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Tips for raising atheist children
Posted: 20 February 2006 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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First off, I just want to say how amazed I am to find a virtual atheist community, so hello to all the other atheists out there.

My question is to anyone who has raised children as an atheist, or grew up in an atheist home.  Did you allow your children to talk about it with other people, or were you allowed to as a child.  I have never let my children talk about religion, in any form, with other people, with a few exceptions.  I am not ashamed of being an atheist, I just don't want all the crap that would come with people knowing.  I have always told my children that there is nothing wrong with being an atheist, just that people would react bad.  Trouble is, my oldest child is really starting to resent this, and is taking every oppurtunity he can find to argue against religion.  He is only ten, and I am worried his social life and mine.  Any advice or comments?

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Posted: 21 February 2006 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Recently my 5 year old daughter walked past a church with my wife and said “hey look mom that’s where the stupid people go”. My wife was horrified - several people heard this comment. I as a father have never been more proud.

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Posted: 21 February 2006 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Sounds like something my son would say.  Does your daughter tell her friends that you all are atheist?

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Posted: 21 February 2006 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I don’t know that the subject has come up yet - but we like to use terms like “rational freethinkers” or “scientific non-morons” rather than atheist.

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Posted: 21 February 2006 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“1foxyjen”]First off, I just want to say how amazed I am to find a virtual atheist community, so hello to all the other atheists out there.

My question is to anyone who has raised children as an atheist, or grew up in an atheist home.  Did you allow your children to talk about it with other people, or were you allowed to as a child.  I have never let my children talk about religion, in any form, with other people, with a few exceptions.  I am not ashamed of being an atheist, I just don’t want all the crap that would come with people knowing.  I have always told my children that there is nothing wrong with being an atheist, just that people would react bad.  Trouble is, my oldest child is really starting to resent this, and is taking every oppurtunity he can find to argue against religion.  He is only ten, and I am worried his social life and mine.  Any advice or comments?

Hey, if you need tips, check out the Hitler Youth. They too tried to raise up a nation of atheist children and from what my sources tell me, they did a darn tooting job. I mean, God = morals and you don’t want to teach your child morals. So, might as well get em signed up for a program that really omits morals and all that. And that program would be the Hitler Youth. Have a great day now.

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-29

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Posted: 21 February 2006 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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We teach our children morals. We just don’t teach them morals handed down to us from bronze-age simpletons who thought the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. And when our children break a moral law - i.e., when they disrespect their parents, we prefer to give them a more secular punishment than that prescribed by the bible - stoning them to death.

As for the Hitler youth, I’d love to hear how your death-cult (christianity) is any different from theirs. You fucking moron.

Peace out.

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Posted: 21 February 2006 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“Savage Henry”]We teach our children morals. We just don’t teach them morals handed down to us from bronze-age simpletons who thought the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. And when our children break a moral law - i.e., when they disrespect their parents, we prefer to give them a more secular punishment than that prescribed by the bible - stoning them to death.

As for the Hitler youth, I’d love to hear how your death-cult (christianity) is any different from theirs. You fucking moron.

Mr Henry, are you trying to be a comedian? Man centered morals? We know that man in his heart is wicked and that he loves iniquity. Man had no sense of what morals were until they were handed down to him by God via the 10 commandments. The 10 commandments are a moral code of sorts that shows man that he is indeed a sinner. Any man centered moral that resembles a 10 commandment is a rip off of God’s morals. Any man centered moral that resembles Christs commandments is a rip off of God’s morals.

I’m sorry sir, but your still naked and condemned and found guilty of God’s laws. You will see the wrath of God that is come on all sinners. But don’t fret, love and mercy has been extended to you via Christ and his offer of salvation. Reach out and take it before its too late.

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-29

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Posted: 21 February 2006 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Man, I get such a wierd vibe from people like you champ.
It just seems really egotistical of you to think that you have all the answers and that we’re going to hell for all eternity because we aren’t following the path you’ve chosen.

Your Jesus is really gonna send most of the Earth to hell for all eternity?  I mean, that is what you believe right? 

http://www.noharmm.org/religiouspop.htm

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Posted: 21 February 2006 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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[quote author=“mac”]Man, I get such a wierd vibe from people like you champ.
It just seems really egotistical of you to think that you have all the answers and that we’re going to hell for all eternity because we aren’t following the path you’ve chosen.

Your Jesus is really gonna send most of the Earth to hell for all eternity?  I mean, that is what you believe right? 

http://www.noharmm.org/religiouspop.htm

Of course you get a weird vibe from people like me Mac. We’re different than you. We have the joy of the Lord, the joy that comes from knowing that you are saved from your sins and the feeling that comes from knowing the truth and having it set you free. If you didn’t think I was weird, or if I was “one of you”, then I certainly wouldn’t be a good Christian. The bible says do not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your faith.

Regarding the figures you posted. I certainly am not the judge, I’m just one of the many messengers that God is sending into a lost and hurting world. Bringing the gospel of Christ and urging mankind to repent and seek shelter from the wrath to come, the wrath of God upon sinners that has been clearly spoken in the word of God again and again. No doubt about it, Jesus is a “get out of hell free” card. A free gift to the masses. When judgement day comes, only God will be the judge. I can’t tell you how many or what not. I just stay on message and that is all I can do.

