Are You a Secular Parent? February 6, 2010

Are You a Secular Parent?

The Foundation Beyond Belief is conducting a survey to find out information about non-religious parents:

Foundation Beyond Belief has two sides — a humanist charitable giving program, and an education and support program for secular parents.

The intrepid and talented Ute Mitchell (of CFI Portland’s outstanding secular parent program) has signed on as our Foundation’s Parent Community Coordinator. Her first task is taking the pulse of the secular parenting world — finding out just who we are and what parents need who are raising their kids without religion in a predominantly religious world.

If you’re able to take a 10-minute survey, it would help us gather some very useful data. Thanks in advance!

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  • Derek

    Nice. Thumbs up.

  • And if you are as lucky as I am, have you thanked your secular parents today? I recently had the chance to thank mine for raising me with no religion, no spirituality, no nonsense whatsoever, and for giving me an excellent and exciting science education.

  • liz

    secular expecting parent!

    and i’m still trying to figure out just what i’m going to say when they all ask about a baptism….

    oh i can’t wait =P

  • Done.
    Except I hit “Done” before I left my contact info. Doh!

    I’m happy religion isn’t an issue yet….so not looking forward to when it becomes one. Ick.

  • Heidi


  • Finito

  • heironymous

    Religion comes sooner than you expect it. My five-year-old girl asks me questions about death, Jesus and Mary about once a month on the drive to work.

  • As a parent raising two boys, I filled it out.
    Even though my wife is nominally religious, we have not gone to church in over a year (thank god 😉 ).

  • Olivia

    I’m homeschooling my 9 year old son and seven year old daughter. My seven year old has talked about religion and so we have looked at all the religions all over the world and talked about why we think people might need to believe in them. In case anyone hasn’t heard there is a brilliant documentary called A Brief History Of Disbelief. It’s presented by the very worthy Jonathan Miller and my nine year old got it completely (few over the seven year old’s head in parts).
    So if you have older children who are interested I would heartily recommend it.
    It is basically the history of atheist thought in Europe and North America. Hope it helps someone! It’s on google video amongst other places………..

  • Christopher

    sorry to say we are of the non-believing kind that go through all the rituals for the photo opportunities.
    Ironically, our RC church brings in Santa each Xmas to have him kneel before the crest to prove “HE is the reason for the season”. I hope they make a connection when they stop counting on Santa.

  • Completed. As a deconverted dad with a still x-tian wife I’m ever hopeful for secular parenting options which will give my kids something to counter the “need” they feel for church re: their socializing and fun.

  • Umm… hasn’t PZ Myers taught us all the dangers of online polling?? Should we act surprised if/when this gets crashed?

  • OK so the world is predominantly religious but my bit of it isn’t and I intend to keep it that way. Those pesky religious people keep knocking on my door with their watchtowers and Jesuses, trying to teach my kids that the world was made last Thursday (or something equally as silly), putting religion into my legislature, criticising my secular laws and all the other stupid, superstitious crap that they do. For these reasons I feel justified in keeping my little corner of the world non-religious and making sure that it spreads.

    It’s there fault really.

    Survey done and waiting for a knock at the door from the anti-god-squad.

  • Religion comes sooner than you expect it. My five-year-old girl asks me questions about death, Jesus and Mary about once a month on the drive to work.

    Yikes! Where does a five-year-old hear about Jesus and Mary? I was blissfully ignorant of such things at that age. I don’t think I even had a god-concept in my head until I was about seven. And I can’t remember ever asking my parents questions about religion at all.

  • BoomerChick

    Filled out the survey, probably skewed their results.
    My only baby is my dog.

  • Revyloution

    Filled it out. I hope I’m doing right by my little seven year old. She knows Pi to 14 digits, can draw a decent phylogeny tree, and knows her periodic table up to iron.

    On the other hand, I never told her that Santa, Jesus, the Tooth Fairy, Thor, or Republicans in Massachusetts were real. ‘Course, I was wrong about Massachusetts, but you get the point.

  • ursulamajor

    Hey Hoverfrog! I sic my 14 year old son on the door knockers. He’s way more abusive than I am. There’s no censor in his teenage atheist heart. It’s actually pretty hilarious.

    Done on survey.

  • Sackbut

    I took the survey. I was disappointed that it was so completely oriented toward those whose religious experience was some form of Christian. It was a little tricky answering some of the questions from the perspective of someone with a Jewish background.

  • muggle

    I’ll go fill the thing out but I ain’t leaving no personal information.

    Lorelei, too funny, that’s my daughter’s name too (I purposely misspelled it though) and she has thanked me more than once. Mostly when she sees some sort of insanity or hears of some crazy shocking ritual.

    Anna, from other kids. When my daughter came home from the 2nd grade and asked, Mom, are we going to perish, I knew some Christian kid had been at it. Who else uses the word perish? So I explained the facts of life to her, that perish only means die and everyone perishes, even those who think they aren’t going to.

  • Eliza

    Done! I told ’em about the UU church that my son & I attend. Great place to meet like-minded people, including other parents & kids, in a supportive community. UU “religious education” is humanism, with some even-handed exposure to world religions to round it out.

  • Jagyr

    BoomerChick – Please don’t skew the results. Hopefully some good will come out of the survey. It’s not a survey to see how many athiests there are, it’s specifically aimed at secular parents.

    My daughter won’t be arriving until June, but I filled out the survey with a few notes to indicate that fact.

  • Muggle wrote:

    Anna, from other kids. When my daughter came home from the 2nd grade and asked, Mom, are we going to perish, I knew some Christian kid had been at it.

    I know it can start young, but second grade seems more reasonable than kindergarten. I only have the foggiest memories of being five years old, but I just can’t imagine Jesus or Mary coming up on the playground at that age. I don’t remember other children mentioning religion in elementary school at all. Then again, I didn’t grow up in the Bible Belt or in a rural area, so perhaps I have a skewed perspective of what’s typical in other parts of the country.

  • So is that *American* non-religious parents, or non-religious parents in general?

    You make a lot of calls to fill out surveys that turn out to be US-only (or so heavily-US-slanted as to be meaningless to anyone else).

    I don’t *mind* you doing that, as long as it’s clear before I start.

  • BoomerChick

    @ Jagyr
    Point taken, you’ve raised my consciousness. Thank you.
    However I answered as a pro atheist ‘hypothetical parent’. The only skewing would be that I’m too old to have a baby.

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