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 Post subject: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Just wondering what people thought of this article on cnn.com.
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/1 ... =allsearch
i found it really interesting because i find myself in pretty much the same situation (different background though).
i dont plan on raising my kid/kids in any specific religion. my husband's family is Jewish and mine is Catholic and neither one of us believe in either religion. we are heavily agnostic leaning on atheist.
for the 2 of us it kinda doesnt matter, it usually doesnt come up. the one time it came up is when we got married and apparently i have family members who refused to come to my wedding because we got married by a JoP outside in a garden at an Inn rather than in a church with a priest or whomever marries you.
however i do wonder what B.S. is lying in wait for us now that we are having a kid. i dont expect much from immediate family on either side but based on the shittiness we experienced about our wedding i can only imagine the grief i will get from various family members about not baptizing our kid.

then i wonder how hard it is to navigate the outside world when things come up like a small child asking you "what is god?" or "who is Jesus?" and they arent old enough to grasp the concept of "this is who some people think it is but we dont believe in that"
or explaining to a small child that you dont believe in heaven and it doesnt exist.

it just really irritates the crepe out of me that i try my hardest to respect other peoples' faiths and beliefs and religious views but im looked down upon because #1 i dont believe in God or Jesus or the Catholic church but #2 i do live my life by a very strict code of ethics (hi veganism)

in another thread somewhere there was a bit where people were talking about not wanting veganism to be considered a religion but i swear sometimes i wish it was.

i hate the term "godless mom" though i understand the reason they are using it. godless evokes the idea that you have no morals or values or ethics.

im really not looking forward to dealing with this issue (though at least most of the BS is a ways away. the baptism thing might come up in the next year or so)
how do people navigate having their own personal views on faith respected and teaching their kids the "difficult stuff"

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:56 pm 
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also P.S. i hope my post doesnt make it sound like i hate religion or that people who bring their children up in a specific faith are bad.
i dont mean that AT ALL. my whole thing on religion is everyone's views should be respected and they are PERSONAL.
so while i dont want people shoving their religion down my throat i sure as heck dont want to shove my lack of religion down anyone else's throat.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:05 pm 
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So I was talking to the Emperor (3.5) the other day and some song we were listening to, I was like, oh, I used to sing this in the church choir when I was a kid. He looked right at me and said, "what is a church?" It kind of flummoxed me for a minute. He's such a worldly kid that it's rare that he doesn't at least sorta understand what things are but we are so not religious (and none of our friends are religious, and none of the relatives he's spent time with are religious, etc) that it really gave me pause. I don't want him to hate on people who are religious, because I think everyone's entitled to their own beliefs, so it was really hard to think of something to say to him that didn't sound judgey or mean.

Finally I settled on, church is a place where people who believe the same things can go and celebrate their beliefs together. He was like "oh okay" and he's repeated that back to me a couple of times now so I guess he sort of gets it...

I really have no idea what we're going to do when he makes his first friend who believes in Jesus or whatever. Just talk about it, I guess, and emphasize the fact that different people believe different things and that's okay.

It's really tricky to navigate.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:00 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
I really have no idea what we're going to do when he makes his first friend who believes in Jesus or whatever. Just talk about it, I guess, and emphasize the fact that different people believe different things and that's okay.

It's really tricky to navigate.

But is it that tricky to navigate? I mean, obviously I don't have kids, but I was a kid... and well. Ok, in Scotland at least, in State schools, it is Church of Scotland or GTFO. We had prayers, vicar-led assemblies, my parents (despite being at the very least agnostic, latterly athiest-leaning) sent us off to weirdo bible picnics or whatever in the summer holidays because it was free childcare... I'm given to understand from others' post there's pretty much zero religious edu in American public schools? Perhaps I'm mistaken though. But even, generationally, some of yous must've gotten this stuff as a kid? Perhaps not though. I can honestly say, having many of my classmates 'believe' in Jebus or whathaveyou didn't make a blind bit of difference to me. Neither did having daily (Protestant, Christian) classroom prayers. I hope no one thinks I'm being an asparagus, but really, your kids have their own brilliant minds. People generally seem to get into religion either via being brought up in it, family-wise, or from having some kinda 'born-again revelation' later in life.

