Parenting Beyond Belief

We wrote this section to help with the questions children often ask about god. We really hope this section answers questions your children might ask and we are definitely open to new answers.


Q. "Jimmy`s parents believe in God and he says that if I don`t believe in God I will go to hell!"
A. "Well Son, Jimmy's parents believe in their god because they were born here in this country. Did you know that if Jimmy’s parents were born in Mexico just 400 years ago, they would have believed in the god "Huitzilopochtli" instead of the one they believe in now? Remember, babies do not believe in god; only when they are older do they believe what their parents do, based upon what country and what century they were born in. Next time Jimmy says something, why don't you ask him to do a rain dance so his god can make it rain? Or ask him if he has proof that his parents’ god is the real god instead of the god who the kids believe in, in Japan.

Q. Do you have proof that there is no god?
A. No I don't. And I also do not have proof that there are no unicorns or that my refrigerator cannot fly when I am sleeping. Do you have proof that there are unicorns or that my fridge can fly?

Q. How can you not see god in everything that happens?
A. Because I can only see evolution. Everything you claim your god made without evidence, I can actually back up with scientific evidence.

Do you have any questions we can answer with great atheist answers? Tell us!

Write a comment

Comments: 77
  • #1

    Guinevere (Tuesday, 14 August 2012 01:21)

    Asked by my mother-in-law: What will he say when kids ask him if he believes in God? (IMO this is not hugely important - kids ask all kinds of inappropriate stuff of each other and then move on - but still, she sees "No" as a serious social hindrance for him.)

  • #2

    Coryn (Sunday, 30 September 2012 05:04)

    I tell my kids I don't believe in god but if you think it makes sense and it feels right in your heart then you can believe in whatever you want. I want you to use your thinking powers first and see if it makes sense to believe that first ok? Then we talk about ways that we prove that things are real; ie we can touch it, taste it, hear it, etc. We talk about why people might want to believe in god and that the world can sometimes be scary but that we don't need to make up pretend things for it to be ok. It's ok to be scared or unsure or not have an answer to things.

  • #3

    suzann (Thursday, 04 October 2012 00:44)

    I tell my kids to be good for goodness sake. That its just the right thing to do.

  • #4

    Jenn (Monday, 05 November 2012 17:33)

    My in-laws are devout Catholics and my husband is not practicing anymore. When we eat dinner with them and my husband's brother's family, they always insist on praying before dinner. They always talk about Jesus. What do we do when our son (currently 15 months) starts asking questions and why mommy doesn't move her hands and pray like the others? Please advise. I always have problems with comebacks!

  • #5

    Angel (Friday, 09 November 2012 01:29)

    My entire family, both mine and my husband's sides are Christians. When they pray before dinner, I just bow my head as a sign of respect for their religion. I don't pray, nor do I even say "Amen" after the "blessing", but I don't go bashing their religion while we're eating, either. They have a respect about our "choices" and we do of theirs. I firmly believe if you teach your child about respecting another's beliefs then, he/she will grow up and understand that the whole world isn't as bad a place as "they" would like you to believe.

  • #6

    Gymnast's Mom (Saturday, 10 November 2012 22:05)

    Please advise on how best to address my sweet First Grader. She just told me that there must be a god because she says the Pledge of Allegiance every day at school. She went on to say if you believe in god, then you should pray. UGH!! I am at a loss. My parents and sisters, whom she spends a lot of time with, are agnostic or atheist. We live in the bible belt, however. But with her public school obviously teaching her that god is the anwer to all, what am I to do??

  • #7

    MO Atheist (Thursday, 20 December 2012 03:27)

    I teach in a public school and I say the Pledge of Allegiance every day as well. But I skip the line about god. Not one kid has ever said anything. As for my own child, who is about the same age as yours, I would just say that the line was added years ago since so many people believed in god. She can say it or not say it and still pledge allegiance.

  • #8

    Sarah (Friday, 28 December 2012 02:03)

    My husband and I are both atheists, and his family is Christian, and very opinionated/judgmental. Recently we all had a conversation, and they all said that we should not celebrate Christmas. it was a very heated debate. Needless to say we celebrated and let them know that if we feel judged then we do not want to spend time with them. Its a shame that some people cannot accept differences.

  • #9

    Thomas (Saturday, 05 January 2013 18:38)

    My wife and I are atheists, and we celebrate Christmas with our semi-religious families. My wife's favorite holiday has always been Christmas, so I've taken to celebrating 'Sir Isaac Newton Day,' because Dec. 25th was ACTUALLY his birthday and he was in incredible historical figure. I think that's a great way to give your kids an excuse to celebrate the holiday without having to even mention Jesus (we just found out on New Year's Eve that we're going to have a baby at the end of August, so it's been on our minds a lot!).

  • #10

    Cathy (Tuesday, 08 January 2013 00:10)

    Are there any resources for people who wish to teach their children to think for themselves and RESPECT the beliefs of others? It seems like all the suggested answers on this website are smartass retorts and are designed to antagonize rather than teach. I want to teach my kids how to get along with people who believe differently, not to insult them.

  • #11

    Lisa (Tuesday, 12 February 2013 20:03)

    I agree with Cathy. I wouldn't ever say this to my child: "Everything you claim your god made without evidence, I can actually back up with scientific evidence." I would think that the child is only asking questions, not claiming that his god did anything.

    I wish to teach my children tolerance, and I'm looking to those resources as well. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #12

    bcdaurelle (Thursday, 14 March 2013 05:37)

    Cathy and Lisa, don't confuse unabashed critical thinking with intolerance or smart-assery. A kid of seven or eight raised without religion will be as receptive to the teapot example, in seriousness, as he would be to hearing about Jesus in other circumstances. Just because this arguement comes across as snarky when used by adults, one should not assume that it is an inherently disrespectul or flawed arguement. If you temper your attempts to teach your child critical thinking with a disproportionate emphasis on not offending believers, he or she will probably miss the point. You can't teach a questioning seven-year-old to ask critical questions about everything he/she wants to believe about the world and in the same breath tell them that this attitude can't be applied to anything someone else chooses to believe. Your priorities should be teaching a child to think critically first, then teaching about how and why one should (or, occasionally, should not) be respectful of believers' opinions. If you do a good job with the first one, the second one should come much more naturally.

  • #13

    Jessica (Monday, 22 April 2013 07:45)

    I will guide my children. I will show them the path to curiosity. Encourage them to question their surroundings. After all, we can't find results unless we first make an inquiry. Don't forget about Newton and the inquisition. Put to Death because of a discovery made, and a big one at that! If we don't allow children to think, thinking may become illegal.

  • #14

    ADMIN (Friday, 03 May 2013 07:14)

    Go away tac

  • #15

    Howler Monkey (Wednesday, 08 May 2013 09:35)

    This method of raising a child is just as damaging as the fundamentalist religious way of raising a child. Id leave my children to make up their own minds give them both sides of the argument even though i'm christian. I was raised this way i had one side of the family being christian and another being Atheist( i only turned christian at the age of 26).After all that really leads to critical thinking. Definition of Critical Thinking:

    Good critical thinking is skillful and responsible thinking in which you study the problem from all angles, and then exercise your best judgment to draw conclusions.

    I feel we need opposing views. What will you do one day if your child turns Christian or Muslim or what ever? If it was my kids i would still accept them and just not bring up religion.

