4 reasons I am raising my kids to be atheists

Religion is the source of many, many evils. The more days go by, the more I am convinced of it. Violence and hatred of anyone other than their own kind isn’t the sole property of any one religion. All religions actively seek to alienate those who aren’t like them. Whether it is religion itself or the interpretation of religion, belief in god contributes largely to never reach your potential, to always thinking someone else other than you had a hand in it.I come from a family that has a very healthy belief in god. When all else fails, my parents turn to god and say, “Well, if that’s what god wants, then how can we stop it.” It’s an answer or an argument, depending on which side you are on, to everything that cannot be resolved to everyone’s liking. When I had kids, I decided they wouldn’t be raised with a belief in god. I would raise them to believe in themselves, their choices and their actions. If, later, they choose to have faith and believe in god, and do everything that religion requires them to do, then so be it. But while I still have a say in their shaping, I refuse to teach them any other faith than faith in themselves. And here’s why.
  1. Following a religion gives you an easy way out: Anything that you can’t take responsibility for can easily be passed on to god. Blame god for a failed relationship, for bad business decisions, for basically a life without peace. This leads us to never examine our own actions or even our own reactions to situations. It’s an easy way to never really grow as a human being.
  2. Religion divides: When you accept a religion, you are also accepting all the cultural norms that go with that religion. That automatically leads you to be unaccepting of other people’s life choices. It is only a matter of degree. You might be accepting of another religion’s dress code but completely unaccepting of their food habits, their festivals, their hygiene habits. The list is endless.
  3. Religion calls for unequal treatment of men and women: I want my children to learn utter and complete equality of the sexes. By no means do I want them think that one gender is lesser than the other. Religion, over and over again, teaches you that men are better than women: in subtle ways as well as bold.
  4. Religion causes kids to discriminate: My kids have an inter-religious heritage and, very often, kids of both the religions that my kids have as their inheritance mock them for neither being here nor there. They are asked questions that kids have no business thinking about. I know this to be true for all kids of inter-religious marriages. It’s hard on the kids and I refuse to let mine  become the perpetrators of that kind of bigotry, so early.