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May 26, 2009

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I envy you, your reading selection for the toilet. I don't get that much time or quiet. 18 yo, 16yo, 5yo, 3yo, & 1yo & My husband all knocking on the door needing something. I'm left with comic strip books like Calvin & Hobbes, Garfield or books about art appreciation.

Thank you for this review. I've lived my life in the bible belt. Being non-christian even in urban areas just isn't accepted. Heck, being a critical thinker who doesn't go along to get along isn't really accepted. I'm looking forward to this book.

Thanks for the sneaky link. I wanna raise a freethinker, but first I want my kids to blindly obey. Are those opposite?

I really enjoyed Parenting Beyond Belief. I'll have to pick this new one up sometime.

Just put them both in my Amazon cart. I need them as I am not a religious person but know that I will struggle with some of these topics having been raised in religion.

And congrats on the mention, you deserve it.

-Abby

I also found this blog through reading that book, and I am so glad I did! The book is very well done...I intend to make my Caholic husband read the chapter on sex. Many geat resources listed in the book too. I highly recommend it.

Thank you for talking about this (these) books, because I need them. Badly. This whole No Religion = No Easy Answers" issue has been ongoing in my parenting life, and my daughter is 9 already. I'm getting them both, ASAP.

I really hesitate with words like "most" and especially "all" and "every", even though I know the temptation. I really do. It is so much easier to just ignore people who I think are pigheaded as being nothing more than pigheaded. But, if I can get past the cut and dry versions of them, people never cease to surprise me - even people who are extreme in many ways - and I want to be open to those surprises, those possibilities.

I have friends who are deeply religious and follow their faith devoutly, but who are at the same time some of the most compassionate people when it comes to those who they otherwise might not agree with in their actions as a result of their religious beliefs, but to whom they extend their hearts and hands freely, graciously, and humbly and without open judgment or without asking for anything in return. That, I think, does take free thinking of a kind.

And although my children are being raised within a more traditional religious framework, I and many of the other parents I know do answer the questions the same way. Here is what our faith teaches, but here is what other people believe - and we do so without prejudice. I may not be prefect in my faith, but honestly, I've met very few people who are (even my atheist, agnostic, or non-religious friends and family surprise me with their own imperfect doubts in their own belief system.) I think that deep down in our bones, we all do after a fashion live the Golden Rule and there is tension within us when we break it...whether that tension is the result of our man-made religious expression of faith, or the result of some other beliefs clashing with our own actions.

I tell my kids "If anyone tells you they have all the answers, that's your cue to keep asking questions. And I promise, you'll stump them sooner or later." That line was given to me by a Jesuit who challenged all my ideas about God and intentionally opened up another world of questions, in good Socratic method.

I'm sorry...you just hit a topic that's been on my mind lately and that I'm mulling over myself but from a different angle, so I'm getting verbose. Anyway, I'm not a goodie, but I am a goddie. ;-) Nowhere near being a goodie.

And I love you for opening up topics like this. My mind goes to mush most days. I like that you demand we put our thinking caps on.

Dude, I read while on the shitter too. Mostly parenting books, since I've convinced myself I absorb the info better that way. I save the fiction for when I'm in bed. But parenting books? While on the can.

This sounds like it's right up my alley. I'd love to read it.

I would love to read this one. It's tough raising kids when I have no religious beliefs that a church can help explain, and my hubby has become more of a lapsed Catholic, though he wouldn't say that. (They never do, right?)

At any rate, I've resorted to a lot of those "That's what some people believe, and that's okay, but here's what I believe. And you can choose to believe what makes the most sense to you" conversations.

I. SO. NEED. THIS. BOOK.

Have been struggling. NEED.

This is very interesting. My 4yo is very curious and doesn't just take explanations like "he went to heaven" at face value. His fish died months ago and he still asks about her and when he'll get to see her again, which turns into him talking about his own death and when he dies, can I dig him up out of the cemetary so we can still play togther. Ay yi yi! It's all too much! I just might have to check out that book to help me through the tough conversations. Thanks!!

We live in a small town in North Texas, and let me tell you that around here, yes, being religious & a freethinker are mutually exclusive. It's sad, because I'd LIKE to have at least some kind of religious foundation for my kids, but I just can't do it at the churches in my community. These books sound like they're right up my alley, placing my library hold right now.

That book is how I found this site!

We haven't faced any specific challenges in raising our children with out religion but I found the book to be helpful on a number of levels. It gave me plenty of food for thought and lots of good resources.

You're a goodie, Jozet? I NEVER would have thunk it :)

But really, I think you would agree that when it comes to religion, the big events (death, life, marriage, sex) are explained in a way that doesn't necessarily provide for free thinking.

I don't avoid religious discussions, hell, my kid goes to a Catholic school for God sakes. But when she says, "People die and go to heaven" - I tell her, well that's what some people believe. And then we discuss the other "options" as well as what she really thinks might happen to us.

I'm pretty sure that's not the case for most people who identify as religious.

This sounds like a great book! I'll have to check it out!

Well, to be fair, I'm a very religious person - a struggling religious person, but definitely a person of faith - and I'd challenge anyone to find my children as being anything less than free-thinking.

I'm not sure religion has much to do with anything when it comes to raising kids who question and are able to think outside the box and, most importantly, see other people beyond stereotypes. There are, yes, extremists of any bent - the extreme religious who get all the attention and are somehow made representative of all religious, as well as the few "bad" heathens who ruin it for the rest of you. ;-) I've met some pretty square box kids from families of all ilk.

So, you know, don't lump *all* the goddies together. I know you're writing in your own defense and justly so, but at some point, I think we all need to get out of our corners and model to our children how to live together and think better of each other beyond the stereotypes we've been taught to have of each other, when we all know better. That's free-thinking at it's best.

Bella - Get raising freethinkers. You will love.

I am JUST NOW reading (if you can call the 5 min before I drop out of consciousness "reading") Parenting Beyond Belief. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. It's so well written, thoughtful, full of "aha" moments and it's the only book yet that I've read that resonates so deeply with my ethical and moral values but still allows me to maintain my heathen, atheistic stance. I was raised an atheist by deeply moral and ethical parents. But they had a hard time with the "big questions" when they came up. I'd like to have some ideas about how to address those big questions with my own kids. And I always missed the rituals and music that often accompany religion. I'm getting the feeling I can cobble together some of the best parts of religions and still manage to throw away the big white dude with all his threats of damnation and badness.

Sounds really interesting. From the title I would never think that the book would only apply to secularists. Does being religious and being a free thinker have to be mutually exclusive? I am one to believe I can raise faith-filled children who are also freethinkers.


I definitely need this book.

This book sounds great. The sample is on it's way to my Kindle even as I type this!

I'm finished raising my kids but I will be buying all 5 of them a copy.I can't believe there is such a book. I only wish it would have been around to help me.It is hard to raise free thinkers when you live among all the religion.

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