Thursday, April 10, 2008

Book: Parenting Beyond Belief

Can parents raise ethical, caring children without instilling a religious belief upon them is the question answered by a book former college professor Dale McGowan. McGowan is runs the blog with the kitsch title, The Meming of Life.

In the preface to the book, the author writes, "This is also not a book of arguments against religious belief, nor one intended to convince readers to raise their children secularly. This book is intended to support and encourage those who, having already decided to raise their children without religion, are in search of that support and encouragement."

That ought to silence those reactionary right-wingers who were ready to have the book banned from the local bookstore before they even read it.

The following topics are contained in the book:

Living with Religion, Holidays and Celebrations, Being and Doing Good, Meaning and Purpose, Dealing with Death, Questioning, the Wonder of Science, and Seeking Community.

Take the 'dealing with death' subject for example. As we and our friends move past our mid-sixties, we often notice that, in our discussions, quite a few express skepticism about 'what comes next.' Oh sure, we were all taught the life-after-death stuff, but few of us actually have a firm faith that this will come true for us. When my grandmother died when I was 10, I was told, 'Grandma's in heaven now,' as if to comfort me. Perhaps it did, but it confused me more.

So why does God 'take' the little boy who suffered leukemia to 'heaven' before he even really knew what life on earth was like? Oh, sure, that book has 'all of the answers,' but it really doesn't at all.

Maybe this is it: maybe the Hokey-Pokey IS what it's all about!

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