I realize this is a controversial topic for many people, but I feel it is important to talk about because I know there are other moms out there who feel the way I do and may be looking for support. Today there are more people than ever who share my thoughts on religion, so I know I am not alone.
Jus so you have a little background on me, I was raised with religion (not strictly). Some of my family is Catholic, some Jewish, and I was raised as Christian. We didn't rely heavily on religion, but we were aware of it and "God" was the answer to many questions that we had. As I went to church and asked more questions, the answers I was given just weren't good enough anymore and I came to the conclusion myself as a teenager that religion seemed outdated, untrue and just not for me.
That being said, I teach my children based on my own beliefs (or lack of), which is what everyone does. When they ask me "how" or "why" I answer with science, not with religion. However, I do make them aware of religion so they can be respectful of other people's beliefs, even if they don't share them. I think this is a critical point that most people forget about, or simply just don't care about. My kids have heard of heaven, angels, prayer and souls. They've never learned about God or Jesus or the beliefs or rules surrounding them (yet). They understand that people go to church to pray, which is like making a wish in their head. They know that some people believe the wish comes true. They also know that when we die, some people believe that our souls become angels and go to heaven. However, I make it very clear that no one knows for sure if this is true and it is mostly just a belief. They know nothing of hell.
I've had many religious people question my teachings and even accuse me of "damning my children to an eternity of suffering in hell" because I did not baptize them and teach them to love and believe in God and Jesus. I'm not going to get into my thoughts on that, but I will just say that I politely say I don't believe in that and it's my choice as a mother to not teach/brainwash my children to believe in something that I feel is nonsense. I've had heated discussions with my own mother in law about how I need to "save my children's soul". I simply thank her for her concern and move on. This has been the biggest challenge for me as a non believer; the opinions and input of relatives and friends. Sorry, but I am firm in my beliefs and that's just how it is. I'm not going to bend to please others. It's just not how I work. They all have the right to follow their beliefs, so why can't I? I'm not putting anyone down for their beliefs, I'm just saying that they have theirs, and I have mine.
If my children decide to be religious when they grow up, that's their choice. I have no problem with it. That's part of why I teach them what others believe, so they can make their own decision. I'm just not going to force a belief and essentially brainwash them to believe in something, as most religious followers do.
The point of this is, if you have a belief, stick to it no matter what others have to say. That's our right as citizens of a free country.
You may find this link helpful: http://www.salon.com/2013/06/25/7_groups_atheists_can_turn_to_in_times_of_need_partner/