  • #16

    ADMIN (Lance) (Monday, 20 May 2013 16:42)

    @Howler Monkey: Obviously you are not a good critical thinker using any form of judgment to draw a conclusion at all. Think about it, you are a christian, which means you think that the teaching of Christ were somehow a moral compass for your life. We as atheist do not think that your "son of god's" view on extortion is anyway to live a moral life. What happens to those of us who do not beleive in your god? What happens to those of us who do not except Jesus as our saviour and instead choose science (according to your bible)? That is right we burn in hell. So, if we do not do X, Y will happen to us... that is extortion... and that is seriously screwed up! Trust me, my children understand science and understand fairy tales, this is not a question of you beleive and we don't therefore we have opposing views, you are not even on the same playing field with us. We do not believe in unicorns and refuse to think that it is "just" an opposing view that we have that there are no unicorns. Something was missing in your life, that is the only reason you thought you needed to fill the gap with fairy tales. My life is complete, I have a great wife, 2 wonderful kids, and a super career. I don't need fairy tales to make my life any better and either do most atheists. You see we atheists are living the dream, we are not hoping for something better, if we want to make a difference, if we want to change things, we do them, we take action, we don't wait for some imaginary creature to help us, we take things into our own hands and do something. Having your child become a christian after 26 years means you were not an atheist it means you were a "whogivesashitest" and trust me, I care and that is why my kids will never believe in your religions fairy tales about the son of god because they understand critical thinking but in a true scientific meaning.

  • #17

    Etienne (Tuesday, 28 May 2013 21:29)

    What i find difficult is telling my kids God don't exist while they are still of the age where Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy is real for them. Not sure how to get past this. Critical thinking is still a way off for them. Telling them that when we die we are dead while Christianity have a very luxurious heaven waiting for dead people doesn't seem fair. Can someone help?

  • #18

    ADMIN (Lance) (Wednesday, 29 May 2013 08:36)

    Etienne: There is a giant difference between Santa, the Tooth Fairy and heaven. Questions like "where do babies come from?" or "why is that kid in a wheel chair?" and "what happens when we die?" need to be answered in an easy to understand, logical, fact of the matter, unemotional way. Yes, most religions do have it good with their afterlife and if you study religion you will see each religion just tries to do better then the next. If you are Christian you have to tell your kids there is a heaven, if you are a Budhist, you tell them they come back as a bird or a worm, if you are Mormon, you get a planet to rule over, as a Muslim you get to drink alcohole finally, and as a scientologist... well let’s just face it, those guys are really strange! Being a parent means you have hard decisions to make all the time, and not just about heaven. My next door neighbors are homosexuals (and good friends), and trust me, being an atheist explaining that is much easier then being a Christian. Keep Christmas and easter, they are both just pegan holidays stollen by the christians anyway. I am pretty sure you are not going to continue to keep telling your kids santa and the tooth fairy are real after a certain age are you not? But where you go when you die, and why is that kid in a wheel chair, are not things we need to make stories about, but that is just my opinion.

  • #19

    sbc (Friday, 02 August 2013 17:49)

    I have had to explain heaven to my child who lost is grandmother when he was three. I tell him to close his eyes and think about her. When he has her clearly in his head, I tell him that is heaven - that place where he thinks about her - for him we've linked heaven to the memories he has of her. Its worked for us and gets around a lot of difficult questions!

  • #20

    Conteur (Saturday, 17 August 2013 00:05)

    We are teaching our children the myths of "active" religions right alongside the myths of former religions. Odysseus, Fenrir, Gilgamesh, Moses, Santa, Lac Long Quan, Jesus, Muhammad, Nangkwak, Buddha, etc, etc, etc. I want my kids to be knowledgeable, and that includes knowledge of the world's fairy tales. Teach them all side-by-side, spend time with your kids helping them to make up their own stories to see how it's done, and they'll be hard pressed not to get the picture.

  • #21

    Nick (Friday, 06 December 2013 07:02)

    This admin is quite opinionated and a great reason why people believe atheists to be know-it-alls. You are no more right than the christian on your left or the muslim on your right. You are merely choosing whether or not you believe in something. Even your "unicorn" defense can't get by the fact that atheism isn't an objective truth. Look at it like this, "All I know is that I know nothing." The quote is by Socrates and he makes a good argument about not believing you know something when you really don't. Only a fool claims to have the answers of life, the universe, and death. Don't be a fool.

  • #22

    Kim (Sunday, 15 December 2013 05:11)

    I'm looking for help to try to explain to my 5yr. old boy that there is no proof that he will ever see his dad again. ( And I feel like an asshole for doing so!) I'm not sure who decided to tell my child that there was a heaven and that he will see his daddy there again, but if I did.... Anyone have some good ideas for how to brake a small boys heart?

  • #23

    Lance Gregorchuk (Friday, 17 January 2014 15:22)

    @ Kim: Tell him papa lives in his memories and keep telling him stories about his father, what a great man he was, what a great father and husband. Tell your son every great thing about him and tell him often. Tell him about the mistakes he made and how he fixed them, tell him how brave he was, let him live inside the memories of your child, you won't break his heart, you will mend it.


  • #24

    ER (Monday, 27 January 2014 23:04)

    Yikes, your hypothetical answers to children are really harsh and arrogant. Atheism isn't about the arrogance of truth, but the peace of having truth. With these answers, you are belittling Christians the way they belittle us, which overshadows the valuable points you are trying to make. Bringing in unicorns and flying refrigerators ad ridiculum only makes you look petty. There HAS to be better, logical, rational, and most of all respectful way to answer those questions for children. Save the sarcasm for when they're teenagers.

  • #25

    TL (Wednesday, 05 February 2014 08:32)

    I'm having. Problems with others teaching my 5 yr old son about God. He came home today saying that God made everything in this world. I told him no that's not true. I need some advice. I want my children to be respectful of others beliefs but understand that we are here because of evolution and science proves it. Any ideas?

  • #26

    Lance Gregorchuk (Wednesday, 26 February 2014 07:40)

    @ ER: Antitheists are not arrogant about knowing the truth, the truth is the truth, based upon facts. Scientists are not arrogant around those who think gravity is just a theory, or that the sun revolves around the earth, or that there is a magic man in the sky. Unfortunately one needs to argue absurdity with absurdity. @ TL when children say that god made everything then ask the who made that table? they will know it is a person, then ask them where the wood comes from etc. Break it down for them, they will see there is god with his magic hand involved.


  • #27

    Collins (Wednesday, 26 February 2014 15:41)

    Question: How do you guys view determinism? It is a very touchy subject with me. I have nothing to lose by accepting it, but it just does not make sense to me! I've thought about it a LOT and my boyfriend and I disagree on it a bit, but nothing upsetting. (I used to be super christian, like STRICT, and then I came to realize that the thing I loved and talked to every day was just myself and all of the rules I was being manipulated to believe and follow were enforced by those who agree with them most, AKA white, heterosexual males) Anyways, my boyfriend was atheist from the get-go (I didn't know until we were together for two months, and that's when we broke up because it was exhausting and we always debated and it wasn't fair for him to feel second to god and it wasn't fair for me to feel I needed to choose... that's when i went crazy christian and almost got baptized, thank god i didnt. lol) anyways, now we are both extremely more open-minded, and happier than ever and have been together for 2 years!

    Sorry for the back story. Anyways, I am extremely passionate about feeling as though I am not determined. What determines determinism? What is truth, then? Because two people are determined to come to the same conclusion, does that make it right? If things are determined, what is subjectivity? what is OBJECTIVITY? Does anyone really know? Am I just determined to disagree with determinism, until someone who is special enough to be "rightfully" determined can affect my determining factors, revealing the truth of determinism to me? How does ANY interaction take place? No blame, no punishment... no praise or "hard work paying off" ? I can't possibly imagine a life like that! So when I tell my boyfriend I love him, it's not because I wanted to say it? I was going to anyway, right? I am not trying to mock, it just really bugs me.

    I know there is plenty I do not understand. I want to. Even with a pedophile... his "instinct" to love a child results in the detrimental effect of the child. Can he be blamed? No. However, our "judicial system" needs to train him and PREVENT this from happening again. How can ANYONE prevent something like that to happen? Doesn't that require some sort of plan? A DETERMINED plan? What if no one was determined to "fix" the "problem"... would a pedophile's actions be considered non-detrimental?

    I'm so confused and exhausted. My boyfriend is a big fan of Sam Harris, and he believes in determinism, but doesn't want to. He always asks "is it better to be right or happy?" as if you can't have both.

