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Jun 3 2013

The God Poll: The Results Are In

By at 12:20 pm

pie chart from god pollLast month on Kveller was “God month,” in which we featured all different voices exploring how to talk to kids about God. One thing we learned was that the hardest part of talking to kids about God is often figuring out what you yourself believe. So, we posed a simple question to you, our readers: Do you believe in God?

The results are in, and they’re a little bit surprising.

In our (admittedly unscientific) poll of Kveller readers, 60.7% say they believe in God. 18.6% say they do not believe in God, and 20.7% claim “it’s complicated.” The poll included responses from readers in the United States, Canada, and Israel, all the way to Oman, Czech Republic, and South Africa.  Read the rest of this entry →

May 30 2013

Tell Us, Do You Believe in God?

By at 5:02 pm

do you believe in god chalkboardWith May coming to a close, so is Kveller’s month-long God series. We’ve heard from all different parents about how they’ve handled talking to their kids about God, including a mother who obsessively prays, a scientist who’s also a devout believer, and an ex-Mormon father who’s still figuring it all out. Read all of the posts here.

One thing we learned is that often the hardest part of talking to kids about God is figuring out what you yourself believe. So we’re curious: how many of you believe in God?

Luckily for us, the internet is magical and has just the thing to satiate our curiousity: a poll! Please take our one-click, anonymous poll below.

What God & Sex Have in Common

By at 9:37 am

let's talk about sex salt-n-pepaThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

God and sex have a lot in common.

Yes, you read that correctly.

God and sex have a lot in common. They are both topics that aren’t to be mentioned in polite company. They are both topics that make us uncomfortable to talk about with our kids. And they are both topics that are not one-time lectures, but ongoing conversations.

That’s right; there is no such thing as “The Talk” when it comes to God or sex. Read the rest of this entry →

May 29 2013

We Can’t Talk About God, We’re too Busy with Autism

By at 10:03 am

knife and forkThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

A week or so ago I was contacted by one of Kveller’s editors telling me about their month-long series on talking to your children about God and was asked if I wanted to perhaps write a piece for it. Being the mom of a child on the autistic spectrum might add an interesting voice to the series. “Sure, I’d love to.”

Hold on a second.

I’ve never talked to my daughter about God.

Why haven’t I done that?  Read the rest of this entry →

May 28 2013

Since Leaving the Mormon Faith, How Will I Talk to My Daughter About God?

By at 3:22 pm

heath wilcock god seriesThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

Fold your arms.

We say this to our 3-year-old daughter whenever food is about to be blessed at my parents’ house. She never folds her arms nor closes her eyes, but instead maintains her energy while everyone else stops conversations and becomes reverent. By this age, she should be well-trained in the Folding Arms & Bowing Head procedure, and maybe even saying the prayer, with some parenting assistance. Everyone finds this adorable. You see, we’re Mormon and Mormons typically teach children early on about how to communicate with their father in Heaven.

After a couple of attempts to get our daughter to fold her arms, we would look at my family, act frustrated, and say something like, “Ah well, she does her own thing. Can’t make her.”

But the truth is: we never taught her. Read the rest of this entry →

May 24 2013

Mermaids, God, and Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling

By at 7:05 am

mermaids and God

This post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

It was a sparkling Fall morning, blue sky scratched with orange, red, yellow. I was taking my daughter Lucy, then 5 years old, to a birthday party. We drove by a Christian cemetery, one she saw every single morning on her way to school. She had asked my husband about “that place” before.

“Mommy, what is that place for?”

I played dumb, changed the radio station.

“What place, Lucy?”

She pointed at the window to her left. “That place.”

“Oh, that’s the cemetery.” I repeated her Dad’s perfectly lovely answer: “This is where people come to remember somebody who died.”

Not untrue, but not the full story either. This cemetery is old and has been crowded by suburbia, so mourners can be spotted by people in their cars, going about their mundane business.

“But the statues, what are they?” she continued.

“Well, some are Saints, some are Angels,” I replied, skirting the issue of the gravestones and what they cover.

“Mommy, how come we didn’t get to pick a statue for Leah?”

Leah is her younger sister, who was stillborn. We decided to cremate her, and spread her ashes in a beautiful park, where we also planted a tree in her memory. The traffic light turned red and I contemplated telling Lucy the truth about bodies, caskets, dust to dust. But I didn’t.  I was not prepared to address life and death questions on our way to glow-in-the-dark bowling.

“Well, Lucy, we are Jewish and we don’t put statues on our graves. We chose to have a tree for Leah instead of a grave. Don’t you like visiting her tree?” She nodded her head in the back seat.

“But the angel statues are pretty. Are angels real, Mommy?”

“Well, some people think that they are, but we don’t know for sure,” I try.

“You mean, like mermaids?”

“No, mermaids are definitely not real. More like God. Some people believe in God, others don’t. Some of us are just not sure.”

“What do we believe, Mommy?”

The pressure to give a good answer, a comforting one, sat heavy on my shoulders. I chose to tell her what I know: “We, Jews, believe in One God. Sometimes I believe that, sometimes I just don’t know.” I told her that it’s OK to be unsure, and she is free to decide for herself.

“Oh, Mommy, but I know there is a God. Because I can feel it.”

The certainty of her opinion took me by surprise. We send her to Hebrew school, we go to synagogue on holidays, but God is not a part of our family’s day-to-day conversations. I was a little envious of her knowingness, her quiet, confident belief. Until…

“And I know that mermaids are real too!”

god series on kveller

 

To read all of the post in this series, click here.

May 23 2013

My Son Wants to Know About God… and Bacon Too

By at 9:32 am

baconThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

“I want to try bacon,” my 7-year-old son Zack declared the other night.

“Well, bacon, like, really isn’t kosher,” I said tentatively, always careful of giving him the kind of “because Hashem said so” answer my Yeshiva-educated husband learned to resent early on.

“I don’t care,” he reassured me. “So can I try it?” Read the rest of this entry →

May 22 2013

My Catholic Daughter & Her Female God

By at 9:29 am

kids-bibleThis post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

I live with a little theologian. My eldest daughter has had a lot to say about God for as long as I can remember. The expected questions have come along about creation and death, and they become more complex and challenging as she gets older. What has not changed is that she has consistently referred to God using female pronouns. Until recently, she never asked directly about whether God is male or female. It has been consistent that God is She. “Why did God make dogs and cats Momma? Does She like them both the best?” Read the rest of this entry →

May 21 2013

Mayim Bialik: How I Teach My Kids About Both Science & Faith

By at 1:59 pm

the sun

This post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

As a scientist and a person of faith, I get asked the following question a lot: “How do you reconcile your scientific beliefs with your faith in God?” The question seems to concern others a lot more than it concerns me, largely because I see no conflict at all. They exist together, happily, and each supports the other. Read the rest of this entry →

May 20 2013

How an Ex-Catholic and Jewish Atheist Talk to Their Kids About God

By at 11:48 am

julia fierro kids

This post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

When people ask what religion we areme, my husband Justin, and our two small children–I answer, “nothing.”

Then I realize how empty this sounds. I revise, explaining our parents’ religion. As if, to tell the whole truth, one has to start from the beginning.

My Catholic parents believe even dogs go to heaven, I say.

Justin’s parents, I add, are atheists who belong to a temple of socially conscious activists, presided over by a gay rabbi. Read the rest of this entry →

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