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Great without Religion

for ages 6 and up

Lance Gregorchuk

Being an atheist kid in a world full of gods

Kindergardenbooks Publishing Im Pfingsterfeld 10 DE-40789 Monheim www.kindergardenbooks.com

To my loving wife whom I will never deserve, and my two children who are the most wonderful kids a father could have. I also dedicate this book to my parents. Even though they may not agree with me, they are more understanding than their religion could ever dream of being. I love you all.

When you look at all the stars in the night sky, or all the fish in the ocean, do you ever wonder how it all got here? Youre not the only one!

You live on the planet Earth. Long ago, people believed the sun revolved around the earth, the earth was flat, and if you sailed to the end of the earth you would fall off! Now we know the earth travels around the sun and that the earth is round.

People who lived long ago used to believe some very funny things, because they didnt know how to explain the strange things that happened. They either guessed or made up stories to explain the scary things they saw, like volcanoes or earthquakes.

Today we dont need to make up stories or guess why things happen. Scientists and explorers have spent many years studying, gathering evidence, and experimenting to prove exactly how and why things happen. If you or I could do the same experiments they did, we would come up with the same results. This is called a fact.

Because of the work that scientists and explorers did, we know the earth is over four billion years old. Things have changed very slowly during that time. This is called evolution.

Charles Darwin

Scientists have proven that evolution is a fact. Through the research of archaeologists, we know how dinosaurs lived, what they ate, why they no longer exist, and what earth looked like in their time, before humans ever evolved. Religious books teach us that dinosaurs never existed, but we know they did because we have proof.

Long ago, people didnt understand testing and retesting to arrive at a fact. When they didnt understand something like a volcano erupting or the earth shaking, they thought that some very powerful being was making it happen. They called that someone or something a god.

People had different gods for different things. There was a sun god, a moon god, a volcano god and many others. They built statues of the gods, and brought food and expensive gifts to try to keep the gods happy. They would go to the monuments and talk to the gods. That is called praying.

There were a few men who thought the gods could talk back to them. They wore different clothing so others would know they were able to communicate with the gods. These men realized they could make people do what they wanted them to do if they told them the gods wanted it that way. If the person who talked with the volcano god liked ladies who had long hair, he would tell them not to cut their hair or else the volcano god would make the volcano erupt.

Today, if people think they hear strange people talking to them from the sky, we know they are in need of medical help, but hundreds of years ago they didnt have doctors to help people who thought they heard voices in their heads.

In the past, people followed the man they thought could communicate with the god they liked best. The problem is that everyone thought their god was the real god. The different gods people believed in became known as religions.

Even today, people all over the world want you to believe their religion and their god is the right one.

Those in charge of the religions tell their followers what to eat, how to dress, and whom to marry. All religions will tell you their god is watching you from the sky and can read your mind, and if you do not do what he wants he will be very mad at you. Some religions have people who go door to door trying to get people to believe what they do. Some churches even send people called missionaries to other countries to get people to join their religion.

Most children believe what their parents believe. There are thousands of different religions and beliefs. Some religions are very old, and some beliefs are fairly new. Lets visit some kids who believe in different gods. Kareem is Muslim and his gods name is Allah. His religion is very strict. He must pray to Allah 5 times a day. Muslims believe boys are better than girls and that women should not show their hair. They also think that if they eat a hot dog their god will be very angry with them. Hema is Buddhist. Hema does not believe in violence. Buddhists believe Buddha was a human being just like them, who understood how the world worked. He believes there is a cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. And after you die you could come back as a cow or even a worm, depending on how nice you are in this life.

There are also some religions called Cults. John lives in one. Cult leaders promise good things will happen if you do what they say. Most people who join a cult are uneducated and looking for answers. What little money they do have they give to their leader. People in a cult live in fear everyday that if they do not do what their leader says, their god will be very angry with them.

Michael is a Christian. He believes his god created the world in 7 days and that scientists are wrong about evolution. His religion believes in three gods: a main god in heaven, his son, and the Holy Spirit, who tells them right from wrong.

Sarah is Jewish, her religion is very old, and although she and Michael beleive in the same god, she doesnt believe that Michaels god sent his son to save the world. Sarahs parents beleive that if you press a button on an elevator or turn on a light switch on a Saturday that her god will be angry and punish them.

Chantell and her parents are Catholic. Besides praying to her god, his son and the spirits, they also pray to saints. Saints are people who are close to god and can talk to him for them. Saints do different things like protect you while you are driving and help you find things you have lost.

