1/09/2007                                                                                       View Comments

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

By Nvrgoingbk

I am proud to announce that Nick and I are expecting our first child together. We are so excited to have the opportunity to raise a child free of religious superstition and dogma. My three children from my first marriage were taught to love and "fear" God. My former in-laws are religious people and still teach my children that there is a God and that without Jesus, a person will be sentenced to Hell. My thirteen-year-old son is not a Christian anymore though, thanks to much open discussion we've had. My daughters know that I am agnostic, but their little minds have been indoctrinated with Christianity all of their lives, so it will take some maturing on their part to be able to accept the truth. I refrain from dogmatically trying to de-convert them. I am not offended by their "faith" and I am not threatened by it all. I have grown patient as I've gotten older, and I know that time will show them as long as they have someone like their step-dad and I to tell them the truth and guide them in the direction of reason.

I am so excited that Nick's and my child will not be tethered to a fear of some unknown deity and the retribution "He" will mete out on all those who dare to question him. Since I left Christianity, I feel that I have been "born again" as Jesus supposedly spoke of, or of being enlightened, as Buddha proposed. It wasn't until I walked away from the Bible and all that it represents, that I began to find peace, awe, self-love, and a taming of that monster called GUILT.

I am prepared to be a different kind of parent now. A better one than I was ever able to be as a Christian. Isn't that ironic? Christians are taught that without Christ, they are nothing. They perpetuate that belief by passing it on to their Children. Christian children are taught that they are filthy sinners from birth and only worthy of Hell unless they believe a certain way, Once a child becomes a Christian, they are then turned into snobs and eventually believe like all of the others, that everyone who thinks differently is damned to Hell. Well, the buck stops here!

My child will know that He/She is divine all on his/her own. My child will know that his/her life is worthwhile, simply because she's living it instead of being insignificant unless she says the sinner's prayer. My child will be taught that he is capable of living his dreams and of making a difference in the world through his own hard work and dedication, instead of an "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", mentality. My child will not be crippled by self-loathing and shame or by moral snobbishness and hypocrisy. My child will know that ALL life is precious, no matter what you believe, and that everyone matters, everyone is divine, and everyone has the potential of greatness. My child will possess self confidence and dignity. It is with much regret that I look at my children now and see how much they mirror the same insecurities and idiosyncrasies that I did as a Christian. I instilled it in them because of my ignorance.

I am raising them differently now, but I wish that I had known the things that I know now. I am humbled that I will have the chance to raise a child from birth with the knowledge that I now possess. I dream big dreams for this kid. I know that if the world were free of religion, it would have a lot less to argue about, and it would be a much more hospitable world to live in. Perhaps my child will be on the forefront of that movement. Wouldn't that be great?

16 comments:

Leonard said...

MAZZEL TOV!

SpaceMonk said...

Congratulations,
and good luck. :)

xrayman said...

Nvrgoingbk said,

"I know that if the world were free of religion, it would have a lot less to argue about, and it would be a much more hospitable world to live in. Perhaps my child will be on the forefront of that movement. Wouldn't that be great?"

Excellent post as always Tiff. Congraudulations again, and I hope you are feeling well !!!!

Wow what a wonderful world this would be if it were free of religion. I dream that we will live to see a day where science completely and irrefutably proves evolution, or perhaps an ancient text is uncovered that reveals that the Bible to be a completely fictional book of mythology. Although the previously mentioned scenarios are highly unlikely in our lifetimes, that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to spread OUR truth to as many as we can.

Although I believed in God up until this year, I am so glad I wasn’t raised with the self fulfilling prophecy(we are all worthless pieces of shit sinners who are not wothy) of the Christian religion. Although my parents claimed God belief, they always raised my sister and I with emphasis on self worth. I never knew religious guilt, although I do feel more than a usual amount of culpability when I do wrong another human. I also never knew the deep sexual guilt that goes along with Christianity. My folks approached sexuality as a normal positive human condition.

I know I am getting to my 17 year old son with all the wonderful evidence I have seen against religion. I hope as he matures he will never struggle with God belief. I hope he sees the Bible as the book of myths and fairy tales that it is. If only I had known all I know now when I was a young adult, I never would have believed in the lie. Hopefully with our mouths and key pads we can all get the word out in exponential fashion to anyone who will listen, and then we can only hope our kids will do the same.

jim earl said...

Congrats to you both. I know you will do your best in raising your child to be a true thinker. I have two sons ages 21 and 18. Both were raised in church but they also had my influence as well. I am proud to say both are religion free and both know more about religion than the average person. We can't know what the future holds, but we can be assured that if we teach our children the history of Christianity and about religion in general, they will then have a choice and not be brainwashed by faith. Emotions rule in church, but truth trumps faith every time. I am a very emotional person, but religion lost its hold on me and will never again be part of my life because I know the truth.

