I’m Raising Atheist Children


Yes,  I am raising my children as atheists. *GASP* No,  I don’t constantly recite some demonic evolutionary mantra every evening whilst bathing in goats blood praising the Big Bang theory to them in place of a bedtime story.  It’s different than that,  it’s better than that.  I’m raising them without the stigma,  the hate,  the judgment and high horse that is affiliated with religion.

So, what is involved in raising atheist children? It’s quite simple really. All the standard parenting minus any “god” influence.  I believe my children should understand why it is right or wrong to behave a certain way. Not fear divine repercussion for bad behavior and having an unreal payoff for good behavior. 

We teach them to explore their emotions. To try to understand why they feel good when they do good things and why they feel bad when they do bad things. I believe this deeper thinking is critical for their development.

Sure we’ve had the “god” talk. Not because I want to force my opinions onto them (this will inevitably happen) but because family has forced their Christian views onto my children and they’ve had questions.

“Some people believe in God and some people don’t.  Nonni does and Daddy doesn’t. ” is my typical response. I want them to explore their own beliefs with as little outside influence as possible. This is where I wish people would have more respect. My son’s preschool teacher told him rain is God crying. I showed him one 3 minute video on YouTube on how rain is formed and he got it. Children are brilliant. Just try teaching them first. Using God to explain things is just laziness.

As more and more parents come out as atheists I’m sure there will be tons more posts like this. I look forward to reading others ideas and comments on the subject. 

19 thoughts on “I’m Raising Atheist Children

  1. I’m not an atheist but I will comment: Many Christians (and I assume people of other religions as well) actually do accept evolution, and most accept the Big Bang theory. (You might not know it based on the vocal minority, but it’s true.)
    Rain is God crying? How infuriating that your son was told that!

    • I’m happy to hear that! Maybe it’s just where I live. I haven’t ran into many people that don’t believe in creationism in my neck of the woods.

      And yes, it was quite infuriating. I took him out of that preschool. (Petty. I know.)

      • Literal creationism is a very strong force in some areas–and people can be very vocal about it! I am not surprised that you were under that impression. It’s hard not to be.
        And I can’t even imagine why a Christian (making assumptions here that the teacher was a Christian) would make that claim about God crying. Neither Christian nor scientific. Just nuts! :) I would have taken him out of that preschool, too.

  2. From where does your passion for atheism stem?
    The following are my thoughts:
    We adopt the emotion passion when we have experienced something — negative or positive — that changes the landscape of our life.Did someone force religion on you? Make you feel guilty? Unworthy? Wrong? The tone of your post seems angry, definitely not calm or happy. I don’t think you’re angry at religion. The ideal by itself is harmless. It’s the people who twist the ideal in an attempt to find “their” inner peace — and sometimes in a fanatical way — that make religion appear wrong. Most people push religion on others because they are afraid that if they don’t that God will punish them for disobedience; others push because they are fearful of others, themselves, so they want others to be like them; and others push because they truly believe that we will go to hell if we don’t do what the Bible tells us. At least the last one has a hint of altruism.
    Of course, some warm to the idea of being loved and wanted for eternity.
    Either way, we are talking about personal security.
    What makes you feel secure by pushing atheism? What insecurity compels you to push atheism? We are all insecure. It’s no big secret.
    I believe in being your own person. I believe in each person having a clear understanding of what motivates one’s actions, because it is through understanding that we free ourselves from insecurity and find peace.

    • My passion for atheism stems from many things as most passions do. Most of the reason why I’m an outspoken atheist is because I want the best for my children. I want the best education for them. I want them to believe in their own abilities I don’t want them to fear “sin” (a made up disease) or fear a god, any god.

      I’m not sure where you got the “angry tone” from. Maybe the teacher part? Yes that upset me.

      Pushing atheism? I’d use the word advocate. Yes. That sounds better. Pushing makes me seem like a drug dealer lol

      I’m an advocate for atheism because I am confident that there is no god. Definitely not a god that cares for our well being. I am confident that religion negatively impacts our political decisions and our education systems.

      • Though the question from analyticalperspective wasn’t ask of me, I feel compelled to provide one other response. Speaking of response, atheism is nothing more than a response to theism. There would be no atheists if there were no positive claims for the existence of a god or gods.

        Additionally, I think promoting the atheistic perspective has value because there are people around the world, and a very many people where I am from, who are still pressured to find meaning for their lives based on a religious context derived from supernatural claims.

        This is a violation of any honest principle attempting to warrant our freedom of conscience. We may not be free to do whatever we will, but we certainly ought to be free to think whatever we will. Obviously, this protects the believer’s right to believe as well, but this does not give the believer the right to indoctrinate or coerce belief in others.

