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Nice response to this letter. A book has just been published called Atheist Voices of Minnesota which includes autobiographical stories of people coming out as an atheist, leaving one's faith of origin, and other topics. It’s a good book for people who want to understand what it’s like to be an atheist, and also for other atheists to know they aren’t alone with these issues. The letter writer might benefit from reading this book.
Obviously the 16 year old has been hammered with too many "Bible Sayings" and not enough "Bible Doings". Do your daughter a favor and have her volunteer with children or seniors with disabilities, she'll soon see the light.
Seems that Carolyn's own Atheist issues is glaringly obvious is this overly harsh response. This is a mom who is worried and concerned because values she holds dear are being discarded by her daughter. There is no "mentally ill" labeling going on. Mom didn't need any religion bashing. A therapeutic answer of how to allow her daughter to experiment, rebel and some kind words to get mom through this is what should have been included in the answer.
Proverbs 22:6 - "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." A large number of youngsters go through this phase. Each of our three sons did. They are starting to find their way back. So, I say don't worry. Just put her in your prayers and she'll come around in her own time.
Touchy subject, but I do like the response. What makes mom think the daughter has no freedom to make her own choices? And if she makes the choice to me an athiest that the world will cease to function. To me this is why kids rebel, because of overly controlling parents, and the shame the parents have when the kids to take their own path. Those kids are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. Mom needs to lighten up and support the daughter in her choices.
Religious instruction is indoctrination without any logical basis. You believe it because someone tells you to believe it. The daughter is a free thinker. Good for her!
Good response, Carolyn. You are right that it is not possible to make yourself believe in God, no matter how much you might try. And, religious belief is no guarantee of someone being a good, kind person.
If the daughter hadn't been brainwashed as a child, like all children are, and just like her mother was, atheism is the only logical conclusion she could have come to as a rational person. This is the 21st century. Why anyone would abandon science and reason to adhere to primitive tent dweller beliefs simply boggles the mind. Superstiitious beliefs have no place in a modern society. Kudos to the girl for breaking free of the trappings of religion and choosing to accept reality over myth.
What I find interesting is the mother seems to think that because the girl has not misbehaved, she didn't see it coming. Does the mother think that atheists are some sort of horrible human beings or something? And at 16, I said things just to tweek my parents. The pastor does have a good point though. Many people go through a stage where they question their faith. In fact, to not to would seem to be more of a issue than doing so at some point. Understanding, knowing and wanting to believe in something, putting your faith in a religion because you want to, not because you are told or forced to by your parents should be what religious parents would want. The mom has missed the whole point, and the pastor seems to get it. Good for him. And, if she really has made her decision, I don't know why she can't at 16. She has been forming her own ideas for a few years now I'd say. It is just that the ideas and thoughts don't coincide with the moms, therefore, she is not mature enough to decide. I've known some atheists who act far more Christian-like than a lot of Christians. And that is upbringing, not religion. The mom obviously has brought the girl up right if she isn't out breaking laws and doing other things society frowns upon. Just because one isn't having a religious faith anymore doesn't mean they are automatically a bad person.
Amazing to see the amount of assumptions here. Mom must have brain washed the kid, the kid has no free choices etc etc...Its common for people to wonder what is going on when one decides to leave their faith...Mom is concerned for her daughter and there is nothing wrong with that. Carolyn had a harsh response. Mom should let her daughter learn etc and see what she feels is right. Also, mom shouldnt be treated or talked about so harsh for having a concern in her daughter. Many people have the same response when someone chooses to leave a job etc...
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