Parenting without Religion Trinidad & Tobago Humanist Association Dr. John A. Gedeon April 30th, 2016 Workshop Outline Introduction Religious Parenting Social Regulation
Discipline Meaning & Purpose Celebrating Life Events & Holidays Finding the Secular Community Secular Parenting Resources Note: Many images in the slides are hyperlinked to Web content for more information
(click on them) Housekeeping Housekeeping Registration Schedule Breaks Bathrooms Mobile Phones Presentation Materials/Notes/Questions Non-parent participation
Take-Home To Do List Resources Introductions Tell us your name Where are you from? How many children do you have and ages? Why are you here or what is your particular secular parenting challenge or interest? Introduction
Exercise: The ideal kid 1. In groups, make a list of a number of important values, attitudes, behaviours, habits, emotional and social adjustment, accomplishments, milestones, physical status, and any other conditions for your child that you would consider having been a successful parent. You do not need to list all the moral values, you can say be ethical There are values that are not moral like empathy you can list a few of these that are important to you 2. When done, boil that down to one sentence.
Are you your true and best self? How do you know that you have become the best you or your true self? 1. Discovered your life purpose 2. Moral 3. In Control (emotions & motivations) 4. Open (curious and connected) 5. High Energy via healthy habits (diet, exercise, sleep, stress,) 6. Whole (integrated physically, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, & spirituallydark & light) In short you are centered on your inner self-- instead of your ego--and
therefore, you are both happy and powerful. What are the secular parenting issues? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
What is human nature? How is right and wrong determined (morality)? What (non-moral) values should you endorse? Approaches to moral development and discipline How does one derive meaning and purpose in life? How does one create a philosophy to live by? How much of me should I impose on my child (beliefs, values, diet, dress, politics, career, sexual orientation, etc.) 8. How does your child (and family) handle and coexist with believers? 9. How do you conceptualize and live life events (birth, marriage, parenting, death,
tragedies, holidays, etc.)? 10. How do we find and create community? Definitions Morality principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong Ethics the study of morality Rules Dos and donts (apply to a specific situation) Principles Broad behavioural rules that can be applied to many situations Values what you value or feel is important, goes beyond moral values to politics, money, relationships, sex, etc.
Virtues a positive moral trait (e.g., honesty) ALSO a commendable quality or trait (e.g., ambitious, courageous, empathetic, generous) Definitions Contd Social Conventions culturally arbitrary rules and norms governing interactions with others that are NON-moral Beliefs - a feeling that something is true, good, right, or exists with/without there being empirical evidence to prove it Meaning Philosophically: what is the purpose of life? Individually: a quest to find one's values, beliefs, and purpose (gift) Purpose the reason for which something is done or created or for
which something exists; how you apply your gifts. Research findings on parenting Many Religious tend to be While Seculars encourage.. Vengeful, nationalistic, militaristic, authoritarian, racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted, less tolerant, more mean spirited
Rational problem solving, personal autonomy, independence of thought, avoidance of corporal punishment, a spirit of "questioning everything" and, far above all, empathy. Zuckerman from Raising Children Without Religion May Be A Better Alternative, Suggests New Research
and a number of other studies. Interview with Zuckerman (32 min) http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2815%2901167-7 Generosity & Meanness Traits Current Biology Prisons are overrepresented with
Believers Religious Parenting Whatever religion people are practicing the question becomes: Are they following it literally (fundamentalists) and therefore that is creating
problems OR are they following their cafeteriastyle version of it, thus not being totally true to its philosophy and that is creating problems? Upgrading to Software Version 2.0 Centred Re-centered Parenting
Parenting Practices Religious Practices Common Ground Secular Practices
Before we start Lets recognize that many religious parents, like most parents, are sincerely trying to do their best to raise their children But, they are using 2,000 year old psychological principles that are now known to retard development and actually cause harm Many turn out good not because of but in spite of their upbringing Two types of Believers Religious
Spiritual FEAR based Blind, rigid, unthinking adherence to rules and authority Believe they posses the truth and everyone else is wrong Promote self-seeking, tribal behaviour Often look down on, pity, or mistreat those outside of their group, thus acting unethically
LOVE based Realize there are many paths to seek God Are more values than belief focused Treat everyone with compassion and respect Rely more on their inner voice instead of external authority Does not try to impose their beliefs on others
4 Parenting Styles ? Exercise: Religious Parenting Practices In teams, make a list of FIVE behavioural problems that can arise from religious parenting In a second list, opposite the first list, identify religious parenting practices that you think that generate that negative behaviour
15 Issues with Religious Moral Development A. B. C. D. E. View of human nature What does God think is moral? Rule-based system
Obedience (vs. Self-Regulation) Compliance to a Plan for your life F. Indoctrination G. Punishments & Rewards H. Physical Discipline & GuiltShame-Fear I. God Model - Authoritarian Parenting J. Faith over Facts K. Prayer over action
L. Prosperity Gospel M. After-life focus N. Human Rights Violations O. Sexuality Are we animals and robots? We beat animals AND Programme robots
Catholic Baltimore Catechism 1. Q. Who made the world? A. God made the world. 2. Q. Who is God? A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things. 3. Q. What is man? A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God. 6. Q. Why did God make you? A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be
happy with Him for ever in heaven. 9. Q. What must we do to save our souls? A. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart. A. Religious Assumptions about Human Nature Religion makes many incorrect (or archaic) assumptions about human nature: 1. 2. 3.
