Monday, October 17, 2011

Take Me To Your Secular World!

As you may have guessed from the tone (not to mention the content) of my blog, I am not a religious person. But unlike more militant non-believers, I try to refrain from converting others to my world view. What goes on in other people's minds is none of my business or concern. They can believe whatever mumbo-jumbo they like, or believe in nothing at all. Most of the time, this live and let live attitude works well for me.

Unfortunately, the more devoutly religious folks out there do not share this attitude and they live to judge, condemn, and convert. These are the people who want to tear down the wall between church and state, change school curriculum to reflect their religion's worldview, and act as though those with "immoral" lifestyles have forfeited their civil rights and are deserving of ridicule and harassment. Even more unfortunately, there are lots of people like this, scattered throughout every level of society, and they have a disproportionately loud voice when these issues are raised. And our kids will be influenced by these people and their ideologies regardless of our personal beliefs or lack thereof.

This state of things can leave the secular-minded parent feeling hopeless, confused, or worse, all alone, adrift in a sea of irrationality. Luckily, this loneliness is an illusion, and there are like-minded people out there, working toward the common goal of keeping civil life secular. One of those people is Dale McGowan, whose Parenting Beyond Belief workshop I attended this weekend. For those looking for practical solutions for how to raise free thinkers in a religious world, this workshop is (please excuse the pun) a godsend. I feel more secure in how I will handle questions and situations when they arise (my boy is only two, but I'd like to be prepared) and have established some connections with free-thinking parents in the area. Best of all, I found the workshop surprisingly engaging and entertaining. I tend to space out as soon as I start to get bored, but I never got bored once, and the time just flew by. If your goal is to raise free thinkers, and you have the opportunity to attend one of these workshops, I highly recommend that you do so.

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