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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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.
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.
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. 

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.

My daughter is only 7, but she already makes fun of me for being illogical at times. She wants me to raise her MORE atheist, if that's possible, lol. 


I raise her with as much honesty and reason as I can. She loves science, has little patience with magical thinking, and seems grateful to be living in a freethinking household.


If anything she gets a bit mad at me for those times when people get away with religious bullying - she hates the Pledge of Allegiance for instance, and gets upset with me that she has to go to a school that does this every morning; she says it's like the school is teaching that monotheists are more patriotic than freethinkers, and that America is only for Christians. What am I supposed to say to this? I just apologize, I wish I could change that.


She's also sometimes a little resentful that so many of the boys in her school might be coming from religious households, because who is she going to be able to date when she is older if they all believe that crazy & sexist bible crap? She quizzes me about which names are from the bible and which are not, hoping to root out other freethinkers. And she mopes that the girls talk about Jesus at school; she says she thinks that makes girls look foolish and weak, it embarrasses & annoys her. 


We even went to a humanist holiday celebration, Human-light, and she was rolling her eyes at the sermon thing the UU pastor gave because it was all about Jesus, and it was difficult for me to know how to respond - the lady was telling the people "don't reject the story of Jesus or say it isn't relevant to you" at that point my girl covered her ears, and I found this socially awkward, but she had a point - there was no opening for discussion, and she disagreed with the sermon, how should she behave? 

I have two teens, both are not Christians. I don't see either of them resenting me for letting them grow up as freethinkers. I am happy I was able to steer them gently towards non-belief. My son could care less and my daughter and I talk about her high school classmates beliefs. It has been great, since I don't have any freethinker friends close by.




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