4. 5. We are bad by nature (original sin) mans heart is evil from his youth We are animals that need to be threatened in order to do the right thing We have no internal capacity to do what is right, we are lost without God We dont need to be told WHY as we cannot engage in moral reasoning We have 100% free will, but were made to be Gods slaves (free will an illusion?) 6. We have to rely on blind belief (faith)
Which is it? Is human nature basically good or evil? "Christianity has such a contemptible opinion of human nature that it does not believe a man can tell the truth unless frightened by a belief in God. No lower opinion of the human race has
ever been expressed. -- Robert Green Ingersoll Wicked by Nature? Labelling Kills Label themselves Label Others Wretch
Worm Sinful Unworthy Sheep Totally Depraved Wicked Evil Evildoers Hardened Hearts Unrighteous
Corrupt We can only hurt others when we see them as less than human (dehumanize them). Example: BITCH Labels = License B. God as the Source of Morality Can we know right and wrong
without God? Can we be good without God? How did humans determine right and wrong before the bible was created? What does God want?
When does He want us to worship on: Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays? Does He allow us to eat pork? Are we saved by belief or good works?
Can we drink alcohol? Are we allowed to dance, drink Coke, play cards, or wear make-up? Gambling? (Lotto) Birth control? Death penalty? Homosexuality? Contraception? Can we divorce and remarry? Different Gods want different things. Are you worshiping the correct God? OR, lets play WWJD? - What Would Jesus Do?
God-Source of Morality Dilemma Is something good because God tells us it is? OR Is it good regardless of Gods commandments? If you agree with the former, then morality is arbitrary If you agree with the latter, then religion is irrelevant What about things which God does not comment on like animal cruelty? How do we determine right and wrong? Belief in God can confuse morality
When God commands something bad like genocide or Abrahams sacrifice of his son, no one has a problem with that because the order came from God. C. Rule-Based Moral Systems Rules are OK when a child is too young to understand the reasons behind the rule and to keep them out of trouble or danger (Hot! Dont touch!)
Rules cant cover all situations. Is drinking bad? Or only under some conditions? Are there times when it is OK to kill? As they become adolescents and begin to think abstractly they can start to understand the whys and move from rules to principles The trouble with rules is that they are situation-specific and when the situation changes they become lost Principles on the other hand can be applied in a number of different situations, hence the need for moral reasoning Moral reasoning is not always about right vs. wrong, sometimes it is (one persons) right vs. (anothers) right (conflicting principles)
Joyce Meyer - Evangelist I once asked the Lord why so many people are confused and He said to me, Tell them to stop trying to figure everything out, and they will stop being confused. I have found it to be absolutely true. Reasoning and confusion go together. Battlefield of the Mind Rules or Acting Responsibility?
RULE-based questions: Is drinking wrong? Is Carnival wrong? Is premarital sex wrong? RESPONSIBILITY sets conditions for actions: Premarital sex is OK, if 1. You do not give or catch a disease 2. You do not have an unwanted pregnancy 3. You do not cheat on your lover 4. You have feelings for your partner What would bother God more: seeing two people who love each other have premarital sex for an hour OR seeing them in eternal torment in hell?
