An Article and A Podcast

The Article

I never did tell you about the article I wrote for the Humanist Network News back in March for their Secular Parenting column. Here’s how it starts…

The “Out” Parent

I walked into my child’s preschool one day right before class was to let out. There was a lobby full of parents and one of them raised her voice above the crowd to say to me, “I noticed your license plate says AGMOM. What does that mean?”

Those of you who have read my articles or blog will recognize it as my blog name, Agnostic Mom. While most of my friends know about this, it wasn’t something I wanted to shout across a crowded room of parents at my child’s preschool. Yet there they all were, staring at me, curious.

Would you like to read the rest of the story? Then please click here.

If you’re newer to Agnostic Mom and would like to read all of my articles when I had a regular column with them, you might want to head over to this page.

The Podcast

Tomorrow on Chuck Bryant’s Something Happening Here podcast, an interview with me will air. I’ll be back to link to it, but I thought I’d give you a heads up…you know, since I’m not around so much lately. =)

You might want to check out his site and show by then, too.

8 thoughts on “An Article and A Podcast”

  1. It is such fun seeing how various agnostic or atheist people deal with the public on this subject. When you have a very simplistic situation like “explaining” a license plate, the simplistic response is probably the best and let people jump to their own conclusions unless you realize that dire consequences might result. Most people have never thought about agnostics or atheists beyond “They don’t believe in God.” and that sums it up.
    Unfortunately, that seems to sum it up even for the agnostics and atheists because if you ask most of them what they DO believe and why, they are at a loss to provide a cogent answer. I would like to suggest a couple of thoughts that might shift your perspective and provide the basis for a rationale you could be comfortable with. I will make a statement and then expand a little.
    “I am an (agnostic/atheist) because it is consistent with a merit-based world view that I believe is superior to a monarch-based world view.”
    The points made:
    Primarily I subscribe to a merit-based world view.

    In a merit-based world view, every assumption about the world must work and be seen to work. If assumptions are wrong they can be revised.

    I feel most comfortable explaining the way the world works based on information that has been developed independent of cultures and has been subjected to and stood the test of open criticism. It merits acceptance.

    (Agnosticism/Atheism) along with science, mathematics, history and philosophy are all consistent with that world view.

    The monarch-based world view starts with a rich, embellished view of the way the world works and forbids revision of key foundational assumptions, and requires that observations remain subservient to the assumptions. This often reduces some “explanations” to rationalizations.
    Belief in God is almost irrelevant since such a discussion is never fruitful and there are no cinching arguments. Belief in a merit-based world view as being superior is very defensible.

  2. As a fellow agnostic mom, I think it’s beautiful to see someone give a non-christian lifestyle such a good name – particularly in light of your child’s religious education. It’s unfortunate that you had to have even a moment of concern over whether or not a school would have problems with this kind of “lifestyle.” You do a wonderful job with the “live & let live” perspective.

    I personally find it difficult to give up my own self-nonrighteous attitude, but I hope one day to reach that level!

  3. Great article! I totally get the “world pauses” scenario–that seems to happen a lot to me lately as well. Kudos to you for handling them with grace, dignity, and pride for who you are and what you believe!

  4. Thanks for another great article. And thanks for being out and proud. This is important for our kids (and others’ kids) to see too!

    In situations where I out myself as non-religious I also sometimes feel a bit flustered (shouting across the room at school is a good example), embarrassed in spite of myself, or even angry (“how dare they assume I go to church”).

    So I like to have something ready to say, so I don’t have to articulate my worldview on the spur of the moment when I’m in a not-so-rational mood.

    It’s fair to call me an atheist, and I will go with “agnostic” too, but lately I like “I’m a humanist” because it also says something positive about what I do believe.

    In the course of life, I often out myself as gay too (and as a gay mom) and I have to say that while the notorious “ick factor” is not there for religious issues, I think that with gay relationships at least others can often identify with us if they try. For religious people, it must be much harder to conceive of life as a non-religious person than it is for straight people to imagine what it is like for gays. Interesting parallels and non-parallels.

  5. Hi Noell – so great to read your new content! I liked the column very much – and felt genuine tension during the moment your children’s safety (because, ultimately that is what it amounts to – even if it isn’t a physical threat, it was a potential threat to their opportunities) was up in the air.

    This site represents a port in the storm for a lot of people, I hope you continue to revisit it from time to time!

    your bud – Ron

  6. …”You don’t believe in God?” I laughed, “No.” And suddenly he wouldn’t stop talking, like I was the first person in years he could share his stories with.”…

    Maybe I’m just mistaken about a few things because this is my very first time at this website, but I was under the impression that Agnostic means: the view that metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of deities, ghosts, or even ultimate reality — is unknown or, inherently impossible to prove or disprove. It is basically a middle ground between theism and atheism.

    By your own accounts, wouldn’t you be classified as an Athiest?

  7. I Love your website! This is a major relief to find “support” areas for the individuals, like myself, that are not into the inquisition scene.

    Thank you for the rays of hope for a normal life to think freely and not be told what and how to think.

    Thank you, again I love your Blog! :)


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