Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quiverful -v- Atheist

Nancy, from NPZ, e-mailed me about an e-mail she received. I received a similar e-mail. Here's the text of the email I received. She claims to be waiting for me to fill this out before answering. Weird.



Hello from the Parsons family! I'm Sharon Parsons. I've watched
the drama between NPZ and your blog and have questions I was hoping you
could both answer. I am a moderate Christian who likes to keep an open
mind about what other people believe or feel about religions. Let's
try this. If you fill this out we will have a better idea about who you are.
I will ask Nancy the same questions by e-mail. We may find common
ground or we may find debates.



I've gone in circles about doing this. For one, I really don't think I need to defend my parenting anymore. I have four great kids. I have no idea how they will turn out after all is said and done. Then again, Possum#1 wants me to do this because she thinks surveys such as this one will help theists understand how atheists parent. As she said, "Maybe it won't matter to a theist parent, but it may help someone who things theism is necessary think twice." Smart kid! So...at her request, let's do this.



1. What are your priorities as a woman? Why?

My priorities as a woman differ from those I have as a mother. As a woman, my priority is self-esteem and the promotion of advanced math and science for all children, but in particular, female children. I think they still get over-looked. As a woman, I want my girls to reflect strength of character and independence. Now, as a mother, my priorities are (in order):
1. My children
2. My marriage
3. My intellectual and personal growth.
4. Encouraging the use of logic and reason.
5. Being an example.
Four and five are probably pretty close to a tie. Why? Well, my children being first should be obvious. Given that I do not believe in an afterlife, I see my children as the future of my line. I want them to do great things and enjoy life. The things I do right now matter. They matter tremendously. Ask any child who's been treated badly by a parent; it takes a while to break those cycles and right those wrongs. My best friend, Middle Aged Vampire Atheist, talk about this quite frequently. The only way to break the cycle is to be the hammer. So, every decision I make is made with regard to my children. My marriage is also a fairly obvious priority. The others are important to the institution of the first two priorities.

2. What role does your husband serve in your marriage? - Pdaddy has an invaluable role in our marriage/family. He stands with me in wanting our children to be great people who do amazing things. And, he's one of the most caring men I know. He's not afraid to take on things that may traditionally be a woman's job. He's changed just as many diapers as I have. He was completely supportive of me breastfeeding, to the extent that he would get up and change the baby before handing him/her off (AND asking if I could use some water or pillow fluffs to get comfortable while nursing). We have our moments. We're both human. But, I think we're united on the critical issues. What role does he serve? He's my best male friend and knows me inside-and-out. He is the male role model. He teaches our sons how to be be good husbands and fathers...he strives to teach our daughters what they should expect in a man.

3. How many children do you have and how old are they. Use initials or numbers for names. It's not important to have their names.
We have four children. P1 (female) = 13 years. P2 (male) = 12 years. P3 (female) = 5 years, 10 months. P4 (male) = 4 years.
I'm really glad it turned out the way it did. P1 and P2 can't recall any time when the other wasn't there (as P1 is just 17 months older). P3 and P4 are the same (22 month gap). They've always been playmates. And, something I never anticipated was how protective P2 would be of P3 and P1 of P4.

4. Do you homeschool? - No. We believe that a public education is valuable. Working with a community of peers is important. That said, we do heavily supplement the primary school curriculum (after that, honors programs kick in). We try to engage each child in their interests and keep them culturally literate in subjects like: art, music, history, philosophy, and humanism. We spend a good chunk of time giving them enrichment in academic subjects, too.

5. How many books are in your home? Do you believe children should be allowed to read anything? What should be censored or what bothers you enough to make it off-limits? - Hardly anything is off-limits. Pornography and exceedingly violent materials are not welcome. But, we don't try to ban these things because we realize that banning usually creates a feeling, in the child, that you've laid down a challenge. Forbidden fruit. *wink* I'm okay with books about sexuality and/or anatomically/biologically correct materials. We have an open door policy on those things. I really think children should be exposed to a broad spectrum of reading material. Thus, we have not hundreds of books, but thousands in our home. Most of our books are non-fiction.

6. Give us a brief over-view of your day, if you would please? (this will be important later)

That would be almost impossible to do. Sorry.

7. What does religion mean to you?

Religion is something people participate in to find fellowship with like minded people and/or take comfort in the alleged promises made by their deity. I hope this isn't taken wrong, but (to me) religion means giving up your own ideas to be part of the group. It means prizing faith over discovery. I realize that not all religious people feel this way and I would agree that this is over-generalizing, but the question was how I feel about religion. Your mileage may vary.

