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CNN Article About Raising Children Without God **Read The Author's Last Paragraph That Is In Red Bold**

Posted by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 12:33 AM
  • 202 Replies
7 moms liked this

I just finished reading this article and love how the author explains this. I agree with everything she's written. 

**This article is not hateful, and there's no need to feel sad for us or our children, we are very happy with our choices. If my children choose to believe in any deity, I will support them, just as I would with any decision they make. My oldest who is 22 has declared herself atheist since she was 18, long before I admitted I am agnostic. My 11yr old and 9yr old are both unsure at this point, but the choice is there and I will make opportunities open (attending a church service, consulting my BIL a Lutheran pastor). For the record, I wasn't raised agnostic, my parents were devout Lutherans, attended church every Sunday, were on many committees, so struggling with my views was not easy for years. I choose to believe in humanity and nothing I cannot prove. ***

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-910282?hpt=hp_c3



Why I Raise My Children Without God

 

CNN PRODUCER NOTE     TXBlue08, a mother of two teenagers in Texas, blogs aboutraising her children without religion. She said she shared this essay on CNN iReport because 'I just felt there is not a voice out there for women/moms like me. I think people misunderstand or are fearful of people who don’t believe in God.' What are your thoughts on this iReport? Share your written response via our Sound Off assignment

Update: CNN hasn't flagged this iReport as inappropriate, but some community members have. This is a divisive topic, however it does not violate our Community Guidelines, so we ask people to please stop flagging it. We will continue to review the story as often as possible.
dsashin, CNN iReport producer

     When my son was around 3 years old, he used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.


     For over a year, I lied to him and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.


     One day he would know this, and he would not trust my judgment. He would know that I built an elaborate tale—not unlike the one we tell children about Santa—to explain the inconsistent and illogical legend of God.


     And so I thought it was only right to be honest with my children. I am a non-believer, and for years I’ve been on the fringe in my community. As a blogger, though, I’ve found that there are many other parents out there like me. We are creating the next generation of kids, and there is a wave of young agnostics, atheists, free thinkers and humanists rising up through the ranks who will, hopefully, lower our nation’s religious fever.


     Here are a few of the reasons why I am raising my children without God.


God is a bad parent and role model.

     If God is our father, then he is not a good parent. Good parents don’t allow their children to inflict harm on others. Good people don’t stand by and watch horrible acts committed against innocent men, women and children. They don’t condone violence and abuse. “He has given us free will,” you say? Our children have free will, but we still step in and guide them.


God is not logical.

     How many times have you heard, “Why did God allow this to happen?” And this: “It’s not for us to understand.” Translate: We don’t understand, so we will not think about it or deal with the issue. Take for example the senseless tragedy in Newtown. Rather than address the problem of guns in America, we defer responsibility to God. He had a reason. He wanted more angels. Only he knows why. We write poems saying that we told God to leave our schools. Now he’s making us pay the price. If there is a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God who loves his children, does it make sense that he would allow murders, child abuse, wars, brutal beatings, torture and millions of heinous acts to be committed throughout the history of mankind? Doesn’t this go against everything Christ taught us in the New Testament?


     The question we should be asking is this: “Why did we allow this to happen?” How can we fix this? No imaginary person is going to give us the answers or tell us why. Only we have the ability to be logical and to problem solve, and we should not abdicate these responsibilities to “God” just because a topic is tough or uncomfortable to address.


God is not fair.

     If God is fair, then why does he answer the silly prayers of some while allowing other, serious requests, to go unanswered? I have known people who pray that they can find money to buy new furniture. (Answered.) I have known people who pray to God to help them win a soccer match. (Answered.) Why are the prayers of parents with dying children not answered?


     If God is fair, then why are some babies born with heart defects, autism, missing limbs or conjoined to another baby? Clearly, all men are not created equally. Why is a good man beaten senseless on the street while an evil man finds great wealth taking advantage of others? This is not fair. A game maker who allows luck to rule mankind’s existence has not created a fair game.


God does not protect the innocent.

     He does not keep our children safe. As a society, we stand up and speak for those who cannot. We protect our little ones as much as possible. When a child is kidnapped, we work together to find the child. We do not tolerate abuse and neglect. Why can’t God, with all his powers of omnipotence, protect the innocent?


God is not present.

