Thursday, February 19, 2009

New This Month: Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief

Raising Freethinkers (AMACOM) by Dale McGowan, Amanda Metskas, Molleen Matsumara and Jan Devor is a newly revised edition of a popular 2007 book. It was published in a hailstorm of controversy. The very premise of the book invites it. As the authors say in the preface to the new edition:
The sound you heard upon opening this book was the other shoe dropping. Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief is just that -- a practical guide. You’ll find ideas and ponderings in these pages, but also specific answers to common questions and hundreds of activities and resources to make those ideas come alive.
Now, clearly, Raising Freethinkers is not a book for everyone. At all. However, those faced with raising children outside of organized religion and looking for answers on how to proceed will find them here. McGowan writes:
Even though we can and often do end up pursuing the same ends, religious and nonreligious parenting really aren’t the same. There is a profound difference in the context, the space in which religious parenting and nonreligious parenting happen.
A really active and simple example of this comes from one brief line in the book: “Skepticism -- the simple request for reasoning or evidence before accepting a proposition -- is a virtue to treasure and cultivate in our kids.”

Questions of community, ethics, religious literacy “without indoctrination” and other important matters are considered and discussed. Raising Freethinkers is dynamic, thought-provoking reading for anyone, but non-religious parents will discover they no longer need to feel quite so alone.

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Anonymous Purple Butterflies said...

This sounds like an amazing book. As a child growing up in a Luthren Church I knew things didn't feel right. It all felt so contrived. I tried to be a god mom and do the same thing to my kids when I suddenly came to my senses. I wanted my children to be free to believe as they choose without someone hanging over them with a crusifix telling them what they did wrong and what they should do to make it right. That decision should be and really has always been with each individual. Not that I'm knocking religion. I just wanted my kids to be free of such constraints. I even find it hard to see them at school forced into their little lines and having to sit like little soldiers at assemblies. No free thinking allowed in public schools I'm sorry to say, but they can think and say whatever they want at home.

DW Golden
Soar with Fairies in a new young adult novel: Purple Butterflies

Friday, February 20, 2009 6:41:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Kama said...

Thank you for the attention Monica! Just wanted to clarify that Raising Freethinkers is a follow up book to Parenting Beyond Belief. Parenting Beyond Belief is a collection of essays edited by McGowan and Raising Freethinkers is a practical guide by McGowan, et al.

Both are great books!

Kama Timbrell
Publicity Manager, AMACOM

Friday, February 20, 2009 11:36:00 AM PST  

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