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Why I Raise My Children Without God

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  1. Mick Mouse
    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.

Comments

  1. aquatic
    From looking over your reasons it's clear why you raise your children without God. You don't know God! How can you teach if you don't know who He is?
  2. Mick Mouse
    Well aquatic, which god would you have me teach about? Jehovah? Yahweh? Allah? Perhaps the Buddha (although technically he is not a "god")? Perhaps the Christian Christ? Although his deity is a matter of contention amongst the various sects that make up christianity, with some holding that he is a god in his own right while others say he isn't. Maybe the Roman, Greek, or Asiatic gods? Or better yet, lets go back to before there were christians, hell.....lets even go back before there were any Jews! How about teaching of those gods?

    I can assure you that I not only can, but have, on several occasions, taught about these gods, along with many others. I have read, on many occasions, the entirety of the bible-in the King James versions, the Catholic versions, and the Gnostic versions, to mention just a few. Along with the Koran and the Torah. Not in their original languages of course, while I speak several languages, Hebrew and Farsi are not among them. I have also taught from the holy texts of the Sumarians and the Babylonians, as well as having an excellent familiarity with Wicca, Druidism, Shamanism, and Neo-Paganism in general.

    And yet I choose to allow my children to make their own choices in a matter which will be a personal and life-long issue for them. I choose not to force them. And you imply that I am somehow a bad parent because I choose not to teach my children lies?

    I am assuming, from your rather vitriolic tone that you are a "Christian", or at least a practitioner of one of the monotheistic faiths. And yet, I would wager that I know far more about your religion than you do. At least, the important and actually true parts. Although I could be wrong! But for my part, and in addition to my "field" experience, I have many years of college level education in traditional religious studies. So, here is my advice-take a deep breath! Not everything is as it seems, from the micro to the macro, and "God" infuses all. You made an error in your assumptions regarding the depth of my relationship with Deity and, while I could call you on it, I choose not to. I am comfortable with that relationship, even if you are not.

    However, in the interests of fairness, tomorrow I will post the rebuttal, entitled "Why I Raise My Children With God", and we can see who finds fault with that. I would do it tonight, but I am baked and it is late, and tomorrow will be here soon enough!
  3. aquatic
    I can be blunt sometimes so I'm sorry that I seemed hateful. I did not imply you're a bad parent. You're doing the right thing by not teaching your children anything about God. You have to know God before you can teach them.

    It's interesting that you've posted your skills and experiences. It's almost a resume. Paul gives his own resume in Philippians chapter 3. He says it's nothing but dung in light of Christ. He counts it as nothing.

    You see.. your knowledge will not give you an understanding of God. This is evident in your reasons for raising your children without God. Most of them are emotional attacks against God's character and are not even biblical! Reading the bible in it's entirety several times and you couldn't see this? No. Why?

    Wisdom and knowledge of God do not come from earthly studying. It's spiritual. It is given only by God to whom he chooses. All we can do is ask for wisdom from Him. He will convict you of sin and show you Christ is the ONLY way to escape the judgment on that last day.
  4. Mick Mouse
    My friend, you are shouting at the wind! I am not a christian, nor do I have any desire to be a christian. I see your church for what it is, and while it may be perfectly adequate for you, I find it wanting in the extreme. You can spout all of the platitudes you want to, but it will change nothing. You cannot hide from your history, and your history is totally at odds with what you preach.

    You talk about "knowing god", and yet, you totally overlook the fact that he was, is, and will always be a bloodthirsty bastard who kills all of those who disagree with him. And he is not happy with that, he says that he will punish entire generations for the transgressions of an ancestor.

    You look at Yahweh, or in his current incarnation as Jehovah, and what do you see? Certainly not peace and goodwill! Your god is a deity who gives power over men to all of those who believe in him. He was originally a god of storms and destruction, and was one of 12 on the supreme council of gods until he usurped power. It is also interesting to note that your god never intended to be the god of the entire world. He was to be the god of his "chosen people"-the hebrews.

    No, my friend, I would suggest to you that you study the history of your religion with an unbiased eye. And I applaude you in the expression of your faith! Everyone needs something to cling to in times of uncertainty and christianity provides an excellent security blanket, for those who are so inclined. As for me, I prefer freedom over security.

    My gods have given my outstanding tools, and they expect me to use them and not come whining whenever something does not go my way. They have given me a mind with which to think and reason, they have given me a brain with which to feel emotions, they have given me a body with which I can use to make my life, and the lives of those around me, better. They have shown me love and forgiveness through the making good of wrongs I have done. They have taught me many valuable lessons and they are an integral and vital part of my life.

