My kids see a fair share of lukewarm religiosity with their grandma and teachers. At home, they’re taught that there are basically two types of characters:
- Real people who merit empathy and solidarity, such as themselves,
- Fictional ones that you can make up stories about, such as Spiderman, the Little Mermaid and Jehovah, Lord of Hosts.
Being Swedish, I’ve never come across a religious parenting manual. But I gather they are really common in the U.S., and that some are exceptionally nasty (as discussed by Jim Benton). Enter Dale McGowan, editor of the anthology Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion, due out in April.
“Parenting Beyond Belief is a book for loving and thoughtful parents who wish to raise their children without religion. There are scores of books available for religious parents. Now there’s one for the rest of us.
Includes essays by Richard Dawkins, Julia Sweeney, Penn Jillette, Mark Twain, Dr. Jean Mercer, Dr. Donald B. Ardell, Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons, and over twenty-five other doctors, educators, psychologists, and secular parents.”
I haven’t read the book (in fact, in my first eight years of godless parenthood I haven’t felt the need to read any child-rearing advice beyond basic medical stuff), but with a lineup like that and a foreword by Mike Shermer, I’d be very surprised if it isn’t a gem. Check it out on Amazon or at Dale’s web site.