I do not believe in supernatural miracles, the inerrancy of scriptures,the trinity,etc. In that manner I line up with many of the deists that helped found our country (Jefferson, Washington, etc.).
I admit the possibility of a god while also admitting the possibility of no god. I see no reason for people to think that god would have to be the creator of all things. Why couldn’t there be a god that did not create the world, but is instead a force or energy shared between people and the world….or simply put, part of the world?
I exposed my children to multiple religious views. I also used modern day parables and personal life stories to teach much about life. One story, or perhaps it should be called a question, that I had posed to my children when they were growing up is this:
If you were walking down the street and a person came up to you and said that you had to believe what they believed in and that if you didn’t do so they would pour a can of gasoline on you and light a match…… well what would you do?
And if you then said you believed what they believed …….would that really be belief? Would it truly be your belief? Would it be a memory that started so young it felt like your idea?
I would ask questions like: if this is how someone tries to get you to believe their religion, what do you feel about that? Does it make you understand them more?….do you want to love and cherish their beliefs?……..are they accepted as your boss or leader or teacher because that is what you want or because they have power over you? What is terrorism? Is this a form of terrorism?
These discussions would be gentle and interesting and different with each child. I taught my children to think for themselves and let them create their own belief systems. I raised my children to be caring people. My kids grew up with terrorism in the headlines. I would discuss terrorism with them and pointed out its more subtle forms. They know that I feel it is a perverse form of child abuse to teach small children to be afraid of a boiling oil hell in order for them to line up with their parent’s religion. Who, how and why else is anyone ever allowed to terrorize children like that with permission from a civil society? My children knew terrorism was being associated with the Muslim religion……..they also knew this often unrecognized association with the Christian religion.