I just got back from a week with my family in South Carolina. A trip that only happens about once a year, because that's about all I can take of the Bible Belt.
I'm "out" as an atheist to my sister but not to my parents. It was a particularly tough visit because my very Catholic grandmother was also visiting. I know many might disagree but I don't think upsetting my 86 year old grandmother by telling her I'm an atheist is something that I really want to do right now.
My sister is raising her 2 daughters in the Methodist Church. Fortunately, she has been very supportive. One of my nieces asked, "Why isn't Aunt Chrissy going to church?" and she responded, "Some people don't go to church and that's ok".
One of the most difficult times of my visit was when my niece wanted me to read her a bedtime story. As with all kids, they want to delay bed time as much as possible, so they always choose the longest story they can find. This time my niece chose her children's bible. Reluctantly I flipped it open. "We will read one story", I said. The bible is fairy tales anyway, just like any of the other books that she might have chosen.
I flipped open to the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. "This won't be too bad", I thought. After all, there's a musical about this story, how bad can it be.
Well, I started reading about how Joseph's father loved him more then his brothers and that's how he received his coat. Really? That's a great story for kids? It's ok for a parent to love one child more than another? I had to stop reading. I think we read Dora instead. Much more appropriate for children than the bible!