I agree with xrayman that we should do all we can to help spread the truth. Xrayman called it "our" truth but I prefer to call it "the" truth because it's available to everyone that is willing to seek it. Xrayman was very lucky indeed to have the type of parents that he did. My mother still tells me I'm destined to hell simply because I no longer buy into her delusions. I think one day I will announce that I have converted to Islam and now worship the "one true god." Then I will say she is going to hell for not serving the "one true god." Give her some of her own medicine.

Lee said...

Nvrgoingbk,

Congratulations and best wishes! I watched you come a LONG way from your first post here, and it's been a pleasure to see you grow in peace of mind AND self confidence! I want to shower on you two all the praise due for not bringing a child into an environment of fear and self-loathing!

I wish my parents had been as well-grounded as you! I loved them dearly, but they were VERY devout pentecostals and we were raised in a VERY religious household! In addition to attending church every sunday, my brothers, sisters and I were required to attend Sunday school as well as bible study three times per week. We were also required to "witness" (a very frightening proposition for a child). I was even convinced that my life was "destined" for the ministry! I actually had aspirations, at one time, to minister to my brethren!

My faith was shattered, however, as I started critically thinking about the scriptures. The more I asked questions, the shakier my faith became. I had ALWAYS had questions and MANY seeds of disbelief had been sprouting for many years, but my studying for the ministry was my first opportunity to approach my questions with a full set of resources: apologetics, fellow students and ministerial mentors. They began to talk behind my back (sounds paranoid, but it was confirmed MANY times...lol) about my astonishing behavior, and, just when they had the chance to accept me for what I was, I was shunned as a "lost soul." I was one whose faith was "obviously not strong enough to lead a congregation in christian pastoring."

Instead of helping me find peace of mind, their only hope was I'd "find my way" back to the fold. Almost Stepfordian, in retrospect, I'd say!

More to the point, I have raised four sons without the confusion that religion can bring. The clarity of purpose that many christian denominations speak of is merely a "narrowness of perspective." Dogma is NOT clarity.

I, too, like you, was adamant about the idea that, if religion was to be a part of my children's life, I would NOT be threatened by it.

I'm glad to say that NONE has chosen organized religion over critical thinking. Also, none has become a drug dealer, pornographer, anarchist or anti-christ...lol...they are ALL very good men and citizens, despite the horror stories perpetuated by those who claim otherwise where non-religious upbringings are concerned.

Again, congratulations and best wishes to you and Nick! I WON'T say a prayer for you and I WON'T bless you in his holy name...take that as a complement! ;)

Lee

Nvrgoingbk said...

THanks guys.

Xrayman and Jimearl, you are friends. I understand what Xray meant when he capped OUR truth. We all know it's THE truth, but for now it feels like it is only OURS. Most of the world is religius. Most of Earth's inhabitants are motivated by religious dogma and their own brand of morality.

I loved what you said, JimEarl, about telling your mother you had converted to Islam. What a riot that would be! I wish I had thought of it myself.

I want to say that despite my annoyance with the direction this country is taking toward becomming a Theocracy, I am grateful that at least, for now, I am free to voice that annoyance. I am also grateful that I am not, for now, being prevented from coming to a website like this where I can feel a comradarie between like-minded, rational thinkers. I am grateful to Dave for providing us with a place to be completely ourselves and to feel that our feelings and thoughts are validated rather than pitied, which is always the case when one of us have to talk to even the barely religiously-minded individual. THey pity us. That to me is the most insulting aspect of religion.

Anyway, thanks again. It feels good to know that when you all congradulate me, it's not while thinking at the same time thatmy baby should be pitied for having to be born to a "heathen" parent like myself. I know what they are thinking, because I used to think such disgusting things myself. I was brainwashed.

ryan said...

Honest to god, upbringing is everything. My father was a loser; a drunken windbag who spent his life trying to convince people he was educated; quoting phrases he had acquired; putting on an act that became more elaborate as the years passed.

My mother was a xian weakling, dumb as a sack of shit, who sat back with her thumb up her lard ass while her husband screamed insults at her flesh and blood. They had both been raised in the same church, and she wanted to win him back. Toward that end, she didn't want to provoke him.

Now I know that all you representatives of the true god want to come in here and feel sorry for us because we got mixed up in the wrong church and we got hurt and bullshitbullshitbullshit.

Okay, listen, and cram this up and check it for size. My mother turned me against your faith. I saw what it did to that bitch. I saw in my own home what a disease your religion is, turning people into spineless little cretins. You insist that there is such thing as the "true faith"? If I could not see it in my own mother, then where the goddamned hell would you suggest it could be found? What is a man supposed to think when his own mother is the worst xian he ever knew?

