On Raising My Kid Without Religion (& Praying She Turns Out Okay)

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My wife and I are agnostic. To us, the burning bush and brimstone stuff was merely the best man could come up with back when no one knew why the sun rose and whether it would tomorrow. We would rather our 3-year-old daughter grow up with a more accurate concept of reality than the one clung to by the 1 in 4 Americans who still thinks the sun rises because it revolves around our 6,000-year-old Earth.

Then again, my wife is a lapsed Catholic and I was raised Jewish. This explains our satirical holiday cards (left) and makes us wonder whether we each would have found our own ethical and philosophical way without those backgrounds. Also, we are still interested in raising our daughter scared enough to avoid obtaining an arm-sleeve tattoo and a stripper name.

Occasionally, my wife suggests that we expose Skylar to both sides and let her decide. "God, no!" is my usual hypocritical response. First of all, whenever Judaism bats against Christianity, the final score is predictable. Christmas vs. Hanukkah? Jesus vs. Moses? Keeping company with 78 percent of Americans or 2 percent? The only clearly victorious category for my side is comedy.

More importantly, religion isn't like a Lady Gaga album you can sample online and then decide which tracks you want to buy. It's more like a complete Kool-Aid fill-'er-up with a bonus brainwashing coupon. (Disagreement means straying from the one correct path and, depending upon which path, possibly even bursting into eternal flames.)

And how does exposing impressionable young neurons to opposing fairy tales help kids get any closer to truth anyway?

Do you think religion is required to raise your child properly?


Image via Corey Levitan

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