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Bill and Ted
May 6 2009
great article this week in "Parenting Beyond Belief"

I sometimes read Dale McGowan's "Parenting Beyond Belief" column in the Humanist Network News, but do not always feel too enlightened. This time, however, I felt that it was a really worthwhile essay on how to make sure kids raised without religion are sufficiently polite to people with other beliefs. As he says, there's a difference between reasoned critique and just being rude. Anyway, he says it better than I can, so check it out. I don't think these are controversial ideas, but wonder whether anyone else around here would strongly disagree with McGowan's advice.

May 6 2009
Re: great article this week in "Parenting Beyond Belief"

Thank you for pointing out this article. This is something with which I struggle with my own kids. The problem is not yet with my children's being rude, but with myself as I talk to them about religious people. It's not something I go overboard with, but I have caught myself bordering on sneering, and that's NOT an attitude I want to teach my kids. It's definitely hard for me sometimes to be respectful of people (especially when I'm talking about them out of their earshot) who hold beliefs that I don't respect at all, but it's something I will strive to do. I don't want to be a Christian-basher or a whatever-basher, and I want to help my kids with this as well. I like how McGowan distinguishes between respect for people and respect for ideas, and also between reasoned critique and disrespect. It's also nice to be reminded that we all have irrational beliefs and fears of some kind or another, and that none of us lives in a glass house. Thank you again, Bill and Ted.

May 8 2009
Re: great article this week in "Parenting Beyond Belief"

When my children were beginning to learn what this life is all about, there was no indication of a movement in the secular point of view. I wanted phonics to be taught to my kinds and located a small Christian school that had a great reputation for early reading skills. The bible was a part of the curriculum and I figured it was a party of history whether simply oral history or factual history. Out of 12 years of preparation for the University, the last six years were spent in a secular college prep. When the kids began to question this belief, I simply gave them my point of view which is all I had to give.

My kids all grew up with an open mind and an interest in science. As to their religious beliefs one married a Catholic, one is a buddhist and the other an athiest. My grandkids are not religious at all but their opinions are not shared as they live as individuals.


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