     He is not here. Telling our children to love a person they cannot see, smell, touch or hear does not make sense. It means that we teach children to love an image, an image that lives only in their imaginations. What we teach them, in effect, is to love an idea that we have created, one that is based in our fears and our hopes.


God Does Not Teach Children to Be Good

     A child should make moral choices for the right reasons. Telling him that he must behave because God is watching means that his morality will be externally focused rather than internally structured. It’s like telling a child to behave or Santa won’t bring presents. When we take God out of the picture, we place responsibility of doing the right thing onto the shoulders of our children. No, they won’t go to heaven or rule their own planets when they die, but they can sleep better at night. They will make their family proud. They will feel better about who they are. They will be decent people.


God Teaches Narcissism

     “God has a plan for you.” Telling kids there is a big guy in the sky who has a special path for them makes children narcissistic; it makes them think the world is at their disposal and that, no matter what happens, it doesn’t really matter because God is in control. That gives kids a sense of false security and creates selfishness. “No matter what I do, God loves me and forgives me. He knows my purpose. I am special.” The irony is that, while we tell this story to our kids, other children are abused and murdered, starved and neglected. All part of God’s plan, right?


    When we raise kids without God, we tell them the truth—we are no more special than the next creature. We are just a very, very small part of a big, big machine–whether that machine is nature or society–the influence we have is minuscule. The realization of our insignificance gives us a true sense of humbleness.


     I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven. It is terrifying to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will cease to exist. The idea of God and an afterlife gives many of us structure, community and hope.


     I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs. It’s a personal effect, like a toothbrush or a pair of shoes. It’s not something to be used or worn by strangers. I want my children to be free not to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—not on what they believe an imaginary God wants.

by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 12:33 AM
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Replies (1-10):
glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 12:39 AM
3 moms liked this

I could not agree more!!!

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 12:53 AM
17 moms liked this

1)  God DID step in and guide us, by both the Holy Spirit AND by His written Word.

2)  NO one said "God wanted more angels" to describe the Newtown shootings.  No one with a brain cell, anyway.  GOD did not kill the babies; some human did for reasons known only to him.   Of course, murders and rapes and evil goes against everything Jesus taught.  That's why He gave us some PRETTY CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS of what we are to do as a society, yet we don't bother to follow them.  Gee, if we even followed merely the 10 commandments, we would not have these results.

3)  God DOES answer prayers, but sometimes you have to hang in there longer.  People give up so fast.

4)  God gave US - mankind - dominion over this earth and left US with the instructions and the ability to do the right thing.  He even gave us warnings of what will happen when we do not do the right thing. 

5) Sure God is here.  He's here in all of His creation.  He is here through His Holy Spirit.    He also communicates with those who have "ears to hear", who want to hear and won't give up until they do hear.   Believe then receive...that's how it works. 

6) This is the only logical point.  I do agree that we should not tell children to be good just because God is watching.  They have to KNOW God and know good to be good.  They have to have good role models and be taught right from wrong.  You have to have a point of reference to teach right from wrong, otherwise it is merely all random and relative. 

7) The assertion to following God and His instructions leads to narcissism is simply nonsensical.   No one who understands anything scriptural says that you can do anything you want and you are still God's top dog.  It doesn't work that way.  You are either in His camp or you are not, by your own choices.  You are responsible for the knowledge that you do have about the gospel truth. 

The truth is that God has given humans a purpose, but we have to find it and follow it. 

I just find it very sad that this is all she's got for her child.  And it isn't her fault, really.  It's all she's been shown and all she wants (at this moment). 

krysstizzle
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 12:59 AM

Good article. 

GotSomeKids
by Silver Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 1:04 AM
1 mom liked this

Interesting article.  But, doesn't really sway my views.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:00 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting TranquilMind:

1)  God DID step in and guide us, by both the Holy Spirit AND by His written Word.

2)  NO one said "God wanted more angels" to describe the Newtown shootings.  No one with a brain cell, anyway.  GOD did not kill the babies; some human did for reasons known only to him.   Of course, murders and rapes and evil goes against everything Jesus taught.  That's why He gave us some PRETTY CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS of what we are to do as a society, yet we don't bother to follow them.  Gee, if we even followed merely the 10 commandments, we would not have these results.

3)  God DOES answer prayers, but sometimes you have to hang in there longer.  People give up so fast.

4)  God gave US - mankind - dominion over this earth and left US with the instructions and the ability to do the right thing.  He even gave us warnings of what will happen when we do not do the right thing. 

