A logical argument against sheltering your kid for religious purposes

by renegademama

I recently encountered a mother who won’t let her teenager read mythology because it violates “God’s word.” A friend of mine, a preschool teacher, told me about a family that forbade their child from participating in yoga, because it wasn’t Christian. We all know families that allow only the music, books, media, etc. that reinforce their religion, creating a little silo of existence, separate from the evil outside world threatening to contaminate their child.

This is a bad plan. This is a very bad plan. You know why? Because it’s illogical.

Why does God hate logic? Does God hate logic? I don’t see why he or she should hate logic. Logic is some totally solid stuff. Logic is da bomb.

I can’t believe I just said that. I really am a nerd.

Anyway, let’s get one thing clear: I am not a God-hater. I am not a religion hater. I am not even an atheist. I used to be an atheist. I used to be one of those people waltzing around announcing with an almost palpable arrogance: “I am an atheist. I am a ‘free-thinker.’” But then I heard a loud “pop” as my head was removed from my ass and I realized I had simply chosen a new God. Namely, Science and Humanity. I had determined that the only valid “way of knowing” is found in that which we can “see” or “prove.” And I thought this made me a “free-thinker.”

Bullshit.

A real free-thinker recognizes that “seeing” and “proving” are slippery at best, and there are many, many forms of ontological knowledge (ways of knowing). A real free-thinker recognizes that the human brain is finite and conditioned and rather pathetic when held against the mystery of our existence. The vastness of eternity, the cosmos, the universe – whether we like to admit it or not- is impossible to grasp by our feeble brains, so the brain-created assertion that “THERE IS NO GOD” is as “simple-minded” and “small” as the assertion that there’s a white dude up in the sky running this show. It is merely a NEW form of comforting oneself. Some are comforted by “There is a God.” Others are comforted by “There is no God. Science is God.” What’s the freaking difference?

Why can’t we just keep our minds open and accepting to god and no-god and creator and non-creator, based on the truth or our existences, as they evolve and unfold in whatever messy directions they may take?

Clearly I have some strong opinions on this topic, but it’s another piece of writing. Let’s stick with the whole sheltering-your-kids discussion.

This plan, though it sounds sort of good in theory (kids won’t be exposed to “impure” things that will lead them to trouble), fails in execution. It may not fail with every kid, but I promise you it will fail with many, if not most.

First of all, it isn’t sustainable. Haven’t you ever thought about that? Unless you plan on homeschooling your kid for the rest of her life, or locking her in a basement, which I think is like totally illegal, your child will at some point, LEAVE YOUR FOLD. She will walk off, into the world, where sex and drugs and liberals live (sorry, I couldn’t resist.).

Also gay people.

Your child will live in the world. Period.

So how is it logical to prepare your child for a life IN THE WORLD by sheltering her FROM THE WORLD? See? Illogical.

Further, do you really have so little faith in your kid’s judgment? Think about what you’re saying: “Hey kid, since you’re clearly incapable of choosing for yourself that which is moral/immoral, good/bad, spiritually uplifting or draining, I have decided to POLICE EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE on your behalf even though some day you will have to make these decisions on your own.”

To prepare you for those decisions, I’m going to never let you make those decisions.

No really dude I don’t get this. This makes no sense.

And check this out: Do you or do you not want to empower your child to carry with him the connection with God you’ve fostered? Do you or do you not want your child to develop a real, sustaining belief?

If you want that, why would you take it upon yourself to create, nurture and sustain that relationship? Are you God? Because it sounds to me like you’re trying to be God.

And if you are policing every area of your kids’ lives, making sure it all complements your religion, then you are effectively erasing any REAL experience your child may have that would in fact foster a faith in whatever it is you’re trying to instill.

In other words, God either is or isn’t. Your God is small or your God is big. PICK ONE.

If your God cannot sustain the evil of the world, if your God cannot stand face to face with the crap of humanity, well what’s the point of having a God in the first place?

If the only way you can have a relationship with your God is to never encounter that which goes against him, well then, wow. Creator of the universe? Huh. No. Sounds pretty weak sauce to me.

