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The Cleveland Freethinkers Message Board The Cleveland Freethinkers Discussion Forum General Discussions › Bemoaning the Lack of Atheist/Agnostic Literature for Children

Bemoaning the Lack of Atheist/Agnostic Literature for Children

A former member
Post #: 72
Thanks for the tips on books. My just-turned-five grandson is being raised Catholic. I'm hoping I'll be a freethinking influence. Now when he insists on 'grace' before a meal, I say go ahead, but the rest of us don't do that in this house. He's not asked too many questions yet, but telling the truth should be the right way to go.
By court order of his parents divorce, he's to be raised Catholic. I think the exposure can't hurt if he sees that alternatives exist, especially as he grows older.
Tiffany, keep writing a drawing. Your book is great, eventually you'll find a publisher.
Rafiq M.
Bogor, ID
Post #: 652
By court order of his parents divorce, he's to be raised Catholic.

Indoctrination by court order? Is that constitutional? The US never ceases to amaze me.

However καθολικ­ός (katholikos) means "universal" so you would be complying with the court order by trying to teach him about everything - to love and admire the universe we live in and to understand the weirdness and complexity of human thought. You don't have to teach him about "Holy Mary, mother of God" or to pray to plaster saints or any of the other bullshit, or, worst of all, to scare him with notions of eternal hell fire. That really would be abuse.

Sure it's fine to say grace, providing he is aware of the likelihood that no one may be listening. It is important to be truly grateful for your food and everything else in life and the best way to do that is to enjoy it. You don't have to be grateful to anybody.

It is awful in the school where I pretend to teach that the children have to say a collective grace before starting their day, before eating and at the end of the day. It is usually led by one of the children. I tried to modify it once for my lessons, "Oh God, thank you for our brains and we promise to use them," but the other teachers objected preferring the original version of "Oh God, give us knowledge from yourself" or some such. It was an experiment I knew would fail and I conceded readily having had it written into my contract that I would take no part in any religious or nationalistic activities.

I am very proud of one of the fifth graders who is the naughtiest boy in his class (if not the school) and always interrupts to ask questions on any subject unrelated to what I am teaching in order to try to distract me. The questions are often about the meaning of naughty words (which I try to answer honestly) or about such things as whether we could live for ever by transferring our thoughts into clones of ourselves. When it is his turn to say grace he does it at ninety miles an hour so I can guess how much credence he gives it.

But I am proudest of all of one of the girls from a Christian family. When I said that it is not necessary to have any religion at all she replied, "But Jesus made us,"

"No he didn't. It doesn't say in the bible that he made anything at all,"

"Oh," in a loud voice so her Catholic teacher could hear her, "the bible is so boring!"
A former member
Post #: 95
Thanks Ellyn and Karen! I will definitely keep trying to get it published, and if no one will take it on, eventually I will self-publish. There's no shame in that! :)
A former member
Post #: 74
My daughter had agreed to raise her children by marriage as Catholic. Her then fiance never attended church. Now they are divorced, and the court said these decisions remain as they were decided in the marriage. Nico, age 5, now goes to Sunday school. I hate it. My own Catholic education did not begin until first grade, when his serious indoctrination will begin. This little guy will definitely see both sides. That's why it's time to start looking for books. Also, leading him towards the sciences should help with his thought processes.
There will come a time when he doubts what he has been taught. We all do. He'll need to weigh alternatives, and I will have presented them.
Rafiq, when you emerged from the long night, how did your children respond?
Rafiq M.
Bogor, ID
Post #: 656
Perhaps it might be better if I respond privately to your question, Karen. As you may know, these questions can be highly sensitive in families with a Muslim background.
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