Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Raising Godless Kids

Here's an essay on raising kids without God which is just excellent: Atheism and children, by Natalie Angier


My favorite bit:

...[I]n some places in the United States, it’s extremely tough to be an atheist, even fatal. Last October, in Taylor, Michigan, a former Eagle Scout shot another man to death because, he said, the man was “evil; he was not a believer.” We all know the sort of tolerance they teach in the Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts of America, of course. No gays allowed – guess you don’t expect them to be very good at pitching tents and tying knots, right? – and no atheists. They kicked out Darrell Lambert, a model scout if there ever was one, because he refused to say he believed in God, remember? At which point, I’m proud to say, my husband, who was a boy scout and an eagle scout and learned many skills as a scout and had earned many patches and badges, decided to send back his eagle scout medal to the Boy Scouts of America; and he wrote a beautiful essay about his decision for the Washington Post. The director of public affairs at the organization sent him an answer, saying, We accept your decision, but we hope that someday, you will come to be more open-minded in your views.

So, what advice do I have for nonbelievers trying to raise their children in a rigidly religious, small town environment? Move.

Boy, do I get what she means.

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