The one thing about valuing rational thought is that you don’t get to pick and choose where you apply that thought. As parents, my husband and I believe strongly in teaching our kids how to evaluate evidence and make considered, educated decisions. In turn, I have to do the same thing when it comes to parenting – and it isn’t always easy.
Today’s parents are afraid. We are afraid of perverts and pedophiles. We are afraid of cars and traffic and head injuries. We are afraid of sex and drugs and what teenagers will do when given any opportunity at all. We are afraid of razor blades in candies and terrorists in airplanes and serial murderers. Now don’t get me wrong – we should be afraid of some of these things but we need to be rational about it. Continue Reading
We all knew he was dying. For the past few weeks I have thought about him for that split second before I turned on the radio or computer and wondered. I sent him a letter, two actually, in the weeks before he died – thousands of people did. We all wanted him to know that he had changed our lives, made us a little braver, a little less afraid and a lot more certain that we weren’t alone in our non-belief. Despite all that, I felt so sad when I heard. Continue Reading
I get a lot of emails and comments from parents who are recently “out of the closet” atheists and are feeling very alone. Many of you readers are the only atheist family you know and are struggling with how to parent and don’t have anyone to talk to. The comments I read always make me feel frustrated – there really are a lot of us out there but we haven’t figured out yet how to form a cohesive group without getting churchy about it. :) I am glad that this site has made some of you feel less alone and I am always happy to hear from you. Continue Reading
Ok, first, read this.
Here is my favourite part of the article:
“If a student prays and they think that the tight ‘formfitting’ clothing is accepted by the Lord, they have not asked, or have not asked the right question, or they have chosen an answer for their own gratification. I don’t believe the Lord would give approval to anyone to be disobedient to the CES Dress and Grooming Standards.” Continue Reading
Today, a Canadian court upheld our anti-polygamy laws, in a case I have been following pretty closely. This case centers around the polygamous group living in Bountiful, British Columbia specifically and the law has been used to try and protect young women from being forced to marry. Now obviously, I think Bountiful and everything it stands for is sick, twisted and wrong. These young girls are born and raised in a sexist and abusive culture and have very little say in who they marry. Being wife number 6 to a 79-year-old man while still in your teens is wrong by anybody’s standards (well, I guess not everyone…yeah, I’m talking to you Warren Jeffs) and by no means do I support what those crazy Mormons are doing. (On a sidenote/rant: It drives me crazy to hear the rhetoric that the Mormon church and its members are using in order to distance themselves from all this muck. Do you know how many times I’ve heard people say “They aren’t Mormon!” or deny that they are a break-off from the Mormon church? This is what Mormonism looked like 100 years ago folks, deal with it. Ahh, that feels better.)
However, I don’t know that I’m really opposed to polygamy so much. I guess this is where some of my more libertarian views come crashing into my socially democratic ones. I don’t like the government telling people who they can and can’t be with. I’m a big supporter of gay marriage and straight marriage and any other kind of marriage provided everyone within said marriage is an adult and is happy to be there. I’ve looked into this a little and it turns out there is a whole community of people living in polyamorous relationships and they don’t look anything like they do in the cults/compounds of BC. There are women living with two husbands, men living with more than one wife…every configuration you can imagine (and I’m sure a few you can’t). They aren’t hurting anyone and if they want to have two husbands
God help them that’s their choice.
Surely there are already laws in place to protect adult men from marrying under-aged girls several times over. I mean, really. If not then there should be. I’m just not sure that it should ban polygamy outright. There are days when a sister-wife would come in pretty handy.
Yesterday our close friends baptised their baby in the Greek Orthodox church. We happen to know that the Dad is an atheist and the Mom, well, she may believe in God but I would hardly call her religious (let alone orthodox). Like many cultures, religion and family are intimately tied together and these celebrations are opportunities to do just that – celebrate. The ceremony was held at the same church where we attended our friends’ wedding – where he (a red-haired Scot) was officially baptised into the Greek Orthodox religion and partook in all kinds of weird ceremonial dress and dance to do it. It was a total blast to watch – nobody could help but draw parallels between what we were witnessing and the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.
Our daughter had never been to a church before and was full of awe, confusion and questions about what on earth was going on. In hindsight I maybe should have prepped her about what we were about to see but to be honest, I was more focused on the ouzo-infused after party than the event itself. As we sat in the hot and ornately decorated church (the walls are covered in gold, stained glass, pictures of haloed saints, complex imagery and oh, did I mention gold?), she asked me “Why is that man singing? What are they putting on the boy’s head? Why are they putting oil on his head? Why are there candles? Why do I have to be quiet? Why is the boy wearing that hat?” I am afraid I didn’t have many good answers for her. I couldn’t explain those things to an adult, let alone a three-year-old.
I explained that this was a church and that some people believe in God and they go to church. She knows that we don’t believe in God – that’s about as far as the conversation has gotten. When she asked me “Why do some people believe in God?” I sat there, baffled for a minute. “Because it makes them feel good honey. Just like you have pink blanky.”
She was happy with that and I realized, some of the tough questions really can be answered that simply.