12 November 2014
Living a secular life
This person was surprised, and didn't understand why we wouldn't take the kids to church at least for Easter and Christmas. This person suggested that the kids need at least some religion** as a foundation for their lives.
When the munchkins get older, if they start asking questions about religion and spirituality, I am happy to answer questions from the perspective of "this is what some people believe." But just as a Christian family would not likely take their children to a Mosque to teach them about Islam, I don't feel the need to take my kids to a church to teach them about Christianity.
We'll be spending Thanksgiving with the person who asked if we're taking the kids to church for Easter, and this person asked if Puck would be willing to say a blessing at the start of our Thanksgiving meal. So we're teaching the munchkins a short, non-religious blessing/rhyme that they can say, and I told the person that it will be a non-religious blessing, not a prayer.
I live a secular life, and so do the munchkins. I teach them how to be good people and make good choices without relying on fear tactics and threats of eternal damnation to get results. I teach them to be open-minded and non-judgmental toward all people and creatures rather than assuming that different is bad/"misguided"/"backslidden."
I am striving to raise Puck and Tink to be Good People, and I'm doing it without religion. Because religion doesn't have a corner on the morality market. You shouldn't need a Bible or threats of punishment to be a good person. We teach them it's important to be kind and compassionate out of respect for other people, not because they're afraid of what will happen if they don't. And that works for us.
There is nothing wrong with living a secular life and teaching the munchkins the same. When they're older and can make informed decisions for themselves about what they believe, they are welcome to find a church community or faith practice and follow it. But for now, we are a secular family.
*Please note that this person is a wonderful person and someone in my life that I respect and love. I don't think this person knows I'm an atheist, just that I'm not really religious. There are no ill feelings about the conversation at all.