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Thanks again for all of your brilliant help with these questions! The book will be much richer for it.

A few commenters yesterday said they’ve never had to question religious assumptions because they were not raised religiously.

Remember the Ernestine Rose quote I wrote about in March — that all children are atheists and would remain so if religion weren’t inculcated into their minds? I address that again in the book. I was born an implicit atheist, but it’s a pretty meaningless label until I make an active decision. And part of that process involves questioning the religious assumptions around me.

Those assumptions didn’t just come from my parents — in fact, very few of them did. Even kids raised entirely without religion in the home are still confronted with religious assumptions in the culture. The process of actively choosing to call myself an atheist includes a process of questioning those assumptions, no matter what my upbringing.


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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.