by Dan Arel, foreword by Jessica Mills
11/1/2019, paperback (2nd edition)
Children inevitably turn to their parents for more than just food and security; equally important are assurance, recognition, and interpretation of life. A child develops best in an environment where creativity and discovery are unimpeded by the artificial restrictions of blind faith and dogmatic belief. Parenting without God is for parents, and future parents, who lack belief in a god and are seeking guidance on raising freethinkers and social-justice-aware children in a nation where public dialogue has been controlled by the Christian Right.
Dan Arel, activist and critically acclaimed author, has penned a magnificently practical guide to help parents provide their children with the intellectual tools for standing up to attempts at religious proselytism, whether by teachers, coaches, friends, or other family members. Parenting without God is also for the parent activist who is trying to make the world a better place for all children by first educating their own children about racism, sexism, and all forms of discrimination that serve as barriers to the fundamentals of human dignity and democracy. It’s for parents who wish for their children to question everything and to learn how to reach their own conclusions based on verifiable evidence and reason. Above all, Arel makes the penetrating argument that parents should lead by example—both by speaking candidly about the importance of secularism and by living an openly and unabashedly secular life.
Parenting without God is written with humility, compassion, and understanding. Dan Arel’s writing conveys the unmistakable impression of a loving father dedicated to redefining the role of parenthood so that it also includes the vitally important task of nurturing every child’s latent impulse for freedom and autonomy.
This second edition has been expanded with new material from the author.
“Parenting without God is not just about the absence of religion—it’s about the glorious space that opens up for secular parents and their lucky kids once the clutter and smoke of religion is gone. Dan Arel’s voice is clear, smart, and a welcome addition to the growing chorus of parents taking the hands of their children and running at full speed into the real world.” —Dale McGowan, author/editor of Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers
“If Parenting without God has a central message, it is that knowing what you are not going to do isn’t a plan. For children to succeed, parents must offer them a better, truer view of history, the universe, morality, and themselves. Arel’s book from beginning to end and is, I believe, what truly differentiates the secular ideal from the rigid prescriptions of religious parenting.” —M. Dolon Hickman, author of 13:24: A Story of Faith and Obsession.
Dan Arel is an author whose work has appeared in Time, Huffington Post, Salon, and more. He is the recipient of the 2014 American Atheists First Amendment Award.
Jessica Mills is a touring musician, artist, activist, writer, teacher, and mother.