D. Focus: Obedience or SelfRegulation? OR Especially to an authority figure Especially when others are not observing
Obedience is a means not an end Young children need rules and must obey them to be safe But when they can start to reason They need to understand their behavior and its consequences to be self regulating which means switching from external to internal guidance E. Gods Plan Not even Free Will!
Accepting Gods will for son to be chopped Nathan Barcoo-Campo, 13, who was severely chopped by a cutlass-wielding bandit at his Las Lomas No.3 home on December 27, 2015 yesterday succumbed to his injuries. Nathans mother, despite her injuries, has been recovering well. She is very strong and was able to see her son moments before he died. She and I, both, have accepted Gods
will It was all set before you were born You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed Psalm 139:16. Illusion of Free Will
We have influence over our behavior, but not free will as in being totally in control. If you cannot change a habit you do not have free will. Freedom of thought Ask a religious person if they have the right to believe in the religion of their choice
YES!! This is a free country and I can pick any religion I want. Ask if their children have the right to choose their own path NO!! They deny their children the right that that they reserve for themselves UN Convention on Childrens Rights (CRC) Article 12- The childs opinion The child has the right to express his or her opinion freely and to have that opinion taken into account in any matter of procedure affecting the child.
Article 13- Freedom of expression The child has the right to express his or her views, obtain information, make ideas or information known, regardless of frontiers. Article 14- Freedom of thought, conscience and religion The State shall respect the childs right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, subject to appropriate parental guidance. F. Indoctrination Definition: To teach (someone) to fully accept the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group and to not consider other ideas,
opinions, and beliefs. [Closed system aka brainwashing] Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love. John Steinbeck The enemy is NEVER really people but always IGNORANCE. G. Rewards & Punishments We reward or punish animals to shape their behaviour
Toddlers are first introduced to moral (and other) behaviour this way Religion makes a mistake by stopping at this stage by using the threat of hell or the reward of heaven as the main motivators of good behaviour into adulthood The trouble with this type of incentive system is that as soon as the reward or punishment is removed the person reverts to convenient behaviour What we are really striving for is doing the right things because it is right thing to do (not to avoid punishment) and do it on their own (self-regulation) Terrorizing a child with Hell could be considered child abuse The world will end soon and in
blood Click on the image to see a list of times that people said the world will end. Good for Goodness Sake Doing the right thing because it is the right
thing to do! H. Biblical Discipline This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard. Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear of it and fear.
Deu 21:18-21 Discipline My parents beat me and I turned out all right. What about the others who did not turn out alright? Are you good because of it OR in spite of it? Nonphysical discipline techniques
(1) work better (2) with fewer negative consequences. What physical discipline does 1. Increases anxiety and fear 2. Hinders the development of empathy and compassion for others 3. Makes children angry in response 4. Heightens aggression toward others 5. Decreases compliance and increases resistance 6. Harms relationship with parent or caregiver 7. Potentially causes unintended and severe physical injury
8. Decreases self-esteem 9. Increases the probability for an array of undesirable social and psychological behaviors 10. Teaches that violence is an acceptable way to handle conflict http://www.americanhumane.org I. Authoritarian parenting Religious people are taught to act like/be like or model after God God is very much a Authoritarian and a an absolutist Parents using this style will get there kids to behave out of fear Fear only works when it is being applied, remove fear and the child ignores the rules
The bible gives commandments and rules but never explains why they are to be followed Authoritarian parenting: when the child asks why? and the parent says, because I say so! Now take out the human and substitute God! Merely coincidence?
Old Testament God University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science, Richard Dawkins description of God: The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Every one of those charges is grounded in biblical passages describing Gods behavior. So is this the God to be imitated?
