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Why I Raise My Children Without God


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Initial post: Jan 15, 2013 1:39:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 2:08:35 PM PST
Amy Hall says:
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-910282?hpt=hp_c3

"CNN PRODUCER NOTE TXBlue08, a mother of two teenagers in Texas, blogs about raising her children without religion. She said she shared this essay on CNN iReport because 'I just felt there is not a voice out there for women/moms like me. I think people misunderstand or are fearful of people who don't believe in God.'
- dsashin, CNN iReport producer
When my son was around 3 years old, he used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.

For over a year, I lied to him 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.

God is a bad parent and role model.
If God is our father, then he is not a good parent. Good parents don't allow their children to inflict harm on others. Good people don't stand by and watch horrible acts committed against innocent men, women and children. They don't condone violence and abuse. "He has given us free will," you say? Our children have free will, but we still step in and guide them.

God is not logical.
How many times have you heard, "Why did God allow this to happen?" And this: "It's not for us to understand." Translate: We don't understand, so we will not think about it or deal with the issue. Take for example the senseless tragedy in Newtown. Rather than address the problem of guns in America, we defer responsibility to God. He had a reason. He wanted more angels. Only he knows why. We write poems saying that we told God to leave our schools. Now he's making us pay the price. If there is a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God who loves his children, does it make sense that he would allow murders, child abuse, wars, brutal beatings, torture and millions of heinous acts to be committed throughout the history of mankind? Doesn't this go against everything Christ taught us in the New Testament?

The question we should be asking is this: "Why did we allow this to happen?" How can we fix this? No imaginary person is going to give us the answers or tell us why. Only we have the ability to be logical and to problem solve, and we should not abdicate these responsibilities to "God" just because a topic is tough or uncomfortable to address.

God is not fair.
If God is fair, then why does he answer the silly prayers of some while allowing other, serious requests, to go unanswered? I have known people who pray that they can find money to buy new furniture. (Answered.) I have known people who pray to God to help them win a soccer match. (Answered.) Why are the prayers of parents with dying children not answered?

If God is fair, then why are some babies born with heart defects, autism, missing limbs or conjoined to another baby? Clearly, all men are not created equally. Why is a good man beaten senseless on the street while an evil man finds great wealth taking advantage of others? This is not fair. A game maker who allows luck to rule mankind's existence has not created a fair game.

God does not protect the innocent.
He does not keep our children safe. As a society, we stand up and speak for those who cannot. We protect our little ones as much as possible. When a child is kidnapped, we work together to find the child. We do not tolerate abuse and neglect. Why can't God, with all his powers of omnipotence, protect the innocent?

God is not present.
He is not here. Telling our children to love a person they cannot see, smell, touch or hear does not make sense. It means that we teach children to love an image, an image that lives only in their imaginations. What we teach them, in effect, is to love an idea that we have created, one that is based in our fears and our hopes.

God Does Not Teach Children to Be Good
A child should make moral choices for the right reasons. Telling him that he must behave because God is watching means that his morality will be externally focused rather than internally structured. It's like telling a child to behave or Santa won't bring presents. When we take God out of the picture, we place responsibility of doing the right thing onto the shoulders of our children. No, they won't go to heaven or rule their own planets when they die, but they can sleep better at night. They will make their family proud. They will feel better about who they are. They will be decent people.

God Teaches Narcissism
"God has a plan for you." Telling kids there is a big guy in the sky who has a special path for them makes children narcissistic; it makes them think the world is at their disposal and that, no matter what happens, it doesn't really matter because God is in control. That gives kids a sense of false security and creates selfishness. "No matter what I do, God loves me and forgives me. He knows my purpose. I am special." The irony is that, while we tell this story to our kids, other children are abused and murdered, starved and neglected. All part of God's plan, right?

When we raise kids without God, we tell them the truth-we are no more special than the next creature. We are just a very, very small part of a big, big machine-whether that machine is nature or society-the influence we have is minuscule. The realization of our insignificance gives us a true sense of humbleness.

I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven. It is terrifying to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we-along with the children we love so much-will cease to exist. The idea of God and an afterlife gives many of us structure, community and hope.

I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs. It's a personal effect, like a toothbrush or a pair of shoes. It's not something to be used or worn by strangers. I want my children to be free not to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair-not on what they believe an imaginary God wants."

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 4:52:27 PM PST
Terry L says:
Sounds like she is raising her children without intelligence too. Too bad that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 5:04:18 PM PST
Amy Hall says:
Without intelligence? Perhaps.

However, she doesn't seem to be concerned over what you think of her. I could be wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 5:07:14 PM PST
Terry L says:
Probably not any more concerned than what I think of you.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 5:11:51 PM PST
I would rather have questons that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.

Faith. The arrogance of ignorance.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 5:14:30 PM PST
Terry L says:
Okay, then here is a question:

Does what you said apply to anything here, or are you just trying to appear wise by repeating statements others have made and pretending they are your own?

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 5:43:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 5:44:45 PM PST
Yes it does apply. Absolutely.

Both statements are highly accurate.

