Adam and who now?
January 24, 2013 9:45 AM Subscribe
How do atheist or otherwise non-religious parents teach their kids about the Abrahamic mythology?
posted by looli to Religion & Philosophy (44 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I'm an atheist who was raised Catholic. I'm raising my daughter without religion. She has occasionally been to church with my parents. When she was younger, if asked, she would say that she was a mix of Catholic and atheist, that she half believed in god and half didn't, but now she straight up doesn't believe.
That's all fine. I'm good, obviously, with her being an atheist. What I'm less happy about is that she has almost no knowledge of the standard bible stories that I think of as just being part of the culture. I made a joke recently about Noah and the ark and she had no idea what I was talking about. A couple nights ago she was talking about "that lump boys get in their throats when they're teenagers" and I told her it was called an adam's apple, "you know, like Adam and the apple" and she was totally mystified.
Even though I'm not interested in religious teaching, I do think my kid should be familiar with her culture's central mythology. I guess I thought those stories were common staples that she would just pick up somehow, but apparently that's not the case, since she's about to turn ten and has only just learned about Adam and Eve.
I have a friend who was raised by atheists that made her attend church every Sunday for years, specifically so that she would learn about the mythology and culture. When she was old enough to say she got it, she didn't have to go any more. I'm not willing to do this because I don't want all the other stuff that goes with it. Plus, there's no way I'm going to church. She doesn't go with my folks any more because she's not interested, and I'm certainly not going to make her.
Are there any resources that teach those old testament stories without the overlay of moralizing? I do get that moral lessons are part of the stories, it's the free-wheeling editorializing I can do without. She's not a kid who is going to sit down and read the bible, but it seems like children's bible story books are not at all what I'm looking for.
In other words, I guess I am looking for books and movies (and etc.) that tell the stories of the Abrahamic tradition the way books tell the stories of Greek and Roman mythologies. Or strategies to make up for that deficit.