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erin5ERIN (10): Dad, I’ve been thinking.

DAD: I’m telling Mom.

ERIN: Dad, seriously. Okay — If God is real, I think I figured out why he would mix really bad things in with good things in the Bible.

DAD: And why is that?

ERIN: It’s to see if we can use our brains and figure out what’s good and what’s bad, then only do the good things…or if we’ll just do everything it says, like robots. It’s a test to see if we’ll think for ourselves.

(CORRECTION: I wrote this conversation down without attribution shortly after it happened. When I added it to the blog a week later, I credited it to Delaney (7). I have since learned that it was Erin (10) who said it. Mea culpa.)

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Dale McGowan is chief content officer of OnlySky, author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies, and founder of Foundation Beyond Belief (now GO Humanity). He holds a...