Deborah Mitchell–Why I Raise My Children Without God

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.

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.

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.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Children, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

6 comments on “Deborah Mitchell–Why I Raise My Children Without God

  1. J. Champlin says:

    The collapse of the mainline churches exhibited before our eyes, a collapse in no small measure due to the recklessness and incompetence of ourselves, the stewards of the church’s life. What remains as a voice for the Christian faith is fundamentalism — which is little more than a parody of the faith and tradition of the church. And so, when journalists and public intellectuals mean to critique Christianity, it is fundamentalism they attack — whether it is this blog or Marcus Borg. The notion that the Christian faith had something to do with the creation of the sciences, not to mention literature, art, music, and education; or, in American history, with the Gettysburg Address, the Second Inaugural, or the Four Freedoms, is never even considered.

    The cost of it — emotional and personal poverty; overpowering noise and distraction; the loss of collective memory; the complete lack of any transcendent hope or measure, with a resulting desperate intensity focused on ourselves; an unwillingness to embrace sacrifice as essential to public and community life.

    Sad. Sad. Sad.

  2. Pb says:

    On the other hand many TEC churches proudly imply that belief is unnecessary and you can believe anything you want to since the bible is contradictory and subject to numerous interpretations. The deception in this is that the battle is about the clear meaning of the historic creeds.

  3. J. Champlin says:

    Pb, your first sentence especially speaks to the collapse of our ability to witness to the historic faith of the church. That we, “proudly imply that belief is unnecessary”, or that we belittle Scripture and render it mute, to my mind are the problems, or a large part of it.

  4. Polycarp says:

    News agencies have opened their online doors to the ill-informed, giving them full and unedited license to spout. Every half-witted idea is given equal weight under the banner and implied endorsement of CNN, Newsweek, Time, etc. The author is a one-note blogger and she is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame. The problem is, the media are awarding 15 minutes daily to dozens of similar “commentators.” We are all poorer for having taken the time to read them, and these idiotorials are simply hastening the decline of once-proud publications and networks.

  5. Teatime2 says:

    I absolutely agree, Polycarp! And this is a HUGE problem in many aspects of life, not just spirituality/religion. There is absolutely NO DISCERNMENT of views, voices, opinions, and expertise. The belief among the young is if it’s written and it’s on the Internet then it’s all equal in value and expertise.

    This foolish woman says she had to make things up to answer her child’s questions. WHY? There is a wealth of study and scholarship out there and, if she were any sort of proper mum, she would admit to her child that she didn’t know but would be sure to find out. And then read. Learn. But she doesn’t do that. She’s not a “free thinker” and doesn’t want to raise “free thinkers” — she’s an anti-religious bigot who simply wants to turn her children away from God and religion.

    I responded to the article. You can probably guess which posts are mine, lol. I really hope one of the atheists will respond to my question about why they don’t do charitable works as a group.

  6. driver8 says:

    The authoritarian desire of the conclusion, that Christian faith should be banished from the public square, seems a very long distance from the beginning homely tale of an atheist’s parenting difficulties.

    Was I the only one who couldn’t help juxtaposing the author’s desire to silence voices of faith with the recollection just a day or two ago of MLK?