It was considered a bit 'odd' at the time for my parents not to Christen me as a child (and my word was my granny upset as she wafted that christening gown about the place with partial menace!), but my mum explained to me her reasons for it when I asked about it when I was old enough to wonder ("if there is a god, and he was one who chose not to send a child to heaven purely because her mum didn't have her christened, then that's not a god i want to believe in") and that made sense to me, even as a wee yin.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:21 pm 
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There's no religious education in public schools, but religion is very much a part of the culture. I don't recall ever knowing anyone who was openly non-religious growing up. In the US, many people who are Christian tend to be very vocal about it and very exclusionary of people who aren't Christian. (That's my experience anyway.)

I think what's difficult to capture isn't "these people believe this." What's hard to explain to someone whose grasp of language and culture is limited by age is the idea that these people believe this -- I don't -- doesn't mean they're wrong or that I'm right -- it's ok to believe either. We'll continue to repeat a message of tolerance to him, and I think that's probably all we can do.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:46 pm 
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Oh, hey, we still have segregated schools here via religious lines. And (i think we are perhaps not far apart in age?) Believe me, I get people being vocal. We have those people in the street traipsing about with sandwich boards. Sure, it's not quite the same- it's way way more cultural and media-based over there, but still. If it were at a more decent hour I'd get my mum on the phone, haha. But honestly, I vividly remember being talked to as an under-4 year old about such things (I was under 4 when my grandpa died and I could describe exactly the room I was in and every damn thing my mum said to me about it all. I reiterated it all to her recently and she was shocked.) I think it's damn fine to say to a kiddo "these people believe this; We (your dad (or whoever) and I) believe this other thing... and how's about that, eh? Such fun!" Or similar.

And isn't it damned forking exciting some of the things that are going on these days in government will be done and dusted by the time the E and the M are but a few years older. DAMN forking exciting.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:51 pm 
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put it in the context of veganism. like not everyone practices veganism the way we don't practice religion. (and maybe tell them that they're welcome to read about it if they like.) i wonder if anyone makes a non-pushy childrens' book about religions for children who don't have a religion.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:03 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
then i wonder how hard it is to navigate the outside world when things come up like a small child asking you "what is god?" or "who is Jesus?" and they arent old enough to grasp the concept of "this is who some people think it is but we dont believe in that"
or explaining to a small child that you dont believe in heaven and it doesnt exist.


How small a child are you thinking of? My parents were brought up Catholic and Protestant but raised me without religion in our home. I never remember it being an issue as a really little kid, like I don't even remember learning about Jesus and stuff until I was in school. I guess I didn't have to deal with religious family because my folks were estranged from the religious relatives. When I asked my mom about what happens after we die, she just said we don't really know and the important thing to focus on is enjoying the present. That was actually a really good way to divert the conversation, I think.

I was sent to a private born again school from ages 4-11 because our public school was crepe. Regarding the religious part of the curriculum (which was my only exposure to religion) my parents did say stuff like "this is what some people think but we dont believe in that". There was so much indoctrination at my school that I did believe in all that stuff for a while, but because it wasn't reinforced at home it never really sunk in.

Honestly, I think the worst part of growing up non-religious was feeling excluded as a kid. When I'd go over to friends' houses, it was Jesus this, Jesus that, and I felt left out because I didn't believe. Then in high school, most kids in my classes were Christian and only hung out with other Christians or did stuff at their church. I had these kids tell me I was going to hell, I was a heathen, I wasn't welcome to hang out with them unless I converted. So that sucked, until I found a different crowd to be friends with.

