Are any of your children angry that you raised them atheist?

Do you have a story about a child that never got baptized or never went to communion and are now angry adults because they aren't fitting into society, so to speak?

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Great to hear about your children sharing your views. Your SIL seems to be looking for a missing link from her life, huh? Not the link I would be looking for.  :)
I didn't raise mine atheist.  They could attend church with their mother if they wished.  When they asked me, I simply said I didn't believe any of that stuff.  They decided church was boring (I agreed) and are atheist.
I haven't encouraged or discouraged religion with my kids. They've had some exposure, but very little. My oldest (20, now) started going to this non-denom. place when he was 16. Big youth group, music, etc. Funny thing is, he actually got more rebellious with me when he was into that (god trumps dad). Sounds like John and I have similar ideas about child-rearing, so it didn't go over well. He would really freak when I would ground him from church (for not coming home on time, and being late for school). Eventually he stopped going, and now he's atheist like me. Wish we could've skipped that awful two years of drama, but it worked out.
My older son helped me "come out" as an atheist by announcing his atheism after his confirmation at age 13. His younger brother was glad because he did not like the 3 times a year we went to church. We are now all a bunch of happy atheists and look back on our religious time as part of our (and society's) development. It's been over 5 years and I still miss the community sometimes but they don't seem to. I don't think you risk their resentment by raising them atheist since as they grow they will explore if they feel the need, as Eric's son did.
Thank you Brian, John, Anne, and Eric for your comments. As a kid, I remember having a feeling of not knowing where I belong with other friends and their families. I had wished my family had the customs some of my friends did. Now, I could care less and know that knowledge is more important by far.
I think we (humans) need some of those customs Andrea. That's why I'm going to try getting involved in Humanism for the community and service parts of the religious gig that I miss.
I love church pot-luck suppers, and in Weathersfield, Vermont, there's a church "bean supper."  You get a small slice of ham and four servings of the churchladies' different baked beans.  We atheists could use similar gatherings, say in large taverns, eh?
Good points, Brian.  I miss the music; Methodist churches (which were then pretty liberal) had great music -- organ, vocal, instrumental.  My Humanist group had a string quartet once, which many of us loved.  Church suppers?  Yea, some were nice, but others were dominated by other people's brats who made lots of noise and ate all the best food.  My Humanist group has had picnics, and does a solstice party in December.  Another thing I miss, though, is people looking out for each other.  Many churches formalize that, but it's better than reading in the paper that a friend has died. 
These are the reasons that many would rather abolish what evolution and science says just to keep going to church and having that wholesome community feeling. Many are too afraid to leave those they have made friendships and memories with behind.

This is an interesting discussion - how many of you actually raised your kids up telling them to be atheist and how many simply emphasized science, reason, education, and always questioning things for evidence and the result was the kids on their own decided to become atheist?

I don't have any kids but when I do have kids - I think I will approach it with the aforementioned ways...I don't think one should dictate to a child what to believe but to present reason and rationality and allow them to ask you questions and explore the wonders of the world and the universe.

John D: To me, there's a vast difference between "being raised atheist" and "being told (one) could not be religious".  I have two grandkids who are having the falseness of religion discussed with them, but it's being made clear that, even at their ages, they have free choice.  (Which, in fact, everyone has at all times -- even the sister-in-law.)  Were they to become religious, even Catholic, they'd still be loved and accepted (though maybe pitied a bit).

My daughters know no other way of thinking.  We have raised them as open atheists and they are comfortable talking about it with pretty much anyone.  We have discussions weekly if not daily about religion and politics, which these days seems to go hand in hand.  We have purchased many books about religion and we have allowed them to go to church with their friends.  My girls have a hard time understanding why people believe in God at all. My older daughter even went to Mormon church once with a boy she liked.  She came home asking why the church would encourage girls to get married right out of high school and not go to college, she was baffled.  I think allowing my daughters to experience these things for themselves and ask lots of questions has been great for their own confidence in their atheism. Of course they have both been told they are going to hell, to which they respond that there is no such place.  We live in a very Christian community and with that will come people that believe we must worship the devil since we don't believe in God.  My advice to anyone raising their children as atheists is to Talk to Your Children!  The rest will come.  Remember what little sponges they are and also how smart they are. They'll amaze you with their own observations.



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