8. What does God mean to you? - Nothing.
9. What is the best possible outcome that you can think of for your children? If you have different thoughts for different kids please list for each.
To be happy and productive in their chosen field. I think the best possible outcome is a child who can: think critically, solve problems, help the world be a better place, find contentment and happiness so that they may be happy adults, who are empathetic and educated. I also hope the realize how much they are loved.

10. Is there anything your child could od to make you disown him/her? Give us an example of some of those things.
Disown? No. Even if my child did something heinous, he/she would still be my child. You can't put conditions on loving your child. That said, I would be extremely disappointed if they purposefully harmed another person without good reason (in self-defense). I would be upset if they threw away the chances they had or wasted their minds.

11. Discipline. What does it mean to you?
Teaching children the consequences of their decisions -positive and negative.

12. What educational goals do you have for your children?
I really hope that they all get an undergrad degree at the very least. P1 wants to be a physician, so my goal for her is her goal. P2 wants to get a PhD and teach like his dad. P3 wants to be a vet or a princess. P4 wants to be Lightning McQueen, so...
It's hard to say what I want for them academically because it's not my choice to make. My job is to give them all the tools to be who they want to be and then help them navigate towards their goal.


50 comments:

jimmy said...

Amazing answers! As always, you speak eloquently about what you believe. You also sound very much like the kind of people I like to be around. Probably why I enjoy reading your blog! I just hope that the person who emailed you isn't a troll that distorts them for some crazy purpose.

Enshoku said...

Well done, but I still don't get the point of asking"what does god mean to you?"serves. It's like asking anyone at a James Randi convention "what does bigfoot mean to you" (although at TAM, you'd likely hear some fun responses.), it's a useless question.

Also, if nancy answers then you should probably link to her post.

Cris said...

Nancy answered, and it's a very scary reading.

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

I'm going to disagree with you there enshoku. I think "What does God mean to you?" is a very important question. Even though I don't believe any god exists, I willingly concede that most people do, and I think their incoherent, idiosyncratic, contradictory ideas about who 'God' is and what he/she/it wants have had a profound effect on the history of the world, and the well-being of those in it, both for good and for evil.
I think it would be wrong to suggest that this is not an important question- for many, many people in this world, (Nancy and Thomas among them) the answer shapes and informs every single other facet of their existence.

Knitterman said...

P'momma, your answers were excellent. The other person's answers scare the puddin' outta me -- her responses indicate a serious lack of balance in her life.

I'd like to know why some other person (Sharon, was it?) would even try to intervene between you and the NPZ folks -- what's the intended outcome of this exercise?

The less mention or reference to NPZ, the better, imo.

Knitterman said...

I also wanted to comment on this:

"For one, I really don't think I need to defend my parenting anymore."

Exactly! You shouldn't have to defend or justify your parenting, you've obviously done a fabulous job of it. Your child's insight into why others might benefit from your answers show just how well you've done.

Liz said...

I have been reading your blog for about a week now. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I was raised christian and have recently decided (although I have questioned religion for years) that I feel more comfortable with the label of athiest. Being so new to the idea I have no idea how to raise a child without religion. You answers have given me a little insight to this. I found your answers to be so real and expanding. I felt the other gals answers to be very closed off and scary.
Tell your daughter she is right. This helped me grasp my new thoughts just a bit better.
Thanks again.

Spidergrackle said...

And in answering, as usual, Nancy achieves nothing more than to be really creepy.

arana-suteshi said...

I like most of your answers. My oldest is 7, and I'm still lost on this parenting thing. I don't think I was really meant to be a mother, though.

NPZ's answers were a little scary, but what I would expect. Though some were sorely lacking.

KevinGreene said...

I actually thought the 'What does god mean to you?' question was interesting.

While nothing is an obvious answer It made me think if there was a different question such as 'Are there any fictional characters that have meaning to you?' how I would answer.

Spidergrackle said...

I love Nancy's answers to 9 and 10: Seeing that her children are saved is the only thing she holds important for them, but then she'll disown them if they blaspheme, rather than try to "bring them back to God", or whatever. She'll just abandon them to eternal damnation. What a peach.

KevinGreene said...

Spidergrackle, it's a special kind of loony allright but it is the type of thinking you get into if your crazy enough to be a fundamentalist.

Take this passage, "whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come"

So barring the fact that we're speaking about the character of works of fiction, which certainly has a long literary tradition...

If I was to say Jesus is a total prick that's forgivable; and fun.

If I was to say the christian God, with a capital G dammit, is a total prick that's crossing the line and God won't forgive that. Why? Well, as I said he's a total prick.

