I'm new to this site and this is something you have probably discussed before, but since I'm new I didn't see it. Please bear with me.

My daughter, K, and son-in-law, R, and my husband and I are the only athiests in a large family. Some are quite religious, some pay it lip service but are still not accepting of our beliefs or lack there of.

I now have a grand daughter, F, who is 19 months old. K's concern is that F will have no understanding of religion, not understanding the terms they use, etc., that she may have problems when she starts school as the other kids won't understand why she doesn't know what they are talking about. (K is very pro-active!) She won't understand "under God" or what some of the Christmas and Easter activities are. We hope to teach religion as myth, similar to Santa and the Easter Bunny, but she still needs to have a basic understanding of other beliefs, even at a young age.

Unfortunately R's mother (and boyfriend) and his father and step-mother are avid Christians and have already supplied things like "Baby's First Bible Stories" to F. Since K & R are trying to wait until R's grandmother (very religious, 88 years old) passes away (I know, sad but true) before "coming out" to R's family, it makes it hard to respond to those types of gifts. Not a big problem right now, but will be as F advances. And it will be with R's family when they find out that K&R plan to raise F without their beliefs.

Some of my family knows, but some do not. Whether they discuss it or not isn't a problem as the two families don't interact. I came out to my sister first. She came out as a lesbian to me many years ago (like I didn't know, duh!) and I felt she would be the most accepting. She was!

Because we live in a small community and I work for a firm owned by Mormons (I am the only non-Mormon) and my daughter works for a very religious Christian dentist, we have to be careful about what we say and do. Good jobs are hard to find.

Thanks for any information you can give me.

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Teach many different religions along with christianity.  I particularly like animism as it is the easiest to contrast with reality.  Make sure to get in a few mythologies in there as well and emphasize the point that people really believed that all these gods existed.  You may also go into the evolution of christianity.  Its origins as a mystery cult and how it changed into something that less educated people could get into.  I would also go into the inquisition and crusades do demonstrate how dangerous these religions are.  Read the bible to her and contrast that with modern ethics and what we know.  If she knows the stories she will be able to communicate better with her peers.




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