I also think as a parent it's really important to be aware that some parents of your kid's (religious) friends will force their religion onto your kid at their house. Like I remember going to slumber parties and having to watch bible movies, pray before dinner & bedtime, and get told Bible stories, all without my parents' permission. One of my friends also had an anti-choice kids' storybook (?!!??!) that my friend's mom encouraged me to take home to borrow, and when my mom saw it she was really steamed and had to intervene. I don't know if this is the norm or what; I didn't grow up in a super conservative area, but I felt like that kind of thing was a constant part of my life.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:08 pm 
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Heh, yeah. So we have people who are trying to get religion into schools, and THEY ARE BAD AND WRONG.

But yeah, I expect a number of ongoing complicated conversations as the boys get older...

Right now when people are religious at my kids (which mostly hasn't happened...) I am polite, but I have started saying "I have no way to explain that to you right now..."

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:12 pm 
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For what it's worth, I was raised entirely without religion. Both of my parents are atheist, and I never had problems with it growing up. I had friends who were very religious, and honestly I remember it being more difficult for my friends to understand that I wasn't religious than for me to understand that they were. My grandfather, who is a pastor, was actually not that pushy from what I could tell. He'd bring God into conversations and my mother's atheism obviously caused some tension, but I didn't personally feel the effects of it that much as a kid. I've been to church a handful of times in my life, for weddings or when I visited my grandfather or with the aforementioned religious friend (and I've been to synagogue a few times for bat/bar mitzvahs), and it was always this interesting thing that some people did but we didn't, like observing a different cultural tradition. I remember that, when I was around eight, I started to think that if so many people believed in the same thing, then there must be some truth to it, so I decided that I was agnostic. That was the only time that I really questioned it.

I could talk more about this, but I just wanted to get across that from a parenting standpoint, I wouldn't worry too much what other people think or how it will affect the children. As a child growing up godless, it didn't affect me much, but I also grew up in a fairly liberal place.

ETA: Obviously it did affect me. My atheist background partially made me who I am. I just meant that it was never a problem for me.


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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:24 pm 
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I have two kids. My DD is 5 and has autism and the associated language delays, so we don't really have conversations about this. My DS is almost three and typically developing, so while we talk about a lot of stuff, he's still only almost 3.

I honestly don't worry about it. I was raised Jewish, and it was never an issue that other people believed in Jesus and I didn't, or that they had Santa and I didn't. Atheist is just another religious minority, so I expect my kids to have a pretty similar experience as I had. We still celebrate some of the secular aspects of holidays because they are fun and a part of our cultural tradition. I told my kids we have a Christmas tree because it is a symbol of light and life during the darkest days of the year. When we talk about holidays, I tell things as stories in the same way curious george is a story. I do not tell them these things are real.

I don't really worry about other people trying to tell them that the bible is real. I try really hard to instill in them the notion to question what they are told and to not just accept things at face value. Even if that means they question me, it's ok. We investigate and explore the world for ourselves. We conduct experiments and make observations. We value knowledge and science. I'm hoping my kids will just think it's weird that there are people who just accept things on faith.

As far as presenting differences in a value neutral way, I think veganism is a great analogy. You will spend far more time navigating explaining that some people (maybe even dad, as is the case in our family) eat meat, but we don't. That person is not wrong, but we still don't do what they do.


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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:34 pm 
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I don't know how to deal with your extended family, but I would imagine it won't be a huge deal for the kid growing up. Almost every one of my married with children peers is raising their kids without religion. This is getting pretty normal.

For what it's worth, I was raised with religion (and am now a clergy member of that religion, although I guess you could say I'm more "right wing" or traditional in my religious beliefs than my parents are) and the only time I ever remember noticing anybody else's religion was when other kids bullied me for mine (it totally never occurred to me that other kids had other religions, because I never talked about it with other kids and Christmas/Easter wasn't really on my radar yet), which only happened in one school one year and then never again (until adulthood, where I have run into plenty of crassholes - both atheists and people of other faiths). I am a little anxious about Malka's future because I know she will be in a shrinking minority of kids practicing religion as she goes through school, beyond already belonging to a religious minority which can sometimes be really painful.