    I don't like being told I HAVE to believe something that does not make sense to me. (not that he does, I'm just giving my view)
    Right now, determinism doesn't.

  • #28

    Stephen (Tuesday, 04 March 2014 06:26)

    I too have a hard time with snarky remarks as retorts or to be used as answers to my kids questions. My 5 & 7 year old daughters still believe in Santa. Kids have a lifetime, if their lucky, to become familiar with the harsh realities of life. I need some real ammo here with out scaring the shit out of my kids. I gotta wonder if some of the people giving advice here actually have kids. My 7 year old before going to bed tonight is saying she is scared she is going to die and is asking what is going to happen. What do I say to that? At 7 years old at 9pm before bed I'm not looking to smack her in the face with the harsh realities of things. I want to ease her mind and want her to sleep well and easily and not worry that she is going to slip away into the vast nothingness. I was raised Catholic and believed in Santa. I'm not emotionally scarred from the experience. In fact, the fellowship that the church community brought is something I think my kids are missing out on. Can someone please give some sound advice here that isn't a harsh bitch slap to the face of a 5 and 7 year old? And if someone says that the harsh approach is the way to go I am not on board with that. I'm looking for scripted responses that deal with these issues that don't scare the crap out of them. I almost feel like lying to them and telling them the stories and then dealing with it when they are old enough to handle it. I grew up seeing Crucifixes everywhere. My daughters have never seen one. I wouldn't know what the hell to say about such a violet depiction. They have never seen something that graphic.

  • #29

    Lance Gregorchuk (Friday, 07 March 2014 17:02)

    Look, I know that for some of you it may not be easy dealing with the fact that telling kids there is no heaven, or no hell for that matter, may not be easy simply because you are not looking forward to have your child ask difficult questions which you need to answer. What will you say when your child asks “is Santa real”? Will you put off the truth? Will you tell them the truth right away? Will you take the path of least resistance? What will you answer when your child says “what happens when you die”? Did anyone ever see “The Lion King”? Elton John sang it best… and told the truth! The song wasn’t called “It’s easier to lie”!

    I have 2 wonderful, funny, sporty, smart, and 100 other things children, an 8 year old boy and 6 year old daughter, and yes we talk about gods and religion, life and death, heaven and hell, as well as the insanity of religion and my kids understand what happens when you die, but they also understand what it means to live… to live this one life that you have, they understand that you help other people because it is the right thing to do and not because someone is watching you and has some kind of score board. I have, and am raising good atheist children. Sometimes at night we pull out the telescope and look at the stars, they understand light speed, distance and seasons. They can identify planets, stars and zodiac signs (get the free app “droid sky view” it is so amazing) and know that the earth can not be 6000 years old! We go to museums (our favourite is the Neanderthal Museum) and they understand where we come from, how old the earth is and why whales swim in the ocean!

    Yes, my kids can debate theists and YES, we do have fun when the JW’s come to the door. Imagine someone showing up at your door claiming that there are unicorns, or that the “jack and the bean stock” story is true, what would you do?

    Atheist raise great kids because we tell the truth!

  • #30

    LG (Sunday, 09 March 2014 09:02)

    Here is a great article about talking to kids about death:


  • #31

    Adrienne (Monday, 14 April 2014 01:35)

    I'm sorry, but this Lance guy sounds like a real moron! I'm not religious by any means (I'd say I'm more agnostic than atheist) & have every intention of allowing my son to think for himself... But this site is a joke!! I stumbled upon it while researching secular homeschooling info & this site is like a train wreck that you just can't stop watching. I know plenty of atheists who could give a much more intellectually derived argument as to why they believe in evolution & not creationism. Sorry Lance, but your misspelled words, poor grammar, & your constant repetition about unicorns, extortion, & sexism in every single nook & cranny of this page is really quite humorous, & I actually feel embarrassed for you. At least come up with a better argument or more articulate way of presenting said argument. It honestly sounds like you know nothing about the topic... Like you read one article & use this small bit of info to your defense over & over again. This website is FAR from being a helpful, informative, smart resource, for atheist parents looking for advice on explaining things to their children. Atheist/agnostic readers beware!!! There are definitely better sites out there than this one! This site was clearly constructed by a hypocritical, simple-minded, & smart ass know-it-all, who really can't even present a good argument for atheism, other than like, the 2 or 3 poorly presented points he has brought up in every part of the page. Seriously, I really thought this page was a joke... Like someone TRYING to be funny. Do yourself a favor & find a more credible site than this one!! Also, for those who are interested (for atheists, agnostics, & Christians alike), the book, "The Case for Christ" is really interesting, & can be for anyone of any belief/religion/non-religion. I believe the author is Lee Strobel?? If you search the title you will definitely find it! It was a best seller!

  • #32

    Lance Gregorchuk (Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:09)

    Adrienne thank you for your comments, but I think you calling someone a Moron negates any creditability you may have received in this forum. Yet, let’s get to your points: First of all I am horrible at spelling and grammar, I admit that, my editor is amazed that I keep spelling “believe” wrong, but it doesn’t make me a Moron and I think my book “Born Again Atheist” my speeches at the Sceptic’s in Europe, and the fact that I debate clergy in several languages in my spare time, does qualify me to an opinion and here is my opinion of you and your comments:
    You come to an internet site dedicated to Atheist Parenting and decide to leave comments like we should read a book called “The Case for Christ”? And then pretend to guess at the author’s name when you could have googled it right away? (Hmmmmm????) First of all there is no evidence for Christ outside the bible, and this author’s journey from Atheism to Faith was a pathetic attempt to sell books to the Christians, who are the kind of people who buy such books. If my next book was called “Born Again after Being an Atheist” those of faith would eat it up.
    This Christ guy NEVER existed, he was made up and the only evidence outside the bible was Plinny the younger and Josephus. Josephus was an obvious fake and has been proven to be one and I beg you simply to read the passage from Plinny. The Romans who documented absolutely everything never wrote a word about this guy. The Gospels contradict themselves on every page, they can’t even make up their mind as to where he was born, and if he was born to a virgin, two of the guys writing about this forgot to mention it. There was no roman census, it didn’t happen and if it did, not a single person wrote about it or mentioned it. Imagine millions of people going home with everything they own because the romans want to collect taxes and not a single person outside the bible mentions this? I could go on forever, but you are correct, writing about unicorns just gets to my point a lot faster.
    Now, the book you recommend to us is full of what we call non-evidence, you cannot use a book written by people hundreds of years after the fact as evidence that that book is historically correct, that argument is pathetic and to call yourself an agnostic for me means that you might believe that story of Noah’s Ark if you just had a some Hollywood producer make a film about it (maybe you’re in luck).
    Oh Adrienne, we have seen people like you here a lot, you come in pretending to be something you are not and then try and promote something to us through the backdoor. An atheist who picks up a book which says “Join him as he retraces his journey from skepticism to faith.” Laughs out loud. There were no miracles and he didn’t rise from the dead like the author claims he “may” have.
    If you are interested I would gladly debate you openly on line and we would record it and then we could see who knows their stuff and who doesn’t, but I’m sure we won’t hear from you again.

  • #33

    Jennifer (Wednesday, 30 April 2014 10:04)

    I'm Christian and stumbled upon this through a Google search for a total different type of question about my child. Anyway, I honestly didn't plan on leaving a comment since this has nothing to do with me or what I was looking for, BUT I just have to say that I'm glad I haven't been questioning my belief in God because you Lance sir would have totally caused me to stop questioning it because at least Christians have love and respect for one another. At least Apostolic's do anyway. And we don't believe in Christmas either, which raises a question why in the world are you so against lying about a fat creepy man breaking into your home, and a rabbit pooping eggs, but not a love filled God that gives promise of a better afterlife. And even if your way is correct, how can you justify teaching about Santa and the Easter bunny but not letting someone believe that the afterlife is Heaven, at least die with peace and hope. Oh and I can't stand the Easter bunny, it's as stupid as Santa, and Jesus was not born on December 25th it was months earlier.