J. Faith vs. (Scientific) Facts People of faith believe the impossible. People of faith believe that which is contrary to fact. People of faith believe that which is contrary to evidence. People of faith ignore reality. -- Greg Koukl God will save our abusive marriage, our child from cancer, the nation from crime if we pray hard enough. God & Truth Biblical Faith vs. Fact
World created in seven days The Great Flood Noahs Ark (450 long could hold 8 million species of animals and food) Jews in Egypt Roman Census (6 AD) Herods killing of first borns (but he died in 4 BC) Saints raised from tombs at crucifixion (Matthew 27:52) Miracles Prayer works (experiments)
Cosmology & History Evolution is just a theory Big Bang? The earth is the centre of the universe Dinosaurs and men co-existed God can only do good Carbon dating is flawed US is founded on Christian principles 65 Million Years Ago?
When denying reality causes harm Global Warming is hoax Homosexuality is a choice Gender is determined at birth Secular people cannot be moral Beating a child teaches discipline Death penalty deters crime Ban on gun control research by Congress Teen abstinence pledges work Afterlife exists World will end soon
Double Standard? Teenage Abstinence The Claim: Research shows that abstinence-only education delays sexual initiation and reduces teen pregnancy. The Facts: Abstinence-only education programs are NOT effective at: 1. 2. 3.
4. delaying the initiation of sexual activity having fewer sexual partners in reducing teen pregnancy preventing STDs. Advocates for Youth K. Prayer can be a cop-out
L. Prosperity Gospel M. After-Life Focus Religions main concern is about getting you into heaven This puts pressure on individuals who are always concerned if they are right with God It distorts the meaning of suffering and abuse, as many believers conceptualize it is punishment for sinning and think they deserve it Jesus has said the the poor will always be with us so how does that help motivate us to make the world a better place? If the world is temporary and will be destroyed then I do not have to
take care of the environment, as Jesus is coming soon N. Human Rights Violations Capital punishment An eye for an eye Corporal punishment Spare the rod and spoil the child Sex education RC church blocked the curriculum because of contraception content Birth control RC blocked in Africa Gay rights homosexuality is an abomination Womans rights the wife must be subordinate to
the husband Womans health issues Planned Parenthood services, abortion under attack Right to education Fundamentalist Islamic states prohibit it for woman FBI Hate Crimes - 2014 Strange but true: those who have loved God most have loved men
least. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1881) People start thinking for God Romans 11:34 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" Passages from H. L. Mencken Parents use it too to frighten their children God doesnt like it when you do that. God saved them because
The did not survive because God WWJD? O. Obsession with chastity or purity "Im a Catholic. Were taught that sex is a dirty, vile, disgusting act that you save for the one you truly love." You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Sexual urges are not hormones they are evidence that the devil is at work to destroy you. What the Bible says about marriage Social Regulation Evolutionary Psychology Do animals have morals? Watch and see
Do infants know right from wrong? Yale University's Infant Cognition Center Everyone knows that Murder is wrong Cheating is wrong Stealing is wrong Lying is wrong Hurting someone is wrong In short, whenever you feel guilty for an act
or something you hide it is probably wrong How did people know right from wrong for 200,000 years before the bible came out? Conscience Our moral sense is a sophisticated mental mechanism that enables individuals to survive and thrive in groups. Conscience encourages selfcontrol by tying our thinking brain with our emotional brain. Certain brain injuries reduce inhibitions or ability to tell right from wrong
Simple moral tendencies seem innate in humans and other primates; but there are other situations that require regulation which are called social conventions and there are moral situations that require moral reasoning beyond conscience Evolutionary Psychology [for Dummies] Because calories were scarce.a sweet tooth! Because strangers were often the enemy.tribal behaviour! Because the average life span was 16 30 years old and most died in
infancythe reproductive imperative for men! Survival Imperative: Personal selfishness with resources OR Sharing to help the tribe survive? We have created a civilization that we were not designed to live in. Social Regulation Two Components MORALITY Innate Right vs Wrong Is the same in all cultures Brain-based (born with them) Consequences intrinsic to
actions Unchangeable Independent of religion SOCIAL CONVENTION Rules/Norms in doing things Vary by culture and era Learned by socialization Arbitrary Up for negotiation
Determining Right Behaviour 1724 -1804 A Complete Moral Model If the motive is good and the action is good and the result is good, then it was a moral action. Moral Dilemmas & Moral Reasoning A moral dilemma is a conflict in