In which case there's no hope for salvation and even feeding her kid at the point becomes a waste of resources.

Because you know, it's not like she actually loves them as people.

It's the only way you can rationalize something like that.

Calladus said...

My knee-jerk reaction to any question about "God" is, "Which God?"

I loved the stories about Zeus, Thor, Odin, and everyone else in the Greek and Roman Pantheon. The Hindu Gods are mysterious deliciously dark. North American Indian Gods are my heritage and feel homey and familiar. Egyptian Gods feel stiff and formal as their hieroglyphics.

The Bipolar Christian God of the old and new Testaments seems Schizophrenic to me.


Oh, and P3 told me she was, "Five and a half - no, I mean five and THREE QUARTERS!"

invisible dragon said...

Oh my scaly purple tail... Nancy's answers are surely the scariest thing I've read in at least a few weeks. Maybe longer, since she is clearly sincere. What a sad, sad waste of six-going-on-seven lives.

As for PMomma, you are the sort of parent we should all be striving to be. I'd definitely give you a medal if I had any in my hoard. I seriously doubt any of the possums will disappoint you in their adult lives.

I am afraid I can't say the same for Nancy and Thomas' brood. Poor things. :(

reVAMPed said...

Well, I was wondering why I got so many people coming to my blog via yours. So, I went ahead and answered the questions too, even though I didn't get that wonderful email.

reVAMPed said...

Oh wow I just read Nancy's answer to Q7 and it make the hair on my neck stand up.

7. What does religion mean to you?
God sacrificed his only son for us to be saved by faith. Most churches do not meet our truth for worship which is how Tom got ordained to lead us in home.

CyberLizard said...

I just ran across this blog surfing and it is wonderful to hear from the mothering perspective on this subject. The theists just don't seem to get how we can love our children without their god. It's refreshing to hear someone speak so eloquently on the subject.

Reading your descriptions of things, it does seem amazing the number of things my family seems to have in common with yours. Sounds like it'd be fun to have a play date with our two kids. Coming to Florida any time soon? ;-)

charlalei said...

I wonder why Nutsy, I mean Nancy, was waiting for you to go first. You call it weird....I'm thinking cowardly fits better.

I too found her answers frightening. I truly worry about any child that is being shielded away from any public influence designed to protect them from abuse...or in this case, brainwashing. No public school, no public church. The claims that this is for the children's spiritual protection is absolute bullshit. This is so they can teach their child their bizarro ways without any kind of oversight or protection for the child.

Natasha Yar-Routh said...

To echo everyone else, your answers are fantastic. Thoughtful and well considered they demonstrate yet again what a great role model and mother you are. P1's reason ing on why to answer the questions is a splendid example of your success as a mother.

As for Nancy's answers, yes they are frighting and disturbing. No thought there at all, just rote answers. I am really sorry for her children, they will be totaly unequiped to deal with the real world when they finally get out from under her thumb.

I did find it hilarious that she complimented P-Momma on n ot telling her what to think when all she does is tell P-Momma and everyone else what to think.

Nancy, Why so serious?

Lets put a smile on that face.

Erin said...

I am constantly amazed that theists always want to question your parenting, because when I found out I was pregnant, you were absolutely 100% of those people who I looked at and thought, "I hope my child(ren) will grow up to be like hers."

Erin said...

Also with regard to Nancy's responses, let me just state the obvious and say how frightening it is that someone with such complete lack of knowledge as to how spelling works is homeschooling her children.

Reminds me of Ma Duggar and her "Per-pen-di-cular" lesson.

Nancy said...

1. I want to ask why your answers are about your daughters instead of all your children. You say as a mother you want your daughter to be independent with good character but not your son. Independentness can be a bad problem. How can she meet her match if she is focusing on being alone with no partner. Who will she marry? 2. Man and woman were created with different purposes but here you say he is the same which is good. Men need power because that is what God gave them. It is why marriages based on the Bible work since you can't have two people who want control or you fight over everything. I trust God to put my needs in Tom's heart which never fails to work. A good husband is inpowered with spirit to see the family needs. 3. Why did you stop with four? I cant help see that you didn't have more after being an atheist. Atheism is the right thing right so why not have a whole army of atheists to continue brining the message of atheism to the world. I see that this is God telling you he won't bless you with children to go against him. Do you see? 4. Are you afraid of what happens if you put morals in the classroom is that why you hang on academics for your family? We learn much through the practice of forgiving and confessing. I think secular people want to know everything which is impossible to do. Some things have to be said I don't know let's give this to God. 8. God means to you. You oppose him so he does mean something to you. Be honest okay. I was honest when I answered. Saying that God means nothing to atheists is a lie. 11. Your child can murder and you'll love them the same. I don't believe that you would. The best love is to be careful with love so it can't be used.

