Readers React

Raising children without religion

To the editor: Thank you for printing such a revealing, intelligent article on the non-necessity of religious faith in today's world. ("How secular family values stack up," Op-Ed, Jan. 14)

I am part of that 23% who claim "no religion." I figured it out years ago: Reason and knowledge (that is, determining for myself the logical result and risk of my own decisions) are better sources of judgment than faith in any particular myth or fantasy.

Ignorance is much worse than godlessness. And blind, unyielding faith too often ends up as demeaning arrogance.

The more we learn in this life, the more we realize our own ability to decide things for ourselves.

Daniel John Richards, Long Beach


To the editor: Religion is not exclusively concerned with teaching about God, prayer and church attendance. It tries to inculcate certain values that distinguish evil from good, altruism versus egoism. It teaches us about moral principles and how to conduct ourselves in an ethical manner. Can parents teach their children moral ethics that they themselves might not practice?

Yes, there are "godless" children who have turned out just fine, but many whom I've encountered seem to be quite narcissistic and self-absorbed. Narcissism, with its many negative connotations, seems to be a growing, disturbing trend among today's adolescents.

Is this a warning that a secular upbringing is failing? Not at all, but it's certainly not an indication that it is producing a majority of upstanding and moral children.

Giuseppe Mirelli, Los Angeles


To the editor: For centuries, religion was all about glorifying God. Nowadays, religion is more a framework for how to live.

It is no surprise to me that people are raising moral children by bypassing the God part and going straight to the rules and guidelines that so many religions have in common. What is truly telling is that there are few atheists in prisons and that countries with the lowest rates of religion have the lowest rates of crime.

Perhaps caring more about your fellow man than you do about a deity is the answer.

Eileen Flaxman, Sherman Oaks

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