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. Hello Wendy! 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 […] 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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Embracing Religion ‘For the Sake of the Kids’

By Wendy Thomas Russell | October 7, 2013

I was at a birthday party last weekend when a fellow mom, who knows about my work, pulled me aside and told me her daughters will soon be starting CCD — AKA Catechism. Her husband was raised Catholic, she explained, but neither of them are religious now at all. She said she’d let me know it goes. This business of giving children a religious education — or a religious “base,” as many people call it — is so fascinating to me. And, whenever it comes up, it reminds me of what a powerful structure religion […] Read more – ‘Embracing Religion ‘For the Sake of the Kids’’.

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Measuring the Space Between Indoctrination, Brainwashing

By Wendy Thomas Russell | September 30, 2013

“I don’t want to brainwash my kids with my own views. I want them to decide for themselves what they believe.”                                                                            — Pennsylvania mother of three In secular circles, indoctrination and brainwashing are used almost interchangeably. It’s not all that hard to understand why. Instructing young, vulnerable children to pledge their blind allegiance to certain authority figures can, […] Read more – ‘Measuring the Space Between Indoctrination, Brainwashing’.

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Don’t Freak Out; It’s Temporary

By Wendy Thomas Russell | September 26, 2013

First the good news: Did you guys know this month marks the second anniversary of my blog? Yep, it’s true. Twice a week for the last two years I have been writing for and about nonreligious parents. It’s been wonderful, and still is, and if you’ll have me, I’d like to stay a bit longer. That said, this fall is shaping up to be a very busy time for me, so — AND DON’T FREAK OUT ON ME HERE — for a while I’m going to scale back and post just once a week — […] Read more – ‘Don’t Freak Out; It’s Temporary’.

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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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