    Sorry, my main point here is that you Lance are not selling atheism very well with your sour attitude!

    And don't you even think about being ugly to me because I am a child of God and he does not take well to those that wrong his children, just saying!

    Let's be nicer to each other here no matter what our belief is we are ALL just human! And to err is human :) Love you all and wish you the best of luck in this life.

    Be glad there's no such thing as reincarnation lol.... Most of us would come back as Dung Beetles!! ;)

  • #34

    Lance Gregorchuk (Friday, 02 May 2014 19:05)

    @Jennifer, I love it when you Christians threaten us atheists

    "And don't you even think about being ugly to me because I am a child of God and he does not take well to those that wrong his children, just saying!"

    Really, what kind of punishment will I get for being "ugly" to you? Burn in hell forever? Cancer? Death? We should be nice to each other, but you are allowed to threaten me with the wrath of your god. Spoken like a true Christian.

    Let's get to your points though. There was no Jesus, there is no proof outside of the bible that this god of yours even existed and please don's bring up Josephus or Pliny The Younger. You can't use a book to prove that same book is true. What proof do you have that your god was born a few months earlier? Did you know only 2 of the gospels even mention his birth? You need to start questioning your faith and stop living in North Korea, there is no god, no reincarnation, underwear cannot help you decide between right and wrong and you have waisted your entire life praying to an easter bunny.


  • #35

    Just me (Thursday, 11 September 2014 04:32)

    I happened upon this website as research for a Mom's group. Our next topic is "raising Christians in a Secular World." And as a "critical thinker" I'm looking at all aspects (the good, the bad and the ugly) from parents with different beliefs then mine.

    Lance, I wonder if you've ever considered the Bible as a historical document. I wonder if you've ever read it or done research about where the stories come from, who wrote them, etc.

    It's big, it's complicated. I suggest taking an hour or two and watching A Case for Christ. I'm sure your local library will have it. It's interesting, logical, and may (or may not) support your beliefs.

    Always good to learn more so you can better argue your point of view.

    This is an interesting website

  • #36

    Lance Gregorchuk (Thursday, 11 September 2014 19:19)

    Hi and thanks for your comment
    For me it is an oxymoron to call someone a “critical thinker” and a “Christian”; it’s like calling someone a “married bachelor”.

    Nevertheless, the bible is not a historical document, there are some historical truths in it, but most of it is just fairy tales. I have read the bible from cover to cover and that is the reason I am an atheist. Anyone who reads the bible from cover to cover would be too. Don’t just read the parts you think have a message of love, read it all, then read the Qur’an, it’s even worse, and dont get me even started on the book of mormon, sure in those books there are few good lessons to learn like don’t kill (well at least don’t kill unless your god tells you to do so), and then... let’s see, what other good things come from religion, or those books??? I got nothing…oh wait, you are about to say charity, helping those in need! You don’t think atheists do that? Or people who never heard of your god who live on the islands in the pacific? You think it is a Christian thing? Something “Cheezus” invented?

    Critical thinking requires people to think critically, and not just critically about things you already think are true. Anyone would make fun of someone who was “critically thinking” about how unicorns can fly. Yet when it comes to “gawd" and miracles from "cheezus” your critical thinking is “how miracles happen”?

    There is no evidence outside of the bible that Jesus even existed, which historically, and as a critical thinker, you must find strange. The 2 references you may google to argue with me are “Pliny the Younger” and “Josephus”, I don’t need to go into why they are fakes here but the fact is that the Romans wrote everything down, and I mean everything, not a single person, other than those 2, ever made a reference to the fables in the bible. For example the roman census, it did not happen. I wrote a chapter about it in my book, Meaning: Mary and Joseph never went to Bethlehem, no three wise men, no baby cheezus, no star in the north, and isn’t it funny when you read M.M.L.J. that only 2 of them even mention the virgin birth and the other 2 contradict each other massively?

    I have an idea.... which I know you and your study group will not take… we will do a skype date, anytime you want. I will answer any of your questions and I will be nice and respectful, you can ask question and I will answer then, we both know you won’t do it though because you only want to “critically think” about things you already accept as true.

    If you really are a critical thinker, then you need other points of view, invite your priest or “leader” of your cult or whatever you want to call the person who thinks they know everything which is promised to you in the next life, as long as you do what he/she says in this one, to ask me questions, and I will ask you questions... and we will think, and not pray for answers.

    Oh and thanks for the film tip, yes I did watch it and destroyed it in my blog, preaching to the choir is so easy isn’t it? Come on…take my challenge. My skype mail is salesmasters2, and this challenge goes out to anyone who would like to discuss the fact that that there are no gods.


  • #37

    Lance (Thursday, 18 September 2014 17:29)

    Once again..... No responce from the critical thinker... How many times do I have to offer someone to debate me and they don't take it up? They don't mind asking questions but they certainly hate answering them.

  • #38

    w0g (Saturday, 04 October 2014 22:12)

    My 3 year old has never heard the word "God", but if she asks, I'll just tell her that God is pretend. She already understands the basic difference between pretend and real. I think that is appropriate to her current level.

  • #39

    Craig (Tuesday, 07 October 2014 04:31)

    So sad that all you believe in nothing and that life just started as a mistake. Miracles happen everyday that science can't explain. Not sure what you guys are scared of? If Christians are wrong what have you lost? Leading a good life?

  • #40

    Lance Gregorchuk (Tuesday, 07 October 2014 09:51)

    @ Craig: Just wondering what "Miracles" you are referring to which science can't explain? Also, atheist are not scared of anything, you are... you are afraid of hell which is why you try to do good things. Atheists do good things because they are the right thing to do not because of some kind of magic points system. What if you are wrong and the Volcano god in Hawaii is the real one? Kind of a stupid question isn't it because you do not believe in the Volcano god right? Now you know how we feel about your question. And trust us atheist live much more just lives than christians, we think everyone is equal, your book teaches that men are above women. We think homosexuality is normal, your book teaches that those people will burn in hell no matter what they do. We think geonocide is wrong, your god seems to really like it. I look forward to your reply although do not expect to get one. LG

  • #41

    Kayla (Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:04)

    A question for atheist parents. Consider the following illustration: you raise a child to become a critical thinker, and they were raised in an atheist home. They become critical thinkers. When they become 16 or 17, they confess that they want to attend church to learn more about the doctrine, they asked many questions and had them answered, and then months later confess that they decided to follow Christ. They are serious, and remember they have been raised to be a critical thinker. This is the real deal. How would you, as an atheist parent, respond?

  • #42

    Lance Gregorchuk (Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:32)

    If it's a boy, the kid wants to have sex with someone who believes. That's it. I cannot imagine any other scenario. Sex trumps Atheism... Always! Please teach him about condoms! I know as a boy at 16 or 17, I would have followed the Volcano God just to have sex. It didnt even have to be sex, petting even. It's love... and not with Jesus, with someone else. Yet, if it's a girl, I have no idea.

  • #43

    Julie (Thursday, 06 November 2014 07:11)

    Lance, stumbled on this after searching for ways to deal with my 5 year old daughter recently coming home from Grandmas house talking about God, angels, heaven, praying etc. At first, I shrugged it off and changed the subject. I was pretty annoyed though. My MIL knows I do not believe, yet she has constantly badgered me for it. Many long stories I could tell you...anyway...I felt scared to tell my daughter that Grandma was wrong. It's true that it all seems so amazing to a kid that age...I didn't want to bum her out saying it wasn't real. So she mentioned it a few more times and finally tonight I sat her down and we talked about evolution, science, stories, pretend, etc etc....she was fascinated. It was beautiful seeing her ask questions and really THINK about it. Finally, after a few videos and over an hour of chatting, she said she understands it's not real and just stories.

    This is a really difficult situation because my husband is a Christian. I know I know ;) but we just never talk about it. It literally never came up between him and I. SO he tells her that she can choose to believe whatever she wants to believe. I agreed with that at first. But it's just not that simple for me anymore. Anyway...I'm completely rambling here.

