Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Why I Raise My Children Without God"

An atheist mom explains herself, with my commentary.

Why I Raise My Children Without God
By TXBlue08 | Posted January 14, 2013 | Texas

(CNN PRODUCER NOTE TXBlue08, a mother of two teenagers in Texas, blogs aboutraising her children without religion. She said she shared this essay on CNN iReport because 'I just felt there is not a voice out there for women/moms like me...)
"Not a voice out there for moms like me?"



Her children are drowning in a culture without God. Where is God in the news media? Where is God in movies and entertainment? Where is God in school? Where is God in higher education? Where is God in the business world and in government? Heck, many churches are essentially God-free zones.

Nearly all of the voices "out there" are atheist. She's blazing no new trails by raising her boys without God. She's just drifting with the culture.

When my son was around 3 years old, he used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.
Sounds like her kid asked better questions than she does.

For over a year, I lied to him and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.
So she tells him that he's a meat machine destined for extinction evolved by a process red in tooth and claw in a universe without purpose.

Now he feels more safe and loved.

One day he would know this, and he would not trust my judgment. He would know that I built an elaborate tale—not unlike the one we tell children about Santa—to explain the inconsistent and illogical legend of God.
She has a child's understanding of God, which is inconsistent and illogical.

And so I thought it was only right to be honest with my children. I am a non-believer, and for years I’ve been on the fringe in my community.
She'd fit in perfectly in the elite corridors of power and influence in our nation.

If she wants to know what "fringe" is like, she should try being an evangelical in Hollywood, or at MSNBC or CNN, or on the Harvard Law faculty, or on Wall Street.
As a blogger, though, I’ve found that there are many other parents out there like me.
She merely needed to watch network TV or go to a movie theatre to see an endless queue of parents like her.
We are creating the next generation of kids,
She creates nothing. Her children come through her, not from her.
... and there is a wave of young agnostics, atheists, free thinkers and humanists rising up through the ranks who will, hopefully, lower our nation’s religious fever.
They're already here, ma'am. They're not young, and they make your sons' movies and games and television shows and curricula. The cultural wasteland around us is their gift.

Here are a few of the reasons why I am raising my children without God.

God is a bad parent and role model. 
If God is our father, then he is not a good parent. Good parents don’t allow their children to inflict harm on others. Good people don’t stand by and watch horrible acts committed against innocent men, women and children. They don’t condone violence and abuse. “He has given us free will,” you say? Our children have free will, but we still step in and guide them.
God isn't a parent. He is our Creator, and his thoughts and purposes are not ours. We are eternal creatures, and we need to understand that God's plan for us is four our eternity. We do suffer in this world, often seemingly unjustly, but this world is not our home.

And if God does not exist, there is no objective moral law to which to appeal when we condemn injustice. Without God, there is no actual justice. Things just happen-- some we like, some we don't like. So to what moral standard does Atheist Mom appeal when she decries violence and abuse?

She presupposes objective moral law in her argument against the existence of the Creator of objective moral law.

God is not logical. 

How many times have you heard, “Why did God allow this to happen?” And this: “It’s not for us to understand.” Translate: We don’t understand, so we will not think about it or deal with the issue. Take for example the senseless tragedy in Newtown. Rather than address the problem of guns in America, we defer responsibility to God. He had a reason. He wanted more angels. Only he knows why. We write poems saying that we told God to leave our schools. Now he’s making us pay the price. If there is a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God who loves his children, does it make sense that he would allow murders, child abuse, wars, brutal beatings, torture and millions of heinous acts to be committed throughout the history of mankind? Doesn’t this go against everything Christ taught us in the New Testament?

The question we should be asking is this: “Why did we allow this to happen?” How can we fix this? No imaginary person is going to give us the answers or tell us why. Only we have the ability to be logical and to problem solve, and we should not abdicate these responsibilities to “God” just because a topic is tough or uncomfortable to address.

If God does not exist, what standing does she have to declare the Newtown shootings immoral? Her opinion? The shooter's opinion was otherwise. If atheism is true, morality is all opinions, nothing more.

Her questions about God's forbearance of evil are valid, and haunt us all. But only believers in God have a logical basis to ask those questions. Atheists deny objective good and evil, and have no standing to ask any questions about evil.

Atheist Mom is not logical.

God is not fair. 
If God is fair, then why does he answer the silly prayers of some while allowing other, serious requests, to go unanswered? I have known people who pray that they can find money to buy new furniture. (Answered.) I have known people who pray to God to help them win a soccer match. (Answered.) Why are the prayers of parents with dying children not answered?

