I, as so many others of my generation, grew up in tightly knit christian farming communities with little exposure to "other" races and religions. We were taught that Roman Catholics and Jews were of the devil and the only way to heaven was through the christ.

WW II changed all that. Strong, young men were swept out of the farming communities to go to war or to building wartime facilities. My father and uncles went away for the duration of the war, with the exception of one uncle who was a farmer and needed to produce food for the war effort. My mother and aunts were swept away to work in the aluminum mill in Spokane. We children were left to live with our grandparents who assumed the full responsibility for our care during those war years. 

At the end of WW II, everyone returned to the small farming community and then off to big cities to work and raise our families. The old attitudes, beliefs, customs, faiths, traditions and values went with us as we changed from a rural to an urban culture. The family violence of the farm followed us to the city. Except, not every family in the city lived in fear, guilt and shame in our new neighborhoods.

I am 79 years old and none of my children have violence and abuse in their families. Ignorance gave way to knowledge for both men and women. Children grow up with a different value system that abhors violence in the family. The chain of violence is broken. 

“Now, if the ignorance of nature gave birth to Gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them. As soon as man becomes instructed, his powers and his resources augment in proportion with his knowledge; the sciences, the protecting arts, industry, furnish him with assistance ; experience encourages him, and procures for him the means of resisting the effort of many causes which cease to alarm him as soon as he obtains a knowledge of them. In a word, his terrors dissipate themselves in the same proportion as his mind becomes enlightened. Man instructed, ceases to be superstitious. p. 40

But as his (god’s) perfections and his goodness very frequently contradict themselves, and give place to weakness, to injustice, to cruel severities, we are obliged to acknowledge him changeable, fickle, capricious, unequal in his conduct, in contradiction with himself, according to the various modes of action which they attribute to him. p. 41

~  Baron D’Holbach. 1723-1789. The Law of Reason, La Système de la nature. quoted in published by J. Thompson,


Views: 86


You need to be a member of Atheist Nexus to add comments!

Join Atheist Nexus

Comment by Loren Miller on January 25, 2015 at 6:10am

WWII also served to expose the solders, sailors, pilots and Marines we sent to the European and Pacific theaters to cultures very different from our own in places.  I'd like to think that their influence all by itself was an education or at least a suggestion that American life wasn't the ONLY way of life on Planet Earth.

Post-WWII life also saw a considerable increase in accessibility of air travel, which similarly brought more exposure of other cultures to Americans.  I can't help but remember that too many US citizens seemed to think little of the "odd ways" of foreigners while determined to maintain their own ways, thus seeding the concept of the "Ugly American," but I think we learned with time.  Add the advent of the internet in the 1990s and the insular view of at least some in the States was irreparably altered.

And yet in the current day we still have people so grounded in their home-town ethos and unwilling to explore beyond it that they continue to believe that theirs is the only extant lifestyle, even with 30 mbps bandwidths and 500 cable channels.  There continue to be people who, whether by personal attitude or indoctrination, remain SCARED of the outside world and determined to keep it out.  What we do about them, I really don't know, other than to keep on keepin' on.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on January 25, 2015 at 5:48am

Thanks Joan,

It's great to hear that your children abhore violence.
I applaud your endeavor and success.

I too grew up in a Christian farming family and community, though living on the farm and my keen observation of nature and the activities of the farm animals as well as other people in my community seemed to contradict what they taught us at Sunday school and church, thus seeding my skepticism, which was later in life to drive me into anti-theism as a reaction to those conflicts.
Likewise, though only being 59, my children have also been raised to be skeptical of beliefs.
Both drifted into Atheism from their own experiences and education.

They are strongly Humanistic, just as my daugter and I were discussing sociopathy and psychopathy in our society, she could never treat others with contempt, like a sociopath, she cares too much for others feelings.
She feels bad if any of her patients feel they have been overcharged for their treatment, and she loses sleep and will call them in for a free tests if she thinks her diagnosis of their condition may be flawed.

Not many others in the medical profession have such a caring attitude towards patients.
My son is similarly caring and values time with his family more than success in the workplace.
Yet, his wife and two eldest children were initially in a war-zone, with an abusive partner who treated them all with disdain.
A relationship that was fueled by alcohol and almost consistent abuse.
Her parents were good Italian Catholics, yet, while she still has some superstitious beliefs and believes in afterlife and ghosts, she met up with my son, who has turned their lives around for the better.
They now have a very stable family life, something they had never experienced in the past.

Neither my son nor his partner ever mention religion.
They have no care for such conversations and ignore those wanting to pick them on their non-belief.

His children also avoid such discussions, if you mention god or religion to the eldest child, she simply states that she is not interested, actually I brought up the subject one time while playing scrabble as I used the word "yahweh", and decided to inform her that it was another name for god, to which she replied: "Boring!"

Yes, his family consider discussion of religious beliefs as boring.
There are infinite more interesting things to talk about.

I agree with them whole heartedly.

Yet, I do like to attack religion in public, but, when it comes to my secular family, I hold my tongue, as mentioning religion only draws a blank stare and I get ignored for the rest of the conversation.

LOL :-D~

So I only attack religion when I'm online or being heckled by theists.


Comment by Joan Denoo on January 23, 2015 at 2:49pm

Thank you, Grinning Cat, for your sweet comment. I am very fortunate that all three of my children appear to be mentally healthy, mature and adult human beings who care about others and enjoy life. That reality does give me comfort. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 23, 2015 at 2:47pm

To Some in California, Founder of Church Missions Is Far From Saint

It is odd that just after I posted my Ignorance to Enlightenment Blog, I read this about the proposal to raise Father Serra with his brutal treatment of the native population to whom he "ministered". Here, again, silence is not the answer and sainthood is not the reward for such a brute. Violence is violence, whether committed by a thug, a man of god, or by a father or mother of a family.

Some people want me to stop talking about violence, How can I, when a pope wants to glorify a priest who brutalised other human beings?  

I know, my dear family and friends hate to keep reading my stuff, but what else can I do. I can't go back and change the known history of 15 generations of my family, nor can I stop the pope. I can write the pope a letter, which I will do. I have no reason to be respectful, polite, or gentle.  

Comment by Grinning Cat on January 23, 2015 at 2:23pm

What a wonderful, nurturing, happy family... you (Joan) and you all are truly making the world a better place. (And happy unbirthday!)

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 23, 2015 at 1:32pm

Brooklyn (six months old), and her Daddy, Zac 

I don't have to worry about Brooklyn or my other descendants being abused by people they love. Zac gives her such tender, loving care. Laurie provides a profound love for her and Zac.  

I need to go into my garden, dig a deep hole and bury my memories.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 23, 2015 at 1:09pm

My six great-grandchildren and their cousin 



Update Your Membership :



Nexus on Social Media:

© 2020   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service