5 Reasons to 'Design Your Own Deity'

Paleolithic Buddha Goddess

FridgeWhen I first found this "Design Your Own Deity" magnetic play set, I was a little pissed at you. Yes, you. All 15 of you.

Because if you guys would have just TOLD me that this existed, I would not have been forced to find it, completely randomly, behind a bunch of other cheese-ball stuff at a warehouse-sized gift emporium in Palm Springs this weekend.

"Seriously," I thought, holding this priceless* item in my hands and trying to conjure each of your 15 faces. "Do you guys even know me anymore? There is literally nothing I want more in this world than to make a house of worship on my refrigerator."

Then  it occurred to me that maybe you guys weren't fuckwits at all.

Maybe — just maybe — YOU didn't know this existed, either. It's a theory that was reinforced once I got up to the counter and even the store clerk acted shocked about my purchase. "That's great!" he said, turning it over to inspect the back. "Where did you find it?"

Anyway, I'm really sorry about the fuckwits thing. That was wrong. I love you guys more than you know.

Warning

Now, a little about the magnets: Made by the Unemployed Philosopher's Guild, the set includes the following deities (I've linked to their Wiki definitions): Ganesha, Jehovah, Paleolithic Goddess, Cocijo, Tlingit Eagle,  Jesus, Medusa, Yeshe Khandro, Xenu (Xenu!), Isis, Zeus, Buddha, Satan, Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Burning Bush, and a bunch of "divine paraphernalia." Now, please, go buy one for yourself.

Here's why:

1. Diversity. "God" is not the only god in town. Humanity in general is very fond of deities, and has been for a long time. All of us — particularly Americans, and even more particularly, Americans with children —would do well to be reminded of that once in a while.

DYI Deity2.  Tolerance. I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record on this, but we parents need to be looking everywhere for chances to inject religious literacy into our kids' lives. Children are far more likely to show tolerance/ kindness/compassion for those who believe differently than they do, if  they're exposed in a genuinely interesting way to what others believe.

3. Culture. Whether deities exist or not, the stories behind them are born of people who live in a specific time and place. The look and feel of each deity reflects the culture of those who created them. Showing interest in religion is a way to show interest in other people's cultures — always a good thing.

DYI Deities

4. Independence. According to a survey I conducted for my book, 90 percent of secular parents truly do want their children to make up their own minds about what to believe. But how can kids be expected to do that unless they know what the options are? What core beliefs do each of these deities represent? And what's stopping our kids from mashing these deities together — or inventing their own? It's terrific food for thought.

5. Humor. Religion needs to lighten up a little; it always has. And there are few better ways to force that issue than to put a Jesus head onto a Flying Spaghetti Monster torso with Zeus legs. Period. 

I'd imagine that, in my home at least, some of these little magnets will soon fall and get lost behind the fridge — or get taken down because they're ugly or creepy. (Medusa and Satan are not long for this world, I'm afraid.) But I am determined to keep most around long enough to explain to my daughter what they are and what they represent.

And at least one deity will stay for even longer... Paleolithic Buddha Goddess.

Paleolithic Buddha Goddess

She's all mine.

*$14.95

Help Inoculate Kids Against Meanness

Veruca Salt

I'm working on a chapter about addressing scary religious concepts  with kids — Satan, hell, the 10 plagues, that weird thing Abraham almost did to his son that one time. Basically all the rather menacing stories aimed at making people "be good." Luckily, more and more religious families are viewing these stories as myths and metaphor — which removes their power considerably — but there are still many, many families (and places of worship) who teach these things as history and truth.

Unfortunately, when these concepts come up on the playground, they can lead to awkwardness, confusion, arguments, even bullying.

Anyway, the whole thing made me  want to share with you guys something my daughter and I used to do together. She was 4 and about to enter preschool — a whole new world where I wouldn't always be able to offer my protection. I told her that sometimes kids say and do mean things, and that at some point a kid might say or do something mean to her. (I don't think I used the term "bully" — I think that was a word the schools introduced later.)

Mean

We talked about all the ways kids hurt her feelings. Then I helped her come up with ways to handle these types of situations, and we role played some of them.

Maxine used to love to do this. I'd say things like, "Your hair is too curly" or "I hate your dress" or "I don't want to play with you." After each of these remarks, she would summon the attitude of a snotty teenager, look me dead in the eye and say "I don't care." Then she'd turn around and walk away with a swagger. She loved it.