Anonomouse said...

"You say as a mother you want your daughter to be independent with good character but not your son."

You Fail at reading comprehension.

[As a woman, my priority is self-esteem and the promotion of advanced math and science for all children, but in particular, female children. I think they still get over-looked. As a woman, I want my girls to reflect strength of character and independence.]

Those three sentences are linked. It's a continuation of a thought along a theme of how female children get overlooked.

If you were not looking for things to hold up as wrong you may have seen that for yourself.

lumberjackninja said...

Nancy, I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine: the carriage return. You can see him every time you hit the 'Enter' key on your keyboard. If you do this at the end of individual lines and twice at paragraphs, it helps you to look less uneducated.

That being said, I don't think you're getting the point of being an atheist. We (yes, I am one) do not believe in God. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the rest of the human populace does, and the terrible truth is that no man is an island- we have to deal with people on a day to day basis.

The problem is compounded when we have a political system where the majority, essentially, rules; things don't work out when the majority would rather think some unrevealed God or gods will make things better, and that they are not required to put effort into making the world a better place.

Continuing: How can you read purpose into circumstance? You make a repugnant reference to Pmomma's reproductive fortune, and say that's a sign to you that God is trying to shut her up. Going by those standards, I'd say that your inability to grasp the basics written composition in the english language means that you aren't meant to be taken seriously; not that you would be without your sixth grade writing ability.

Lastly, you mention your idea of conditional love. Isn't your idol's (read: Christ's) love unconditional? What's the point of being a Christian, if not to strive to be like Christ? Your logic is as well put together as your prose.

Pmomma offered a very understanding answer when asked what religion means to her. I am not so kind: I believe religion and superstition (is that redundant? I guess they are one and the same) are for children, because only children are to intellectually or emotionally weak to deliberately seek the truth and accept it, no matter what it is. You find comfort in your Bible? That's cool- if you're four years old. When I was but a wee lumberjack I had imaginary friends, too. I imagine that you are the kind of parent who, when asked by one of your numerous progeny why the sky is blue, say "Because I said so" or "Because God made it that way."

What an intellectually stimulating answer, that.


(Oh, Pmomma, I've been lurking for months and just thought I'd let you know that you rock my socks off. Continue rocking!)

anonomouse said...

"2. Man and woman were created with different purposes but here you say he is the same which is good. Men need power because that is what God gave them. It is why marriages based on the Bible work since you can't have two people who want control or you fight over everything."

You've been raised your whole life to be a slave. It's not surprising that you don't notice the water that you are swimming in. All you see it people swimming differently and since its not the same as yours it must be "Bad".

"3. Why did you stop with four? I cant help see that you didn't have more after being an atheist."

A vagina is not a clown car? Health Problems? among other reasons. For someone who put up a Hate site you don't know much about the person you're hating. or its the aforementioned lack of Reading Comprehension skills.

"Atheism is the right thing right so why not have a whole army of atheists to continue brining the message of atheism to the world."

Because for the most part atheists are not out to convert anyone. We would like people to stop trying to pass laws or educate our children based on the Kooky beliefs of theists.

"I see that this is God telling you he won't bless you with children to go against him. Do you see?"

Or, you know, the informed use of Birth Control. Don't they have those on your Planet?

LCR said...

Nancy,

I am continuously amazed in this day and age that a woman in this country could live such a limited life as you do. I am even more frightened for your daughters, as they seem destined to lead as limited a life as you profess to enjoy. They will never know the full potential of their capabilities because you and your husband are already telling them all the things they "can't" do. Prison walls built of bible verse.

All of your questions are based upon the unjustified assumption that a god exists. As such, I understand why you grasp at these beliefs so frantically. The possibility that those beliefs might be wrong, as evidenced by many people living and thriving happily and successfully outside of these beliefs, must be a terrifying concept to take in. In your view, Pmomma MUST be wrong. To admit otherwise is to acknowledge that your views, and the endless limits they place on your life and the lives of your children, might just be for naught. Yes, I can see why you object so strenuously. I can understand why you must criticize and find fault with someone who lives and believes differently from you. You have no choice.

I also realize that you will vehemently deny this charge, but that is all part of maintaining the illusion as well.

Natasha Yar-Routh said...

Nancy,

Man and Woman weren't created, we evolved. Gender roles are largely societal constructions.