Plus, if your child chooses another path, if your child is exposed to yoga and Greek mythology and suddenly “goes astray,” isn’t that better than a FAKE EXISTENCE BASED ON YOUR TEMPORARY POLICING?

How little interest do you have, really, in the individuality of your child? I don’t let my kids do and watch whatever they feel like. In fact, we don’t even have a television. I won’t let my daughter read the Hunger Games, but not because it’s “immoral,” but rather because I don’t think she’s mature enough to handle the immorality. Murder. Too much for this kid at 11-years-old. My kids also don’t watch horror movies. I’m not talking about making reasonable decisions based on a child’s maturity. I’m talking about BLOCKING age-appropriate material because it doesn’t align with your religious beliefs. I’m talking about forbidding certain things because it doesn’t reinforce your own religious stance, even if the child has an interest in such things.

Isn’t it better to just tell kids the truth?

Hey kid, yeah, watch this TV show, but notice the way the women are objectified, acting like fools to gain the attention of men.

Hey kids, go ahead and drink, but know your mama’s an alcoholic and you’re playing with fire.

Hey daughter, yep. Fine. Have sex before marriage, but let’s talk about unwanted pregnancies and all that entails.

Sure, get hooked up with kids who are stealing and doing drugs, but know that the depth of pain in your heart as you try to look at yourself in the mirror each morning will be immeasurable. Also you might go to prison.

Wow, listen to that song, kids, the way it makes life seem like nothing more than the endless pursuit of material goods.

 

Hold what gives you peace. Hold what gives you meaning.

But by God let your kids find the same.

Let them find the power they need.

Let them find the faith that withstands all attempts to shake it. Whatever that looks like. Truth becomes truth when it is LIVED, not when it is TOLD.

This is where the freedom lies. And really, in the end, isn’t that all we want for our kids?

Joy, and the freedom to live it.

Or at least the chance to find it.

more stuff I shouldn't have said out loud:

  • Tanya

    I find religion one of the hardest things to talk about with my 4 year old. We’re Jewish but not really religious, and obviously I want him to know about all the different world views. But honestly when it comes down to trying to explain to him what the differences are, I get stuck and don’t know what to say because I can almost anticipate his reaction: “Dude, is that all? Seriously? Is THAT why people disagree?” Kids are so much more reasonable than adults.

  • Nicole

    Amen, sista!!!!

  • Molly Sloan

    We’re Christian and I’m planning on homeschooling, but I want to set my children’s heart up to follow Christ and love others. That absolutely does NOT include sheltering them. I worked in a research lab in college and LOVE science and logic, and I want to raise intelligent well-rounded children. I love your writing and your articles and agree with you so often! You are bold and speak your mind and have been so honest about your life and that’s something I truly respect!

    • Ellie

      Agree. This author would be a bit more credible though, if she gave additional examples of folks “sheltering” their children, such as the Waldorf schools very actively do (they prescribe a no media home) and did not focus on solely Christian perspectives. Her irreverent approach, as well, would surely not be right for many parents (as in advising, “sure, have sex before marriage, get hooked up with kids who are stealing and doing drugs” etc..)

      Her condescension rings a bit false also when she offers her reasons for protecting her own child from materials she believes she is not ready for. The author’s writing here doesn’t offer the grace to consider that others may make choices (such as not risking a child’s becoming overly enchanted with mythological stories) for their own very good reasons that this author may simply not understand. She jumps to a lot of judgmental (and mean) conclusions here (particularly about Christianity) without offering any really convincing evidence that her own way is superior.