    I further suggest that it is not the issue of my raising my children without "God" that has disturbed you, but rather, my raising my children without your god. Sadly, it is quite typical of your faith-the inability to see that there is not just another way, but the fact that there are as many ways to reach enlightenment as there are people seeking it. So. with that being said, I suggest that we agree to disagree and let the matter drop. I have no intention of changing my beliefs and no desire to change yours, and I applaud you for believing in something, even if it is different than my beliefs.
  5. aquatic
    I only had a problem because the article you agree with is directed solely towards the christian God. If it was any other god I would not care. There are no other gods. I felt the need to correct you.
    I'm shouting at the wind indeed!
    Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
  6. Mick Mouse
    If there are no other gods, then why did Yahweh feel the need to command his chosen not to follow them? No matter which version of the bible you look at, your god felt the need to warn his followers not to follow other gods before anything else. Not murder, not theft, not adultery. No, "thou shalt not worship other gods". Seems pretty clear to me. And lets not even get into the fact that your ten commandments are a blatant rip-off of an earlier Egyptian text that Moses (you remember Moses, right? The Egyptian priest who had to flee the country because he was a murderer?) brought with him when he fled Egypt.

    In addition, your quote is drawn from the old testament, which is no longer in authority or effect. You are aware that the 10 were replaced by the 2, correct? And, to paraphrase the 2, your christ tells you that you are commanded to love your neighbor and to love your god. Again, to paraphrase, I believe that the common (mis)translation is something like "thou shalt love the lord thy god."

    Notice that he says "thy god". Not "my god".

    Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Which is exactly what you are doing-repeating the words of others. As I suggested before, take the time to actually study the history surrounding your "holy book" and the characters contained within, and you might just be surprised. I doubt it, but, after all, there are no new things under the sun, right? And I thank you for such an interesting and final exchange of views. And remember, I am not trying to influence your point of view or get you to change your religion. All I ask is that you open your eyes and respect the fact that there are those who believe other than as you do, as well as learning the true history concerning the monotheistic religions.
  7. Nitrogene
    "But whoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."
    Matthew 10:33

    I think it's cruel to purposely keep anyone distanced from any faith. Living as God wants us to live is difficult enough already and denying faith only makes it worse. Any faith is better than none at all. As for there being "different gods", all monotheistic religions lead to the same God, and all religions will be united at the end of time.

    Think about it, if God is perfection, there can only be one God, since there is no such thing as multiple perfections.

    Buddhism is not a religion, it is a philosophy rather than a faith.

    I know I'm talking to the wind, but I felt this was important to know.
  8. Anna Thema
    "But whoever dont talk nice about Me, I'll go tell my Dad and He'll be really mean to you"
    Anna 26:01

    blah blah blah,

    toxin, congratulations on having the conviction of your own beliefs and the faith to follow your own instinct in the way you raise your children.

    I've noticed, on this forum, how keen you americans seem on god, its been quite an eyeopener. Before now, I realised america had a thing about religion, (I've got a tv and I watch it! who can forget the snake charmer people, the TV evangalists, the prayers in politics...all very uncool)
    but from this forum I learnt how passionately it's all still taken. So raising kids to not automatically default to religion must have been harder than it was for me. I'm sure they'll thankyou for it if they ever notice...
  9. Mick Mouse
    @nitrogene-my friend, no one has said anything about not having faith! I do not raise my kids to follow the fallacies of the christian church blindly. This does not mean that they are not exposed to the christian faith! It means that they are given information and then allowed to make their own decision. I have exposed my children to the christian faith in the exact same amount as I have exposed them to the teachings of other religions and faiths, from the Sumerian/Babylonian/Assyrian triad to classical Greek/Roman Mystery religions to near-mid-far Eastern spiritual practices to other monotheistic religions.

    Knowledge is power. Power is dangerous when in the wrong hands. In order to prevent danger, one must control power. Therefore, one must control and suppress knowledge and keep those who would learn under complete control.

    That is the mantra of the christian church. It will never change, because the god of the christian church is a god of domination. Claim otherwise as much as you would like, but your history and your actions speak much louder than your words.
  10. Shanthi
    @toxinreleased,

    I have very similar views and if I had children Id hate to tell them stories about 100 headed monsters and a thousand hands God gaining victory over him thus proving victory of good over evil. Or even magical vision to blind men and functional legs for cripples - magic means nothing when we are trying to teach children values.

    I was born and raised Hindu and I never really looked at ny of my mythological gods and stories as anything more than fairy tales with morals. Id try and teach my children those morals with examples and incidents and people from the world around them rather than confusing them with fancy stories that may be refering to reality but definitely from a time that we don exist in.

    So not disputing anything, i just believe in what i see hear feel touch and think. I wld like my children to have this opportunity to experience life first hand before they decide what they want to believe so ill tell them facts not further fabricate the fiction (or reality of a different time).

    I confess I dont have children but Id still say giving age old stories abt Santa and elves and devas and monsters is far easier than explaining logic to children. Specially when all around them believe the illogical...A great initiative from your side but more work!
  11. aquatic
    Domination isn't the correct word. The word you're looking for is Sovereign.

    You keep bringing up Christianity's history. I believe you are generalizing. Are you speaking of the Crusades? the Catholic Church? You don't really believe someone is a Christian just because they say so do you?
  12. Potter
    Aquatic: How can you even make these arguments in light of what was laid out? You're not really making anything close to a reasonable argument, just "it's in the bible it's true". Why not go through the points and offer counter arguments?

    also did you know you're pretty much an athiest? You have no issue not believing in so many gods, what's one less? What makes your imaginary sky demon more real then all the other imaginary sky demons?



