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Anyone Raised Atheist?

Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting


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October 20th, 2006, 12:26 PM
Athey's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I was wondering how many of you were actually raised atheist/agnostic? How'd your parents handle religious subjects? Do you think they did it right or would you do things differently?

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October 25th, 2006, 03:27 PM
Athey's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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No takers?

My mom never taught me a thing about religion. ANY religion.
I mean, she was raised christian, and we had some of those bible animated videos that I'm pretty sure were gifts from family friends and/or grandparents, but I think by the time she had me, she'd sort of said 'screw it' to organized religion, so it wasn't a topic in our house at all.

When I was a kid (like, 9 years old) I knew a small bit about christianity from the stupid childrens animated things, but I didn't know about anything else and I wish I had. I wish I'd known at least about the existance of other religions so I wouldn't have felt like it was such a bad thing to not really believe in the christian stories I'd heard and everyone else seemed to believe as true.

So I want to teach Kaya a little about all the different religions I can so she can look at them all objectively, but I'm not too sure how to approach that and at what ages.

I don't want to just dump it all on her at once when she's 8 or 9. I'd like her to know some things by the time she starts public school but 4 or 5 seems kind of young to delve into the big stuff.

Anyone else have experiences they'd like to share on this sort of subject? Things you've done and how they've worked?

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October 25th, 2006, 07:24 PM
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I wasn't raised atheist or agnostic, simply with the absence of religion in my own home. My mother and her family were Catholic, but lapsed, and though my mother did have a rosary, she kept it in her jewelry box, and with the exception of some childrens bible someone gave me, our house was devoid of religious symbols or references. When I was young, maybe around 2nd or 3rd grade, I did read that chldren's bible, and I remember saying to my mom that I ddin't think any of it was true, just stories to teach people lessons like Aesop's fables, and Jesus was like Santa Claus and her telling me that could very well be and something like the bible is whatever a person takes from it. Mom taught us to be respectful of others beliefs, she never scorned anyone and she didn't nudge us in any direction. I never felt different from anyone in a bad way and *until moving to the US, I never really met anyone who was judgmentally Christian.

ETA *Not to say that Americans are judgmentally Christian, just that the folks who I grew up around in BC weren't and my first exposure to Christians who thought themselves superior and judged me for my non-beliefs was after I married my husband and moved to a small Navy town in the US.

Crissy mama to Jack 7.16.01 ~ Mia Bella 10.29.02
Angus Pickle 2.24.04 ~ Sydney Bean 10.26.06 & Kater Tot 2.15.09

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October 26th, 2006, 04:42 AM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My parents were from Catholic families, bu I was raised with absence of religious practice. I.E. no church, no prayer, etc...but if anyone ever asked, we were for all intent and purposes, Catholic. Typical "just-in-casers"
<span style="font-family:Comic Sans Ms">Kelly</span>
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October 26th, 2006, 08:34 AM
smt smt is offline
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I think it is important for kids to be taught about religion because it is found all around them (especially in the US). But they need to be taught the bad things, as well as the feel-good stuff.
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October 30th, 2006, 11:10 PM
Aubree's Avatar Veteran
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I think questions about religion can be answered in bits as a cihild develops, children like explanations for things, instead of "Cause I said so", I think in small understandable doses children can understand what you are trying to answer for them. I can't think of any examples, I know my Dh could, hes like the master at Theology and such, but giving them little examples and explanations are good, I think it satifies their questions, and its hard sometimes, Ive had difficulty before, and sometimes I'll get to a point where I'm like, do you understand what I just explained? And if they don't then I work from there, it kinda helps you too also understand the limits of the comprehension.

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December 1st, 2006, 06:57 AM
Lilah's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I was raised to question everything. My mom doesn't believe in any god and certainly has strong beliefs about organized religions (just how sexist, racist, homophobic they are, etc). She never TOLD me that there wasn't a god though. We were free to make up our own minds.

In elementary school we were given the option to go to religious education classes or stay behind and do extra work. I opted to go to church given my options. Well, on the first day (a Cathlic church) they told me animals didn't have souls and that was enough for me! I opted for the extra work from there on out. My mom later told me how relieved she was because she worried about me turning Catholic. No chance of that.
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December 1st, 2006, 11:40 AM
Athey's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Haha - yeah, I'd be worried too

My mom told about how when she was in her 20's she went to a Catholic church because it was cool because all the sermons were given in Latin. But at one point they switched to giving the sermons in English and once she could understand what they were saying she quit -

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December 6th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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I was raised atheist by my father. I was baptised or whatever in a church but he never attended.

I never have once wished I was raised differently.
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