As usual you totally misunderstand atheists, we see no evidence for god so she really does mean nothing more to us than any other fictional character. I my case god means less to me than say Jerry Cornelius.

P-Momma wants far more for her children than you seem to want for yours.

Why so serious?

Lets put a smile on that face!

Gramomster said...

I don't think she would ever have seen that for herself.
Nancy seems completely incapable of following a thought progression.

And in her world, the boys are the valuable ones, so the concept of having concern for the academic success of daughters is likely incomprehensible.

Lack of critical thinking skills aside, I am terrified at the thought that this woman, with the horrendous spelling, grammar and syntax, is homeschooling these children. That is truly tragic.

anonomouse said...

"4. Are you afraid of what happens if you put morals in the classroom is that why you hang on academics for your family?"

Why would you teach morals in the classroom? The family are the ones to teach their children morals.

"We learn much through the practice of forgiving and confessing."

What life/carreer options do forgiving and confessing open up?

"I think secular people want to know everything which is impossible to do."

Its not the knowing everything, its the Trying.

"Some things have to be said I don't know let's give this to God."

We tried that one before, it was called the dark ages. Thankfully we've moved on since then. Unfortunately people like you always want to drag us back there.

"8. God means to you. You oppose him so he does mean something to you. Be honest okay. I was honest when I answered. Saying that God means nothing to atheists is a lie."

NO, NO, NO! Not believing in invisible unicorns is not the same thing as opposing it. Your misunderstanding of logic is not surprising.

"11. Your child can murder and you'll love them the same. I don't believe that you would. The best love is to be careful with love so it can't be used."

Its not surprising that you can't believe that. After all you never once mentioned loving your own children.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Wow...this post took off, didn't it? Thank you for the comments and compliments. Surveys of this nature usually annoy me because parenting can't be summed up in a page. It's far too complicated. But, I tried.

Nancy, your answers, frankly, scare the piss out of me. I'll hit your survey answers on your blog as soon as I finish here.

I'll be making your comment a blog entry.

Anonymous said...

Pmomma, You are doing fine. That NPZ kook has shown enough of her nature to turn most people off. I particularly noticed her fear of contact with strangers. Your openness, contrasted with her xenophobia, shows who is settled and serene in her life. I'm not an atheist, but I know what one is. She doesn't.

And her reasons for home schooling are mostly related to the xenophobic panic -someone might get an idea to her kids through the walls she has erected. Her faith is so fragile...

I read her blog entries and the comments - which are largely negative, IIRC.

An additional comment about the homeschooling: Her (and her husband's) English grammar and composition are abominable. Great home schooling teachers--NOT.

I can just imagine how the homeschooling is going in other subjects. Not only science (forget it) but math, civics, world and American history. Talk about a barren learning experience for the quiverful kids.

Oh well, don't take that kook seriously. It's a shame about her kids, though.

Bob Carroll

Katkinkate said...

You're doing a great job P-momma. I think Nancy and Thomas are cyberstalking you though. They scare me.

Autonomous said...

Natasha Yar-Routh-Nice Jerry Cornelius reference.

On topic-P-momma, your answers show a great deal of wisdom and your reply on the NPZ blog shows a great deal of compassion. One can only wish more mothers took the time to think these things through as you obviously have.

Terra said...

PMomma,

Once again, great post. I'm kinda glad you answered the questions, although I completely agree with you that it is unnecessary for you to defend your parenting. Your children-the way they talk and think-makes me want to hang out with you and your family and that is high praise coming from me. (I mostly prefer dogs to kids...)

Nancy said: "Men need power because that is what God gave them. It is why marriages based on the Bible work since you can't have two people who want control or you fight over everything. I trust God to put my needs in Tom's heart which never fails to work."

Nancy, I completely disagree with you. My partner and I both have "power" in our relationship and we love and respect each other. I would venture to guess that almost every woman who comments on this blog feels the same way about their chosen partner. You wanna know why? Because we've been taught that it's ok to think for ourselves and to expect to be treated with love and respect by our partner. Not that we are inferior and that we shouldn't voice our needs or concerns because the man will just know those things by your imaginary friend putting them in his head. That's ludicrous.

Also, let me get this straight: Men need power (from their women, I'm presuming you mean) because that is what god gave them? If God gave it to them, why do they need it from their women? I think what you're really saying is that the men you know (your husband and others like him) demand respect without earning it and then feed you some cockamamie story about it all being part of God's plan for you both. When my partner is acting out, I ignore him. It's the same tactic I use with my two dogs. They're all very well behaved. I do not have all the power in our relationship. Sometimes I make decisions, sometimes he makes them. I guess it's about 50/50, although I've never really felt the need to analyze how much power I have. Your assertion that if men don't have all the power you will "fight over everything" is just not true. Do you understand what I'm saying to you? It IS A LIE. Whoever told you that (because, let's be honest, you have no empirical evidence and you probably didn't think it up yourself...you're not equipped to do such a thing.) was LYING TO YOU. I'm but one of I'm sure many many examples of relationships that work where both people feel they have "say" in the relationship.