All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-29

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Posted: 21 February 2006 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Yeah exactly.  So if those numbers are anywere even close to real, then two thirds of the earth are going to hell cause they don’t take Jesus as their savior.

I mean, lets forget the whole debate of wether or not there is a god, lets just say there is.  And lets say that Jesus Christ is his son, and the only way into heaven is to acknowledge this.  I mean, that’s the most basic tenant of your religion right? 
So, a vast majority of the world doesn’t take Jesus as their savior and are therefore going to hell. 
I have heard that if you have never heard of Jesus than that’s ok.  The ‘you can be either hot or cold, but not lukewarm’ (I’m paraphrasing of course) thing.
But I’d say in this day of communication a lot of people around the world have heard of Jesus.

So somewhere between two thirds and half of the world is going to hell? 
I know you don’t make decisions for God and you aren’t the guy who decides, but you DO believe that people who don’t take Jesus as their savior are going to hell right?

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Posted: 21 February 2006 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Mac…Arguing with someone patently delusional is never a fruitful endeavor. Champion like countless others does not posess the mental capacity for free thought. Is it his fault? Should we try to convince him that his entire belief system and worldview is a crock of bullshit? In the words of the great Steve Martin…..........“nah”

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Posted: 21 February 2006 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Oh and FoxyJen - send pic.

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Posted: 21 February 2006 05:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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It’s just that I think it’s a valid question that I haven’t heard asked. 
Would like to know a believers thought on it.  He kinda dodged the question by saying he doesn’t make the decision, but I’d like an honest answer according to his belief.

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Posted: 22 February 2006 02:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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I guess if you want to hear irrational, circular-reasoning answers you can ask believers lots of questions. Passes the time anyway.

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Posted: 22 February 2006 03:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“1foxyjen”]First off, I just want to say how amazed I am to find a virtual atheist community, so hello to all the other atheists out there.


We’re fairly spread out, it seems, but if you find a “pocket” of rational-minded types you’ll always find we’re disproportionately represented—odd, eh? That’s why I like working in the UGA Library System so much. Not only is it a university environment, but librarian types seem to be much more contemplative and generally prone toward cognitive exercise (though most of my peers seem a bit less prone than average, perhaps, to physical exercise, which concerns me sometimes—I’d much rather see these particular people practicing more life-span enhancing behaviors).

[quote author=“1foxyjen”]Trouble is, my oldest child is really starting to resent this, and is taking every oppurtunity he can find to argue against religion.  He is only ten, and I am worried his social life and mine.  Any advice or comments?


Sounds like a cool kid! If he were around here he’d more than likely still get some flak, but he’d have a solid “base group” of supportive, like-minded friends (as long as he didn’t step off the cultural oasis that is Athens, GA, and into the surrounding intellectual/cultural desert that is most of the rest of GA).

I don’t have kids (my sister does but her oldest is 5), but I’ve been one and I’ve known some, and based upon that small bit of experience it sounds to me like it might be a phase, at least to some degree. Maybe not, but it could be that he’ll feel the need to express his differences with 90+% of his peers, particularly because the majority ideology is just so deeply whacked if you’ve never been programmed to buy into it (which suggests to me he’s got a pretty damn impressive level of independent-mindedness for a ten-year-old). If that’s the case then it may be he’ll be a bit militant until he’s processed the situation and more or less figured out how he fits into it (his niche’ in society), but it may also be simply the way he is. Kids have to find their place in the world—it’s just part of the job I think we often forget when it’s been a couple of decades since we were working the same beat.

I think you’re right to be cautious (or maybe conscientious is a better term?), but on the other hand, unless you live in a very rural area where notions that not religiofying the kid’s brain equates to abuse can take hold and actually be imposed upon you, this may be a really good age to get this particular part of his niche’ down. If he learns how he fits and comes to peace wth it (more or less—and I don’t mean to say if he resigns himself to being a second class citizen, but rather comes to peace with what he decides how he fits into the world/what his nature is in this respect) he’ll be getting it done when he’ll probably experience far less fallout than if he does it in, say, high school. He’ll also be far ahead of the game while he sees new members move into his niche’ over time (particularly in college, assuming he goes, when some of us learn to think critically and honestly).

But again, that’s just my take—the perspective of someone with no kids and almost no knowledge of the specific situation. I hope there’s at least something of some use to you there.

Sounds like a cool kid though . . .

Take care,

Byron

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Posted: 22 February 2006 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Yes, he is a cool kid.  We have just moved out of a small, southern town, as it is, and are now living in a good sized college city.  I still do not like sharing my personal views with people,and especially don’t want my children to do this.  ( I am still guilty of small-town thinking I suppose)  This started after my mother and I got into an argument over the subject, and he seems to have developed a very bad view of religious folks, which is really not good.

I am not sure of how to respong to people individually, but one guy asked for me to send a picture, I am not sure if you mean of me or of my children, but I would not be comfortable sending either over the internet.

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