Mom Raises Her Kids Without God -- Let's Pray for Her!

Say What!? 45

churchHave you seen this post a mom wrote for CNN iReport about raising her kids without God? I guess it really pissed people off! As in, some readers flagged her post as "inappropriate" and complained that it shouldn't have shown up on CNN's home page at all. Really, people? Inappropriate? You would have thought she'd written a passionate defense of child abuse!

It took guts for TXBlue08 (the blogger's pen name) to put her controversial ideas out there, I suppose. But I don't think there's anything inappropriate about what she has to say. She's a thoughtful mom sharing her experience about raising her kids. She has the right to raise her children as atheists -- and CNN has the right to publish her story. Can't we handle that?

I think it's weird how bugged out people get over atheism in the U.S. in the first place. But bring kids into the picture, and you'd almost think raising children without God really was a form of child abuse. It's a sign of the End of Dayz! Here come the Horsemen of the Apocalypse! Hell and damnation! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!

I don't think raising children to believe in God makes them any more ethical or moral than raising them without. As long as parents are really thinking deeply about how to teach their children how to be loving, compassionate, honest, and respectful, isn't that what matters more? But hey, that's just my opinion. I have the right to say it. And you don't have to like it.

Let's allow atheist and agnostic parents to have a voice, too. Just because their questions and ideas make believers uncomfortable doesn't mean they shouldn't express them. Maybe what worries some believers most is that we really are becoming less religious. (That part about the end of days, dogs and cats, etc.) One in five Americans are raising their kids without any religious affiliation -- though most of those people say they still do believe in some kind of higher being.

Giving this non-believing mom a voice may have threatened some readers, but a lot of other readers were glad to hear from TXBlue08. Some non-believing parents spilled out their own stories about their struggles to raise a child without religion. So the "godless mom" story was incredibly helpful and affirming for those parents. And then there were readers who are religious, but who respect TXBlue08's opinion and thought it was valuable to have this conversation. I think all parents benefit when we hear from a variety of perspectives, especially perspectives that are very different from our own.

What do you think about parents who raise their kids without God -- and then write about it?


Image via Vik Nanda/Flickr

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Alexa... AlexaAdams

I wasn't raised religious and my daughter won't be raised religious. She will have all the freedom in the world to peruse religion on her own if she chooses too and I will support her 100% just as my parents did me.

laure... laurenemb

I have no issue with parents choosing to, or not to, raise their children in religion. I took an issue with the article in that her arguments were not well-founded or convincing. Frankly, it sounded like bullying against religion, and I don't even believe in God. She took a very "I'm right and you're stupid" attitude, which was at least, for me, the article's problem. 

That said (written?), good for her for getting the word out there that it's not only possible to raise children without religion, but it's a choice made by a growing number of couples in a new generation. As I mentioned, I am not religious and have no children, but if the day comes I do have kids, it's nice to know I wouldn't be alone should I choose to raise them outside of a religious community.

kelly... kelly24019

I think the idea is great. I am an atheist as well.

nonmember avatar Dawn

There is a difference between raising your children without religion and raising your children without God. The article this woman wrote was awful. There are so many things that can contradict what she has said, but it is just too lengthy to get into. She is free to raise her kids how she sees fit, however, I agree with Laurenemb, she wrote this to sound like she is right and those who do choose to raise their children to know God are stupid. So much for her quest in equality.

Marcella Shambles

There is a huge difference between "religion" and "God". I find it easier to believe in God then in religion. My child is being raised in my husband's religion, and I support it, kind of. While I don't say it's a lie, I just say it's the "truth" for some, but not me. I have found my way to honor God, and she must find her own. When she is older she will need to find her own path. To do that she should explore the paths that others take. To each their own.

Rosas... RosasMummy

It's so bizarre that in the USA this is controversial. In the UK lots of people keep their Christianity to themselves if they are Christian because the majority are atheist. religion is an outdated and harmful part of human society. If any of my children converted to any religion which included worship of a higher being etc I would be seriously concerned for their mental state, and I would not support it bcos it would be damaging to them.

bella... bellacazzate

I'm the product of agnostics. My significant other is also the product of agnostics. We have created some agnostic children. So far, so good. I don't think this post should finish with "What do you think about parents who raise their kids without God -- and then write about it?" because it perpetuates the idea that this is not "normal" and it is, indeed, quite "normal" all over the world. 

Unfortunately, her article is not completely sound nor convincing in its arguments, but she does make some fine points. Here is a list of atheist writers, many of whom have written about this topic soundly, sensitively, and fairly... and many who have done just the opposite :)

fleur... fleurdelys3110

I don't plan on raising my child within an organized religion either. If she or he wants to believe in a god, then she/he can. But I do not.

mommy... mommyof5cutties

I have raised my children to make there own decisions of religion on there own. If they have questions I asnwer them to the best of my ability or get a family member to do so. My father is Mormon and when my daughter started questioning who Jesus is and why people go to church I asked her if she wanted to go with my father to church and she said yea. He took her and she said she had a wonderful time and had many questions answered. If she chooses she wants to follow a religion then it is up to her. I was raised where I was forced into and told never to question... but I always have questions. So now I don't shelter my children I allow them to explore it and make their own decisions.

Momme... MommeeTo4

I do not raise my children with religion, if they choose to purse God and religion that is fine with me. They are free to choose thier own path.

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