I am so excited about finding this community. I have been an atheist for a few years and before that I called myself an agnostic. I was raised christian but have never been able to reconcile their beliefs with what is rational. My husband doesn't like to use the word atheist because of its alienating effect on people, he likes to call us rationalists. I am a RN who works in the emergency room in a medium sized hospital in the south. I have a 21 month old little girl and we are expecting a son in December. I am also going to graduate school. My husband is a stay at home dad.
I am so nervous about when my child goes to public school. My husband and I want to teach her about all the different religions of the world and let her decide what to believe. However, I am nervous that other children and more specifically the parents of these children will try to convince her that she will go to hell if she doesn't believe in jesus. I also worry about mine and mine husbands families. They are all believers and I worry they will try to convert our child, soon to be children, behind our back. It was so hard for me and my husband to even come out to our families about our non-theist views. I don't want our beliefs to be a rift between us and our families. All we ask is that they not push their views onto us or our child.
Anyways, I am just glad that this community is here. It is a relief to know that there are other non believers out there in the world. It is nice to have a place to vent all my frustrations about religion.

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Comment by Johnny on October 24, 2009 at 6:44am
Aw, welcome to the club! I was excited when I found this about a month ago too. (still am, really)

I'm just a 19 yr old so idk how valid my lack of paternal experience affects my opinion, but I think that "exposing to many religions" is a decent approach, but an even better one would be to explain why you don't believe in them.

I'd say sit them down and have "the sex talk" about religion. Show them examples and let them know that many religious people are just those who are scared and confused. Even though they have no reason to believe in god, so many people have told them that there is god that they get scared and don't want to be left out of heaven.
I think this is a reasonable way to deal with a young child in ways of explaining. Your child, most importantly, needs to understand that it is ok to not have a god because "brave people" are the ones who try to do what's right without fear that they will be punished.

This mentality also, in my opinion, will bring positive reinforcement for behavior just around the household. It will make them proud to be brave and stand up for what is good and they will come to you with many questions about how to be good and will try hard to make use of their "privelege" to be brave and rational.

An undergrad psychology major's opinion... just my 2 cents on your concerns =)

Welcome again! Peace and good luck to you!
Comment by Rusty Gunn. on October 23, 2009 at 11:21pm
Welcome aboard. There's lots of support here and lots to learn here.
Comment by Ambre on October 23, 2009 at 4:36pm
I live in Anderson SC. Thanks for the info.
Comment by Sarah Doli on October 23, 2009 at 4:25pm
Welcome to the Nexus. I had similar concerns about my daughter. She has had a couple of other students tell her that she should believe in Jesus, but with what she is learning at home, I think she will be fine.

We have started teaching her about other gods and beliefs. It helps to find good things about each religion, and adopt them as habits that good people do. She is only 6, so teaching her the bad stuff about religion will wait another year or two.

You didn't say where you are from, but you could look for local Meet-up groups and Coalitions of Reason in your area. Having other parents to talk and relate to really helps, too. There are also Yahoo groups for Atheist moms if you feel like you need more support.

Good luck and Welcome again!

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