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October 17, 2006

Atheists explain God to kids

[Edit: Stupid misspelling of "atheists" corrected.]

This article was originally in the Washington Post, last Saturday, but for some reason, the link at the Post is dead.

How do atheists answer their kids' questions about God? I don't know; you read it. What interests me about the article is something else. Atheists teach their kids, but ultimately, they have to let go.

Colorado Springs atheist Becky Hale says she and husband Gary Betchan taught their children - 25-year-old Josh and 7-year-old Tanrei - their secular, science-based doctrine.

"I wanted him (Josh) to be bulletproofed," Hale said.

"As you talk to religious or nonreligious parents, we ideally want them to follow the same path we found, because we think it's the right path.

"With freethought (a synonym for science-based atheism or agnosticism), you want your kids well-grounded in it, because you know they're going to come up against proselytizing and missionaries and things like that."

When Josh accepted an invitation to a friend's youth group in high school, Hale admitted she was wary. But she let him go and wished him well.

After all, she had been answering his religion-related questions since his earliest days.

"He already knew where we stood," she said. "We did everything we could do; now we just had to see what came out of it."
Just like those of us who raise our kids in religion. It sounds a lot like me.