After a while, we'd reverse roles, and she'd lob insults at me. She loved that even more.

The whole thing was very fun and funny. But it was also really effective. She felt prepared, and I felt confident she could handle herself on the playground.

Now that Maxine is 7, she still considers this her fallback strategy. When her cousin, Jack, was 3 and having some anxiety about entering preschool himself, Maxine didn't hesitate before offering up her own advice.

"If someone is mean to you," she told Jack, " just say, 'I don't care!' and walk away."

It's Not a Competition: 8 Tips for Interfaith Parents

In America at least, "mixed-religion” families are becoming a norm. And that's a great thing in many ways — great for couples, great for kids, and great for society. But it comes with a fair share of complications, too. And figuring out how to talk to children about these different beliefs is one of them. It can be hard, for instance, to field questions of faith when your answers collide with those of your partner's — "Mommy's going to heaven, and Daddy is — well, he's going to the ground." But these talks (not to mention these marriages) need not end badly — whether you're a Jew married to Muslim, a Hindu married to Buddhist, or a Catholic married to an atheist. The trick is to remember to love your partner the way you love your children: unconditionally. You fell in love with someone who sees the world a certain way; embrace her journey, even if you give no credence to her religious beliefs.

Here are eight tips:

1. Show shame the middle finger. Sharing your religious beliefs, or lack thereof, with your child is important — even if it means letting your child know that this is one area where you and Daddy don't agree. Remember, no matter what you believe — or don't — there is no shame in having your own thoughts about how the world works. And that's a lesson you want to teach your child, right? So model it. Don't hide what you are — even if certain other people think you're wrong or weird or downright evil. You know differently; be sure your child does, too.

2. Take 'hell' off the table. It's one thing to dangle heaven as a reward for a life well-lived; it's another to threaten hell as a punishment for faithlessness. If your partner, for instance, insists on telling your child that there is a fiery place where people go if they don't embrace a certain set of beliefs, your partner is suffering from some major cognitive dissonance and should be asked — as nicely as possible — to lay the fuck off.

3. Be respectful — even if you have to fake it. Agree in advance that you will not intentionally denigrate or disrespect each other's beliefs in any way. Make a deal that your children be allowed to embrace one belief over the other, but that both parents get to be honest about their beliefs (or, again, lack thereof). Promise not to put down your partner's views in any way, but rather encourage your children to seek honest answers for themselves.

4. Find stuff you agree on. There are a great many things that nonreligious and religious parents have in common. Many religious people believe, for instance, that the Bible is not literal, that the world is not 6,000 years old, and that there are no such things as ghosts. Many nonreligious people believe that the world was created by some supernatural force, which they may or may not call "God." As a couple, decide what you agree on, and what you don't, so you know exactly what areas need to be traversed sensitively.

5. Speak up! Allowing one partner to "take over" the religious upbringing of a child happens a lot — and it's not the worst thing in the world. But it's also a kind of sad when you think about it. The existence/nonexistence of God and what happens after we die figures so heavily in the Big Questions of the universe — the questions that each and every child will, at some point, want to explore. If you don't share your views, you can't share with your child all the wonderful philosophies and theories and wisdom about human nature that you've collected during your experience as a human being. And that's robbing your child of something special; it's robbing them of you.

6. Say 'I believe' a lot. You can avoid a lot of stress with your partner (and vice versa) simply by adding "I believe" in front of whatever you say. It's the concrete statements — "People who support abortion are disappointing God" — that make nonreligious parents bristle. But adding: "I believe..." or "My interpretation is…" to religious statements can go a long way toward taking the edge off. (So can whiskey, by the way. But that's probably not going to help your marriage. On the other hand, maybe it will.)

7. Perfect your shrug. Your child may not know what to make of having parents with different religions at first. It might spark more questions than usual, and that's just fine. Encourage these questions, and try to answer them as a couple as often as you can. But do let your child know that this stuff is super-confusing and neither parent has all the answers. You can say: "No one really knows for sure. That's what allows us to have different opinions about this stuff." This is one area where not having all the answers is not just okay — it's sort of required.

