Talking About Belief With Kids: When Logic Threatens to Overshadow Kindness
By Wendy Thomas Russell | January 27, 2014
- My daughter, Maxine, is 8 years old and really getting the hang of logic these days. If A is true, then B must be true. If you believe A, you must believe B. If A doesn’t exist… You get the drift. Anyway, Maxine’s little cousin Jack (4) is very into the movie Frozen right now, particularly the character of Elsa, the snow queen. Recently, when chatting about beliefs, he told his mom, “I believe in Elsa” — which is so cute it makes my heart hurt. But when I told Maxine about Jack’s statement, she immediately […] Read more – ‘Talking About Belief With Kids: When Logic Threatens to Overshadow Kindness’.
A Book American Kids Aren’t Reading — But Should
By Wendy Thomas Russell | December 17, 2013
- A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed British philosopher and author Julian Baggini, who wrote a fantastic book for kids called Really, Really, Big Questions about God, Faith and Religion (2011, Kingfisher). While I found it at my public library, it’s not one you’re likely to run across in major book stores. While very well-received in Britain, the book has flown largely under the radar here in the U.S. And that’s too bad for us — because it’s a great starting point for kids ready to explore religious issues. Each section of the book seeks to answer […] Read more – ‘A Book American Kids Aren’t Reading — But Should’.
‘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’.
Should Kids Be Told All Religious Stories are ‘Myths’?
By Wendy Thomas Russell | May 20, 2013
- I’m facing some deadlines over the next few weeks that are going to make it very tough to generate new blogs of any merit. But I’m hoping — PRAYING! (but not really) — that you guys will stick around anyway. Subscribers, I’m talking to you here. BEAR WITH ME. PLEASE DO NOT UNSUBSCRIBE. IT’S ONLY THREE WEEKS. Starting today, I’m going to run six of my most well-read and/or controversial blogs of the last two years. I’ve chosen them based on number of page views, number of comments, or the level of contentiousness within the […] Read more – ‘Should Kids Be Told All Religious Stories are ‘Myths’?’.
Daddy, Daughter Discuss God (Again); More Cuteness Ensues
By Wendy Thomas Russell | May 13, 2013
- My husband and 7-year-old daughter had another totally awesome conversation about God a few days ago. They used to do that from time to time, but it’s been a while since the subject has come up in much detail. I sure love it when it does. The talks are always fun, insightful, thought-provoking and, frankly, cute as hell. They also present Charlie with golden opportunities to teach Maxine about honesty, diversity and the importance of kindness. Anyway, this one’s particularly good, so I wanted to share: Maxine: Where do you think God is? Like, which house or school… […] Read more – ‘Daddy, Daughter Discuss God (Again); More Cuteness Ensues’.
Brief Tribute to Obscure Children’s Book (P.S. #Giveaway)
By Wendy Thomas Russell | September 10, 2012
- I’ve got a book recommendation for you. It’s not religious in nature, but it’s funny and quirky and carries a really great moral that certainly dovetails with some of my blogs about children and belief. The book is called “No! That’s Wrong!” and was written in 2008 by Japanese author Zhaohua Ji and illustrated by Cui Xu. It tells the tale of a bunny who finds a pair of underpants blowing in the wind. (See now, that’s what you call a solid premise.) Anyway, this particular bunny has never seen a pair of underpants before, […] Read more – ‘Brief Tribute to Obscure Children’s Book (P.S. #Giveaway)’.
Girl Scouts Flap Rears Its Silly Head Once Again
By Wendy Thomas Russell | August 2, 2012
- After reading yet another story on the flap over the Girl Scouts book I wrote, I’m reminded once again at how irrationally freaked out some parents become when their kids are exposed to ideas different from their own. Whether it’s nonreligious parents instructing their kids on what to think about Catholicism, or conservatives instructing kids on what to think about gay marriage, the short-sightedness involved in both is the same. Push too hard in one direction and you brainwash your kid, crush their self-esteem and damage your relationship with them in the process. Instead of […] Read more – ‘Girl Scouts Flap Rears Its Silly Head Once Again’.
Is a Lack of Vomit the Best We Can Offer?
By Wendy Thomas Russell | June 4, 2012
- Did I ever tell you about the time my husband told me hated the word tolerance? I was sure I’d misheard him. I was all, like, what? Huh? You can’t hate the word tolerance! Everybody LOVES the word tolerance. Simon Wiesenthal and the Museum of Tolerance and all that. Remember? Yes, he assured me, he did remember. But he still hated it. See, in my husband’s view, tolerance was a word used to relate something bad, not good. A guy ate a piece of rancid beef but was able to tolerate it; that is, he was […] Read more – ‘Is a Lack of Vomit the Best We Can Offer?’.
Where’s an Omniscient Policeman When You Need One?
By Wendy Thomas Russell | May 24, 2012
- Whenever my daughter starts talking about God, I try really hard to treat it like any other ordinary subject. But, inside, you can be sure I’m doing one of those Napoleon Dynamite “yesss” fist pumps — because, chances are, if one of our God conversations lasts more than a few seconds, I’ve got myself a blog post. You know where I’m going with this. On Friday, Maxine had a playdate with a good friend of hers (who I love dearly and whose mother happens to be a good friend of mine). Both girls are in […] Read more – ‘Where’s an Omniscient Policeman When You Need One?’.
What Happens When You Don’t Tell Your Kid About Religion? Only Really Terrible Things, That’s All.
By Wendy Thomas Russell | April 5, 2012
- Let’s say you’re a secular parent who doesn’t feel the need to talk about religion with your kid. Maybe you don’t like religion, or understand it, or even care about it very much. Maybe you tried once to broach the subject with your kid, and it was pretty awkward and confusing and you were sure you screwed stuff up. Maybe you decided, after careful consideration, to table the whole thing for another time. And by “another time,” you mean in, like, 20 years. “So what?” you ask. “She’ll get the information she needs eventually, right? And […] Read more – ‘What Happens When You Don’t Tell Your Kid About Religion? Only Really Terrible Things, That’s All.’.