5) Sure God is here.  He's here in all of His creation.  He is here through His Holy Spirit.    He also communicates with those who have "ears to hear", who want to hear and won't give up until they do hear.   Believe then receive...that's how it works. 

6) This is the only logical point.  I do agree that we should not tell children to be good just because God is watching.  They have to KNOW God and know good to be good.  They have to have good role models and be taught right from wrong.  You have to have a point of reference to teach right from wrong, otherwise it is merely all random and relative. 

7) The assertion to following God and His instructions leads to narcissism is simply nonsensical.   No one who understands anything scriptural says that you can do anything you want and you are still God's top dog.  It doesn't work that way.  You are either in His camp or you are not, by your own choices.  You are responsible for the knowledge that you do have about the gospel truth. 

The truth is that God has given humans a purpose, but we have to find it and follow it. 

I just find it very sad that this is all she's got for her child.  And it isn't her fault, really.  It's all she's been shown and all she wants (at this moment). 

I like what you have written.  

Goodwoman614
by Satan on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:17 AM
2 moms liked this

I do hope religion eventually dies off. 

But I did do Santa, tooth fairy, etc w/ my kids. There is a difference between childish fantasy and immature reasoning, and religion. 

The former everybody learns was not "real" like they "believed" when they were younger. 

AdellesMom
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:21 AM
5 moms liked this
That only applies if one believes in God. You believe in God, so you believe that there's a choice; just like many other believers. People that don't believe disagree.

God doesn't answer prayers. If he did, I wouldn't have buried my dad a month ago, and my husband wouldn't be bald right now.


Quoting TranquilMind:

1)  God DID step in and guide us, by both the Holy Spirit AND by His written Word.


2)  NO one said "God wanted more angels" to describe the Newtown shootings.  No one with a brain cell, anyway.  GOD did not kill the babies; some human did for reasons known only to him.   Of course, murders and rapes and evil goes against everything Jesus taught.  That's why He gave us some PRETTY CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS of what we are to do as a society, yet we don't bother to follow them.  Gee, if we even followed merely the 10 commandments, we would not have these results.


3)  God DOES answer prayers, but sometimes you have to hang in there longer.  People give up so fast.


4)  God gave US - mankind - dominion over this earth and left US with the instructions and the ability to do the right thing.  He even gave us warnings of what will happen when we do not do the right thing. 


5) Sure God is here.  He's here in all of His creation.  He is here through His Holy Spirit.    He also communicates with those who have "ears to hear", who want to hear and won't give up until they do hear.   Believe then receive...that's how it works. 


6) This is the only logical point.  I do agree that we should not tell children to be good just because God is watching.  They have to KNOW God and know good to be good.  They have to have good role models and be taught right from wrong.  You have to have a point of reference to teach right from wrong, otherwise it is merely all random and relative. 


7) The assertion to following God and His instructions leads to narcissism is simply nonsensical.   No one who understands anything scriptural says that you can do anything you want and you are still God's top dog.  It doesn't work that way.  You are either in His camp or you are not, by your own choices.  You are responsible for the knowledge that you do have about the gospel truth. 


The truth is that God has given humans a purpose, but we have to find it and follow it. 


I just find it very sad that this is all she's got for her child.  And it isn't her fault, really.  It's all she's been shown and all she wants (at this moment). 

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AdellesMom
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:22 AM
3 moms liked this
I like the article.

But, my kids are believers. I'm Agnostic, and I don't mind. I send them to church because it makes them happy.
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srichtermom
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:25 AM

Very interesting perspective even though I don't agree with anything she has written.  I find it sad that her child is being given such negative influences as to whether to believe in God.  No one ever said God would solve all problems or that we would live in a utopian society with no one ever getting hurt just because you believe in God. 

Healthystart30
by Silver Member on Jan. 17, 2013 at 2:42 AM
1 mom liked this
I don't like articles like this, to much generalization, and it's hateful. a lot of very well adjusted good children are raised by loving Christian parents. I was raised Lutheran and I am a very good person, and thankful my mom told me that my dog went to heaven, think I might have been more heartbroken if she would have told me he was decomposing underground and that I would never see him again. I am not saying all parents should tell their children about heaven, but we should be tolerant towards people's believes if they don't hurt anyone, and if the parent believes there is heaven, how is he lying to his children? I hate how this article portrays all Christian parents, as
liars, raising narcissistic children!
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