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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:23 am 
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i find that article really, really sad. most of the "religious" people in it seem to miss the point. (well, the point of religion as i see it anyway).

i'm a relatively religious person but don't have my community here. My partner is not religious any more (different religion). My daughter has, from a young age, professed a deep desire to be atheist.
I take the quaker approach that the kid will be what the kid will be, and that i can only guide her on her way, and respect her wishes. So I point her towards other people who are atheists, and show her that you can be an atheist without dismissing other people's faith. I also show her atheists who are do-gooders, since charity is often used as a justification for religion. I think it's important she feels like she's not the only one of her kind, and that atheists aren't how they're often portrayed by religious people (snarky or preachy).

There is a very small extra burden in that I have to teach her some cultural references that she doesn't get from religious observance, but to some extent you have to do that with other religions and cultures anyway.

Regarding other people's input on the topic (she's surrounded by Catholics and Evangelicals): i take it super lightly. When the kid is older, it's very easy to say to the kid "we have to respect other people's beliefs, as long as they don't hurt other people, whether those people respect us or not" [say it out loud, within earshot, if you must!]. There are times when I have said, to avoid conversation, that i didn't believe in making a child decide the fate of her eternal soul before she is old enough to vote or drink alcohol, and changed the subject.

ETA: I wanted to add that I am surprised we avoided the baptism/christening thing without too much trouble. but we were busy with medical problems that first year and i think that let me off the hook.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:35 am 
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I have some pretty religious family members but I have boundaries set up with them so they would never harass me about baptism or church attendance. When we visit them, we have gone to their church for holiday services during family events like big Christmas get-togethers. Most of his best friends, strangely enough, are very religious.

One of the biggest things that I find I have to do for the kid is explain parts of the Christian tradition and Christian beliefs that have become part of our culture.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:54 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
There's no religious education in public schools, but religion is very much a part of the culture. I don't recall ever knowing anyone who was openly non-religious growing up. In the US, many people who are Christian tend to be very vocal about it and very exclusionary of people who aren't Christian. (That's my experience anyway.)


this. technically religion isnt allowed in schools here but that doesnt mean there arent a million people jumping up and down screaming how awful that is and that we NEED prayer in school, etc. and the religious right is VERY strong and vocal in this country

obviously i dont know what goes on at school currently since i am long out of them and have no kids (that are not in utero) but i think a "moment of silence/prayer" is prevalent in a lot of places and is an example of religion sort of creeping into schools (kids are supposed to use this moment to prayer if that's something they are into)

in high school (public) we read the Old Testament but it was strictly read as a "novel" of great historical importance. i guess i cant disagree with that.

i grew up in a super white bread area where there was 2 Jewish kids in my entire school system, and 3 black kids. no Asians and maybe 1-2 Hispanics. everyone was white and Catholic or Protestant though i think mainly Catholic.

i was baptized Catholic but never made first communion and was never sent to any of that "stuff" that goes along with it. im not sure why as i believe my mom considers herself Catholic and believes in God/Jesus. im guessing my dad had something to do with it, his family did not have a religion though many of them as adults converted to Catholicism. we went to SUnday school a few times as kids and that was it. now when i am in church for a wedding or funeral i am like a clueless wonder. i once got up to go into the communion line because that is what everyone else was doing and my mom had to pull me out of it cause i was confused. (i was an adult at this point)

while i can honestly say i never wanted to go to the CCD thing that everyone else in my school went to for i guess working towards communion or whatever (i actually have no idea what it's for) i did feel left out because i was like one of VERY few people not going in my school.

i also remember once going to a friends house in like grade school for dinner and they said a prayer before dinner so everyone clasped their hands to pray and i did what you see on tv and in pictures which is put your palms together with all the fingers pointing up rather than sort of knitting your fingers together. AND THEY ALL LAUGHED AT ME, parents included. that one stung obviously since i still remember it.

