Interview with Kelly Mochel
Author: Kelly Mochel
Title: One World, Many Beliefs:
A Family Book for Nonbelievers & Their Children
Available at Amazon.com
AP: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
KM: I am a stay-at-home mother of two, living way up in the Rockies in Colorado. I lived in New Zealand for 5 yrs prior to moving here, which is where I really realized just how evangelical our society can be compared to others. Our kiwi friends and family don't understand the need for the book - there are believers, religious, devout, etc. there, but it just doesn't come into play during daily life, which is exactly how I think it should be.
AP: Why did you write this book and who do you think it will help most?
KM: I wrote this book because my oldest started to ask questions about praying, church, heaven etc.,
especially around Christmas and Easter, which many adults apparently think is a green light to discuss their religious views with my children. While I can easily answer those questions myself, I
think every parent knows that having a fun, colorful visual aid can make that process more interesting and can also help generate questions that may have gone unasked without a visual prompt. I
decided to incorporate photographs with the computer graphics so that when a child who has read it sees an actual church, mosque, Muslim in traditional dress, person in prayer, etc. they will
already have a small basis of understanding established.
AP: How do you think children should react when criticized by other children about their non-belief?
KM: My feeling, and my approach in the book, is one of tolerance. I hope children that come to their own decision about non-belief are fully educated about it and therefore confident and proud in their stance. Naturally then they will see that their own non-belief deserves the same respect and consideration as the beliefs of others. I hope they can turn any criticism or negativity into a positive discussion about their own acceptance of others' beliefs, and that the great diversity in the world means we all need to show one another respect in order to coexist peacefully.
AP: What other advice can you give atheist parents?
KM: The word 'nonbeliever' is one I sometimes struggle with, so putting it in the title was a tough decision - I would like to encourage parents to really flesh out that term as it can be confusing since we actually 'believe' in many, many things, like kindness, love, respect, science, etc. As children take on the English language, literal translations can be so misleading - let's make sure we are being clear and positive.