If God is fair, then why are some babies born with heart defects, autism, missing limbs or conjoined to another baby? Clearly, all men are not created equally. Why is a good man beaten senseless on the street while an evil man finds great wealth taking advantage of others? This is not fair. A game maker who allows luck to rule mankind’s existence has not created a fair game.
If God does not exist, nothing is "fair" or "unfair".  Inference to "fair" presupposes objective morality, which presupposes God.

God does not protect the innocent. 
He does not keep our children safe. As a society, we stand up and speak for those who cannot. We protect our little ones as much as possible. When a child is kidnapped, we work together to find the child. We do not tolerate abuse and neglect. Why can’t God, with all his powers of omnipotence, protect the innocent? 
Why does Ms. Meat Machine give a hoot about innocents? Whence her  benevolence for the carriers of competitors' genes? Atheists consistently fail to understand that the very questions they ask presume objective standards of good and evil which their conclusions deny.

Advocating atheism based on the existence of evil is self-refuting.  

God is not present. 

He is not here. Telling our children to love a person they cannot see, smell, touch or hear does not make sense. It means that we teach children to love an image, an image that lives only in their imaginations. What we teach them, in effect, is to love an idea that we have created, one that is based in our fears and our hopes.
He is always present. He is closer to each of us than we are to ourselves. But His voice is still and small. Godless Mom is immersed in the din of our godless culture and in her ignorance, and cannot hear Him.

God Does Not Teach Children to Be Good 

A child should make moral choices for the right reasons. Telling him that he must behave because God is watching means that his morality will be externally focused rather than internally structured. It’s like telling a child to behave or Santa won’t bring presents. When we take God out of the picture, we place responsibility of doing the right thing onto the shoulders of our children. No, they won’t go to heaven or rule their own planets when they die, but they can sleep better at night. They will make their family proud. They will feel better about who they are. They will be decent people.
Without God there is no standard to which one can practice morality, other than one's own opinions, which are by definition no standard. "Moral" choices presume objective morals to choose. Objective morals presume God.

God Teaches Narcissism 

“God has a plan for you.” Telling kids there is a big guy in the sky who has a special path for them makes children narcissistic; it makes them think the world is at their disposal and that, no matter what happens, it doesn’t really matter because God is in control. That gives kids a sense of false security and creates selfishness. “No matter what I do, God loves me and forgives me. He knows my purpose. I am special.” The irony is that, while we tell this story to our kids, other children are abused and murdered, starved and neglected. All part of God’s plan, right?
Yea. Devout Christians are so selfish, and atheist materialism is such an effective antidote to selfishness.

When we raise kids without God, we tell them the truth—we are no more special than the next creature.
If we are no more special than the next creature, why lament abuses and atrocities? Kill a kid, step on a cockroach. We're no more special than the next creature.
We are just a very, very small part of a big, big machine–whether that machine is nature or society–the influence we have is minuscule. The realization of our insignificance gives us a true sense of humbleness.
And humility has certainly been a big part of atheism's gift to the world.

I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven. It is terrifying to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will cease to exist. The idea of God and an afterlife gives many of us structure, community and hope.
Atheist Mom has been insisting that belief in God is harmful, except for the "structure, community, and hope" part. Atheists have trouble even with simple coherent arguments.

I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs.
Stalin agreed.
It’s a personal effect, like a toothbrush or a pair of shoes. It’s not something to be used or worn by strangers.
Atheists always scratch the totalitarian itch.
I want my children to be free not to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—not on what they believe an imaginary God wants.
Schools and governments don't make decisions. People make decisions. And decisions based on the premise of God's non-existence have no logical or historical claim to superiority over decisions premised on God's existence.

I'll defend "endowed by our Creator" against "opiate of the masses" any day.


One last question for Ms. Freethinker: where's dad?


  1. Michael,

    You should be welcoming the experiment of raising a child without religion. You insist that the existence of God is self evident and written in our hearts.

    If you're right (and I don't think that you are), then the child should become a Christian spontaneously. I don't think that it will happen. A person's choice of religion tends to depend on the country you were born in. In America; Christianity. In Pakistan; Islam. In India; Hinduism.

    Trust you to come up with a sexist comment at the end.

  2. From your writing doctor it appears, but for your religion, you can’t think of any reason to refrain from being a homicidal maniac. I guess we should be thankful that your profound need for the “objective morality” spelled out in a two thousand year old book stays your hand (along with the “comfort” you receive by knowing your god will torture your foes for eternity of course).


  3. Inference to "fair" presupposes objective morality, which presupposes God.

    No, it doesn't. But your thought process is too stunted for you to realize that.