which you have to choose between two or more actions and have moral reasons for choosing each action Moral reasoning process: Pros & Cons for each action or choice based on Motive-Action-Consequences model Shift from YOU to THEM 10 Commandments
God-Centred Man-Centred 1. You shall have no other gods before me. 2. You shall not make for yourself an graven image 3. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God 4. Remember the Sabbath day by
keeping it holy 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Honor your father and your mother You shall not kill You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor 10. You shall not covet your neighbors housewife, servant, his ox or donkey, etc. What is wrong with the 10 Commandments? 1. Morality is about people not God (#1 - #4) 2. It tells us what NOT to do but not WHAT to do
3. The subconscious cannot process negative statements (Dont smoke becomes smoke!) All affirmations are positive 4. It is not comprehensive 5. There are no explanations of why we should follow each one or how to apply them (moral reasoning) 6. It is missing important points (love, rape, slavery, etc.) 7. It contradictory: Thou shall not kill (unless someone doesnt keep the Sabbath holy) 8. There are two sets of contradictory commandments: Exodus 20 and 34 Parenting Behaviours to
Develop Morality A recent research view concluded that, in general, moral children tend to have parents who (Eisenberg & Valiente, 2002, p. 134): Are warm and supportive rather than punitive. Provide opportunities for the children to learn about others perspectives and feelings. Involve children in family decision making and in the process of thinking about moral decisions. . . . Model moral behaviors and thinking themselves, and provide opportunities for their children to do so. Provide information about what behaviors are expected and why. Foster an internal rather than an external sense of morality.
Do you see them reflected in every decision, action, behavior, process, product, service? Or are they artwork for the wall? Which are moral values and which are non-moral values? Exercise: Value Identification
Lets review what you did in the first exercise with value identification As we go through the upcoming material see where you might see core family values that that you live and stress Which Values? Institute for Global Ethics 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Honesty Respect Responsibility Fairness Compassion 7 Secular Virtues - McGowan 1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6. 7. Honesty Humility Empathy Courage Openness Generosity
Gratitude McGowans Seven Secular Virtues 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Honesty love of/search for truth; authentic in dealings, WYSIWYG Humility equal to; authentic sense of oneself and in presentation
Empathy sense and care about how others feel; compassionate Courage - internal = self-confidence; external = facing society Openness (1) our own fallibility (2) embracing diversity (3) questioning and learning 6. Generosity if there is no God--we need to help one another 7. Gratitude thankful to those who actually provided something; I am content (happy) with what I have at the moment Discipline
What is your discipline objective? 1. To control your children? (Obedience) 2. To develop self-discipline or self-regulation in them? Methods follow from your objective Prison or Scaffolding?...Depends on your objective Obedience! Self-Regulation
Over-Parenting Any strength taken to an extreme becomes a weakness We want them to value what we Empathy in Parenting value. But for children to be open and receptive to our values and
our perspective, they first need to feel heard and understood. Beyond the Classroom Exercise: Getting into your childs world Many times we try to drag children out of their world and attempt to make them little adults In groups, create a list of some methods that you would employ to understand things from your childs point of view so that you reactions make sense to them and solve their problems
Connecting with your childs world 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Listen Give them undivided attention Think like a Child Pay attention to their imaginations Focus on their creations Play with them Let youngsters lead you Physically, verbally, and emotionally connect More with Your Kids solving
Sometimes we hurt others or ourselves when getting our needs satisfied The more options we have the more chances we have for success Is the wheel for kids or parents? Focusing on problem solving instead of punishment is now seen as key to
successful discipline. There is a BIG difference TELLING! ASKING? Is controlling Stops thinking Stops learning Decreases motivation
Limits task to one method Very demanding Is empowering Stimulates thinking Stimulates learning Increases motivation Encourages creativity Not as harsh Asking takes more time, skills, patience, and energy,
but the payoff is much bigger. Punishment or Discipline? Focus on the Family Five Es Humanist Discipline 1. Example modeling correct behaviour 2. Explanation the reasons for rules/boundaries (in advance)
