Category Archive


I thought I lost my faith until I found it in my kids

It happened when I was 18. I was going to an all-girls Catholic college, and one morning — a particularly chilly late-autumn morning in Massachusetts — I looked up at the chapel, and I couldn’t feel him. He was gone. It took a bit of adjusting. For 18 years I’d believed in him. To just stop, well, it was jarring.

How do you decide which beliefs to pass on to your child?

While discussing all things family related with my fiancee, we were debating whether or not we should raise the kids vegan (I’m vegan, she’s not) or according to my religious beliefs (she’s agnostic and doesn’t follow anything specifically). For us, as a queer couple, this opens some interesting dialogue because if we end up adopting and those kids are older, we don’t necessarily feel right imposing beliefs on someone who is of an age where they can make their own decisions.

The Path of Names: what would probably happen if Harry Potter was a girl at Jewish summer camp

I was flipping through the internet one day when I saw a tweet that likened Ari Goelman’s recently published The Path of Names to a Jewish Harry Potter tale, and immediately clicked over to read the article. You guys probably know by now that I take my 14-year-long Harry Potter fandom and all references to the series very seriously, so of course (of course!) I had to check it out.

I’m an atheist but my step-kid is religious: how do I respect his beliefs while expressing mine?

I have a nine-year-old stepson. I’ve been in his life since he was two-years-old. We’ve always split time 50-50 between the houses. My partner and I are definitely offbeat. We’re tattooed, politically radical and activist-y, feminist, intentionally unmarried, and atheists. Around the time my stepson was four, his biological mom “found Jesus” and joined an evangelical, fundamentalist church. Needless to say, this was a difficult transition. Now, our little dude is coming to our house and evangelizing to us, trying to convert us.

I’m anti-circumcision and am invited to a bris — how can I make it through without being rude?

I have a friend who is pregnant, and as it is wont to do, the topic of circumcision recently came up. My friend’s husband is Jewish, and a bris is expected. I am very anti-circumcision, but I don’t make a habit of preaching about it and my friend has no idea.

How can we tell our religious family we’re letting our kid choose her beliefs?

We’re both atheists, but our families are deeply religious (my family is Catholic, his family Southern Baptist). My parents understand and respect our religious preferences, and won’t force their opinions on our child… but my husband’s mother is not that way.

My daughter wants a Doctor Who-themed Bat Mitzvah and we’re lost: help us plan her party!

Since there’s no way to know how many of our readers have actually celebrated/attended a Bat Mitzvah, I thought it would be a good idea to, you know, ask someone who HAS. I wrangled Avital Norman Nathman, and she gave me the rundown.

My plan for raising Pagan children

I intend to raise my child in a Pagan household. I’ve come to see that this means different things to different people, and a lot of it probably has to do with our own experiences of childhood and religion.When I say “raising a child Pagan,” I mean that he or she will be living their life in a largely Pagan household.