      As a bit of an aside, if there is one true God, (which the author entertains as a possibility) I imagine we are not the ones who determine who or what God based on, “our” truths “… whatever messy directions they may take.” Speaking of not logical…

  • Heather

    This is good. It gave me chills reading this. I am sure because it takes me back to my own past of religion and what I experienced from it. I choose to not have religion in my life. The thing is…I know so so many people that were raised in strict religious beliefs and almost every single one of them have left that religion and have gone searching for something else. I believe as humans we are designed to evolve, and when you try and stop that, it finds a way to happen on it’s own. How many people really grow up and believe exactly the way they were taught as children? Most people find another way, because they grow up, and evolve and need to find their own path. You have to keep moving forward, and sometimes that means opening up your mind to something new and different. My children are not raised with religion, but they have asked me questions before because they have friends that go to church on a regular basis. That for me is where it becomes hard. They hear things from other kids, saying things like if they don’t go to church then they are going to hell. I believe in being open with my kids. I just do my best to explain how I feel about that, and I always want them to know that their road is their journey, and will never be the same as another person’s…so just always keep an open heart and mind. *I very possibly may have used the wrong ” their’s” in this comment…just a heads up for the grammar crazies…

  • Melissa Vanni

    I get chills every time I read your blog. I’m going to hug you next time I see you. Be ready.:)

  • Stephanie

    Phew! That’s some real stuff right there. Makes me want to have another Indian restaurant chat.

  • Kate

    I like this a lot, but I’d love see you revisit the “Sure kid, try out drinking but know you’re playing with fire…” idea after the kids get through teenage years. I think it would be great if we could be so empowering and trustworthy of our kids, but I don’t know if it works. And for me, when my parents set a few things absolutely off-limits, it actually worked. I didn’t do those things. Including drinking in high school because 1, it’s illegal, and 2, all of my uncles and grandfather were alcoholics. So, do you really think you’ll be so permissive in 5 or 6 years?

    • Sara

      I think that setting a few things absolutely off-limits is fine, but setting the whole outside world off-limits is way too much… Every parent decides what they set as off-limits, but some parents just put almost everything off-lmits! I think that’s what Janelle was talking about in her post…

    • Heather

      This is just my opinion, but I think it has more to do with the child than anything. I have a 22 yr. old, a 13 yr. old, and a couple of little ones. I can tell you that when I was 13, my best friend would sneak out of her window at night after her parents thought she was asleep. They also had the absolutely off-limits rules, but she could care less. She literally did everything behind there back. I try to be very open with my kids, but it has more to do with who you are dealing with. Haven’t you ever known anybody that refuses to listen to authority. You may have never wanted to test those boundaries…but there are many people that will. Having 4 kids myself I can tell you that it is more about the type of person they are. My little one is a straight up ball buster. She has a temper like a volcano. So dealing with her is different than dealing with my son who is very quiet.

      • melissa

        I have to agree, it depends on the kid. In high school and college, I knew a lot of people who never drank because it was illegal, and a couple people who only drank because it was illegal. After they turned 21, they lost interest.

  • Sarah

    So good to know I’m not alone in these thoughts!!

    My inlaws recently accused me of being a witch because I own the Harry Potter series……Said I was suffering an illness due to my lack of obedience to God….how scared of life does someone have to be in order to be so close minded? Other is bad, other is different, I AM other. BOO!

    • Tina

      She’s a witch! BURN HER!

      (I adore Harry Potter, so that makes me a witch too……but shhhhh!)

    • melissa

      I remember the first time I came across something like this. I don’t know how to describe this, but the realization that grown adults objected to something because they believed in witches… I mean, I dunno what I was expecting… Something halfway rational. But …WITCHES? You know witches are just pretend, right?

      Shit, no, I guess you don’t…

  • Sara

    Aaaaaah love this post!!! I was one of these children whose parents thought they could erase all “evil” things from her surroundings… Things like Halloween, harmless games, people kissing in movies (not even French kisses, a mere peck on the mouth!) and horrible, horrible yoga… And I can tell you: that’s the best way to make sure that your child 1- hates your religion and 2- develops no self-esteem whatsoever! I’m the living proof of that! Of course, not every child will react the same, but that doesn’t make it a sound education method!!!

    P.S. So sorry to read about the abuse you (most probably) have been through… I wish I could erase it all for you! 🙁

  • Lesley

    I know you’ll love this article about religious sheltering and “ghost rapes” on a segregated Hutterite colony in Bolivia, Janelle. Needless to say, the rapists weren’t ghosts. This is bone chilling. I’d say, “Enjoy,” but that would just be wrong. http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/the-ghost-rapes-of-bolivia-000300-v20n8

  • Jen

    Yoga isn’t Christian?

