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I agree completely.  In theory.  Practice is sometimes harder than theory.

At about age 3, my daughter demanded to know "What are we?"  She had friends who were Catholic and Methodist and Jewish and Muslim and Hindu.  We got invited to parties and celebrations for all kinds of cultural and religious events, and I love a party.  She has been doing the advent box at one neighbor's house since she was a baby.  She certainly lit her first menorah before age 3.  She knew all about respecting folks who were fasting for Ramadan since she was tiny. 

So what are we?

After a few failed attempts at discussing the role of religion in society, and my own secular upbringing with a 3 year old, I announced that "WE" are secular humanists.  She didn't really love that answer.  But she had two peers who also identified as secular, and so I spoke with their parents and tried to carve out an identity to go along with the title.  Which became confused by the fact that one secular family is Jewish secular, and they DO light menorahs and spin dreidels and sing songs that no one else knows. 

At 7, she is capable of much more complex thinking, and seems to feel less of a need for us to be in a clear category.  She knows quite a bit about religion.  And over the years, she has alternated between announcing that she either does or doesn't believe in the deity/supernatural being of the month.  These deities/ supernatural beings have included the "man with a white beard on a cloud" god of Abraham, Zeus, who she learned about in school, fairies, who are omnipresent in children's literature, (and who until a few months ago, she believed were responsible for putting money under her pillow when she loses a tooth), and most recently ghosts.  She likes to asses the pros and cons of the likelihood of the existence of each of these beings, and also likes to cite which of her friends believe.  Lots of ghost believers in the second grade, apparently.  Some of them believe that the ghosts are their dead relatives.

My daughter has expressed that it would be nice to believe that dead people come back and visit you, or that they are living in the clouds having fun far away.  I've told her that I agree.  I would LIKE to believe those things.  And I can even PRETEND that I believe those things, because sometimes it makes me feel better to pretend that I can talk to my beloved mom.  But that I really don't believe. 

She nods, stoically. 

I'm big on promoting "I believe in science!" and she likes that a lot.  She is my little budding scientist.

But I always tell her that as she grows up, she will make her own decisions about what to believe. 

On a completely different topic - last night we took a cab ride home in a terrible storm.  The cab was slipping and sliding, and the driver, who was terrific, apologized profusely when we slid through a yellow light as it turned red.  He was very aware of keeping the little girl in the back seat safe.

I gave him a very generous, much-deserved tip.   And as we got out of the car, he shouted "God bless you!  God bless you both!  God bless you!"

My 7 year old asked why he was saying "god bless you." 

She said that neither of us had sneezed.  She was genuinely confused. 
Changed Change Reason Date
Shaffy beyond amazing response December 09, 2013, 08:13:32 PM
ParkingPlaces This one is for your daughter December 09, 2013, 08:44:35 PM
wright Some amazing atheist moms on this forum December 09, 2013, 09:15:20 PM
Shaffy Great response December 10, 2013, 10:58:15 AM