to listen to me about it either, but that they should strive to discover what they believe and feel for themselves, and live according to whatever they decide.
    I haven't found a lot of studies on this one way or the other, so I'm kind of letting it ride to see how it turns out. To be sure, my kids are going to be screwed up just like everybody else, but I'm hoping an open system of "believe what you believe" will work better than "believe what I tell you to believe" in either direction...