Relax, It's Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You're Not Religious
Publisher : Brown Paper Press
Description

A rapidly growing demographic cohort in America, non-religious parents are at the forefront of a major and unprecedented cultural shift. Unable to fall back on what they were taught as children, many of these parents are struggling -- or simply failing -- to address complicated religious questions and issues with their children in ways that promote curiosity, kindness, and independence. Author Wendy Thomas Russell sifts through hard data-including the results of her own survey of 1,000 nonreligious parents-and delivers gentle but straightforward advice to this often-overlooked segment of the American population. With a thoughtful voice infused with humor, Russell seamlessly merges scientific thought, scholarly research, and everyday experience with respect for a full range of ways to view the world. Relax, It's Just God goes beyond the numbers to give nonreligious parents a toolkit to assist with their unique and complex issues and to usher in a more compassionate generation. Relax, It's Just God aims to help nonreligious parents struggling to find the right time place, tone and language with which to talk about God. It encourages parents to promote religious curiosity, communication and diversity by lightening up and opening up about religion with their kids. By supporting  kids as they explore religion on their own, we ensure that they make up their own minds about what to believe, or not believe -- and that they extend love and respect to those who may not agree with them.



The Story Behind This Book
A rapidly growing demographic cohort in America, non-religious parents are at the forefront of a major and unprecedented cultural shift. Unable to fall back on what they were taught as children, many of these parents are struggling — or simply failing — to address complicated religious questions and issues with their children in ways that promote curiosity, kindness and independence. With a thoughtful voice infused with humor, author Wendy Thomas Russell seamlessly merges scientific thought, scholarly research, and everyday experience in a book that gives nonreligious parents a toolkit to assist with their unique and complex issues. Among other things, Relax, It's Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You're Not Religious teaches parents how to avoid indoctrination; communicate openly but kindly with religious relatives; confront and manage “religious baggage” so as to not hand it on to the next generation; talk about death without the familiar comforts of religious imagery; give kids a broad overview of various world religions; and show children how to practice true religious tolerance. By supporting kids as they explore religion on their own, we ensure that they make up their own minds about what to believe, or not believe — and that they extend love and respect to those who may not agree with them.

Media Mentions

Praise and Reviews

“In this gem of a book, journalist Russell explores religion from a nonreligious perspective, helping parents guide their children in a healthy, exploration-oriented direction without guilt, dogma, or indifference... This singular book with a clean style and respectful approach is recommended for all libraries. ”

— Library Journal (Starred Review)

“Written for secular parents from a nonreligious perspective, this guide explores methods of teaching youngsters about God, religion, and spirituality.... [Russell’s] easy-to-read style is down to earth and conversational: ‘When it comes down to it, ‘tolerance’ is just a way of asking people not to be total dicks to one another.’ Contains a wealth of information for secular or mixed-religion families preparing for the God talk with kids.”

— Kirkus Reviews

 

“If only we all could have a mother with the approach to religious literacy described in Relax Its Just God. Wendy Thomas Russell conducted a fascinating survey of parents for this important book, and the results deserve wide discussion... ‘Relax It’s Just God’ is a friendly and wise and highly readable guide to teaching children about religion so they can respond with openness and intelligence.”

— Robert Tulip, Booktalk.org

Ultimately, what Wendy Thomas Russell points out is that in the absence of forethought and deliberate effort, nonbelievers may inadvertently inspire in their children the kind of mindless, mean-spirited intolerance that they’ve criticized from the devout. I think it’s a valid point and one that makes reading this little book well worth the time and effort.”

— TheHumanist.com

“‘Relax: It’s Just God’ is valuable for so many reasons. The book offers helpful timelines for how to talk to kids about religion at every age and includes a handy appendix with the CliffsNotes version of each major religion of the world, along with ways to observe their holidays in a secular way. The book’s full of useful tools that you and your kids can use when confronted by religious peers and well-meaning family members. Best of all, it handles a potentially heavy topic with a lighthearted sense of humor, giving the reader the sense that we really can relax about it.”

— True Parent Magazine

“Wendy Thomas Russell never shies from the big questions. Her fresh, funny take on nonreligious parenting is a much-needed addition to the secular landscape, and her book is an invaluable resource for parents who are raising kids without religion.”

— Katherine Ozment, author, Losing Our Religion: The Question for Grace Without God

“An eminently frank, personal, honest, and informative exploration of how to approach religion and secularism with your children. Rich with sociological data, engaging case studies, and a plethora of helpful techniques and strategies, this thoughtful book should be warmly welcomed by that growing population of Americans who are raising their kids without religious faith or involvement.”

— Phil Zuckerman, author of Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

“Since first encountering her work, I have been ceaselessly impressed by Wendy’s dedication to showing non-religious and religious parents alike a more compassionate way to approach religious differences. Hers is a vital voice in the world today.”

— Chris Stedman, author, Fatheist: How and Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious

“Wendy is a strong, funny, articulate new voice in secular parenting.”

— Dale McGowan, author and editor, Parenting Without Belief: Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion

"One of the best things I've read in years."

— Karen Loethen, co-host of The Secular Parents Broadcast

“Wendy is remarkably versatile, expert at explaining the inexplicable (say, God), compassionate, refreshingly effortless with language, tireless in her investigations and research and, finally, a joy to read. If I were to take it upon myself to create a new publication, on the first day I would hire Wendy Thomas Russell, and on the second day I would rest.”

— Tim Grobaty, columnist, Long Beach Press-Telegram


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