  • Melisa

    Damn…. saddened that I only get to know you through you blog… I truly desire to know you as a friend. I love your writings and only wish I had the ability and voice to say what you do the way you do. You amaze me.

  • Jesi

    So…a) I’m religious. (maybe even the same one you once were…)
    b) I homeschool my kids.
    c) I find myself agreeing with you so often and not sure if I should feel liberated or guilty.
    d) Loved this post.
    e) The older I get, the more I think life’s about recognizing some sort of spiritual aspect of things and standing for something, anything, than about defining any particular set of rules.
    f) I taught psychology, theatre and poetry at a homeschool co-op and basically got labeled a Hester Prynne because I wanted to introduce the kids to Emily Dickenson, My Fair Lady and Sigmund Freud. Wow. Needless to say, we don’t go there anymore.

  • REDdog

    Top shit!

    Am planning to write about my own faith journey soon(-ish), it’s nice to stumble upon such clarity in the shitstorm that is religion. So much pain has been caused in the name of (insert your preferred god) and yet so few of us who have escaped have a voice. Good on ya for calling it like it is, love yer work. Respect REDdog

  • Sassy Kas

    This week is the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. I guarantee you if anybody bans a book I will want to read it. Nobody gets to tell me or my kids what to read, or restrict what we read, but me. I asked the librarian why people would ban a book and she replied “Because they want you to believe what they believe.” I could only say I don’t believe in that. Thanks once again for your right on words!

  • Sarah W

    Sorry you were taught that. People get so much wrong it’s sad. When a religious person pushes his agenda… that is wrong. Interpretation and all that… whole other conversation. I will say this about yoga, according to the swami’s books I read during yoga teacher training, you cannot separate the physical from the spiritual. The breathing methods used can put you in a trance like state and emptying your mind is… well, I believe in demons, so inviting the universe in is pretty dangerous to me. Depending on the type of yoga you are practicing the positions are to align the chakras to awaken and allow movement of spirits through the body. Given that these are the basic things that happen in a yoga practice, whether you do it in a church, a wellness center, or at home, I will not promote it in my home or with my children. I have first hand experience of what goes into being a teacher and it was not, in any way, devoid of spiritual significance.

    As for mythology. I love it but I was 16 when I first read it. The age of accountability needs to be addressed when making these blanket statements about what one should and should not “allow” their child to take part in. God tells me to train up a child in the way he should go… according to His commands. Truth is, we are all entrusted with these little people and we raise them according to our values and beliefs.

    • Lee

      This is not intended to be a chicken-egg question….but it may well be, anyway.

      Do we have our values and beliefs because we were raised BY those selfsame values and beliefs?

      Or, does the WAY in which we were raised allow us to form and choose our values and beliefs?

      Your last sentence, Sarah W, would suggest you believe the former, but I don’t know if I am drawing a warranted conclusion.

  • Danie'

    I don’t personally get the whole religion thing but I say to each their own. Just teach your kids to have some respect, make good decisions and be decent humans, it’ll be all good.

    • Lee

      May I suggest that the Comment policy for this blog might be the only philosophy with which we should imbue our children:

      “Try not to be a dick.”

  • Kelly

    I love the post and definitely agree that overly sheltering kids is doing them a huge disservice but- In my view the whole point of science is the admission that we don’t know, we have no comfort or certainty except that each new discovery will likely be found failing or in need of revision in the future. It does not replace God, does not exclude God’s existence, and is not a substitute for religion. There are huge gaps between what scientific evidence shows and what there is to be known. Science acknowledges that there are certain aspects of the universe that we simply cannot measure and observe and therefore can never know with certainty. It does not attempt to give moral instruction or direct each individual in their actions throughout their existence. There are many scientists who also have religious faith. They are two different things. I do agree that parents should be enlightening their children as to the multitudes of viewpoints that exist where these matters are concerned, not cutting them off from the ideas that the rest of humanity has to offer in favor of ones they’ve narrowly threshed out. As you express, it is better to allow each child to thrive through whichever of the many ok viewpoints they may choose to adopt.

