People who know me quite well, know that I am far from religious. I am as close to atheism as you can be while still being unable to prove that there is nothing on the other side. Because I still have questions and people still don’t have definitive answers, I try to stay the balanced course. I can’t tell you god doesn’t exist but I can tell you that I believe in evolution and the big bang (you know, science). And I believe that teaching morals to promote faith in oneself, rather than something looming over your soul, judging your every move, is a much healthier frame of mind. Enter: my child.
Secular parenting books exist, no? Or some sort of resource? C’mon it is 2014. There are hover boards but no openly shared resource for secular parenting? Okay I have done a Google search…
There are quite a few resources but as I read I feel an overwhelming sense of shame, especially with sentences basically stating “we know it is hard.” Hard? Really? I don’t feel like my decision to be raise a non-religious family is a hard one. Nor am I ashamed of it. (This is the part where someone screams “Tell us how you really feel!” and I decline and move on for the sanity and respect of my readers.)
I think, although we are far off from making it a reality in my lifetime, that it will one day be accepted to just not believe. What is so hard about being proud that your child finds the strength within themselves, minus any “outside force”, to do something? What is so hard about teaching every religion’s story to your children so they understand the evolution of human experience? Religion is a very human virtue and I think that saying that they are all mythologies deters from the notion that one is right above all others. NO ONE can prove that beyond a reasonable doubt so why do we have a bunch of kids growing up with the thought that they are right, all opposed are wrong, and they have to fight about it. I know not everyone fights about it but seriously, there are enough people out there taking it to the extreme that the damage is already done.
I catch myself when I have thoughts like this. I call myself naive. What the hell am I thinking telling people that respect and faith in yourself is all you need? Fear, paranoia, war, and faith in religion are all very big parts of humanity, the first three being extremely prevalent and detrimental. I can hope for a day when the future is brighter for people who just want happy lives NOW and not when they are dead.
This is why I am proud of being a secular parent. In order to have a more tolerant future, we need to begin now with our little ones.
I hope no one takes offense to this. It is simply my own testament and an invitation for people who feel the same to share in the conversation or talk to me personally.