Reading Time: 4 minutes

quebec flag

(I just love that gif.)

L’Actualité received over 100 letters and emails—far more than usual—after their November 1 cover story “Growing Up Without God,” which featured an interview with the editor/co-author of Parenting Beyond Belief, one Dale McGowan. Senior writer Louise Gendron gathered and translated a sampling of the comments for me. “Remember that angry people write in far more often than happy ones,” she said. “It is clear from the sales numbers for this issue that interest was very, very high.” The book itself topped out at #285 on Amazon Canada.

The previous post can give you an indication of the tone of the article. Here’s a sampler of reader responses:

I find this guy interesting. He helps us to feel more accepted.

Faith is god-given. Children raised without god will always lack a certain life-dimension. It makes me very sad to think of his children.

The media are very good at brainwashing us to push their way of thinking on us. The last century has shown the fruits of falling away from religion, such as atheistic communism. Happily, Europe kept its faith as a barrier against those enemies.

Atheism is very bad for Québec. It will make us disappear into the English-speaking majority.

I found this article very interesting – I am a mother, trying to explain the world reasonably to my children, and this is helpful.

I am very sad for Dr. McGowan.

Dr. McGowan as a devout nonbeliever has the same narrow faith as some fanatic priest. The big mistake is to be convinced of your own ideas and to stop thinking about them.

I am an atheist and I feel comfortable among the 360 million Buddhists in the world who are also atheists.

Very good article – my great grandparents were Catholic, and I am an atheist.

Very nice article – I am a father of two-year-old who asks why the sun sets. This is a very difficult question to answer in a way that a two-year-old will understand!

Very interesting article – it follows the same philosophy as “Spirituality without God” by Möller de la Rouvière.

I am writing from prison where I am serving time for killing someone. Say hello to Dr. McGowan from me. I don’t understand or have knowledge to sort out whether God exists, but I am open to all ways of thinking. I chose to believe in God because it works for me. My life was a fiasco, a complete mess, and religion helped me sort it out. But I keep thinking, and who knows about what I will believe tomorrow?

The title of McGowan’s book should have been “How to Fool Your Kids.”

I want my tax money devoted to ethics in schools. I will keep that money to go toward religious education.

I don’t want to spoil Dr. McGowan’s party, but I am a Catholic whose husband died two years ago, and I am still struggling to find a way to explain it to our two young children. It is not easy for people of faith to provide answers either.

I was an atheist, and though now outside of all churches, I am a believer.

Cancel my subscription!

I am very sad for all those kids that this man’s non-beliefs will spoil things for them. This man and his bullshit are going to do a lot of harm.

Dr McGowan is too self-confident. I think his knowledge of religion dates from the Stone Age.

That was absolutely fascinating. Another book should be developed for what to tell your teenagers as they reach more advanced levels of questioning.

Your article made me fall off my chair! Think about Pascal’s wisdom when he wrote, [Pascal quotation.]

To the Editor in Chief – who let pass this terrible article?

I am a believer who found this article completely fascinating! You should now allow a believer to answer it.

Dale McGowan makes me think of Dale Carnegie. He will be a millionnaire with his ideas!

Reason justified terrible crimes in the 20th century. [Chesterton quotation. Plato quotation. Kant quotation.]

Dr. McGowan provides very satisfying answers regarding war and suffering and death. What would he answer about the origin of life, the existence of beauty, and generosity? For those he has no answers.

This is crap. I’m fed up with you using my money to bury me in shit. Cancel my subscription.

There are no wars, no hatred, no problems in the world, Dr. McGowan. Everything is just wonderful in the world, so we apparently do not need religion. Isn’t that nice.

I am a teacher in Senegal Africa. I fell off my chair, astonished at your article about children with no religion. In my classroom of 72 kids, I have Muslims and Christians, and it is out of the question to teach each one their religion without a separate teacher for each. I am astonished to find that there are people who don’t believe and are parents!

I am happy to see that I am not the only one to think like that. My daughter now has a child of her own and has decided to raise him without religion, and I am very happy about it.

I taught ethics in public school and let me tell you: It is so much easier to do without the idea of god.

Avatar photo

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.