I Was An Atheist Raising Fundamentalist Kids Then I Broke The Cycle Of Religion And So Can YouPosted by Phil Ferguson on December 25th, 2011 – 70 Comments – Posted in Personal Stories, Uncategorized
I have been an atheist since I was 13 but shortly after having kids I spent 5 years pretending to be a christian – a fundamentalist christian. The kids were going to church and Sunday school every week, sometimes more than once a week. I was a methodist as a kid and was not worried. I thought that it would be nice for them to know about religion and never thought that it would take over their minds. Everyone told them that the crazy was true and I kept silent. I was an atheist raising fundamentalist kids. Just a few short years after I stopped pretending they have both come out as atheists.
I have since met several people that have not had the same results. A good friend of mine is an atheist and his spouse took the kids to church 2-3 times a week. He wanted to show respect for religion and did not want to cause any trouble. When he thought that the kids were “old enough” (around 13 and 15). He decided to talk to the kids about religion. The kids said that they had been warned about this and refused to listen to him. My friend was shut down and cut off. It was too late.
I am so glad that things went better with me and I have been thinking about what was different between my friend’s family and mine. There were many things I did while the kids were young and I think it helped.
The big question for you is:
Do you think the world would be a better place if more people were non religious?
If you do – what are you doing about it? It is great to have meetings and share drinks in a bar but, you need to get out there and save people. You must do something about it. It can take years to save a 40 or 50 year old from religion but with a kid you may only need a spark.
Yes! I am suggesting that we free the minds of kids. Religion has been indoctrinating kids for a very long time and their system of lies is very powerful. We need to fight back, we need to do a better job, we need to get to the kids! Use the ideas below to help your kids, grandkids, younger siblings, nieces, nephews, your kid’s friends or your friend’s kids. If you are afraid to fight religion then you need to recognize it still has a effect on you. All people deserve respect – bad ideas do not!
Keep in mind your relationship with the kids and / or their families. Do as much as you can and push the limits but, don’t over do it. You don’t want the fundies to take away the only sane voice the child may here.
11 ideas to save kids and break the cycle of religion.
10) Teach them about science and the scientific method in fun ways. Steve Spangler Science is a company that makes fun science toys and games. Use them to create a party theme or give them as gifts. At one party we used these really cool beads that are all white in house lights but turn different colors in the sun or a blacklight. The kids made friendship bracelets and we talked about UV light from the sun and then had some fun with a black light. The kids loved it and the learned some cool science.
9) Watch shows like “Evolution” , “The Universe” or “Planet Earth”. You can buy, rent or stream. Make sure they know how the world really works before religion ruins the magic. Please don’t sit them on the couch and force them to watch it. Create an environment where they can play in the same room while the shows are on. Don’t push or they will push back. Just let it soak in. Let them associate science with play time.
They may also like this video that shows how hard it is to pay attention to little details.
There are also many books about optical illusions. Just like some of the other points above they will have fun while learning that they can be tricked.
1) Books! There are so many books that can help free kids’ minds. Start with something simple and fun like Daniel Loxton’s new book “Ankylosaur Attack“. (shown on right) If that goes well you can try his wonderful book “Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be.” Another great book about the world is Dawkins’ new one called “The Magic Of Reality“. “Bang!: How We Came To Be” from Michael Rubin is another good choice. If one or both of the parents are free from religion you could give them Dale McGowan’s “Parenting Beyond Belief”.
If they already have questions you can get them one of the really hard hitting books on atheism: God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, or The God Delusion. If you want something that they can read in under two hours give them Sam Harris’ “Letter to a Christian Nation”. If they place all of their faith in Jesus you could try “Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All” by David fitzgerald. There are so many that I can’t list them all.