Micah is Mormon. A long time ago it was okay for Mormons to have many wives, but now Mormons can have only one wife. Micah must wear special underwear to remind him to be a good person. Micahs parents believe that Michaels, Sarahs, and Chantells god went to America just 150 years ago and buried treasure there.

Different religions have their own books. These books and the religious leaders who interpret them try to guide their followers to live and think in a certain way. While many people who receive this guidance believe in it, others are simply following family traditions, never stopping to question whether or not the stories are true. On one page of their books it might say you shouldnt kill or steal, and then on a different page it says it is alright as long as you kill or steal from people who believe in a different god than you. This is very difficult for anyone to understand.

Science is always learning and growing because it is based on discovery, facts and research. The religions survive on old ideas, myths and guesses. They know that if science proves that just one thing in their holy book is not true then maybe everything is untrue. The religious people in charge do not like it when science shows them they are wrong, because they know it makes their followers confused and angry. Those who are open to learning and discovery have very little to fight over. They have the ability to test each others ideas and come to a unified, factual conclusion.

Most religions like to build giant houses to show off their gods and celebrate events. Some events worship the rising of the sun, or even the birth or the death of their god or gods. Those special days are called religious holidays.

Religious followers are asked to make sacrifices to their god, so their god will make it rain, or help them do better in school. Today the religions usually ask for money as a sacrifice. What seems more believable to you if wanted to do better in school? If you studied hard, or if you pray to god and give him your money?

We can celebrate holidays without believing in a god. As a family, we use these times to enjoy each others company. Being together, eating great food and celebrating life are the only reasons we need to have a holiday. Having a loving family around you is so important. Your family is your home and that is certainly worth celebrating!

There are so many people claiming their religion or god is the only right one, and that if you believe in their god you will come back to the earth as a cow, or a worm, or even a space monkey. Some religions even say you will go to heaven after you die. All religions say if you dont believe in their god, bad things will happen to you forever.

Being good and kind doesnt mean showing up at church and performing religious traditions and rituals. It means not being cruel to others, and helping people in need.

As a young person, you can stand up for things you believe in. If you find out a company is using small children to produce toys or games, you can chose not to ask for those things and tell others they shouldnt use them either. When you see someone doing something wrong, even if they have told you not to tell, take a stand by telling your parents or the police.

There are so many things a young person can do to bring happiness and joy into peoples lives. You can organize your own charity, getting together with other children and adults to donate things to poor families. You can help out at a soup kitchen, help others with their school work, or help your parents keep the house tidy to show kindness and respect. Anything you do for no other reason than it being the right thing to do makes you an amazing human being of whom we can all be proud.

Being an atheist, and not believing in any god or gods, is more natural then believing that there is someone in the sky watching and judging you. Today more and more educated people are realizing that each person is responsible for stopping what is wrong and doing what is right without magic underwear, a god, or a holy ghost. Atheists dont tell people what to wear, what to eat, and who they should marry. We respect everyone no matter what. We understand and accept facts and scientific proof and we know that being great without religion is easy in a world full of gods.

The forward (at the end) for parents

I actually never planned on writing a childrens book, or any book at all for that matter, until my children turned of the age where they could ask questions which were difficult to answer. My daughter was 4 and my son was 6. After my next door neighbor, who was an amazing wife and mother, died of cancer at the age of 56, how I wished I could have answered their inquiry about life after death with god, heaven, the clouds and magic, but I had always promised myself that as a father, I wouldnt lie to them, ever! No matter how hard it hurt, the truth is always better then a lie. Yet how does one compete with that? The atheist gets to say; you die, thats it! and they get clouds, bright lights, magic, and a lifetime of gratitude, just as long as you give them, and by them I mean our fellow primates, who have for thousands of years realized that they can get more out of this life, by promising others more in the next life, what they want. But try explaining that to a 4 and 6 year old without emotion or bias. Personally, and although I love and appreciate my Dad and everything he ever did for me, and every chance I get to say itI do. The fact is, I couldnt possibly imagine him hanging around me for the rest of my life, or for an eternity thereafter, and I am certain there is not a christian alive today who could imagine the same. Yet for some reason christians want to think that having an imaginary father, who was always there with you, judging your every move, who could read your thoughts, and could actually punish you for them (please google the word covet) would be a good thing. I know, it would have been so much easier for me to have taken the high road, to let them and the what iffers, be, and really, to the majority of my friends and neighbors, who have read this book before it was ever published, said I should have I decided not to. I know that had I been alive in 1938 in Germany, as a white middle class plumber, I would have done the same. Had I lived in Rowanda in 1994, probably the most christian nation in Africa, if not the world, I would have taken a stand for humanity and done what I could have done. Yes, in both instances I would have probably become a worthless speck in the writings of history, but unlike so many others who have stood up to fanatisism, totalitarianism, communism, and any other ism must have before me, I would have probably paid for my intolerance to their idiology, ism or ty with my life. Now is the time that we stop tolerating their intolerance! Now is the time they we say enough! They have had 20 plus centuries of persicution, fables, and fear. Their Great Books have done nothing more than destroy humanity, science and the evolution of our species! Now is our time, the time of the atheist and the anti-theist, the time where we say enough with your insanity, abuse, pain and hatred! Mankind is better then this, we are better than religion. Now is your time to do something!

