Kia Ora, everyone,
Fiona here, long-time atheist and mother to a 13 year old boy. Separated, divorce to be granted mid-year and planning a move soon to the US to be with my partner who lives in Kentucky.
I was raised Catholic and am raising my son as an atheist. I love the comments I get from people who are incredulous I am raising my child to not believe in the existence of a deity, but hey, to me that is the "default setting" for all people when they're born, so I am simply raising him as he was born and simply instilling what I hope are good, healthy ethics and morals based on the premise that we should be good because it's the right thing to do, rather than because we are afraid of the consequences meted out to us byt some mythical deity.
Looking forward to getting to know people here.
Good luck moving to Kentucky. I think they have a little more than their fair share of whoo. Just curious, what made you change your mind about theism?
Thanks for the reply, and interesting question. Mostly I get "how COULD you move away from God" hahaha.
I was taught to question most things I am taught, particularly if I am told to "take it on faith". I was raised in a Catholic household, but by a mother who was highly educated and quite brilliant academically, so accepting things on blind faith - or rather, the doubting of such an acceptance - was as ingrained as the Catholicism.
By the time I was at university I knew I was atheist, I was just still needing the comfort that the Church gave me IN THEORY, ie, the somewhat flimsy knowledge I was part of a community that would look after me and protect me (not that it did, but ya know...).
I finally admitted to myself anything less than realising I was not a theist was hypocritical, and by the time my child was born (I was 30), I knew it was the right route in life for me to take.
Hope that explains it somewhat for you.
Regarding Kentucky, it will be very interesting. My partner is atheist and he cannot wait to have a family around him that is of a like mind: respect all, but be yourself.
Kentucky is a very pretty part of the country. I liked the Cincinnati area a lot because of all of the fun things to do there. Count your self a lucky person in getting to raise your kid with a like minded partner. I have seen plenty of horror stories on the net when that is not the case. I changed my mind when exposed to other branches of christianity in public school. I initially attended a catholic school. I didn't like how the other kids behaved in spite of the increase in their god-talk. In order to dismiss their beliefs I had to take a closer look at mine because of the similarities.
My son currently attends a Catholic high school as he couldn't get into the public high school we wanted for him and the other two are too violent for him. So far, it's working out okay, but I hate the fact he is not allowed to get academic awards as "demonstrating the Catholic ethos of the school" is a requirement for being given such awards. And although he has had teachers putting him forward for award for multiple subjects, he is not allowed to be recognised. Pity... But he at least has some good teachers.
Glad to have you on our side! We could use an infusion of non-stupid over here in the States!
Not sure how friendly Kentucky is to that sort of thing. Tennessee for one is known for being hyper-religious, and they are right next to each other. But just having you there will make Kentucky one family smarter. :)
I wish you luck in Kentucky. Some parts of the state are ... less primitive than others. There is at least one Humanist group in one of the cities, and probably more. I hope your son takes well to the change. He may have a tough time the first few weeks in school. Please be supportive and responsive. I hope the change works really, really well for you all.
Thank you, Jerry. He will be homeschooled initially, which he has been before, and prefers, utilising the resources from a local high school (eg, science labs, music and drama rooms, etc.). The plan is to not stay in KY for longer than a couple of years, by which time he will be ready to sit his SATs for college in CO or WA.
We won't be living close to any of the major cities in KY, so will perhaps look at humanist groups in WV as well.
Kain-tuck-ee? Good luck! As Jerry said, some parts are less primitive than others. Eastern Kentucky is beautiful, with the Appalachian Mountains. Well, the scenery, at least. I live about 40 miles from the city of Paducah, in Western Kentucky. Honestly, it's a pretty area in the "Blue Grass State" with horse farms and tobacco farmers. And, arm waving, tambourine banging, evangelical fundamentalists, which ministers sell tombstones, used cars, and window treatments on TV in their spare time.
Not to be completely critical, the US is a huge country with a plethora of great things to explore and wonderful people to meet. Sincerely hope you enjoy the experience.
Thanks for that, Pat.
I look forward to experiencing the wonderful scenery of Kentucky, and my partner has said the caves are marvellous, and we should do some exploration. However, we are more keen on CO or WA so will end up, fingers crossed, in either of those two states, and nearer a metropolitan area, where life is a little more...shall we say eclectic? hehe
I have been to CA five times to visit family over the years, and KY Nov 2012 for the first time, and look forward to eventually moving over.