I would rather be alone than a slave to another person or being.

Nancy, I truly feel sorry for you. I think others have said it better than I probably will, but I feel so much of what you are spewing is you reaching out for some kind of release. Deep deep down, you have needs and desires that God has failed to put into Tom's head for you.

I don't know if there's any hope for you, based on what I've read from you. I hope PMomma addresses your comments to her because I don't think you understand how truly vile they were. I trust PMomma will show you the error of your ways.

One last thought, although I could go on for hours: Seeing the exchanges between you and Tom and Pmomma has, if anything, made me more vehemently opposed to religion and your so-called God. Is that what you are trying to accomplish? Pushing people away from your God? If not, perhaps you should lay low for awhile. Regroup. Do some hard thinking. Come back when you've done that.

If you continue to attack PMomma, I hope she gets fed up with you and disassociates herself with you for good.

Cris said...

I am from Europe, and the lifestyles of the Quiverfell people, and of other fundamentalist groups, are a fairly recent discovery for me. It's difficult for me to express how terribly wrong it all sounds.

I am not a believer, but I was raised as a Catholic and one thing that I remember from my religious education is that the salvation in God that Nancy seeks is not something that can be achieved by following blindly what he dictates and acting out of fear. It should be a free choice, truly felt and not brainwashed into you.
So, even according to her beliefs, she's failing to save her children, as they are only subjected to her teachings, coerced in her beliefs, and prevented to make a truly free and educated choice.

I think that growing up in an environment such as her home, is probably one of the worst fates for any child. But I also wonder why these people feel that they should have as many children as possible, rather than providing a home for adopted children.
It's quite amazing that they have the courage to accuse Pmomma of being selfish while they don't act on the fundamental christian principle of helping the less fortunate.

aimee said...

Sorry Pmomma for writing this here, NPZ doesn't allow open comments and I didn't want to open an account just to leave a comment.

Nancy, in regard to your answer in question 5;
"Are you out of your mind I am certain you are? Yes yes and yes they should be censored. Books should promote faith not defile it."

Are you and your husband out of your minds? Are you THAT afraid of your children learning about things, forming their own opinion, having a say? That is the first of many things wrong with your answers. This answer though is very sad and pathetic. You are not raising children, you are raising copies of yourself and your husband and be damned if they should stray from that. Which brings me to the next one.

#10. "Blaspheme"
Really? Is that all it would take? I find this really hard to believe that that is all it would take for you to turn your back on your child and disown them. Are you afraid that if they start to question god in their lives it would cause you to maybe think a little outside of Tom's box? My husband was brought up in a very religious home, his little brother grew up to be a preacher. My husband was the lucky one, he always questioned, started to think for himself and got out from under it.He's been an atheist since he was about 15. NEVER have his parents disowned him for thinking differently. They love him, they may not agree with him, but their love is unconditional. Apparently, yours is not.

And last but not least, there are a ton of inconsistencies within the Bible.
"The Bible has none that I know of and if they are there then I am sure an answer is there for why."

I have never been raised in a religious household (thank goodness)and even I know there are differences in the bible. I think that you have never read the bible from cover to cover. Just one example: There are different stories on the rising of Jesus. How do you explain that? Take a look at this. I would seriously and honestly love to see how you explain this one away. Yourself or your husband can answer. http://fpffressminds.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

Oh yeah, my husband is my best friend, my equal. We make decisions together on everything. We have yet to have a fight in the 8 years we have been together. And all of this was done WITHOUT god thank you very much.

I was in a bad marriage before, very abusive towards myself and my kids. I almost had my tubes tied after my second son, but I knew I was going to leave that asshole someday. I did. Fast forward, new marriage, wonderful man, we had our daugher, got my tubes tied. All done. Our family felt complete. WE knew we had all we wanted.

Like Pmomma said, (paraphrasing here) she couldn't see her life with 3 or 5, but 4. Likewise, I knew I wasn't done at 2, but didn't want 4. I knew I would be able to create a better environment for my 2 boys and would fall in love with a real man and would want to have a baby with him, that is what I did.

I know plenty of christian couples that took the medical means neccessary to prevent them from having more than they wanted.

