Atheism, Spirituality, Religion & Raising Kids

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I am personally an atheist. I grew up Lutheran and had an extremely religious extended family. Through the first couple decades of my life, I did a lot of “soul searching” to figure out my place in organized religion and what I truly believed in. Throughout my twenties, I slowly transitioned from Agnostic to Spiritual and ended up an Atheist.

Now, let me make this abundantly clear. I do not like organized religion as a whole, but absolutely abhor so called “Christians”. I don’t hate Christianity, but considering 70% of the Christians I have met over my life are using the teachings of Jesus Christ to back up their hatred of immigrants, LGBTQ+, their racist ideals and hatred of anything different.. it’s fair to say I actively avoid Christians, Churches and any kind of ideology if not speak out against what I view as wrong or corrupt. I’m looking at you Catholics & Evangelicals. 

However, I believe that everyone, children included, should experience (and learn) about religion personally.. preferably more than one. This is why I have no problems driving the kids to church, or giving them highlights of different beliefs or pointing them in a direction to read un-biased information about another religion. I do not however, lie to children (unless they are super young, we’re talking about 5 and under) about what I believe in, or lack there of, or my thoughts on religion, if I am asked.

Which makes things interesting in my household. My daughter is pretty much agnostic. She has gone to a local Lutheran church, VBS, and has her own bibles. She has also discussed with me how science and religion often clash as well as having done some reading on her own about various other religions (primarily Islam & Paganism that I’ve seen). It’s not something I actively pursue talking with her about, but I’m open when she has questions for me.

My step-daughter however, comes from a very religious area. She listens to nothing but “Christian Music” and her real social outings are primarily to church. She prefers to listen to Christian Pop simply because she’s never been exposed to other music regularly at her Mom’s house. Naturally she has questions about different kinds of music we listen to here, as well as different kinds of books that I have on my bookshelves. I’m waiting for her to ask Noodle, why she doesn’t want to go to church as well. I’m essentially bracing for a load of questions from her, especially since she’s been hanging with my daughter listening to her kind of music, and Noodle has voiced her dislike of “religious music” as a whole. I visibly winced when I heard “American Jesus” by Bad Religion come across my daughter’s speakers.

As much as I’m not entirely looking forward to answering some of the questions that will inevitably come my way by the end of summer, I am happy to see a child be exposed to more religions, cultures, music, literature and ways of thinking. Everyone should be allowed to make their own choices when it comes to their faith, spirituality or lack there of. Most importantly, it’s always sad to see when children aren’t exposed to all this world has to offer because of their religious upbringing. So I’m happy I get to be a part of that.

3 thoughts on “Atheism, Spirituality, Religion & Raising Kids

  1. How can the teachings of Jesus be used to justify hatred towards gays , immigrants , etc? Jesus taught about loving everyone , no matter their race or gender . If some Christians use the Gospel to justify this kind of hatred, then they do not follow Jesus’s true teachings.

  2. Michelle Giles

    I respect that everyone has there own views when it comes to raising children and religion. I have raised 3 kids of my own with my husband and the bible played key role in that. It’s important to know our creator. To be a Christian means to be Christ like. Jesus said his disciples would have love among themselves. He set an example for us on how to be loving to one another and how to treat each other. The bible left us a moral code to go by. 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 gives us behaviors that we would want to avoid if we want to inherit God’s kingdom. If we follow that code we would not have to worry about STD’S, unwanted pregnancies, criminals, drunkards etc. Jesus also taught us to pray for his fathers kingdom to come to earth as it is in heaven. The benefits of his kingdom far out way anything the world can offer. Rev. 21:3,4 talk about no more death, pain or suffering. Psalms 72:16 talks about how there will be plenty of food for everyone, and Isaiah 33:26, talks about how no one will say I’m sick. According to 1John 5:19 Satan is the ruler of the world. That is why the world is as bad as it is and there is no such thing as safe. Only from getting close to God and reading the bible will our children learn what’s really going on and how to have good moral values and a real hope for the future.

  3. I think, thankfully, I had questions before there were any answers. I pondered, even worried, before others had my answers. Then, when answers came, I couldn’t agree unless I could see it for myself. Then, I pondered upon faith, and with time, made the leap. But not without years and years of wondering, talking to those who didn’t live up to their own beliefs, and having all kinds of questions such as all the suffering in the world and why things are as they are. Much more. Then….
    A big bang? Really. When do explosions create any kind of order? Never. Where did the material for a big bang come from? From big bang, to billions of galaxies, to extreme order, to cells that never could have self-evolved (scientists have proven this), to myriads of creatures with no in-betweens, to humans who ponder upon the mysteries of life and are self-aware (material cannot be self-aware. No, they will never have self-aware robots, just programs that seem to be self-aware.).
    Just looking at the majesty of it all. Wow. A universe too big to contemplate. We are so little. So, someone asks, why does everything happen as it does? How would I know? I didn’t create it all. I’ve only been around for a very short time. Even if I lived to be a thousand, I would only learn how little I know. But it’s all too amazing. But some things we’ve come to understand. We have a conscience: that which tells us right from wrong. Yes, we can intellectualize anything away, but thank goodness for understanding. Understanding, perhaps more than most, tells us a different tale.
    Job, a book in the bible, perhaps shares something that took time for me to understand. The good Lord asked Job, where was he when the foundations of the planets and universe were set. Where does light come from? What about the human heart?
    One of the things I learned long ago, which is difficult at times, but less so as the years pass, is never to be drawn into an intellectual’s thinking. In that, there is no understanding. When I listen, I look for understanding. If it’s just information, we wait for another day. No, I don’t have to answer. Just share and let others decide for themselves. To those who don’t wish to believe, that’s for them. To those seeking, that’s for them. Free country. Well, so far.

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