However your statement concerning a lack of intelligence on the part of someone because that particular individual choses to raise their child without faith in an imaginary Christian god perfectly illustrates the arrogance of ignorance which you seem to freely exhibit.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 5:53:53 PM PST
That is really good. Thanks for posting this.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 5:54:36 PM PST
Ridiculous. She isn't lying to her children. She's raising her kids to think for themselves. Brava to her!

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 5:58:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 6:02:38 PM PST
Terry L says:
No, Sciencemind, my statement concerning a lack of intelligence comes from reading how the writer thinks religion is like a pair of shoes, or how she determines that God sent furniture to someone.

Here is the thing: Okay, okay, you really think that "arrogance of ignorance" thing is really an impressive statement. And for some reason, you think repeating it will make it even more impressive. Well, really, when you quit saying stuff that someone else came up with and pretending it is your own, maybe I would be a little more impressed with you...actually, probably not. Anyway, the only thing freely exhibited here is the comedy of you thinking you are impressive to others.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:02:29 PM PST
Why is it that you are so threatened by someone whose ideas on religion is different from yours? From your first post, you have been posting nothing but insults and belittling statements.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 6:05:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 6:07:43 PM PST
Terry L says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:12:58 PM PST
TLC: Heck, in fact, I find it pretty funny that you are so threatened by me believing different than you.

RRR: What gives you the impression I am at all threatened by you? Hint: I'm not.

TLC: Why don't you question little scienceboy there, since he is in the same belittling mode that I am in?

RRR: Because you were the one who responded with insults right from the start. Your faith must be pretty shaky if you can't stand a single article about a woman raising her children without a god. I'm doing the same thing. I think it's great that atheists are finally "coming out" and being unafraid of being judged by narrow-minded bigots.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 6:17:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 6:19:04 PM PST
Terry L says:
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Posted on Jan 15, 2013 6:18:22 PM PST
Hey Terry,

I posted a couple of phrases that were not even directed at you or even to you and you go on the offensive. You state that someone is not intelligent because she is raising her kids without belief in a god. I would say that she is teaching them to think for themselves and not falling in lock step with the rest of the Christian masses. Good for her.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:21:03 PM PST
You came out swinging, Terry. Don't be surprised if someone swings back.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:22:26 PM PST
Terry L says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:23:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 6:38:17 PM PST
Terry L says:
Whatever Rachel. If it makes you happy to pass your own hypocrisy off onto someone else, then so be it. By the way, you came out swinging on me first, remember. I had said nothing to you up to that point. Hypocrisy is your name.

Here is the thing. My whole point was to irritant people like you. Atheists are so insecure that it is easy to rile them. You should work on that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:26:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 6:28:08 PM PST
It's your opinion that I am a hypocrite. I see my post as an accurate description based on careful observation. If you took it as "belittling," then that says more about you than it does about me. As I said, you came here with insults and belittling statements. You have offered nothing by way of intelligent discussion. That's ironic, since your first sneering post included the snarky speculation that "Sounds like she is raising her children without intelligence too."

I see you edited your post to claim that you intended to be a troll, whose only purpose was to irritate. You must live a sad, wasted life. Too bad.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 6:28:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 6:31:05 PM PST
Terry L says:
Yes, Rachel, as your posts have offered so much in the way of intelligent discussion. Hypocrisy is your name. I see that as an accurate description based on careful observation.

A sad wasted life? More belittling insults from the hypocrite. So sad your life must be. Too bad indeed. Let me see, how many posts have I posted on this forum compared to you in the last month. Count them. Let me know. Let us see who has a real life and who does not.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 6:31:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 6:33:56 PM PST
Terry,

The arguments do not sound goofy to me. Maybe they sound goofy to you. Probably because you are coming from a different perspective. Her arguments sound reasoned, logical and questioning. Her statements and arguments are not relying on extraordinary claims. She is not replacing one god belief with some other god belief which is just as illogical. Her reasoning and arguments are rooted in reality. She is throwing out the extraordinary supernatural and replacing it with what is actual, tangible, reasoned, logical and seeing cultural and geographical belief systems for what they are and how they can manipulate the mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:32:20 PM PST
TLC: By the way, you came out swinging on me first, remember. I had said nothing to you up to that point. Hypocrisy is your name.

RRR: Your problem is the complete lack of an ability to read and comprehend what it is that you read. My first post to you was this: "Ridiculous. She isn't lying to her children. She's raising her kids to think for themselves. Brava to her!" That is not "swinging." Take the nails out of your palms and discard the sackcloth and ashes. You aren't a martyr.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:34:33 PM PST
So now in addition to being threatened by the atheist mom in Texas, you are obviously threatened by me. Hmmm. Are you a male "Terry" or a female "Terry"?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:35:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 6:36:51 PM PST
Terry L says:
Realy Rachel, you should quit wasting your life here. Did you do a post count comparison yet?

Nope, I'm not a martyr. Never claimed to be. How about you?

Oh yes, I am so threatened by you. I shake in my boots.

Are you a male or a female Rachel? Come on now, do that post count, will you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:36:50 PM PST
Amy Hall says:
Terry, if this is a waste of time for you, then go to another thread.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  51
Total posts:  633
Initial post:  Jan 15, 2013
Latest post:  Sep 18, 2013

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