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?

 

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