    Unfortunately, I need to point out this is plagiarized. ToxinReleased either stole this, or they are nationally published and didn't even mention it. The title will pull up this article on CNN and all over the net. You are not helping your arguments about being a moral person through theft.

    Just saying.
  13. aquatic
    Potter- a woman is the last person I would listen to about God. Especially an atheist one. I've seen your comments before and you're disrespectful.

    Toxin does mention this is an article. It's in the other God post.
  14. Anna Thema
    youre having a laugh arent you? you accuse potter of disrespect after saying something so fundamentally disrespectful yourself to every woman on the planet.

    you hypocritical, patronising, misoginistic, small minded freak



  15. mr sic
    Wow, that is so fucked, ummm....Toxin I dont know if I can trust you, considering I dont know if you have a penis or not, but I just wanted to say regardless of where this came from (you do start off saying "Here is another one that I agree with completely.") so I figured that this may have come from another source.
    None of that maters, though as im more interested in your responses....In any event, I have to say that I have choose a very similar approach to teaching my kids about religon.....

    We started out with simplified, Greek Mythology as bedtime stories and answered further questions about "What is heaven, What do people do in that building"(meaning Church or Synagog{sic} ) by saying "some people believe....." then explaining each religon, as best we could, and we found ourselves looking way further into each religon when it came to certain sects of Christianity or such, anyway we are friends with a varity of different folks who believe in different religons, Krishna, Budahist, Jewish, Christian, Pagan, Hedonist, Green Whichcraft, Sub Genius, Wican etc.. so as long as we were there (to make sure no one said "This is the only way, if you dont believe this... Your fucking dead, kid) or any such retarded claims, I think it is great that they were learning different aspects about beleifs.
    Anyway I think it worked out well..our kids are now 13 and 10 and they each kinda developed their own set of morals that are way above saying some dickheaded shit like "I would never trust a woman about religon...." or adhearing to the beliefe that their beliefs are the only one, or that it makes them better than anyone else...
    I am not sure about what to do about their questions about satanism,,,not that I don't know about (La Veyian) satanism... its just that outside of the ridiculous dogma ( which is meant to be a joke anyway) the philosiphy makes way too much sense, ecspecially to a boy going through puberty and all.
    Just curious if you went through explaining this and how you went about it.
  16. Shanthi
    Wont listen to a woman? Let it be anything - but wont listen to a 'woman'? Where did that come from?

    There are other matters one needs to get right before indulging in the spiritual or even the religious path. Basic respect and equality for starters... Not that Im an expert at anything but that woman comment hurt...
  17. Mick Mouse
    Anna, while I respect your opinion and may even agree with it, your last comment was over the line. I would like to respectfully request that you rescind this comment ASAP and to, again respectfully, remind you that we can attack ideas here, but not people.

    I am not asking you to change your opinion, merely to re-word it. I must insist on reasonably polite behavior, and I believe that I made this clear in the opening post of the new blog. And while I personally agree with your assessment, I have to apply my rules equally and without regard to personal feelings or opinions.

    Thank you for your understanding.
  18. Mick Mouse
    Same thing.

    I bring up the history because it is the brush that you are colored by. In general, christians like to portray themselves as something that is totally at odds with their past actions. You claim to be about peace and love, and yet your history is drenched with blood-often the blood of innocents. I bring up the history because the vast majority of christians have absolutely no idea of what their religion is about and what it consists of, yet they are convinced that their way is the only way. And I am quite specific. There are no generalizations needed when pointing out the atrocities committed by the christian church in the name of peace and love.

    And you don't really believe that a person can have a live filled with spirit and faith and yet not be a christian, do you?
  19. Mick Mouse
    Thank you! The circular logic used amazes me, and yet it is their go-to weapon of choice in almost every discussion.

    Also, I would like to point out that in the very first introductory post of the new blog, I was clear that the information contained herein would NOT be all mine or all original, but would at times be articles that I agreed with and/or commented on. In addition, I referenced that fact in the first line of the post. And nowhere did I ever make claim to being a "moral" person! I said that I do not raise my children with a fixed belief in the christian god. Just saying.

    However, with that being said, you raise a somewhat valid point and one that I will address in all future posts, that being the inclusion of non-original material in my personal blog. Obviously, if we were in the forum proper, all such material would be properly referenced in regard to credit and acknowledgement, however, I did not feel that was necessary in light of the "disclaimer" and due to the fact that it is a personal blog-i.e. personal opinions and not offered as "fact".

    As it is one of my major goals in life to avoid Potters displeasure and her excoriating tongue, I will not go any further into the accusations of theft and plagiarism, nor will I get into her opinion of my morals. (Note-I have some, somewhere. I think.) I will just leave my answer above.
  20. Mick Mouse
    What would my penis, or lack thereof, have to do with trust? Is a person who is in possession of said penis inherently less trustworthy just because of their possession? Would you trust me if I only had one arm?

    And you reference satanism....did I miss that somewhere? Most people do not understand the difference between satanism and Luciferianism anyway.

    yes, I went through a similar process when explaining the concept of religion to my kids.
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