    I found this AND your comments not only hysterical but logical. Thanks for the good read at the perfect time :) I'll check back every now and then to see if anyone has decided to take you up on those Skype debates ;)

  • #44

    Louisa (Wednesday, 03 December 2014 14:03)

    I am an atheist with 2 children now 19 and 21, both atheists (thank god! :)). My ex-husband is an atheist too but his family is Christian (unlike most of mine). We started off with all the best of intentions, tell them about different beliefs and let them make up their own minds - "some people believe this but we don't believe in god or religion" etc. The problem is that no-one on the 'other side' plays by the same rules, so they would hear things from teachers (at their state school) and these people were authority figures so children believe them. Then my daughter started coming back from spending time with Grandma full of biblical stories etc and my husband refused to talk to his parents about respecting our beliefs so I was forced to take matters in hand. If children are hearing from one side " well there are lots of different beliefs and Grandma believes in God and Jesus but we don't think the same way" but then the other side just states their position as fact - " God is real and Jesus died for you" etc the children are going to believe the side that sounds like they are stating absolute facts. And don't forget that most Christian (and Muslim etc) families just tell their children that what they believe is absolutely the only truth and they must believe it too - so why is it just we atheists bending over backwards to present a balanced view? From then on I just told my children that there is no God, religion is just made up etc and I think they felt much less confused and happier about the whole thing. As they have got older they did their own research and have reached the same conclusion.

  • #45

    Emma (Tuesday, 09 December 2014 23:36)

    1 Corinthians 8:6 - But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.

  • #46

    Charlie (Thursday, 01 January 2015 05:47)

    "Sex trumps Atheism... Always!"

    Funniest post I've ever read.

    I'm a big fan of selling my souls to the devil for it. Best part is you can keep selling it for the same price, magically no one seems to notice it's missing. :-)

  • #47

    Ohh Lawd (Friday, 16 January 2015 00:14)

    I'm glad I read this thread before taking this site seriously. This site is intended for those atheist parents who claim what I call "defensive atheism", in that, they're angry because Christians say they're going to hell. If your belief system, of which an atheist has none, is based on fervently being on "a side", acting as if there is no time for compassion for your fellow man (Christian or whatever), then this site is for you! Your kids will grow up bitter and angry, but hey, they'll be godless! ;)

  • #48

    Just try (Saturday, 17 January 2015 02:26)

    Jesus is your God. Before you dismiss Jesus and I can understand how easy it is, just give it three days of asking him personally to reveal Himself to you. What does it hurt. You don't have to tell anyone. Just ask Jesus this.... "If you truly are real Jesus, even though you defy all our science and I find it impossible to believe in You. I give you 3 days to prove to me that you just might be real. I need something that will allow me to question my none belief so I need you to shake me. I need a crazy sign. If you don't give me something I am done." Just try that people and he will Run to you just as the Father ran to the prodigal Son, when he was skeptical about returning home. People think religion binds you. But it is the opposite it sets you free. He make your life easier and calms you. Try for three days and be open and follow your feelings. If nothing in 3 days you can go back to your thoughts knowing you gave it a shot.

  • #49

    jordan (Wednesday, 28 January 2015 21:43)

    I seriously read this entire thread and didn't feel the need to pipe in whatsoever until I read the comment above mine. I love this site and I'm not even a parent yet. Some atheists do take it too far...getting angry and resentful towards other religions seems to me the exact opposite of what us as atheists are trying to stand for. I chose atheism at a young age, on my own. I attended Sunday school, Wednesday school, and even a summer bible camp one year. At 10 years old I began wondering if god and Jesus wad real, because while reading aloud in bible study, we came across a section where there was a talking freaking donkey. I felt duped, I automatically began second guessing the entire religion I had been taught and I had grown up believing. I asked my pastor,"How could a donkey talk? Isn't that just make believe?" To which he answered "well yes, THAT part is fake, but THE REST IS REAL." I was like... What? How can part of it be fake but part of it be real. How can they expect me to believe Mary was a virgin and magically conceived a magical baby when they are saying magic isn't real? I may have been 10, but I knew it didn't quite work that way. I found it hard to believe an angel just showed up and impregnated some chick. These are just things I pointed out as a child, the most "fairytale" like parts to me. Now, on to why I'm commenting in the first place. To the person who commented above, "just try", there came a time in my life where i was very depressed, to the point where i prayed to god, cried to a god, that maybe if he did exist, he would help me, he would at least try, and i tried and after weeks of being on my knees crying at the edge of my bed, i realized i truly was just talking to myself. And i realized all i truly needed was to talk to myself, to cry to MYSELF and work through MY OWN problems. If you are on your knees every night crying, pleading, bargaining, you are wasting your time. There is no omnipresent god listening to your words. You have yourself, but isn't that enough? Why is the human race so dependent on help or reassurance that they have to seek it from a false pretense, when they could get all the reassurance and help they need from their own clear conscience. Honestly, I spent years trying to come to terms with the fact that I was an atheist. The sad sad fact is, I was seriously scared to renounce my faith. It was hardwired into my brain that god would be angry. God would punish me, either with a sentence to hell or something else. I would think "I don't believe in god" and then spend a week praying for forgiveness for my foolish thoughts. Looking back on it, it truly makes me sick that i was so scared to choose what I wanted to believe in.I don't want my child or children to ever feel trapped in anything. But feeling trapped in your own mind, feeling trapped in a religion just because the thought of burning eternally doesn't seem to great to a 10 year old little girl, well how can you explain a young girl being so scared to make her own choices? Certainly she isn't just making things up? Hmm, perhaps years of hearing " if you do this your going to hell" or "if you sin you are going to hell" actually I started thinking just about anything would grant you a one way ticket to hell! Bottom line, maybe not every Christian was raised this way, they aren't all egomaniacs, they don't all have an undeserved sense of entitlement, but I know I'm not the only child who felt 'scared into' Christianity. It seems as if a lot of Christians have good, happy lives, but are they living good, happy lives for themselves, or for their god, only because they believe they will be rewarded with a beautiful afterlife? Insanely long post that nobody will even give a shit about is now done. Thanks!

  • #50

    Brian (Saturday, 07 February 2015 15:22)

    Jordan- To respond to your question to understand "why is the human race so dependant on help?" I'd like to share some philosophy I read while in a college class. It's really changed my perception, understanding, and acceptance about other people's belief:

    Religion, at its very core is based on the fear of nature. Nature being death, weather, other humans - anything we cannot control ourselves.Religion is an attempt to control nature, or at the very least let us feel like we can effect something that is out of our control. We can pray, donate, sacrifice, meditate all in the hope of effecting things that we could not possibly effect. Religion is a coping mechanism.
    I believe this philosophy was from Immanuel Kant, but I could be wrong.

    I don't see this a good or bad anymore. I just see it as it is. Some people need it to get through their day or rationalize hardships and tragedy. Some people have accepted differing levels of delusion to ease fear and anxiety over the uncontrollable.

    I don't personally do this, but sometimes I think things would be a lot easier if I could. I'm already at a point where I don't need this coping mechanism because I've dealt with things through other means for years, but consider people who have been using religion to cope their whole lives and are part of communities that support each other in this coping mechanism lifestyle.

  • #51

    Closet Atheist (Monday, 16 February 2015 06:08)

    Love the site and love the comments. I've been a closet atheist for 19 years and I wish I had the courage to come out, but fear of family and fear of being fired keeps me there. I have 3 kids now under the age of 8, and the best I can do (in my opinion) is to teach them about science and evolution and avoid any and all conversations about religion. Fortunately for me, my wife (Christian) is too lazy to take them to church each week so we usually only go about 3-4 times a year. Like one of the commenters above, the only real indoctrination they receive is when they visit their mother-in-law.

    I'm not quite sure why I felt the need to write all of this here. Perhaps I'm hoping someone will reply with harsh but constructive criticism and maybe it will give me the encouragement I need to finally open the closet door.

