>I was also raised very strict Catholic and am now trying to
>figure out what to do with the next generation. My husband
>and I are Agnostic but leaning towards Atheism. I have no
>problems having the Easter/Christmas stuff now *don't go to
>church though. I guess i'm most concerned with what we say
>when DS starts with the 'why's. I mean, when he asks why the
>easter bunny comes...what do I say???
You say the easter bunny comes because that is what easter bunnies do, they bring candy to children. Just like the tooth fairy brings money for teeth. The easter bunny has nothing to do with religion. (neither does Santa Claus for that matter)
>I also don't know what
>to say when he gets old enough to talk with friends and tells
>us we're going to hell because we're not religious. AURGH!!
>It's soo hard being a parent sometimes.
You tell him "that is what some people believe and others believe something else" and you explain that we don't ever tell anyone else that their religion is "wrong", we respect their beliefs and we hope they respect our beliefs. And that someday when he is older he will decide for himself what he believes and that you will respect his choice. And you tell him that people who try to impose their religion on others, like by telling them they are going to hell, are rude.
That's what I tell my son.
For us these talks started early, when he came home from preschool telling me that there is a man who is like us and he made us, and singing "Deep and Wide". (and this was not a religious preschool). I started right then telling him that is what some people believe and other people believe we evolved without anyone "making" us. And I had a talk with the preschool owner who had a talk with the teacher and stopped the religious education.
There is a great book for teaching children about different religions, it is called "Faith's Journey" by Christine Verney Isaac and you can look it up on Amazon to read more about it. I got it for my son when he was about 9 years old, but it would be okay for younger kids too I think. It covers Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Jacob Nathaniel Feb 91
Logan Elizabeth Mar 03