When Your Child Is An Atheist

My twelve year old boy is an atheist.

He's been a self-proclaimed atheist since he was about seven.

The kid believed in Santa Clause, but I guess God was just too unrealistic. I'm assuming his faith in Santa stemmed from the fact that he received presents from a fat guy with a white beard -- and not from a guy with a white beard sitting on a throne in the clouds.

And that's always been okay with me. I'm an agnostic and we've never (as a family) followed a particular religion (although I did grow up in the evangelical church -- but that's a story for another time.) Not having any type of belief system -- in my eyes -- makes it easier for the kids to be free thinkers. And while I'm not fond of religion, I've always taught my kids to respect other beliefs.

Religious tolerance had to be learned pretty early in my home. While my son is a staunch atheist, my eight year old daughter believes "in God and Jesus," so they've already had a few heated discussions about the existence of God.

So my son.

The atheist.

He was sitting in his school cafeteria last week, when a kid (let's call him Sam) came up to him and asked him if he believed in God.

My son, Ryan, was taken aback by the question -- but answered with a "no.".

To which the kid totally freaked out.