8. Acknowledge your lack of control, and embrace it. Think of your family as points on a grid, standing equidistance from one another. The goal is not to invite your child to join you on your exact point on the grid (that's never going to happen), but rather to encourage your child be comfortable and confident on her own unique grid point. That your child is kind to other people is your concern; whether she believes in the prophet Muhammad is not. If you're curious what your kid believes, ask in the most neutral way you can: "What do you think? What makes sense to you?" And be sure she knows that however she responds is fine by you. Oh, and never try to pressure a child into believing the way you do — it rarely works, and might even backfire. Oftentimes, the harder you push a child to your way of thinking, the more distance the child puts between you — until, eventually, she's off your grid altogether.

This post originally appeared in July 2012.

7 Tips for Dealing with Religious Relatives

I'm lucky to have a supportive family. Even my religious family members respect and accept me for who I am. But that’s not always the case. Some of us are facing relatives who are heartbroken about our lack of faith — incredulous, fearful, maybe even angry. For parents, this is an area that weighs especially heavily. We want so much to encourage our children to have open, meaningful relationships with our loved ones, but we worry our kids will be pressured to believe things that aren’t true, or may even be harmful. No one wants to expose kids to the "family tension," or say something that will make the the tension even worse. So what can be done? How can nonreligious types deal with religious relatives?

As always, there is a balance to be struck. And, as always, love and levity go along way.

1. See that big chip on your shoulder? Knock it off.

Okay, so you've been disrespected, condescended to, verbally attacked or even threatened. That shit will get under anyone's skin. But if religion is ever going to become a non-subject in your house, you're going to have to own your part in it. Approaching religious loved ones adversarially is that part. Often, we see religious exposure and treat it as religious invasion, or we hear words of faith and interpret them as acts of war. Try shedding your armor before you walk in the door. Adopt a loving posture, instead of a defensive one. Make jokes. Be self-effacing. And if all else fails, do what most families do and find a third-party to vilify. Far more dysfunctional families than your own have been saved simply by identifying a common enemy.

2. Relaaaaaaax

Do you honestly think your relatives’ religious views are going to succeed in “indoctrinating” your child. Not a chance. Children may go to church every Sunday with their grandparents, but they’ll still look to their parents for true religious guidance. So stop worrying so much. Explain to your kids that people have all sorts of religious beliefs, and encourage them to explore and ask lots of questions. Give your child a preview of what they might hear from relatives or friends at school. Tell them it’s okay to believe in God or not believe in God, and that people have lots of different ideas about how the universe was made and what happens after we die. Some people have such strong beliefs that they try very hard to convince others that their way is the right and only way. Encourage your children to listen and be respectful and that they have plenty of time to make up their own minds.

3. Encourage religious talk.

People love to talk about themselves. It makes them feel good. And if a person’s interests center on his or her religion, then allowing them to talk about his or her religion is a really nice thing. Think about how touched your mom would be if you invited her to tell your children about her faith. She’d no longer have to sneak around you (as much), or feel (as) resentful, or worry (as intensely) that you’re dragging your child to hell. Let your mother know that, as long as she doesn’t say anything hurtful, hateful or scary, she is welcome to expose your children to religion as much or as little as she likes. Be sure to encourage your children to engage in these discussions, too.

4. Lower your expectations.

If you have an especially vocal family, and find yourself getting stressed out easily, you may need to lower your expectations a bit. Try promising yourself you won’t get annoyed until you hear X number of religious remarks or stories. Then set the X number kind of high. I used to do this when I travelled long distances with my toddler. If I resolved not to get stressed until she had three meltdowns, for instance, I didn’t exhaust myself trying so damn hard to prevent just one. My relaxed attitude made all the difference, and the trips always exceeded by expectations.

5. Understand that ‘rational’ has nothing to do with it.

Why are we non-theists so outraged, indignant and disgusted when we learn new things about religion? When we pick up the Bible or the Qur'an or the Book of Mormon, for example, and actually read some of what's in there? “People can’t possible believe this stuff,” we nonreligious types say. “This book doesn’t make any sense, and it contradicts itself all over the place!” Right, sure. But religious people aren't concerned about that. If God works in mysterious ways, every single supernatural and incongruous event in religious history can be justified. Can they be justified through rational thought? Of course not. That’s why it’s called faith. Let's move on.