i do feel in some places in this country religion is so prevalent it is shoved directly in your face and you are made to feel like crepe if you believe something different. my brother was in the Air Force and was stationed in Little Rock, AR for 8 years and we went to spend Xmas with them once and holy moley it was like a whole different world. no "happy holidays" signs or "merry christmas" everywhere you looked were "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS" signs, EVERYWHERE. and it was just weird for me having grown up in MA which while is predominantly Catholic/Protestant you still see other religions. especially once i went to college and got out of my home town i saw there were towns with large Jewish populations closer to Boston, etc. Happy Birthday Jesus was a confusing one for me since i thought it was sort of common knowledge that they decided (historical) Jesus' real birthday was probably in the spring.

it's just a tricky thing to navigate. i think someone above pointed out something important, ie to teach kids to question things rather than just blindly following along. i think as small children kids are taught to respect what adults say and listen to them (at least that's what i was taught growing up a million years ago).

i dont want my kid/kids to be looked down upon as "bad" because we dont follow a subscribed religion but i also dont want my kid/kids to look down upon OTHER kids/people because they DO believe in a particular faith.

will be an interesting "experiment"

my big hippie heart just says "CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!" let's all hug it out :-)

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:12 am 
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We are raising a godless kid, and my partner's strategy with his religious family is to lie to them and pretend we celebrate holidays and tell them our daughter will be having a bat mitzvah, thinking that maybe his parents won't be around anymore by the time she's that age. I do NOT recommend this approach.


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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:58 am 
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So far it hasn't really caused us any issues, but she's just in Kindergarten, so it's a long road ahead. There was a prayer incident at her public preschool and while the husband and I were trying to figure out how to handle it, four year old her took it upon herself and simply told her teachers that she didn't want to pray and not everyone believed the same as them...so that was that.

I imagine that to a large extent the experience varies depending on where you live and what your family is like. Our families are religious but not like crazy about it, so we're okay there. However, living in the southern US, I have some worries later on. I just talk openly and honestly with kid and tell her that there are lots of different belief systems. I also try to get up and get her to UU services where there are other kids so she doesn't feel so alienated and different, but I kinda suck at getting there on Sunday mornings.

My biggest fear is the intense bullying that may occur later on...some adults like to bully non-Christian folk, so that part IS scary to me.


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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:04 am 
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mooo wrote:
We are raising a godless kid, and my partner's strategy with his religious family is to lie to them and pretend we celebrate holidays and tell them our daughter will be having a bat mitzvah, thinking that maybe his parents won't be around anymore by the time she's that age. I do NOT recommend this approach.



oh no Mooo! that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen! :-O

that's like one of my friends is i think 10-11 years older than her husband and they've never told his parents. i dont know why. they've been married for 6ish years, been together longer and have a 5 year old son. every birthday they just hope no one says anything.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:07 am 
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This is a pretty interesting topic to read. I'm kidless and probably will be for quite awhile, until my fiance and I both feel enough like grown ups to have one. Our family members range from churchless Christian lite to Christian clergy members (my future father in law!). The bigger hurdle for me will be dealing with the fact that I'm fairly agnostic (I celebrate Christmas, but only the pagan parts) and my fiance is Christian. He doesn't go to church now but I'm sure he'll want to bring our kid(s) to one, plus baptism and all that stuff. I really don't want to participate in any of that but I'll probably have to in order to not look like a jerk.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:09 am 
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bekki wrote:
four year old her took it upon herself and simply told her teachers that she didn't want to pray and not everyone believed the same as them...so that was that.


ummm that's all sorts of awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:39 am 
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LisaPunk wrote:
bekki wrote:
four year old her took it upon herself and simply told her teachers that she didn't want to pray and not everyone believed the same as them...so that was that.


ummm that's all sorts of awesome.


Yeah, it was kind of funny to us in a way. Her dad and I were fretting (not in earshot of her) about what to do, fearing negative reprecussions for her, and stressed. I should mention that the prayers in preschool were what prompted us to have to explain religion in the first place. She's a mini science geek, so the creation myth, which i told in a positive light so as not to push my own beliefs on her, did not go over well.

