Relax, It’s Just God Book Review
Decision Making , Religion / January 3, 2016

A few couple decades ago, being religiously unaffiliated was taboo. Children were raised on their knees, with eyes shut tightly and hands clasped together in fervent prayer. However, in a world where liberalism is on the rise and religious affiliation is on a sleepy decline, comes the emergence of a new generation of parents: the seculars. The question then shifts from, “How do I teach my child about God?” to “How do I educate my child about the gods?” In her book Relax, It’s Just God, Wendy Thomas Russel talks about raising open-minded and tolerant children in a world where the belief in a deity is still somewhat of a social necessity.

Book Overview

With this book being undeniably well-written, Russel proves to be a talented writer. She takes on a slightly humorous yet scholarly approach to a sensitive and controversial topic whilst still maintaining a compassionate tone. Meant for non-religious parents who wish to teach their kids about religion, this book is written in a neutral and unbiased perspective that neither promotes nor trashes religious views. The book is infused with scientific thoughts, research, and the author’s own personal experiences in an attempt to properly explain concepts and ideas to the readers in an easy and comprehensible manner. The author focuses on acceptance, tolerance, and education and emphasises that religious belief is the child’s choice and the parents’ role is simply to inform the child on the matter as best as they could.

Different Chapters and Topics Covered

One of the topics in this book that stands out is the chapter on dealing with supposedly well-meaning religious relatives concerned about the secular lifestyle of the family. Russel talks about keeping an open yet kind communication with these family members. Russel also talks about making sure that the child realises that religion is a choice and choosing whether or not to believe in one does not make other people candidates for ridicule.

Many other important topics are covered in the book, including avoiding indoctrination, practising tolerance while staying protected from the intolerance of others, and explaining and talking to children about death without the comforts of religious imagery. It also tackles on general need-to-knows on a variety of major world religions and how to celebrate their holidays in a secular manner.


Although the author does point out that persecution tags along with the refusal – or inability – to submit and belong to a religious denomination, an assumption that when taught to children, may cause them to fear speaking their minds and standing up for their beliefs, she also encourages teaching children open-mindedness. Russel greatly emphasises that the belief, or lack thereof, in religion is not anyone’s choice but their own. She focuses on the importance of teaching children on how to respect the religious decisions of others and how to be the kind of parents not only raises a religiously literate individual, but also does not force their children into the blind indoctrination of either religion or atheism,


This book deserves a solid 5 out of 5.

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