6. Avoid debate (especially when liquor is involved).

Because religion is often irrational, arguing about religion is usually pretty pointless. When was the last time you changed someone's religion by arguing a point really well? I rest my case. If you find it fun to discuss or debate religious beliefs, and can do so respectfully, then have at it. But if you’re going to end up feeling frustrated or angry or thinking less of the person you’re debating, then leave it. This is one area where keeping your trap shut will reward you in spades.

7. Tell them to go suck a bag of dicks — but, you know, more nicely.

The sad fact is that some relationships are not strong enough  — and never were — to withstand the divide caused by religious differences. Either the dogma and rhetoric is too thick to see through, or the religious belief has  becomes intertwined with out-and-out bigotry. If you no longer feel you get anything good or positive from a certain relationship, then you are within your right to limit visits or stop them altogether. Just be sure you think it through first, and that you've tried your best to make things work. Giving family members a chance to right their wrongs and correct their offensive behavior is a must if you are to feel good about your decision down the road.

This post originally appeared in February 2012.

On Tom, Katie and Interfaith Families

Tom_Cruise_Katie_Holmes_divorce_magazine_covers

To answer your first two questions: Yes, I'm going there; and, no, I'm not above it. Now, back to TomKat.

If media reports are to be believed — and let's say they are for the sake of this conversation, shall we? — actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have split up based, in part, on a dispute over the religious upbringing of their 6-year-old daughter, Suri. In case you are reading this from under a rock somewhere, Cruise is the highest-profile Scientologist in the history of Scientology, and Holmes — well, she ain't. (I've read she was raised Catholic, which probably means she's a Buddhist by now — ha ha.)

There may well be much more to the divorce than this — always is — but what I wouldn't give to know how this pair has gone about discussing religion with that kid.

Suri's age sure seems significant. While the topic of religion may be blissfully avoided for the first several years of a kid's life, most children get God-curious around age 5 — which is about the time they start school and meet other kids. It's quite possible that, in the Cruise-Holmes household, religious differences played a supporting role until very recently, when Suri (through no fault of her own) pushed it front-and-center.

•••

A child changes everything.

That's what they say, and that's how it is. A new birth has a rather magical way of changing our lifestyles, interests, priorities, and relationships. Most of the time, of course, the changes are for the good — especially when it comes to the relationships part. Children can make us parents stronger, more resilient, more mature, more committed, more loving. But sometimes, the changes are…. well, let's just say challenging. Like how our "parenting styles" (which some of us didn't even know we had!) can bump up against each other, creating tensions and resentments where none existed before. Things we didn't think were important AT ALL now seem to matter A WHOLE FREAKING LOT. And compromise is especially hard to achieve when our little innocents are the ones who might suffer when we give up too much — or too little.

Interfaith marriage is so much more common than it's ever been. According to recent studies, upwards of 25 percent of American marriages are mixed. And, as religion loosens its grip on each passing generation, that percentage is expected to rise. In my own survey, which concluded a couple months ago, 20 percent of the nonreligious parents surveyed were married to people who held religious beliefs different from their own.

Of course, in a sense, this is wonderful news. America is, after all, the great melting pot. And the more couples comingle, the fewer divisions we'll have and (theoretically at least) the fewer conflicts we'll have.  But interfaith marriage isn't easy, either, and that is especially true when a couple bears children.

According to an excellent piece in the Washington Post (Interfaith marriages are rising fast, but they're falling fast too) many interfaith couples underestimate the importance that faith plays in their lives. And some of them intend to become more religious after marriage — something they may not share with their partner before the vows are taken.

The Post article cites a paper published in 1993 by Evelyn Lehrer, a professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who found that divorce rates were higher among interfaith couples. A Catholic and a member of an evangelical denomination had (at the time at least) a one-in-three chance of divorcing, Lehrer found. A Jew and Christian had a greater than 40 percent chance of being divorced in five years. (Same-faith marriages, by comparison, divorced at a rate of one in five.)

"As Lehrer points out, a strong or even moderate religious faith will influence 'many activities that husband and wife perform jointly.' Religion isn't just church on Sunday, Lehrer notes, but also ideas about raising children, how to spend time and money, friendships, professional networks -- it can even influence where to live. The disagreements between husband and wife start to add up."

•••

One of my husband's heroes is Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., a Presbyterian minister, civil rights activist, gay-marriage proponent and proud liberal. In his sermons, Coffin equated God with love, and love with God and didn't let anything dilute that one true meaning.

