How Non-Religious People Talk About Religion

I must admit that I have yet to read Richard Dawkins’ new book aimed at young people and their grown-ups, but I did read an interesting take on it on a new blog about secular parenting.

The blogger questioned referring to religious stories as “myths,” which the book does (and many non-believing parents do as well).  She puts forth some compelling arguments–most notably to me is the idea that there are no atheist children and we want our kids to feel comfortable exploring different beliefs to come to their own conclusions.  Allowing my daughter to decide for herself is among my strongest values–and the most complex.

Of course, Dawkins isn’t the first to talk about religion like this.  I blogged about The Story of Religion by Betsy Maestro in a post about religious literacy for secular families, and one of the things I liked about it was its somewhat understated way of saying that religions evolved for a reason, that people made up these stories to find meaning.  It never claims that any of these stories came from a supernatural source, but it does consistently remind readers that people believe these stories, which I think is a good point to keep in mind.

I try to keep that in mind as I write these Secular Thursday posts because I don’t want to alienate any reader.  I started the “Book for Secular Families” series because there really wasn’t anything like it out there, and that’s what librarians do–we look for people who aren’t being served and we try to help them.  I’ve spent my career immersed in children’s books, and, more than anything, I want to empower people find books that help them explore and explain their world.  I hope I’ve helped you–no matter what you believe!  :)

With that in mind, please feel free to download and share this bibliography for your next trip to the library.

See more posts about science, religion, and secular family life on my Secular Thursday page.

Disclosure: Amazon Links are affiliate links.

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4 thoughts on “How Non-Religious People Talk About Religion

  1. Thanks for talking about this. I have a three year old daughter, and I realize that this will soon become an issue. The majority of our family is Roman Catholic, with few exceptions, and I have already begun to think about how I can raise her to have as open a mind as possible. The “Books for Secular Families” list is fantastic, too.

  2. My daughter is also 3, and I guess I have to admit that I’m nervous about saying the right things, which is why I’m thinking and writing about it now. Hope the book list helps! :)

  3. Pingback: Searching for Magic with Richard Dawkins « Proper Noun Blog

  4. Pingback: When myths become stories « Proper Noun Blog

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