She's in kindergarten now, one incident she had on the bus this year was pretty funny, too. We were planning on taking her to see a talk by an astrophysicist one day. I guess she was talking cheerily about it on the bus when a girl told her that all scientists did was make stuff up and that she needed to find Jesus. Kid told her that she needed to learn science because she had it all wrong, they make observations and discoveries.

As she recounted this story to us, she was in disbelief. But mommy, she's in second grade, she should know better!


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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:41 am 
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I was raised in a secular, culturally Christian environment (ie celebrating holidays, baptized Catholic but no church attendance) and haven't gotten too much static from my family (though all our parents would have liked a baptism, mostly because they wanted to have a big party and get showered with attention for having a grandkid). However, I've been thinking about starting to check out Unitarian services because I like the idea of having a community, doing volunteer/human rights/social justice work, and I've heard such good things about some of their youth education program - like, weirdly enough, that they have a really great sex ed program. This isn't an issue for Violet at the moment obviously, but growing up I think it might be good for her. There aren't a lot of opportunities for children to be in multigenerational communities these days and I think that's important.


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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:47 am 
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My mom isn't an atheist but her approach to raising me was try to expose me somewhat to the religion she was raised into (Catholic). At one point, she decided that was stupid because of the stuff they were teaching me and decided we weren't going to do that anymore and that was that. Anyway, the idea of religion always fascinated me so I'd go to church with friends and read stuff on my own. In college, I got really interested and wanted to belong to a religion but then decided Christianity (mostly what I had been exposed to) didn't make sense to me and I realized that I didn't need to belong to a religion myself.

I used to believe that if we had kids, I'd try my mom's approach to just expose the kids to a religion for a few years but not really follow it wholeheartedly. Now I don't think I'd even do that. Both of my husband's parents were raised Catholic but they stopped practicing sometime before having kids so they never did anything religion wise with my husband or his siblings.

Obviously, your community can make doing that difficult and sometimes your family but I think you should raise kids how you want to raise them.

And on a side note, that CNN 'article' annoys me on a different level, the level where news is now a report on a blog and the comments of that blog. If that is the level of journalism we are at then... I mean, why not just keep pointing to the blog? Maybe I'm not ready for this brave new world.

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:51 am 
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LisaPunk wrote:
bekki wrote:
four year old her took it upon herself and simply told her teachers that she didn't want to pray and not everyone believed the same as them...so that was that.


ummm that's all sorts of awesome.


Love it!

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 Post subject: Re: raising "godless" kids
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:08 am 
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Queen Bitch of Self-Righteous Veganville
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My parents weren't trying to raise me godless, but not teaching us about anything extended to religion. We didn't go to church, my aunts and uncles always sent us kids books that were bible stories but no one ever told me that they were supposed to be real. I don't even know when I realized that Jesus was supposed to be a real dude. I don't remember any prayer or church going at my dad's parents, but when my mom's side got together and prayed my brother and I would always just sit there and stare off. I don't know how or why, but neither of us got it and neither of us cared enough to ask.

My grandma tricked me into going to church a few times when she moved to our city by always asking me to stay over on Saturday nights (she had cream horns, dudes), it was incredibly boring and the Sunday school was a joke - one time I literally just sat in a room by myself for 20 minutes without even a teacher. I think that's when I actively started resenting religion. This was around the same age where I discovered that nothing horrible would happen to me if I didn't write a paper about fish, so I really just started giving the kid version of the finger to everything adults wanted me to do that I didn't want to.

As far as friends, I didn't have a lot but I did make friends with a girl who went to a Lutheran school and when I would stay the night her mom would come in and pray with her before bed and that always made me really uncomfortable because it was just the three of us. They never tried to make me do it though. Religion wasn't pushed in girl scouts, and when I got to junior high and made friends that I would actually spend time with, I don't think any of their families went to church. The only friend I made as an adult who went to church went to a Unitarian church and I think that was just to give her daughter and sister structure in their lives.

I guess I just attract fellow heathens!

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