Sloane married plenty of interfaith couples in his day, and his personal contention (which he outlined during an interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air) was that marriages could absolutely withstand differences in faith — especially when the parties shared the same "level" of faith. For instance, he said, a Jew and a Christian who are both slightly religious won't have any problem at all; the same with a Jew and a Christian who are both very religious. His reasoning: One's devotion to faith matters more than the underlying faith itself, as long as the couple share a genuine respect for the other's religion.

You notice who's left out of Coffin's feel-good scenario, though, right? Couples with different levels of faith.

Coffin contended that most problems arise when one parent is very religious and the other isn't; when one person wants to attend church or mosque or temple, for example, and the other wants to stay home. If a couple's religiosity is uneven, we're led to believe, couples may feel as though there's a "winner" and "loser" when it comes to deciding how much of one religion to bring into the house  — or keep out of it.

It's an interesting point. Especially when you relate it back to Tom and Katie. (Yes, dammit, I'm still writing about this shameful topic. Let it go.)

If it's true that Cruise came to the marriage holding firm to the, I don't know, staff? of Scientology, while Holmes came draped in the light mist of her parents' Catholicism, then they're level of devotions were certainly not aligned. Perhaps she thought they were stronger than the sum of their religious parts. Perhaps he thought she'd come around.

The point is, interfaith marriage can work, but it doesn't always work. And the more couples think about their faith/non-faith in the context of child-rearing BEFORE THE CHILDREN ARE BORN, the less likely they'll be to end up on the front of Us Magazine over a story about their impending divorce.

Religious Parent, Secular Child: The New Culture Clash

I was quoted in the New York Times Magazine's Sixth Floor Blog a couple of weeks ago, which, admittedly, is not the same as being quoted in the New York Times — or even the New York Times Magazine — but, hey, I'll take it where I can get it.

The writer singled me out because she liked my term "first-generation secular," which she read in the Psychology Today piece I told you about here.

The NYTMSFB's mention has me thinking about that term — "first-generation secular" — and what makes it so appealing. I think it's because so many of us in America are experiencing or observing a generational split in our families — between our parents' religious generation and our more secularized one. As if the generation gaps caused by age weren't enough to handle, religious divisions are often painful, even devastating, especially when a family's identity has been shaped around a specific set of beliefs or doctrine. It's not unlike the culture clashes that occur when families immigrate to new lands.

Consider this:

Some 35 years ago, Long Beach, Calif., received an influx of Cambodian refugees — all fleeing the Khmer Rouge. Every one of these refugees had lost family members (sometimes entire families) to the murderous reign of Pol Pot and came to America both desperate and  traumatized — yet deeply grateful for their rescue.

In time, the Cambodians were able to put down roots here; they formed new families; they had children. All seemed to be going as well as possible — until the children became teenagers, and the generation gaps in these families opened up like the Grand Canyon. It was understandable. The refugees had escaped their worst nightmare only 10 or 15 years before, and yet here they were with children who had no real concept of their struggles or sacrifices. The parents couldn't help but see the children as spoiled and insensitive, disrespectful, out of control. But in actuality, most of the teens were simply acting like normal American teenagers, which is, of course, what they were.

In this particular situation, it's so easy to understand both sides, isn't it? And, in so many ways, the issues are the same in families where we secularists clash with our religious elders.

So what can we learn from these immigrant families? How can we be honest with our family members without dismissing our heritage, disrespecting their beliefs, and fracturing our relationships?

Mike Hardcastle writes for teens at about.com. Recently, he published a column to help young people traverse cultural barriers within their own families. It's amazing how much great advice is here for secularists if you simple replace "culture" with "religion."

"Being from a different culture," Hardcastle writes, "even a very rigid or strictly indoctrinated one, does not mean that your parents are closed minded. Give your parents the benefit of the doubt and assume that they will at least listen to what you have to say, even if they won't accept it. But also be very aware of what the cultural reaction to your words may be and know exactly what risks you are taking by speaking up."

Hardcastle offers this advice:

"Before opening any dialogue it is essential that you do a risk assesment. You must have a realistic grasp on what your parents' culturally based reaction may be. You must know and be prepared to deal with any and all possible consequences, and where necessary have back up support in place. Although you may not adhere to the cultural practices of your parents, they do follow them and it is extremely important that you know what the worst case scenario may be. Don't assume that parental bonds are stronger than cultural pressures, this is not always the case."