  • Tina

    Dear Janelle, as always, I agree with you whole-heartedly. What you described is fanaticism, and that can never be a good thing, no matter what form it takes. Winston Churchill once said: “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”. And that is equivalent to intolerance and narrow-mindedness – I wouldn’t want to pass that on to my children (look at the fucking Phelps family, there’s your prime example of fanaticism).
    I consider myself to be an agnostic, so basically I don’t care if there is a god or not, I just try to be a good person. The most important things you need to pass on to your children, in my opinion, is to treat others as you would like to be treated and to care about the world we live in. What else is there, really?
    I find it intriguing though, that there are so many religious fanatics in the States. Over here in Europe, Christianity is on a steady decline. A lot of people have left church, and most only go there at religious holidays or for weddings and funerals, so really, more out of tradition than belief. Religion just doesn’t have such a big importance in people’s lives. Strangely enough, we still have the crucifixes hanging in the classrooms and the Roman-Catholic beliefs are still being passed on to our children in kindergarten and school. Go figure.
    Anyway, I’d still like to know why this is such a big thing in the States? Any thoughts on that? Because, apart from Islamic countries, I don’t know any place else that has such a great number of religious fanatics as the USA.
    I don’t mean to offend anybody’s religion, by the way, everyone should be free to believe in what floats their boat, as long as they keep an open mind and heart.
    Tolerance is what it’s all about, we could do with a bit more of that in this world.
    Thanks Janelle, for your blog, it always makes my day to read more of you.
    Especially on a day like this, when they play fucking placebo on the radio on my way to work. Bastards. I hate placebo. (I do tolerate them, though! I just don’t want to have to listen to their nasal whining.)

    • Amberiella

      The colonies were founded in large part by people who were seeking religious freedom from oppressive governments, and has a tendency still to this day to attract refugees from countries not tolerant of other religions, so it’s a big part of our cultural history.

      Many of those that arrived to the Americas early on were pretty fanatical, but it died down quite a bit due to the Renaissance, during which non-trinitarian Christianity and general Deism were rather popular. Even the founding fathers were usually on of those two.

      However, during the 1800s there was a backlash to religion that was viewed as overly intellectual and devoid of emotion- it was referred to as The Second Great Awakening.

      The movement was marked by rejection of the formal education and rules of the established churches, viewing that it was unnecessary for a pastor to be educated, and the belief that all people (including apparently those who were illiterate) could understand the Bible and interpret it for themselves.

      This, in large part, is what spawned the Evangelical movement and where the idea of 100% literal interpretation of the Bible comes from.

      Although they were an odd bunch, they did quite a bit of good- they were the primary people pushing for the establishment of slavery and women’s suffrage.

      While I’m not sure if fanaticism is really that common here today(a majority of people claiming religious affiliation are not particularly observant) or it just seems like it because we have a massive population, which equal more total crazies, but not necessarily more per capita, and crazies get a lot of press, giving the appearance that it’s more common than it really is.

  • Laura

    I’m so over organized religion! It was forced upon me growing up and I of course fought back every possible way. Once I was out of my parents house I never thought about God and religion again until starting a family. I thought I’d give it another try for my children. Not because I wanted them to believe in organized religion but I wanted them to have faith and spirituality in their lives. I tried, I really did. I just couldn’t stomach the politics of it any longer.
    I have realized I just need to build a solid foundation for my kids…right vs. Wrong, treat others with kindness, etc. I have faith the rest will works itself out.

    Also, it is so good to hear there is another parent out there that won’t let their 11 years old daughter read the hunger games. All I ever hear from mine is “it’s not fair, everyone in my class has read it.” So sorry little one, but you are not emotionally ready to read about children killing children. And I am not willing to sit up with you night after night with nightmares about it.