  • #52

    James (Wednesday, 18 February 2015 21:37)

    Why is it the MIL has to screw with our kid's heads! I think my MIL put this ugly protruding picture scene of Jesus' last dinner prominently on their wall just so her grandkids would ask her about it and give her some meddling time.

  • #53

    Alexander (Wednesday, 04 March 2015 08:08)


    Reading through this, I see a big mess of a debate. I understand that a debate wasn't the original purpose of this thread, but that's what it's turned into. No one here is providing any proof for anything. The Christian 'side' is repeatedly saying, “Lance, you're an idiot, get your facts straight” while the Atheist 'side' just says “No, you're the idiots, and you have NO proof to stand an argument.”
    Well, I just happen to be a Christian, and I'm here to tell you that we CAN'T provide sufficient proof that God exists. It is virtually impossible. You see, most of a belief system is based on, shockingly, believing, and having faith. We CAN, however, provide pieces of credible evidence to support the bible stories being true. For instance: There' also a BIG piece of evidence against evolution: But that's not what I'm here for. I'm here because it seems you have the Christian message a bit jingle jangled. You see, we don't do good deeds because we're afraid of going to Hell, we do it because we're afraid OTHER people will end up there. We have experienced God's love and want to share that experience with everyone we can. I have NO fear of going to Hell, as going to Hell isn't even determined by your good deeds. It's simply determined by whether or not we have faith in Christ. I understand you have chosen not to believe in God, and I respect your decision (although it breaks my heart), as I am sure you will respect my decision to follow the path of God.

    Yours Truly,

  • #54

    Harris (Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:39)

    My wife was originally raised catholic, until realizing it was mostly ancient superstitions mixed with iron-age wisdom, and I've always remained atheist. Her brothers are both very religious, one of whom is exceptionally wealthy, intelligent, and charismatic. He has a large following in his local community, and religious community, and as a result he plans many activities. I'm concerned that he is going to encourage my kids to join in for fun activities and possibly indoctrinate them to nonsense before they can think critically.

    Is there any suggestions for parenting techniques and stories to read that build these skills? I'm mostly thinking the normal things that kids enjoy and focus on silly rituals and superstitions, I'm also considering letting them believe that Santa and the Easter bunny exist for a few years so they won't spoil it for other children, make it fun for the grandparents, as well as to have an excellent reference point to a time when they believed non-sense to be true and found out it wasn't.

  • #55

    Lance Gregorchuk (Thursday, 05 March 2015 16:34)

    Harris. It sounds like you already know the right thing to do. Don't forget the tooth fairy though. LG

  • #56

    Lance Gregorchuk (Thursday, 05 March 2015 16:50)

    Hello Alexander,

    I think it is important to point out that those who require proof are those who are making the claims. Atheists don’t need to offer any sort of proof at all, once again, we are not making any claims, we are just saying there is no tooth fairy, no god thor, no allah, no aman ra, or unicorns because noone has ever provided any proof. I certainly don’t think that people think I am an idiot for not believing in unicorns or gods of thousands of years ago and in a few thousand years people will not think I’m an idiot for not believing in your made up god either. Yet let us discuss your claims now:

    Seriously??? You are using the giraffe argument? Darwin wrote about it in 1872 in “Origin of Species”, I mean this is our argument...not yours, giraffes prove evolution! Do you have a computer? Ever used google? Yes we have fossiles of giraffes with smaller necks. You should stop listening to your preacher and start reading books. As for Hell, look , you are stil threatening me, you don’t care about me inasmuch as I really don’t care about you, you want me to believe what you believe and if I don’t I burn forever. Alexander that is a threat, and I do not respect that you follow the path of your god! People like you are the reason we have the problems we have... let me ask you a question what would you rather experience? A. 500 People who believe in some sort of god (not yours), just finishing a meeting walking towards you or B. 500 Atheists who just finished a meeting walking towards you. too!

  • #57

    Michael the Giant Mouse (Tuesday, 31 March 2015 00:25)

    Jessica said:
    "Don't forget about Newton and the inquisition. Put to Death because of a discovery made, and a big one at that!"
    Sorry? What? Isaac Newton died in his bed. What are you talking about?
    Oh, I know! It's a joke... well... I don't get the joke.

    Lance said:
    "where do babies come from?"
    From a womb, at least for mammals. It's a bit like the bees and the flowers.

    "why is that kid in a wheelchair?"
    Accident? Illness? Who? What's a baby goat doing there?

    "what happens when we die?"
    We stop living (duh). Our body decays. The continues to grow for some time. If we fall in a bog our body will remain almost intact for hundred years. If we were nice, other people will start crying, and if not they will cheer, except if everybody fell in the same bog.

    "underwear cannot help you decide between right and wrong"
    My underwears can. There is no magic involved and there's a simple scientific explanation in my left sock.

    Craig "wisely" said:
    "Miracles happen everyday that science can't explain."
    If science can explain it, it will not be a miracle, by definition. So let's rewrite your sentence the right way: "Miracles happen everyday".
    Your conclusion being, of course: hey, look, it's a proof of the Christian God™.

    Well, even if there were miracles, even if it were happening everyday, which I greatly doubt, we will be stuck by the definition of the word: what is a miracle?
    "A wonderful event occurring in the physical world attributed to supernatural powers." (thanks wiktionary)
    So basically, you're saying that some awesome things happened because of the Christian God™ everyday. Well, if we accept to say that awesome things happen everyday that can't be explained by science yet, where do you find any link between that and your belief in a supernatural entity?

    Alexander added:
    "I understand you have chosen not to believe in God, and I respect your decision (although it breaks my heart), as I am sure you will respect my decision to follow the path of God."
    The choice is between the only sensible possibility and make believe. OK, let's play Pascal's wager:
    if I pretend that I believe in any kind of almighty god (plenty of choice here), and if I choose the right one, which, according to you, should be the Christian God™, I will fake my belief. So, good chance I will burn in hell anyway, because all loving God is a real sadist. By the way, me as a humble man can't think of such a horrible way to deal with people I can't stand.
    Well ok. I burn. Wait... what is burning? My cells are rotting three feet under and I have no more brain. Just bones and hair. Oh yeah, soul. Forgot about that, maybe because its own existence doesn't make sense. No brain, no memory, no feeling, no emotions, no nothing, so what does the soul will carry? My own being, that God created in the first place? What is it? Why should I care? Will the Marquis de God will reconnect this soul with another body, just to make me feel pain forever? What's the point anyway? And who will punish God for all the pain he/she/it made in the world?
    Sorry to break Alexander's heart, but God is a despicable being which should be punished for all his crime, and don't start with its kindness to give us life, which we didn't even ask for, if in the end people are sent to burn in hell forever.

    On a positive note: thanks Zeus, Mithra, and the Great Teddybear from Pluto, none of them being real, not every Christians believe in Hell or are against evolution.

  • #58

    wowiehaha (Thursday, 16 April 2015 22:09)

    Hi! I am SO relieved to have found this site. I've been expecting the God topic to come up someday from my son...I just didn't expect it to happen this morning while I was brushing his teeth. He's a highly eccentric 4 year old and quite frankly...he's hilarious. He doesn't ask me questions, he usually just informs me of new concepts he has picked up. This morning he looked at me with his mouth full of toothpaste and said, "Did you know that God is a ghost? God is my friend."
    Again...I have been expecting this convo to happen but I was really freaked out about how FREAKED out I was. I really thought I was prepared for this but come to find out...I am not at all.
    I asked him where he heard that, he told me from his friend at school. We kind of left it at that because we were busy rushing out the door but I need help with this. I don't want to make him feel at odds with his friends (he's 4!!!) How do I start a discussion with a kid this age???

    Thank you ALL in advance for your guidance!