Here are some of his tips:

1. Do not be confrontational in your behaviour. Do not go on the offensive. This conversation is going to be hard enough without giving your parents a good reason to justify being defensive.

2. Know and respect the rules of your parents' culture and follow them to the very best of your ability when talking to them about your conflicts. For instance, if contradicting the wishes of ones parents is frowned upon in their culture open your conversation with something like this;

"I know that you see my bringing this up as disrespectful but that is not at all what I am trying to be, I just really need you to know what is going on in my life and how I feel about a few things."

Make the issue more about you and your feelings than about culture.

3.  Before telling them what it is about their culture that you don't want in your life, list all of the things you embrace and/or respect. Make clear that your criticisms are not a blanket rejection of your heritage or of them.

4. Remain calm throughout the entire conversation even if it takes a turn you don't like. If they start to get angry or shut off and stop listening, it is very important that you not punctuate this behavior with your own anger. Instead, stay calm and stop talking. Let them know that your feelings won't change but that you can wait until later to discuss it further. Then wait until things have calmed down before you approach the topic again.

5. Do not attack your parents' culture or practices, only express why they are not right for you or why you can't embrace them as your own.

Thank you, Mike, for your great advice — and especially for this:

"Even the most horrendous practice is usually routed in a parent's love and concern for their child's survival within the culture. Different cultural pressures determine what practices a parent considers 'essential' and which fates they fear most for their child... Chances are good that they love you very much and want nothing more than to see you happy."

Well said.

 

'Dear Abby' for the Heathen Set

If you happen to fall somewhere toward the non-believing end of the religious spectrum, you've probably had a chance to see first-hand how complicated life can be there. Sure, you're comfortable, happy and confident with your world view. But you're also in a position to deal with perception issues, familial struggles, disagreements with society at-large, and uncertainty about bringing up kids in what amounts to a 21st Century counterculture.

Questions are bound to arise.

And when they do, Richard Wade answers them.

Wade is the author of "Ask Richard," the country's most well-known advice column for nonbelievers. His column runs regularly on the website Friendly Atheist, where he is considered a godsend — or the secular equivalent of a godsend — to thousands of people struggling with the sometimes painful intersection of belief and non-belief. (An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Wade was awarded the 2011 Bloggie award for best weblog about religion. That honor went to Hemant Mehta, creator of the Friendly Atheist site.)

As a person, Wade is as cool as they come. (But you already knew that because, you know, the hat.) He's straight-shooting, calm-demeanored, uber-compassionate and whip-smart. Week after week, he manages to offer sympathetic, thoughtful and insightful answers to tough, sometimes impossibly tough, questions from lovable heathens around the country. And, at a time when the ranks of the nonreligious are among the fastest growing "religious" group in the country, Wade's advice is increasingly sought out and valuable.

All of his columns are worth reading, but, for the purpose of this blog, I've tried to post links to only those dealing specifically with parenting.

Don't forget to let me know what you think in the comment section! I'm always looking for other members to add to my newly formed Richard Wade Fan Club. Yes, there's a secret handshake. I serve donuts and coffee at the monthly meetings. And posters are available at a nominal fee. (But hurry while supplies last. The posters go quickly. Chicks, as it turns out, dig hats more than they do scars.)

Single Mother's Parents are Proselytizing Her Kid

Atheist Husband and Father Continues to go to Church

My Mom is Dying: Should I Lie to My Kids About Death?

Teaching My Kids Religious Tolerance and Science at the Same Time

Mother Lets Son Attend Church, Gets Flak From Fellow Atheists

What Do I Offer My Kids for Comfort and Assurance?

I Want to Stop My Nephew's Interest in Religion

How Do I Handle My Six-Year-Old's Beliefs?

My Zealous Catholic Parents are Indoctrinating My Kids

New Dad Misses Belief That God Will Protect His Daughter

Respecting Beliefs vs. Respecting Treatment

Atheist's Freethinking Children Are Considering Religion

Am I a Hypocrite in a Group of Christian Mothers?

Atheist Parents Disagree About Circumcision

Relating to Religious People at Times of Grief

Disagreeing About Future Children and Prayer

You may also, of course, write to Wade with your own questions. His e-mail is askrichard@ca.rr.com.