3. Encouragement acknowledge childs specific goals and efforts, not just generic praise 4. Empathy age-sensitive understanding of childs feelings and thinking (get into their world) 5. Engagement involve in family decisions; figuring consequences for misbehavior (negotiating and decision-making skills) Raising Freethinkers, 2009, p.38 Exercise: Moral Reasoning Your 8 year old hurt a school mate and their teacher has informed you of the incident
How would you approach the discussion when they got home? Make a list of questions in the order that you would ask them What would you do after your discussion in terms of discipline (cite some general principles) How to Discipline Focus on the behavior, not the child Respond immediately Relate the discipline to the offending behavior in duration
and severity Deny something they value instead of hitting Be: realistic, fair, consistent, creative, remain calm Make it a learning opportunity Reward or praise desirable behaviors Develop behavioral contracts and incentive charts
American Humane Assoc Meaning & Purpose The Purpose of Life & YOUR Life Finish this sentence: The (generic) purpose of life is. "The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is." ~ Erasmus
Each man had only one genuine vocation - to find the way to himself....His task was to discover his own destiny - not an arbitrary one - and to live it out wholly and resolutely within himself. Everything else was only a wouldbe existence, an attempt at evasion, a flight back to the ideals of the masses, conformity and fear of one's own inwardness. Hermann Hesse The BIGGEST lie That parents tell their kids When you grow up, you can be anything you want to be! Not what parents want Not what makes you rich
Not what your friends are doing Finding Your Purpose Instead: You can be anything that you are both talented at AND passionate about. Talent - Strengths & Weaknesses We all have strengths and weaknesses in life What should our generic strategy be towards these? Answer the
following We should do what with our strengths, and do what with our weaknesses? Weaknesses: Cognitive and Emotional Identifying & Developing Talents IDENTIFY DEVELOP
Do not pass judgement Encourage your child to explore new opportunities Ensure your childs passion is the motivator Promote inner satisfaction not approval
Praise effort, not ability Introduce them to children with similar interests Find your child a talent mentor Observe natural interests Observe choice of activities Observe achievements Observe television viewing choices Pay attention to what your child is curious about
Academic performance Ask for teachers suggestions India Parenting Critical Thinkers The skilled and reflective evaluation and interpretation of information or argumentation for the purposes of deciding what to believe or what to do. (Adapted from: Norris &Ennis, 1989; Fisher & Schriven, 1997) I would ask my daughters what is the correct answer, then WHY is the
answer correct. Breakfast cereal box game Situational awareness road sign game Kennedys Dinner Issues Discussion Philosophy of Life Questions to Ask What is? Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is the world the way it is? Where does it all come from?
Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going to? What is the purpose of it all? Is there a God? What is good and what is evil? What is knowledge? What is truth? What is consciousness? Do we have a "free will"?
How should we act? How can we be happy? Why cant we live forever? What is the meaning of life? Peaceful Co-existence with God-Fearing People The Triangle: Religious vs Spiritual GOD
GOD R OTHERS ME Hedonist S
S YOU S OTHERS Humanist Case study Naparima Boys Disparaging the sixth-form pupilthe teacher reportedly stated that: The beginning of
the story is he has two parents who should not be parents, they are screw-ups, they are atheists, they do not believe in God. You see me, give me a gun and I will fix all the problems in the world. I will shoot both of them first and then their offspring. Do not tell me there is not a God. She added: I did not yesterday make a pronouncement on gay people. I read from the scriptures and all scriptures and doctrines say to be gay is wrong. It is something that is not appropriate in the eyes of God and I believe that. However, I also live in a country where the watchwords are discipline, tolerance and production. Tolerance I have. What you are seeing here right now is a microcosm of what is happening out there... the one thing I cannot tolerate, you see defiance and you see disrespect, I would rearrange your blasted face
Petition: There arent many people in the world who are as sincere, generous, loving and especially as caring as Miss ***. Case Study - Naparima Pretend you are the secular parents of this boy who is homosexual. 1. How would you have handled the situation: a) At home with your son b) At the school or other organisations involved (MOE, TTUTA, School Supervisor, government, police, etc.)? 2. What is your objective in the matter? 3. Justify your strategy and actions
4. You have 5 minutes to discuss and answer Case Studies with Family Coming & Going Case 1 - Going Case 2 - Coming Your family has been invited over to your religious relatives at Christmas who would like you to
go to services with them and then at dinner say Grace and a prayer. A religious family is coming by your family for a Christmas dinner where you are not saying any prayers and you dont have religious objects (manger, etc.) around and they ask you about it.