  • #59

    Noby (Tuesday, 28 April 2015 17:40)

    I was born and brought up in a conservative christian family in Kerala, Indua.... My grandmother was the first one influenced me to christian faith... But during college days I started to question it... But couldnot declare myself as an atheist at that time because of social and family pressure. But for nearly 12 years now I am not practicing any religious things and proud to declare myself as an atheist and trying to be a freethinker... Now real problem I am facing is serious... Regarding my daughter.... My parents and wife are religious people... My mother is in a fighting position with me on this issue... They are trying to instil the faith in the mind of my daughter like any other christian parents... But I am trying and I really want my daughter, Nikitha 9 yrs ,to grow as an independent, self respecting ,confident and non religious individual... Even If I am sharing my ideas with her still a lot of pressure on her from the other side... How can I grow my daughter in a logical way without hurting or pressurising or giving conflicting messages to her... Now I am expecting my second one...How can I give atheist ideals to my kids...

  • #60

    anti-theist mom (Thursday, 30 April 2015)

    I like sbc's comment regarding heaven, I will use that one in the future. I've been a skeptic my whole life, always questioning and always disappointed in the answers given. "Because I said so" or "because the bible says so" were never quite good enough. As I matured (aged is such a nasty word), the answers became more infuriating. I even tried thinking of the bible, not as truth, but as moral stories (usually of what NOT to do), but the information was harder to choke down. I have been around a lot of Christians, and my mother, the born-again meta-physicist with "ask and you shall receive" and "think happy thoughts and you'll be happy" etc. From both perspectives I found so much hypocrisy, "do as I say not as I do" mentality, I just find it all to be disconcerting. And I'm sure there are good "lessons" in both, but the presentation of them turned me away from all of it. I've come to find that the people that care the most about their community and people as a whole, have no religious precepts, they do good for the sake of doing good, not because it will earn them bonus points with god, or parents, or anyone else, just for the sake of doing something good for someone else. The atheists I know, are the least judgmental people I know. The common problem I have as an atheist is the stigma in the label. The misconception that because I don't believe in god, I must believe in the devil. Unfortunately, that behavior and way of thinking is taught and it cannot be untaught. The more history I learned about religion, the more my questions didn't seem so misplaced. The problems with anti-humanism (whether it be racism, anti-feminism, etc.) seem to all stem from religion. For example, a fellow atheist suggested there should be no such thing as a marriage in the eyes of the law, the act of marriage is religious by nature, however, civil unions are contractual, and civil unions are not biased, so long as you aren't related and both parties are human. My daughter already knows that Santa isn't real, I tried participating in christmas (I like the Sir Isaac Newton day idea), but I never explained to her the religious aspect of christmas and I have no qualms about calling it xmas (the computer doesn't like xmas or the lowercase c, I wonder if my computer is religious?). I have no qualms with people believing in whatever they want to believe in, and I completely understand the need for community and people coming together and having activities and such, both are very helpful to keep from feeling isolated and to understand that the world is bigger than just the people we see on a daily basis. But to go to a church where I'm told on one had that god is great and indiscriminate, and on the other hand god is spiteful. Well, which is it? I'm tired of always being wrong because I don't believe the way someone else does. I work to do the best I can, that means I try to be the best mom possible, not to lie to my daughter, even when she asks me where babies come from in the middle of a restaurant at the top of her lungs, and I try to do my best at work by taking pride in what I produce, and for my community by donating time and/or money when and where I can. I still say "bless you" to total strangers when they sneeze, not because I think they will be blessed by saying it to them, but because I was taught that is the courteous thing to do, that it means to wish them good health. Do those actions automatically make me hellbound? I guess it depends on who is answering. I have issues with my mother too, even though she leans toward meta-physics, she is extremely angry that I don't believe in god and tries to guilt me into thinking her way because of where she went so wrong with me (I won't start). No one is going to be the perfect parent, regardless of belief or lack thereof, I think the best approach is honesty and allowing for everyone to believe in whatever they wish, and to love them as a fellow person, not the enemy. In regards to parents or outsiders pushing their ideas on your child, ultimately, it comes to boundaries, you have to set them and abide by them for them to be respected. For instance, "mom, I love for you to be a part of my and my daughter's life, but if you want to continue to do so, please refrain from the religious antics, you're aware of my position on this, and to blatantly disregard my beliefs (or lack thereof) is considerably disrespectful and I'm teaching my daughter to be respectful of everyone and their beliefs, if you cannot or will not abide by this, we can't spend time with you." Lance, I do appreciate the site and the humor. With any site like this the theists tend to come out in droves to dispel or cure us of these non-beliefs, answering them just spawns more anger. I think instead of trying to spark the debate and add more spite to the mix, simply state "this website is not for you but thanks for stopping by."

  • #61

    Monica (Wednesday, 13 May 2015 15:21)

    Very interesting experiences!!! I grew up in Spain. Catholic school and Sunday church. At 14 I realize that religion was a corrupted scam, and I told my mother that I was not going to church anymore, because it was a waste of time. I have never looked back. My family followed. My generation in Spain for the most part believed that religion was an obsolete philosophy for old folks and that it was fading away from the culture. I am 42 and I am raising my children without God or religion. But I live in Georgia, where people bring up Jesus like they say Hello hahahah!! I never though how much religion is surviving generations. I am curious to see what my young children are going to start asking about religion as they become aware of their peers' beliefs. I cannot stand how people use religion to fulfill their own needs and agendas. People pray to God for cars, wealth, use religion to ostracize certain groups, such as homosexual. Religion is a poison that destroys society.

  • #62

    rosewithathorn (Wednesday, 01 July 2015 08:26)

    Thank you!
    I was having trouble explaining to my 4 and 6 year olds why they won't be getting another bible. Deacon mother in law gave them a kids bible last year. Between that and hearing that 'christianity is under attack', December 2014 was very interesting.

    I digress...
    Turns out a little girl at school is toting a bible around and is talking up god like he's this generation's Barney. This blew my mind; missionaries are being sent out with baby teeth in tact! It never ends..... We're surrounded by 'kind christian' neighbors, dance moms and teachers. MIL is a very active member of her church, deacon after all. I was raised in a catholic home and had to fend off the baptism requests up until 2 years ago, from both sides.
    Let's see, have my kids' foreheads washed by a priest because Adam and Eve were hungry and listened to a snake...or they'll go to hell if they die. Fire and brimstone folks! (Insert any of the dozens+ sarcastic remarks that come to mind here) Not to mention all of the women at work who assume I'm religious. Talk about barking up the wrong tree. They don't seem to understand religion doesn't have a monopoly on morality. They insist on telling of their forgiving or accepting nature and how if only people would get smart and do what jeebus says we'd all be better off. Oh my...i argue the points they've got all wrong without mentioning religion. They don't know i have no interest in their god and that by bragging about forgiveness, acceptance and charity they decrease their meaning. I'm kind to people and raising my children to be kind because we are sharing a planet, we're all deserving of common courtesy and respect and more importantly because it comes naturally. Religion is superstitious tradition for folks that need to feel safe and loved beyond themselves. How to allow small kids to see this for themselves without flat out calling it a load of crap? I want them to be able to argue their beliefs and opinions without resorting to name-calling or belittling.

    Guess pointing out, in little kid lingo, the contradictions, sexism and wizardry wasn't enough to keep their attention after dessert .
    After reading all of the posts I went with the 'it's make believe' approach. That nailed it. The light bulbs went off and my kids started talking about the points I'd made earlier and asking great questions.

    Thanks again everyone.

    To the christians, thanks for the good laughs. Hypocrisy never loses its comic value.