  • Emily

    Really couldn’t have said it any better (and I’ve tried!) Always enjoy your perspective (when I actually have the time to read it, between all the other working-mommying things I’m doing 🙂

  • Virginia

    I’ve been saying this ever since I left “the fold.” It is was a hard dose of reality that hit when I finally started living in the world unsupervised. I like how you make your case – I think God, the creator, etc. etc. is one of logic as well as faith. I feel that fear is perhaps the biggest enemy of those who wish to grow deeper in their faith for reasons you so eloquently stated.

  • Virginia

    I’ve been saying this ever since I left “the fold.” It is was a hard dose of reality that hit when I finally started living in the world unsupervised. I like how you make your case – I think God, the creator, etc. etc. is one of logic as well as faith. I feel that fear is perhaps the biggest enemy of those who wish to grow deeper in their faith for reasons you so eloquently stated.

  • Carlisle

    Pleeeease write an article about the topic of atheism. I don’t believe in God as any religions describe him/it. But I’ve never been able to climb aboard the atheist train. Who am I to say there is no God of some kind? Just because I don’t feel the faith and presence of it like many religions describe doesn’t mean it’s not there in some form somewhere. I always went with the “agnostic” term, but at the same time, that label isn’t quite fitting.

    My hardcore atheist friend told me it was just lazy to not be an atheist if you don’t believe in God. He said I didn’t think hard enough about it, and I just gave up… Oh, the fool, if he knew how hard I’ve pondered such questions. We actually havent spoken since I said, “Isn’t it funny, you ask a Christian for proof God exists, and they say, ‘Look around you! That’s proof enough.’ And when you ask an atheist for proof there is no god, they say, ‘Look around you! That’s proof enough.'”

    Maybe because of my upbringing by a devout mother, I have a nagging feeling God exists, but at the same time, I feel no connection, though I’ve spent many nights having one-sided conversations with it. I guess I’m not ready to say no to the idea because…who wants to be alone in the Universe? People just don’t do it for me. Who wants there to be nothing at the end of it? Who wants for life to be IT. Who likes the idea that eternal reincarnation on Earth is the best we have to hope for? An eternity repeating life over and over and over and never knowing? How exhausting. I want to know there’s a safe place to sleep at the end of this line. And I cross my fingers that I don’t get sent to a hell because I wasn’t baptized or evangelical, and I didn’t jump through hoops set by men who claimed they spoke the Truth.

    I’ve driven myself mad on the subject. I would love to read your thoughts! I’ve never found someone who felt similar to me. It’s all extremes out there.

  • Carlisle

    Also, I have a friend who was very sheltered. She went batshit when she hit high school, and it spiraled out of control through college. She’s better now, but still kinda whack. I’m pretty sure she actively HATES God.

  • Marisa

    Amen. Coming from a person who was not allowed to watch the Smurfs growing up because there was magic in it, and magic is evil.

  • Sheena

    Absolutely! The straight and narrow NEVER works. These are the kids that get to collage and get themselves into real trouble because it is the first time in their life they have ever made a decision for themselves and they don’t know what it is like to fall. Or that falling is even an option.

  • Roxie

    Hey there. I am a grandma now, closer to 70 than not, and am kinda glad I am done with the child rearin’ – my three survived us, a rebellious Christian family who homeschooled but dared let the neighborhood kids and families be a big part of our lives! LOL. We were a bit chastised and scolded now and again by some of the extreme in our church and homeschooling group. But my kids are wonderful adults, kind and fair, funny, good workers, honest and loving. We think our family is cool. LOL.

    I hope you never loose faith in yourself. I think you have noticed one thing very important for success in life and that is that – kids are people; their own individual selves And the hard challenge is for us to figure out how to raise them up to be the best of who that will be. I always thought ‘train up a child in the way he should go” meet, we, the parents, had to figure out what that is, and then help them be them.

