What’s the Real Nativity Story? Kid, You Don’t Want to Know

By Wendy Thomas Russell | December 9, 2013

Last week, my daughter was looking at a copy of The Christmas Story: The Brick Bible for Kids, author Brendan Powell Smith’s LEGO depiction of the Christian nativity (which I’ll be giving away as part of a promotion next Monday). The book is fun and funny, and I figured she’d love it. But, when she got to page 11, she slammed it shut. “I don’t like this book,” she announced. “You don’t like the story?” I asked. “No,” she said. “I like the story.” “You don’t like LEGOs?” I asked. “No,” she said. “I like LEGOs.” “Then why don’t […] Read more – ‘What’s the Real Nativity Story? Kid, You Don’t Want to Know’.

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The Secularization of Christmas Isn’t Just Okay — It’s Great

By Wendy Thomas Russell | December 2, 2013

Start your engines, folks, the War on Christmas is here again! This time it’s Sarah Palin leading the charge with her new book: Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas. Released a couple of weeks ago, the book is apparently — brace yourself, this is shocking — really, really awful. The Daily Beast’s Candida Moss actually read the damn thing (bless her heart) and came away with a whole lot of nothing. “Ultimately,” Moss wrote in her review, “this is a Christmas of no-bake cookies, half-baked theology, and pre-packaged Christmas stories.” By way […] Read more – ‘The Secularization of Christmas Isn’t Just Okay — It’s Great’.

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15 Holiday Gift Ideas for Secular Families

By Wendy Thomas Russell | November 11, 2013

Generally speaking, gift ideas geared toward us non-religious types tend to fall into three basic categories: Snarky T-Shirts & Bumper Stickers, Comedic TV Shows and Movies and Books Espousing Atheism. There is some variation in there, of course. Sometimes books espouse freethinking. Sometimes the movies are more satirical in nature. Sometimes snarky comments come on wearable pins. (Like this one!) That said, this list is a bit different. These particular gifts are not meant to arm nonbelievers with ways to out-logic religious people, or to advertise non-belief, or to reinforce feelings of superiority. They’re just simple items likely to appeal […] Read more – ‘15 Holiday Gift Ideas for Secular Families’.

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Coming Soon: Holiday Gift Ideas for Secular Families

By Wendy Thomas Russell | November 6, 2013

A quick note to let you know that I’ll be running my annual Holiday Shopping Guide (hey, twice makes it annual, people) on Monday, Nov. 11. And it’s a doozy of a list, so don’t miss it! Also, because it’s been awhile since I’ve thanked a single, solitary one of you for your support, I’ll be combining the guide with a chance to win some of the doozies for yourselves. At least one of the giveaways will be extended solely to my subscribers; and, for that one, you don’t need to enter to win. I’ll just randomly pick […] Read more – ‘Coming Soon: Holiday Gift Ideas for Secular Families’.

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When Opinions Expressed Are Not Your Own

By Wendy Thomas Russell | November 4, 2013

For many of us, strong opinions are like pheromones. They attract us. They lure us in. People who believe what they believe with passion, and who aren’t afraid to state their truth — these people hold certain powers. The power to make us laugh. The power to make us think. The power to move us to share our own opinions. Of course, we’re not going to agree with all these opinions — or even find them valid! (Even Einstein expressed some bullshit opinions now and again.) We may even be offended and put off by certain assertions. […] Read more – ‘When Opinions Expressed Are Not Your Own’.

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Quick! What the Hell is Diwali?

By Wendy Thomas Russell | November 1, 2013

Here’s the Diwali installment of Relax, It’s Just God’s beloved* Holiday Cheat Sheet, a series offering parents the quick and dirty run-down on major religious holidays, so that they might come across as intelligent beings to their kids. I’m sure you guys remember all this stuff from last year, but rest assured, Diwali is just as cool and fun as it has always been. Why? (C’mon, you don’t remember this?) Let me count the ways: 1. Fireworks 2. Bollywood music 3. Poker 4. Cool back story 5. Curry 6. Candles 7. Shopping  * too strong? Holiday: Diwali Pronounced: Di-VAH-li […] Read more – ‘Quick! What the Hell is Diwali?’.

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Back When We Were Funny: 10 Religious Costumes for Kids

By Wendy Thomas Russell | October 28, 2013

When you’ve been blogging for a while, you run the risk of becoming lame. I might be there, I’m not sure. Would someone tell me if I were? The truth is, I don’t have the time I once did to dedicate to each and every blogpost, and sometimes in my quest to JUST GET IT DONE AND GET IT POSTED, certain things get sacrificed. One of those things? My sense of humor. And it really is a damn shame. Because I have a glorious sense of humor! You should hear me be funny. I’m a […] Read more – ‘Back When We Were Funny: 10 Religious Costumes for Kids’.

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‘Very Religious Parents’ Trying to Indoctrinate Their Grandkid

By Wendy Thomas Russell | October 21, 2013

I got a letter from a reader today. Raise your hand if you can relate. Looking for some advice on how to deal with my very Christian parents and my daughter. She’ll be 2 in January and is already saying “Amen” and “Yay God.” I am not Christian and feel disrespected by this. They know that I have COMPLETELY different beliefs. Any advice on how to “respectfully” get them to stop? Pretty typical, right? I started to write this mom a private response but, with her permission, decided to make it public. I’d be curious […] Read more – ‘‘Very Religious Parents’ Trying to Indoctrinate Their Grandkid’.

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Quick! What the Hell is Eid al-Adha?

By Wendy Thomas Russell | October 16, 2013

There are certain religions that seem to wear their differences on their sleeves. Stand a Hasidic Jew next to a Sunni Muslim, for example, and I know immediately which is which. The headgear, the clothing. One is praying to God, the other invoking the name Allah. It’s kind of a no-brainer. But if you remove the clothing and the terminology, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are so darn similar. Allah is just the Arabic word for God, after all. Both the Qur’an and Torah have their roots in the Old Testament of the Bible. And, in all three religions, […] Read more – ‘Quick! What the Hell is Eid al-Adha?’.

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‘My Dearest Daughter’: Letter from an Atheist Mom

By Wendy Thomas Russell | October 14, 2013

Atheist scientist Richard Dawkins once wrote a letter to his 10-year-old daughter about the importance of scientific evidence in weighing the legitimacy of religious claims. “To my dearest daughter,” his now-famous letter began. “Now that you are ten, I want to write to you about something that is important to me… Evidence.” His mission: to explain the vast chasm between faith and science, and make clear that science will always hold the trump card. I’ve written before (rather poorly) about Dawkins’ letter and my own issues with it, but — as a non-believer, a parent and […] Read more – ‘‘My Dearest Daughter’: Letter from an Atheist Mom’.

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Relax, It’s Just God

A Blog for Secular Parents
For parents who aren’t religious, the task of talking to children about religion can be daunting. So daunting, in fact, that the entire subject often gets glossed over or ignored completely. Relax, It’s Just God is a blog (and soon a book) intended to help parents break their silence without breaking a sweat.
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