Here is another one I like and find that I agree with completely!
When my children were around 3 years old, they used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk around without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.
For over a year, I lied to them and made up various stories that even I did not believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my children so much and I do not want them to be scared. I want them 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 never believed either. One day, they would know this, and they would no longer trust my judgement. They would know that I built an elaborate tale-not unlike the one we tell 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 not a christian, and for many years I have been on the fringe of my community. As a parent, however, I know that there are other parents out there like me. We are creating the next generation of children, and there will be a wave of young agnostics, atheists, free thinkers, and humanists rising up through the ranks who will, hopefully, lower the religious fever of our nation.
So, here are a few of the reasons why I am raising my children without the christian god:
God is a bad parent and role model.
If God is "our Father", then he is not a good parent. Good parents do not allow their children to inflict harm on others. Good people do not stand by and watch horrible acts committed against innocent men, women, and children. They do not condone violence and abuse. "He has given us free will," you say? Our children have free will, and yet we still step in and guide them.
God is not logical.
How many times have you heard "Why did God allow that to happen?" And this:"It's not for us to understand." Translation-we don't understand, so we will not think about or deal with the issue. Take for example the senseless event in Newtown. Rather than address the problem of gun violence in America, we defer responsibility to God. He has a reason. He wanted more angels. Only He knows why. We write poems saying that we told God to leave our schools. Now we are paying the price. If there is a good,m all-knowing, all-powerful God who loves his children, does it make sense that he would allow murder, 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 that the Christ taught 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 abrogate 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 speak for themselves. 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 of 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 our 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 must make moral choices for the right reasons. Telling them that they must behave because god is watching them means that the child's morality will be externally focused rather than internally structured. It's like telling a child to behave or Santa will not bring them presents. When we take god out of the picture, we place the responsibility of doing the right thing onto the shoulders of our children. No, they will not go to heaven or rule their own planets, but they will sleep better at night. They will make their family proud of them. they will feel better about who they are. They will be decent people.
God teaches Narcissism.
"God has a plan for you" Telling children there is a "Big Guy in the Sky" who has a special path for them makes children narcissistic. It makes them think that the world is at their disposal and that, no matter what happens, it does not really matter because god is in control. That gives children 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 our children this story, other children are being abused and murdered, starved and neglected. All part of god's plan, right?
When we raise our children without god, we are telling 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 miniscule. 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 can be 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 advocate that religion go away. I only want it to be kept at home or in church where it belongs. it is an intensely personal effect, like a toothbrush or a pair of socks. It is 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.
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