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?
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)