Connie said...

If it were me...... It's time to ignore these people. You have no obligation to justify yourself or your beliefs or lack thereof, or your parenting to anyone. Anyone!

Who do they think they are to judge you in this way? Nancy and her ilk have no relevance to your actual life.

Nancy comes across as a clueless idiot, and I wonder kind of rules etc. apply to homeschooling in her state. because she is surely not qualified to be teaching anything other than bible study.

The courts have just upheld the U Cal's decision to not accept several bible based classes toward meeting the minimum qualifications for admission. Religious discrimination? Ha. You can't call your made up biblical stuff science, sorry.

Spidergrackle said...

We learn much through the practice of forgiving and confessing.

I prefer to practice grammar and spelling, m'self.

We learn much through the practice of forgiving and confessing.

There IS no "atheist message" to bring to the world.

KevinGreene said...

@anonomouse said...
A vagina is not a clown car?


Funniest line in the thread.

@Aimee said...

And last but not least, there are a ton of inconsistencies within the Bible.

"The Bible has none that I know of and if they are there then I am sure an answer is there for why."


It would be a mistake to think that Fundamentalists can't be creative just because their mind normally gets so little work.

In defense of inerrancy you can expect some true creativity - if not a great deal of logic - to be unleashed.

Skeptic: "You do realise there are contradictions in the bible."

Believer: "Name one."

Skeptic: "I can probably name twenty without even bothering with google but ok... how about Judas."

Believer: "What about Judas?"

Skeptic: "Well Mathew tells us that he died by hanging."

"...And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood." And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day."

Believer: "It says so in the bible so you know it is correct."

Skeptic: "But in Acts it says he threw himself down upon his head and burst apart."

"Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out."

Believer: "So?"

Skeptic: "So he hanged himself or he threw himself from a great enough height to land on his head and have his body burst open."

Believer: "Well... he hung himself... from a tree at the edge of a cliff... and... uh... the rope snapped... and he fell and smashed himself on the ground below."

Skeptic: "But it doesn't actually say any of that."

Believer: "Well, it doesn't NOT say that it though and as long as it doesn't specifically rule out my version then I have room to insert it.

You know, in the margins, with a crayon."

Skeptic: "Ok.. hares chewing cud? You know - bunny rabbits built like cows."

Believer: "Miracle."

Skeptic: "Bats are birds?"

Believer: "They where until they pissed of Jesus one day and he cursed them like he did that fig tree."

Skeptic: "I didn't read that part anywhere."

Believer: "Now your catching on."

Skeptic: "Alternate versions of creation in Genesis?"

Believer: "Both are true accounts taking place in paralell universes. The bible isn't just about the creation of this universe but other earths in the metaverse."

Skeptic: "PRO 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

PRO 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit."

Believer: "Both."

Skeptic: "Both? They are mutually exclusive positions."

Believer: "It's, uh, a koan. You know like 'whats the sound of one hand clapping.' Really zen."

And so on.

If you give Nancy your list and can get her to actually answer them I grant that it will be amusing.

I'm not as confident that it would be as constructive.

Terra said...

I wanted to thank Aimee for putting it better than I did. Relationships like hers, mine, Pmommas, Berzlebub's, etc-the partners make decisions together; as part of a team, a unit. Not one person "making the decision" and the other going along with it, for better or worse.

And Kevingreene: I like your inconsistencies example. "you know, with crayons!" classic...

Calladus said...

I think secular people want to know everything, (but that) is impossible.

(Sometimes we have to say,) “I don't know let's give this to God.”


My apologies Nancy, but I had to correct your writing in order to better understand your meaning.

But I wanted to say something about this because this is something that really bothers me.

When a scientist, or even when an inquisitive person is investigating something, there are many opportunities for these people to say, “I don’t know”. Why is there thunder after lightning? “I don’t know”, why does a cell split into two? “I don’t know”.

What you do after saying “I don’t know” defines who you are. Many people will say, “I don’t know, let’s find out.” And then they will start exploring, experimenting, posing different possible answers and then testing those answers to see if they’re right.

Those people have discovered why we have thunder. They’ve figured out why cells split – and how they do so. And they’ve told the rest of us, who have used that information.

Answering, “Let’s find out” has led us to discover things like electricity, semiconductors, computers, the Internet, safe drinking water, prenatal care, and immunizations. All things that you – Nancy – have taken advantage of.

None of these things were discovered by “giving it to God”.

Answering a question with, “I don’t know, maybe God does it.” Or with “let’s give it to God”; is the first step to laziness. The second step to laziness is to leave it at that answer.

