I can understand family politics and not wanting to offend grandma if necessary. But outright forbidding religious discussion?
What’s wrong with people knowing what your kids believe?
[he seems to have developed a very bad view of religious folks, which is really not good.]
Why is this not good? He should look at religious folks realistically - as the pathetic mindless sheep that they are.
Jen, I’m a bit different, but I always welcome, look forward to, and even invite confrontation from wrong-headed people. Having said that, I’ll stress that if you want to exist and prosper in a conventional white-picket-fence way, you’d damn well better conform to your neighbors’ expectations.
Closet atheists, by definition, have to be the biggest pussies on the planet! Think about it. Scared of the big bad Baptist stoning you to death. I mean really, this has to be the dumbest fucking post on this board. Raise your damn kid any way you want. Getting advice from strangers on a whiny God-denial message board about how to raise your kid? Someone call Child Protective Services and the men in white coats. Here’s a modern selection of secular punishments that are out there: Electrocution, gas chamber, firing squad, lethal injection, stun gun, cattle prod, being beaten with a stick, solitary confinement, torture, hanging. All modern and civilized.
Choke on that Savage Mary and Monkeyshit123
You’re quoting definitions to us now? I’ll tell you what godboy: You march one SINGLE qualified, scholarly source out here which contains a definition of closet atheism which contains the words “biggest pussies on the planet”, and I’ll kiss your lilly white jesus-loving ass.
And if I have to choose between a cattle prod and some crusty white priest playing peek-a-boo behind the confessional, I’LL TAKE THE CATTLEPROD.
Try to stay away from the attempts at intellectualizing. It takes time to learn new things.
Ironic isn’t it, “nobody” from “nowhere” is criticizing someone for being a “closet atheist”.
Jen- I understand your concern and dilemma. not wanting your children to be condemned and isolated by the masses of children who are brainwashed by their parents does not make you weak as suggested above. It just shows that you are a concerned parent trying to deal with the reality of living in a christ-based society where the pressure to conform is HUGE and children feel this pressure even more than adults. As non-religious parents it is difficult to teach your children to think for themselves. I also don’t know the best way to do this but how sad is it that it should be so difficult??!! It is easier for most people to parent if they have the fear and guilt of god and satan and heaven and hell on their side.
Just wanted to let you know that I understand. Not wanting to put your children on the front lines of a battle with the irrational is a protective reflex NOT a wimping-out.
It seems to me, and I must admit that I am not speaking as a parent, that our society has some severe issues regarding what should be public and what should be private.
For instance, I would consider it to be fairly rude for a stranger, or even a casual associate, to ask me if I was circumcized, unless there was an obvious and good reason for them to ask.
Similarly, the “openness” about discussing religious notions in our country is a false one. It is a tool of compulsion by the majority, attempting to make people in the minority feel that they are somehow in the wrong.
There are times, when I have gotten into a discussion, and have had someone ask me, point blank, if I am a Christian, or what I am. Much of the time, I will answer that I am a non-believer, simply because I feel that the word atheist carries too much baggage with it, but sometimes I will state that I consider my personal beliefs about the unknown to be a “personal matter”, and one which can be safely seperated from policy discussions.
In a sense, I like the latter approach, because I don’t particularly care to go around converting people to my particular brand of atheism (or whatever one wants to call it), I actually don’t particularly care what a person believes about the great unknown, as long as they recognize that other people should be free to believe something else, and that, as a direct result of that freedom, that the protocols defining how we all get along must be derived from something other than what any subset of people suspect to be true in a religious sense.
Basically, society needs to be secular, and the above reasoning is as close as I have come to an argument that should appeal to the religious and non-religious alike. Clearly it needs some fine-tuning, but. . .
So, when it comes to children, and how to address the issues of how a child raised as a non-believer should interact in a world where most people seem to identify with one of the major schools of religious thought, there are a couple of things which seem to be important.
1. Although all of us have an instinctive desire to “convert” other people to our way of thinking, it is wise to “pick one’s battles”, and not waste too much time on those conflicts that one is unlikely to win.
2. Just because the religious might seem annoyingly dense does not mean that they are not human beings. We should feel compassion for them, and not fall into the trap of demonizing them for their inability to grasp what seems obvious to us. This is especially important for children, I should think, as children can be the cruelest of all, and the patterns that take hold in a child’s mind are the deepest, and hardest to change in adulthood.
3. Take a page from the Christians. They often talk about (although they don’t always practice what they preach) leading by example. The principle makes sense, even if what they believe does not. The idea is that a person who leads an exemplary life will command more respect from their fellow man. The hardest thing for a Christian to deal with is an atheist that leads a near blameless life, filled with compassion and grace.
Psi - you seem to advocate respect for religious beliefs. Did you happen to read this book….what was it called again….oh yeah - The End Of Faith? Not only should we, our children, and our children’s children’s children be confronting unfounded beliefs, if we want a fair shot at survival we should be clobbering believers like baby seals.
No, we shouldn’t clobber baby seals.
Only religious baby seals
Your enthusiasm is admirable, your methods are not.
Where did I advocate respect for religious beliefs? I advocate defending a person’s liberty to believe, and there is a big difference. I should think that my description of believers as “annoyingly dense” would be a clue as to the level of respect in which I hold what they believe.
The issue of how to deal with believers is a thorny one, and “clubbing them like baby seals” is not an effective strategy. Just as bacteria become resistant to “brute force” antibiotics, the religious will close ranks, and harden in their beliefs under the kind of primitive onslaught that you seem to be calling for.
The “convert or kill” mentality of (some of) the religious is indicative of their lack of respect for another person’s individuality, and their fundamental lack of empathy. Not being religious, however, does not guarantee empathy for one’s fellow, as you have amply demonstrated.
Reread the book, and you will see that Sam is not calling for brutish intolerance of the religious, or an end to religious freedom, but rather, for a very specific intolerance of religious claims in the public space. The best way to guarantee that the majority of people submit to secular rule is for secular rule to work well for the majority of people.
Yes perhaps I am a fascist who honestly thinks that most people should not breed. I sincerely believe that if tomorrow every person that believes literally the bible or that hilarious koran simply vanished (except for the islamic chicken-pita guy on west 44th street) the world would be a vastly better place. Does this make me a bad person?
Yes, because every christian and muslim thinks the same = )
If everyone that doesn’t agree with me disappeared, we would all be happier.
pfft = )
Ok so serial killers and nazis and inquisitioners have as much of a right to their opinions as I do and therefore it is wrong for me to treat them intolerantly, because then I would be just like them - is that it? Excellent theory.