    You are so right in the things you write here. Extreme of anything never works Ever. And, isn’t God everywhere? or not? When ‘my church friends’ would confront me with my ways of socializing outside of the church, at first I was puzzled, then I just told them, ‘well, I guess I am the sinner that Jesus died for…’

    We eventually drifted away from the ‘church’. We taught our kids the good things that we read in the Bible, don’t judge lest not ye be judged, forgiveness of others and self, always be kind, respect others and their property, share, help others, guard your heart which means know thyself,to love God is to love all things best you can, and it’s not all about you all the time; but yeah, there are many, many good things in the Bible. And I’ll admit we didn’t teach our kids to hate anyone. Everyone has their side and their problems, and sometimes it’s best to just walk away and stay away from a person until they work out their own stuff.

    Anyway, your thoughts are refreshing. I wish you much happiness and joy. You take care.

    • Kagi

      I wish I’d had parents like you. That’s all. Mine were the oversheltering fundamentalist kind that still don’t think they did anything wrong, and I have so much resentment over things I was never allowed to have or do or be, I wish I knew how to let go of it. We have a very tenuous relationship these days, better than it used to be, but it doesn’t help that I’ve turned out gay and liberal and hate organised religion to the point of it making me ill. I’m kinda vaguely spiritual still, but more of the universalist variety, which makes them hyperventilate. But if it all comes down to loving others, all others, then I can safely say they’re doing it wrong. Isolation and legalism doesn’t allow for loving your neighbor.

  • Roxie

    …and PS, I hope I wasn’t a dick. I never noticed that till after I hit send! LOL.

  • Shawn

    I am new here … brought by the way of your Dear son, Be soft post on Huffington Post. Right On!!!!! Love this post.

  • wrinkleyold

    Hey it’s me, wrinkleyold, again. You are the kind of person God absolutely, truly delights in. An honest person. And funny.

  • daisymama

    You know, for someone who doesn’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God, this blog post sure sounds a lot like Jesus. You see, I’m a Christian (of the more liberal, progressive persuation) and this is how I live my life with my children. Jesus came to free us from the law based lives we so badly want to live. He freed us from control-of both ourselves and others. He told us to live an open handed life. “Follow me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” he said. “The greatest of these (commandments) is LOVE” And yes that means loving our kids, our neighbor, our guy co-worker, the homeless guy on the corner….Jesus was the author of feminism and social justice. He was radical, He was a heretic. “There is no fear in love” the bible says and it also says that God is love. Sheltering children from everything except your own belief system is fear. Plain and simple. In the New Testament Paul wrote, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” FREEDOM! I wish more people (Christains and non Christians alike) understood the freedom that comes by loving Jesus. Shalom friend.

  • Laura

    Dude,I’ve been nursing my six month old and skipping through your blog like crazy over the past week, squeezing out every drop I can get. I’ve spent more hours on here than I care to admit in the past day alone. I just want to say thanks – but really, thanks – for writing your heart. As a writer I find it crazy difficult to be that honest with the things bouncing around in my head when I’m writing about my own experiences…probably because it’s so easy to think about your audience and how you want them to see you (or at least it is for me. Grade A people pleaser right here.) What you’ve done is managed to access the real stuff, layers and layers deep, and bravely smack it in a public place for all kinds of people with all different ideas to think that they want about it. I happen to have a lot of the same ideas that you do (which I think is what led me to comment on this post in particular), but even if I didn’t I think I’d still love reading your work.

    I’m a brand new stay at home mom and totally unsure of what my life is going to be like in the next two, five, ten years. I want to be creative but I also want to throw myself into loving this drooly, giant-eyed baby of mine. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say. I guess I really just want to thank you for putting your everything out there for me and everyone else to read. It makes me think and feel and want to have older kids so I can see what I’d do in similar situations to yours and want to snuggle my little one just as she is and be a better writer and a more honest person. Thank you, thank you.

  • Lucy

    Thank you. I am helping my daughter look for a school. I decided to let her chose one. I gave her my opinion about party schools and I told her, this is the money I have, after that, you are on your own; so make it last. I have some religious friends that are telling me that school is not faithful to our faith. I am like well, I won’t live forever and she’s got to find her own way. These same people home schooled their kid and now put them in a “faithful” religious college. I don’t even make my 17 year old attend church. I ask her to, but sometimes she doesn’t. At some point, she has to decided what she wants for herself. Today seems as good a day as any.