  • #63

    Concerned parent (Thursday, 03 September 2015 15:25)

    Okay so both my husband and I are atheist and have been since we were young. The truth is we were raised in church and developed our own thoughts and views of religion around the age of 12 when things became quite obvious and apparent. Please keep in mind that we live in NC and in our small towns the Christian faith dominates everything we know. For the longest time we had it easy because we didn't have to discuss faith with anyone. But now we have a 4 year old who has become very curious. We send him to the only private school in town which is at a local church. Although their main focus is education they still read bible stories and learn some things about God. We do not go to church and most of the kids there do. My child told me he was confused about God talking to him at night. I assumed he was referring to praying. I simply told him that we do not pray at our house and we do not go to church and pray. He said he was still confused. I guess he's a bit familiar with God and Jesus according to whatever they have been teaching them at school. My husband told my son that God and Jesus are like superman in the stories that we read and that he's like a fairy tale. My concern is that he will go to school and tell everyone what his parents have said. I honestly do not know what to do or what to tell him at this point. I don't think it's fair for him to go to school and tell other kids that the God they know is fake as my kid stated it. Living in a small town it is likely that if he tells others they may even condemn us and not let our child be around their children. It's awful and I am stressed about it. I want to give my child a fair opportunity in the world and I hate that a fake God has put so much pressure on my family. Please share your thoughts or experience and help me find the best way to talk to my child. I also told him that we need to keep things we talk about secret in our house and not take them to school. I told him that if they ask him about God or Jesus that he can simply decline to discuss it and say no. Please help me.

  • #64

    PCS (Wednesday, 30 September 2015 19:20)

    I grew up in a household where my father forced us to go to church whenever he felt emotionally weak. He and my mother had remarried several times. It wasn't until he met his most recent wife when he became deeply religious. My mother met a man who was an atheist, and he converted us both when I was very young.

    I fell in love with a christian man, who I wouldn't say is extremely religious, he knows I do not believe, yet still asked me to marry him. I have an open mind and am very tolerant of other people as long as they do not try to interfere with my happiness. I voiced my concerns about raising our children. I told him I do not want to attend church, but he is free to practice his religion however he wishes. He said he wants to take our children to church.

    I have read many parents posts about letting their children decide on their own, after presenting both sides...but I fear his family (and him) will push religion on our kids. What is the best way to explain my beliefs without disrespecting their father?

  • #65

    Rob (Saturday, 31 October 2015 02:48)

    My children are K,1, and 2nd grade. Recently they have brought up God and heaven. My wife and I are atheist and have been for many years. I've been searching the web to find lessons for them to learn about different mythological deities to compare modern ones to. I don't want to necessarily teach them to be atheist but more about being a critical thinker. To learn that man creates legends in order to answer the unanswerable questions. Any advice or websites would be much appreciated.

  • #66

    Frenchy (Monday, 23 November 2015 14:54)

    We're agnostic atheists and we've always raised our daughter (8) to believe in what she wants to believe in. My mother and brother however are devout Christians and they've always talked to her about Jesus and such. Even though we weren't very fond of that, we never really said anything. Lately, she's been asking to go catechism because her friends are all going. And so, because we come from a Christian background and celebrate Christmas and Easter, we don't know how to approach this with her without telling her what to believe in, since that was the issue with us with Christianity to begin with. How do I tell her that we don't want her to go to catechism without telling her what to believe in?

  • #67

    Ra (Friday, 19 February 2016 11:02)

    Lance, I really think if you toned it down a bit your message would be received better. Your arguments are basically regurgitated from Richard Dawkins (including your unicorn reference you so love) but Richard makes his point in a much more articulate and respectful manner.

    I was raised Catholic and recently began questioning my faith when I realised the teachings of the church are at odds with my beliefs (contraception, abortion, premarital sex etc). I am highly educated with 3 university degrees and loads of life experience but it is a slow process to abandon a faith that has been drilled in to you since you were a child. I found I responded much better to information that was presented to me respectfully than from atheists who are aggressive in their approach.

  • #68

    Chana (Monday, 18 April 2016 21:15)

    I find it hilarious how atheist parents are so afraid their children hear bible stories. If you don't believe them, what's the problem? If God is not real, all of it will wear off. Just relax and enjoy life. They will grow up and figure it out by themselves. Simple: let them hear the stories, tell them your atheist stories and have faith that it will work itself out, by itself, just like evolution. You cannot fear what does not exists. That would be the craziest of fears. I'm enjoying all this learning experience. All the fear for nothing.

  • #69

    Steve (Wednesday, 31 August 2016 17:44)

    It would be nice is they had some suggested answers to these kinds of questions that weren't snarky. My wife and I are atheists, and obviously don't plan on raising our sons with any religions, but I'd rather not raise a miniature Bill Maher who goes around making sarcastic comments to his little friend's parents about their religion

  • #70

    Denise (Thursday, 01 September 2016 15:52)

    My 4 year old daughter asked me yesterday "Who made these trees?" She was in the trailer attached to my bicycle on a pretty crowded trail, so I told her I would answer her question later when it was more quiet. Fortunately for me, she didn't ask again. I really didn't know what was the best way to sensitively answer her question. Because she is 4, I know everything I say she will repeat. While we are not religious, many of her friends are, so I want to make sure I answer it in a way that is appropriate. Would love any and all guidance. Thanks!

  • #71

    Crystal (Monday, 26 September 2016 21:05)

    First of all, i don't need a good argument or to debate back and forth if the bible is true or not. I do not believe there is a god myself, but even if you were somehow able to prove me wrong, i wouldn't want to worship a god who is disrespectful to me as a women, or disrespectful to queers. To me he is a hateful being, and clearly created by straight men.and you may come back and say, he doesn't hate women or queers, or thats the old bible that we don't folllow, im sorry all i hear is that this all knowing all powerful being let humankind fuck up his first that begs the question, how do you know witch book to believe.

  • #72

    Brandy (Monday, 10 October 2016 22:20)

    I separated from the father of my kid a year ago. He is a Christian and I'm an atheist and we've always respected each other in that regard when we were together. Well my now 3 year came over saying "Jesus loves you" and that "grandma says mommy needs Jesus". His mother is 10x worse then he is. I'm not against her learning or believing in it but we always agreed she would learn about it later on in life when she was old enough I understand and make her own decision. I've talked to him and he doesn't care apparently. What can I do with her since she's at such a young age?

  • #73

    Michelle (Saturday, 25 February 2017 22:07)

    My sister and her husband are raising their son catholic. They don't know that I am atheist and chose me to be his godmother, meaning I'm supposed to help teach him about god and help him "find his way" religiously. I can't in good conscience teach him to believe in god, but I also don't feel comfortable telling him god doesn't exist. He's still a baby now, but in a few years I'll have to do something. Advice?

  • #74

    Luckyone (Thursday, 15 June 2017 01:24)

    How can you say there is no God if you feel love? Isn't love god?
    If there weren't god how come Mark's mother survived cancer?
    Is there life after death?
    If there is no life after death how do you explain those people who claim were dead?

  • #75

    Sean (Friday, 21 July 2017 22:53)

    Well that just debunked the bullshit that Atheists let their children decide what to believe in. Also the whole if I was born here whatever years ago thing means nothing, Christianity as the worlds reigning religion and most intellectual in thought should not even be compared to some bullshit sun god from mexico.

  • #76

    sam (Wednesday, 14 February 2018 00:04)

    To reason to mention it unless he asks. If he asks, just say no one really knows if god is there, no one knows if he isn't, and he will have to take in reality and follow his heart...

  • #77

    Julie (Friday, 21 September 2018 22:04)

    It's fascinating reading the comments. There's a lot of fear expressed about offending Christians by sharing your world view with your children. It is very possible to teach children to think critically whilst respecting different views. My 5 year old is being taught about the Christian creation story in school. She came home spouting the school reverend's teachings as fact. So we talked about the difference between facts and beliefs. We explored some current and ancient religious creation stories, coming to the conclusion that humans have always sought to understand the world through characters and stories. Then I shared what I believe and what daddy believes. Then I held my hands out as balanced scales representing daddy's beliefs and the reverend's beliefs and asked her which were most valuable. We talked through her answer, with me tipping the scales one way then the other until she came to the conclusion that both were equal because neither could be proven right or wrong, such is the nature of belief as opposed to facts. She's 5 and she got it. Just have open, candid conversations and ask your children to interrogate their own initial responses. Teach them to think critically and they'll work it out for themselves. 0