How would you handle that? How would you handle that? Case Study Peer Pressure School mates notice that your child does not participate in class prayers and start to question and make fun of him or her? How would you handle that? At home? With the school?
Principles in interactions with Believers 1. Respect everyones beliefs unless their behaviour is causing harm 2. You want to have your child learn about religion but not have their reasoning and decision making emotionally hijacked 3. Discuss and prepare your children ahead of events and then discuss afterwards for their reactions 4. At their place: Just be silent if they pray (dont be confrontational or a door mat) 5. At your place: instead of grace, you can toast the occasion and its importance, talk about gratitude (not to a god), ask everyone what they value about the
occasion, etc. 6. Consider your child in your strategy Possible Conflict Points Interfaith Couples Up to Marriage During Marriage Drinking Dancing
Dressing Premarital sex Religious observances Marriage ceremony Childs religion/Baptism Indoctrination/Sunday School Prayer time/bible study Church attendance & Donations Church activities/camps Discipline (corporal?)
Sex education Contraceptives/abortion Extended family relations/holidays Interfaith Partner Principles Listen to and try to understand each other Respect each others positions Dont try to convert No preaching or belittling Focus on shared values--not beliefs Live your values
Make compromises on both sides where possible Celebrating Life Events & Holidays Life Events EVENT BIRTH PUBERTY MARRIAGE PARENTING
DEATH RELIGIOUS Baptism First Communion Religious Rites God-Fearing Last Rights SECULAR Naming Ceremony
Rites of Passage/Coming of Age Spouse centered Research based Memorial Service Reframing Holidays Religious Secular Easter
Corpus Christi Eid-al-Fitr Divali Christmas Other Spring Earth Day Planting Environment Introspection Service Giving Social Relationships
? Finding the Secular Community Community What is fellowship? Friendly association, especially with people who share one's interests What are possible common interests and goals?
Internal support and reinforcement? Advocate to be accepted as a legitimate and valued group in society? Advocate for human rights and against religious abuses? Abolition of religion as it is not only viewed as untrue but anti-human? What are the benefits of having a community of likeminded individuals? What is the possible downside of community?
Finding Community How do we find others like ourselves in a religious society? What does this mean in terms of our children, where do they find common meaning in groups? What are some organised or organisational forms of community both local and international? UWI Humanist Society (student club) T&T Humanist Association International secular, atheist, freethinker, Humanist associations
Secular Parenting Resources Secular Parenting Books Online AHA Resources for kids & teens Kids Readings Science Kids readings on philosophy
Teaching Children Philosophy (Primary) Movies for kids and teens Online Secular Resources ParentingBeyondBelief.com (Dale McGowan) Raising Godless Children: What Should Atheist Parents Do for the ir Children? Good Advice!
Raising Children Without God A post by Dave Silverman of American Atheists www.kidswithoutgod.com A nice kid friendly introduction to science, evolution and more www.atheistparents.org Parenting Without Belief The Young Australian Skeptics A community and blog by a team of youths Camp Quest 1. Summer camp beyond belief! 2. A place for fun, friends, and freethought for kids ages 8-17. Camp Inquiry (Holland, NY) Charlies Playhouse makes the first-ever products that introduce
kids to evolution, natural selection and Charles Darwin. Freethinking Teens Creating and maintaining the largest community of Freethinking teens managed by teens on the planet! Kids Without God A site for the millions of young people around the world who have embraced science, rejected superstition, and are dedicated to being Good Without A God! SecularStudentAlliance.org has relationships with the Secular Coalition for America, Institute for Humanist Studies, American Humanist Association, Atheist Alliance International,
American Atheists, Internet Infidels , the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the Gay and Lesbian Atheist and Humanist Alliance, and several other organizations. Gammaatheist.wordpress.com The atheist supporting site by @GammaAtheist which includes basics of Atheism and Deconversion stories. He helped to inspire and provide sources for this parenting page! Worth a look! ~Click Here! http://americanhumanist.org/Parenting Kids Without Religion: Raising Kids as Independent, Rational Thinkers (Deborah Mitchell) http://secularparentingforum.org/resources/ Raising kids to be good grown
ups. Secular Homeschooling via atheistview.com/ http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content/ For freethinking and nonreligious homeschoolers Grief Beyond Belief A faith-free support network Questions & Comments