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

being a mom

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peanu... peanutsmommy1

I am agnostic as well, I was not raised in a faith, and I think I turned out just fine

fave82 fave82

Makes no difference to me whether anyone else believes in God or not. However, I don't understand why some people (such as this author) have to be such condescending a-holes about it. Just because you don't believe the same thing as someone else doesn't mean you have to be insulting.

Sarah... SarahHall58

I was raised in the church and chose to reject it at 7 years old. It's not necessary to have religion to teach children the difference between right and wrong and how to be a good person. I am an atheist and absolutely proud of it. Religion is optional. I'm a good person who works hard. I've never been in trouble, never been arrested, never even given a ticket, did very well in school, I lead a fantastic life. It's silly to me that this is even a question. No you absolutely do NOT need religion to raise a child properly. Just don't be an idiot.

Frost... FrostyMelted

@fave82 - How was he condescending? You seem overly sensitive so I'm guessing it does make a difference to you. 

Rosas... RosasMummy

Im an atheist, I fully believe religion is damaging to children and everyone else

nonmember avatar Mai

I am glad I was given a christian upbringing. I do not currently practice religion in the strictest sense. I do not always agree with everything I was taught. I do believe in God and hope to teach my child that, if nothing else.

nonmember avatar lilah

Religion is the opiate of the masses. Just say no.

nonmember avatar Tabatha

Just bc someone doesn't believe in God is fine, but there was no reason for this author to be a complete and total a$$hole. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about religion, but that doesn't give them any right to trash talk anyone else's religion. I was raised in a Pentecostal church and yet I don't trash talk Muslims or dumb Jews like this author.

femal... femaleMIKE

You don't need it. We aren't in any religion and won't be following any but I will be teaching my son about Christianity. All you need to learn about Christianity is in the bible (mainly in the gospels), you don't need to be part of a church. I don't like organized religion.

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