“Maybe God did it” is an easy and lazy answer. And if past scientists had followed your advice, you would be incapable of having this current conversation.

tungtide said...

P-momma, you said:

"As a woman, my priority is self-esteem and the promotion of advanced math and science for all children, but in particular, female children. I think they still get over-looked."

I started my Ph.D in 2006 in Pharmacology and Toxicology. I was one of four males accepted to the program. The remaining 13 accepted students, then, were all women.

The tide is turning. Advanced biological sciences are representing more and more women. This does not mean that you should strive with any less fervor, but that we are already seeing the result of efforts such as yours.

aimee said...

Thanks Terra : ) I just followed your lead, I meant to give you kudos, but I was seeing red and away I went.

I am soooooo sick and tired of being told we can't raise healthy, well rounded kids without god in our corner. Or have healthy, functioning marriages without god by our side. It makes me sad and angry that spouses/kids are made 2nd or 3rd on the list ahead of god when it comes to priorities, and even worse, that women are meant to put ourselves dead last.

It is so painfully evident that there is no such thing as dialogue, I mean real dialogue going on in the NPZ home. Nancy is probably not allowed to voice her opinion on anything. My husband and I have a lot of the same views on things, but there are some we differ on, we are not afraid to say so. We love a good debate, and it doesn't make either one of less of a person. He doesn't rule me, he doesn't rule my thoughts. He loves me because I have my own brain and I use it. I'm not a puppet, you dear Nancy, that is exactly what you are, and Tom is the puppet master.

I think I need to highjack my husband's blog and write about some of this nonsense. This is grating my nerves more and more.

aimee said...

@Calladus

No way can they admit they don't know something when it comes to something in the bible. Their default answer (at least in my experience) has always been, "Well, you just have to have faith".

You are 100% right, just saying "lets give it over to god",or "it's in god's hands now" is being lazy. Wonder how these kind of people do with problem solving lessons? Do they just give that over to god too?

Berlzebub said...

@ Terra (& Aimee):

I wanted to thank Aimee for putting it better than I did. Relationships like hers, mine, Pmommas, Berzlebub's, etc-the partners make decisions together; as part of a team, a unit. Not one person "making the decision" and the other going along with it, for better or worse.
I'd like to thank Aimee, and you too, Terra. Having a marriage of equal say is not only a form of teamwork, it has led to a great deal of discussion about our differences.

Oh, and Tom somehow getting the impression that my wife is an atheist was one of the most hilarious things I've read in quite a while. Especially the irony of what she said, versus the reason Nancy gave for him being ordained:
"Most churches do not meet our truth for worship which is how Tom got ordained to lead us in home."

So, in effect Nancy's answer to the question undermines Tom's response to my wife.

Anonomouse said...

" KevinGreene said...
@anonomouse said...
A vagina is not a clown car?

Funniest line in the thread."

I steal from the Great.

Necross said...

O Marry me now. :P I wish I find a girl like you when I'm a little older! Kudos to you for raising the way you raise your kids :P

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Necross said...
O Marry me now. :P I wish I find a girl like you when I'm a little older! Kudos to you for raising the way you raise your kids :P

This comment made me LOL.

Sorry. I'm already to in love with this other guy. ;) He kind of looks like one of the kids and all... *KIDDING*

I'm flattered. There are a lot of women like me. Shoot - hang around here long enough and you'll meet some. My only caveat is that if you meet and marry someone as a result of my blog, then I get to name your first child. ;)

@lankr1ta said...

Sorry for being late on this- work and conferences and such like, but Pmom, I am surprised that Nany has time on her hands to make a "project" of you all- I just saw that- it made me laugh more than anything else. I mean surely there are better things to do in life( not that you as a project is not a good thing- but not this way). This lady is strange, you know the kind of person you look at and then smile at brightly and get away as fast as you can from!
A good laugh, but this sort of people - making "counter blogs" to "spread god's love" must be taxing to have around. And they have the temerity to advice you on raising children- whoa!!!!!!!!!!! It would be funny, if not being so pathetic.
I hope this just brings out your humor Pmom- because laugh is all we can do in the presence of such seriously strange people. Why cant they just "let live" ?

girlatheist said...

When I married my husband 10 years ago, I told him that our marriage would be top priority over everything, including our children. That seems harsh, but think of it this way:

In a plane, they instruct you to place the oxygen mask on your face FIRST, and then assist your favorite child.

You must take care of yourself (your marriage) before you are able to care for others (your kids). If you think about this, it makes total sense.

Date nights are important to us... as is intimacy and communication. It gives us the strength and connection to deal with our kids.