Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Raising Children

Raising a free-thinking child can be difficult in the southern United State. Fundamentalist Christians are everywhere, with their signs of hell and hatred. Most will shun you and your children once it is revealed you are not of the Christian faith. 

A few thoughts have been racing through my mind as I try to rehearse the conversations between my fundie family & I. I know there will be questions like, "How can you raise a child with morals? Morals come from God." Most of us know that this is not the case. Instead, our basic morality comes from within us. It is an innate survival skill passed along many generations. [I will assert here that pre-marital sex is not a moral dilemma but religious dogma.] 

The Golden Rule, "Treat others as you wish to treated." 

After rehearsing the conversations in my head, I decided to write it down. A mission statement, if you will, for my daughter.

"We are raising our daughter in a free thinking household. We are teaching her to think critically, not judgmentally. When it comes to doing the right or wrong thing, we look to our conscience and to the good of humanity. When it comes to history, we will teach her about how our forefathers passed on tales of mythical beings that lived in the stars and controlled the happenings of Earth.  We will show her the stories of different cultures and religions, including Zeus, Ra, Thor, Yahweh, and Allah. We will tell her that there are still people who worship these deities and they do so in a variety of ways. When we teach her about the Universe, we will look to science. When she is sick, we will turn to the science of medicine. We will not limit her knowledge because it goes against our own belief systems."

It is still a work in progress but hopefully it will help people see how a free-thinking household can benefit their child. Teaching open-mindedness can end the bigotry of the world. Teaching one religion, and only one, will only teach children to feel hatred [and in some cases, sorrow] toward other people. It is a closed minded way to view the world and I refuse to allow my daughter to take part in it.

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