Thank you Galileo, thank you Darwin, thank you Mohamed Bouazizi, and thank you the man or women, mother or father, sister or brother, who history will never write about for giving us, who live today, the strength to stand up against those who say that they understand more than you do, or ever will, about the afterlife. So now I have done my part, I have writen this book, I will leave my small mark on history as being a person who has tried to stop the insanity of religion and everything their gods stand for, and now when the pope of over 1,5 billion catholics says AIDS bad but condoms worse and condemns millions of believers to their death, or when a school system or elected official thinks that we should teach my and your children the few niceties instead of the insanity, descrutution, hatred, geonocide, and suffering in 90% of the holy bible, then you as an atheist or anti-theist need to do more. Atheism is not a beleif system, in the same way that I really do wish there were magic unicorns who could grant me wishes and take me away to a wonderful world, although nice to believe, simply is not true. I wrote this book to do my part, and because I live in the 20+ century, I really should not fear religious persecution, since as the religious leaders say, the Koran, and the bible, and the book of morman preach only love, tolerance and respect but every person who will read this book out there knows that there is a price to pay for freedom, and the biggest price anyone can pay is for religious freedom, or even better, freedom from religion. It is true that if you lived, 1000, 200, 100, or even just 50 years ago you would have never seen a book like this in print, but now is our time, now is the time to teach our children what we as kids were never taught, now is the time to take a stand, it is not anymore a question of maybe there is maybe there isnt, it is now time to say there isnt and they must stop teaching that they know exactly what happens in the afterlife, because they dont know anymore then you. Certainly, if people want to believe that hocus-pocus OK, but they should do it in their own homes. I personally dont want that garbage being taught to my children in schools where my tax dollars pay for. I can only wish you good luck on your journey of bringing up atheist kids in a world full of gods, it will not be easy, but I guarantee you, watching your children grow, thinking about humanity and what happens in this life, like global warming, recycling, ethics and humanity, even the future of our childrens children and not about some totalitarian, North Korean like dictator, who requires praise for everything others do, will be so much more rewarding to you as a parent. Thank you for taking your childrens destiny into your own hands and not leaving it up to modern day snake-oil salesmen offering us the cure. Lance Gregorchuk

About the author Lance Gregorchuk was born in Canada to very religious Catholic parents. He was baptized and confirmed and was an alter boy. Between 1988 and 1992 Lance served in the armed forces in Europe and was awarded the Special Service Medal for his duties with NATO. When one says there are no atheists in the foxhole, Lance is proof that there is. He has become one of the most outspoken critics of religion. Lance is a successful author, guest speaker, motivational trainer at universities and fortune 500 businesses worldwide. He is a proud practicing Atheist. This book was written especially for his two children as a way to start them on a discovery of the many and varied religions and religious sects around the world. This book gives other atheist parents a way to explain to their children that there are no magic men in the sky and that it is great to be an atheist in a world full of people who dont believe what they believe. The childrens book "Great Without Religion, Being an Atheist Kid in a World Full of Gods", is the first ever childrens book which deals with the subject matter of religion and different gods head on. It talks about and deals directly with some of the different religions, their leaders and their beliefs in the different gods. This book gives children the necessary information they need when questioned about their "non-faith" in a factual and educated way. This book also shows children that being a good person and doing the right things will never depend upon any god.

USA & Canada $15,99 Europe 13,99 Australia & NZL $16,99

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