      • How do you know that God does not care for our well-being? You know that as much as I know He exists. I know why I believe in God. Why do you repel the idea? There still is no logic in your need to have an entire blog that hates God. Something happened in your childhood to repel God and I think from what you’re saying in your blog that it has to do with your parents pushing religion on you. Is this defiance of your parents or defiance of God? Were there other Christian people in your life that pushed religion on you in some way, made you feel unworthy in someway? Do you see God as a symbol of your parents whom you harbor resentment against, people who hurt you whom you harbor resentment against? I have atheist friends and they don’t have a need to hate God or denounce God in public or at all. You have negative feelings and it’s not good for you. For your well-being, you need to confront your anger, bitterness, resentment, and overcome this hurdle, because it’s not God you have a problem with. You have a problem with the people pushing religion. You state that God does not have your well-being at heart when what you really mean to say is that your parents don’t have your welfare at heart, other Christians don’t have your welfare at heart. I would be gentler if I had time to spend with you on this but I don’t so I’m being blunt. I’ve met a lot of people in your position. You’re not the only one with insecurities, negative feelings, but this blog demonstrates that you are not coping with your insecurities in a healthy way. You could rid the world of Christianity and Christian people but after they were all gone you would still have unresolved feelings.

  3. “Why do you repel the idea?”

    The lack of evidence, for one.

    “Something happened in your childhood to repel God”

    Something happened in your childhood to make you cling to your god?

    • Very well written! I’m raising my daughter without any gods as well. analyticalperspective, please take note. Like the writer, I’m not going around knocking bibles out of people’s hands, insisting that “there is no God.” I’m not a victim of the faith I was raised in. It’s just that I will not assert as true things I can not show to be true, especially those things that seem really unlikely. Like magic. It’s sure fun to make believe, and she can read Harry Potter and Aesop’s Fables and the story of Noah. But when she asks me about what is real, I will be true to my conscience. And that’s okay.
      That’s what is meant by “raising an atheist child.” It’s waaaaay more benign than you perhaps realize.

  4. Great article!
    I’m always taken back by non-believers who raise their children under some faith banner. I once met someone who said, “I’m an agnostic, but I raise my kids Catholic.” To which I replied, “Why Christianity? Why not Islam?”
    How powerful of leash is guilt—that you would raise your child contrary to your true beliefs?

  5. “There still is no logic in your need to have an entire blog that hates god.”

    analyticalperspective…what do you know about his needs? I don’t see your logic that he hates god. Is that your perspective because of his lack of belief? Do you see no logic on those that have a need to blog about their god (whomever/whatever it may be)?

    Is it your understanding that I have hate, insecurities, anger, bitterness and resentment given the fact I repel fairies, the loch ness monster, Santa Claus and Bigfoot?

    Oh man!..for my well being should I seek counseling or have a one-on-one with you to get to my unresolved feelings?

    Really enjoyed your article nonprophetAdam. I’m raising my children to be critical thinkers. I’m an atheist, however, my husband believes in the Christian god – minus the dogma, religious community and most importantly the stories in the Bible. His family on his mother’s side are evangelical Christians and he questions the existance of god but he’s afraid of what his family will think of him. Thank goodness the majority of his cousins on his father’s side are atheist and hopefully our children will too.

  6. I was raised without religion. I had a normal childhood…practically ideal childhood…all without religion. My parents are still married to this day (36 years strong) unlike any my friends parents who were all religious. I never rejected nor accepted any faith growing up. Of course I was surrounded by people of faith. All those claims but never any evidence, even as I child I would question people assertations.

    I hope your children are birght and inquistitve and ask lots of questions!!! Enjoy that little bit of extra family time on Sundays (As well as sleeping in when they get older)!

  7. “Is it your understanding that I have hate, insecurities, anger, bitterness and resentment given the fact I repel fairies, the loch ness monster, Santa Claus and Bigfoot?”

    I’m convinced many people separate their god from santa claus and bigfoot because they think “god” is in their hearts, when it’s really just their conscience telling them right from wrong.

    • I agree. Maybe I should have substituted them for Odin, Thor, Ra, or any of the hundreds of other gods that theists have been as devoted to. Clearly there are very good reasons for believing in god, but this again says nothing of its truth. I was simply stating that the evidence for these propositions are equally weak and you wouldn’t state someone has hate, insecurities, resentment etc etc simply for not believing in them.

  8. You lied. I am raising my kids atheist too, and I will tell you, every night, we all bathe in goats blood while chanting death to christ… :-/ pfft… I can’t believe the crap some people think atheists actually do. My kids have a strong appreciation of reality and understand that they are responsible for their own actions, no ‘devil’s’ making them bad…

  9. cute kids and thank you!. I love hearing this over “I’m rasing god-fearing children”.
    I had a coworker babysit my kids recently while my wife and I finally got a date in and she threatened to read them bible stories the whole time we were gone.
    my reply?
    “That’s okay, they love fairytales.”

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