So I'm thinking that when I have kids, I would really like to teach them about Jesus, not as the Messiah or as the Son of God, but as a moral teacher who taught lessons that I cherish such as pacifism, charity, compassion, and love. Of course, I would probably not teach them to worship or pray to him(I'd have to discuss it with my other half), but I think that Jesus ranks up there when talking about virtuous figures for children to model themselves after.

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Learning about religion is really essential to understanding history as the impact of religion has had a profound effect on human history. Not a good impact but none the less a poweful one.
While I believe a historical jesus probably existed I can't see him as a moral model as we know very little about him. There many individuals that lived and practiced a moral life without appealing to religious dogma.
On topic ...

I'm with the one or three others here who have said, why not just teach the values without having to attach a religious figure to it? There's really nothing in the gospels,** canon or non-canon, that you can't find in earlier texts, later texts, or figure out on your own simply because it's the right thing to do. In fact, when I do let myself get into a morality pissing contest with a theist, one of the defenses I use is that I don't need an emotionally abusive extraterrestrial parent in the sky or its cronies here on earth to tell me right from wrong. I've done a better job (I feel) following my gut instinct than some outdated political religious rhetoric.

If you must have a named role model, I agree with John Lennon as a far better one than Saul of Tarsus ... er ... I mean Jesus.

Or Flying Spaghetti Monster. Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is way more moral than any of the Xian texts.

**General concepts. The exact wording Saul et al used may be unique to them but "Don't kill ... don't steal ... women suck ... gays suck ... infidels suck ..." These concepts are neither originated by nor unique to Christianity.
I always tell my kids they can find gems of wisdom in most religious texts, but the trick is to wade through the mountains of horse shit first.

I'm willing to bet if I sift through the writings/sayings/deeds of Kim Jong Ill I could find some tidbits of moral wisdom. Not sure I'd call him a righteous d00d either.
Mathew, Chapter 15:

22And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

23But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

24But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

25Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

26But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.

Jesus doesn't exactly top my list of good moral guides.
Although I'm an atheist, my wife is a liberal Christian. We agreed when we got married that our kids would be raised in the church. We haven't had any yet, but when we do they will be raised in church. Why? Well, because of my wife's beliefs, and because studying the Bible and going to church leads to atheism! I figure with my skeptical teaching at home to balance out the woo, we have a good chance of turning out some rational, clear-thinking kids.
It's ok, being on the internet gives you a license to be a dick
Cults are just what big religions call smaller ones.
I can't fathom why you married such a delusional woman

You just haven't met my wife. Honestly, she's the kind of Christian I wish all Christians would emulate. She doesn't proselytize, she's in favor of gay marriage, she's against outlawing abortion, she's against religious interference in religion and vice versa. She has her own personal faith, and she doesn't try to force it on me or anyone else. I have no problem with that. If she was just like me, I don' think I could stand to liver with her. She knows I think her faith is delusional, and yet she stays married to me. I think that says a lot for her character, not necessarily mine.
People are good despite religion. If they're a good person, religion won't change that. My wife is a devout Catholic and I respect her faith even if I don't agree with it. Our children get opposing views on religion and will have to decide for themselves.

There's many reasons why we love who we love. Religion doesn't necessarily have to get in the way.

I've lived all over the world and know that the majority of people, religious or not, are basically good. Flawed but good . . . human.
Is there a way you can just teach them about Jesus and avoid teaching them about god or the disciples of Jesus?

If they were my kids I wouldn't want to explain the old testament god. The mental gymnastics it takes me to understand the misogany and homophobia alone are enough to hurt my brain and want to set my bible ablaze.
Was jesus a pacifist? He said he was here to bring his followers a sword.
Luke 22:35-36 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.




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