For the rest of you good people: raise your children to respect themselves, and they will respect you. Raise them to love themselves, and they will love you. Leave their ego intact, and everything else will follow. Your children need jesus like a horse needs poison.

Anonymous said...

Sumner says, Read "the Book"

Children shall be there oppressors, and women rule over them. So says, "God's word" recorded in the Bible.
The two most powerful women in the world... Nancy Pel-osi, "Speaker of the House" and Hell-ary Rotten Clint-on.

Lets see what happens now?

Anonymous said...

Do you know the true Biblical meaning of Religion? It means "Dread-Demonism" --(All the Religions of the world worship Demons..."Believe it or not! and I am not Ripley...

xrayman said...

As I went about my day, I thought about coming home and adding more to this wonderful thread. What the fuck happened here? What the hell is all the bullshit written above? I haven't enough time in my life to figure it out.

Someone please bring it back to life.

.:webmaster:. said...

Someone please bring it back to life.

Done.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! My eldest became a Christian in high school, but it lasted only a year or so. It was the lure of the large local non-denom who sponsored nonstop activities and seemed to attract alot of kids who wanted to belong to something, and feel good about themselves. We laugh about it now, the fact that my child rebelled against me by going to church :).

freeman said...

"raise your children to respect themselves, and they will respect you. Raise them to love themselves, and they will love you. Leave their ego intact, and everything else will follow."

I'll second ryan's comment. Excellent points.

Congrats Nvrgoingbk! I have two daughters, 12 and 10, who are very well adjusted without a skydaddy! Of course all of their friends are christians and a couple of hindus, but the just smile and are plesant to them whenever they mention a deity.

D Laurier said...

Raise a child without fear or ignorance,
Without television or crass consumerism,
Without religious lies,
And without mcdonalds

Nvrgoingbk said...

Well, add a point to the side of Rationality, because as long as i have anything to do with it, my child will always be its faithful follower.

D. Lauier, it IS fear and ignorance that drives all the other undesirable qualities in man. You summed up a "how-to-raise-children guide" briefly, yet proundly.

It is fear and ignorance that especially drives religious superstition. For thousands of years, man has asked, "how". Scientists dedicate their lives to answering that. Man has also been asking "why", but, because no Sky Daddy has yet to answer, they continue on in their ignorance. God damned, haven't we learned enough to cease resorting to superstition? I mean, it's one thing to sit around a camp fire with your family and wonder, but it's quite another to conjure up your own "god", and then force others through emotional or physical bullying to accept what you say, regardless of how ridiculous and regardless of a complete lack of proof.

Why is man so scared of the possiblity that there may be no, "because..." response to his, "Why" question? Maybe there is no "Man" behind the curtain. Maybe we are all there is, but why is that so bad? I mean, there are 6 billion others just like us inhabiting the same small speck of dust, so we can't actually call our selves "alone". Why can't we just grasp what we have for now, do what we can to protect it, and cherish life, regardless of its brevity? Religion turns man's focus upward, beyond the clouds, hoping that it's better somewhere else, because they are too damned uncommitted or hopeless to be the change that they think they will some day experience in a netherland called "Heaven" or "NIrvana" or "Paradise".

The world could be that NOW, but fear and ignorance prevents the masses from moving forward. I just hope that the few of us who know better will be a strong enough force to keep the rest of the world from annihilating themselves in a religigous nuclear war. I hope we're even around long enough for our children to be able to make a difference.

xrayman said...

The beauty of raising children in this day and age is the fact that we have access to knowledge, and access to the truth. What I wouldn't have given to have the knowledge that is now just a mouse click away, when I was coming of age in the late 70's and early 80's. There was nothing out there refuting God belief and organized religion.


Without the internet we would still be in quite a bind. In the liberal college town of Lansing Mich where I work, I recently went into two of the huge mega bookstores and found virtually nothing on atheism, yet they had a whole section dedicated to gay and lesbian material(not that there's anything wrong with that), and of couse they had thousands or Christian books. I so badly wanted to move a stack of Bibles to the fiction section. For some reason the truth just isn't out there in the bookstores.

Thank God(I still love that expression) for sites like this and all the brians of the operation, and Amazon.com where I have orderd numerous great books on the subjects of atheism and non belief. It only took me a couple of weeks to completely read myself out of God belief once I found the right material, and I will share my knowledge freely with my children. Thankfully there are no fundies in the family to influence them. My mother in law is a staunch Catholic who never misses a Sunday of mass, yet she keeps her religion to herself. What a wonderful concept.