Anne Crumpacker’s new website on secular parenting

If you’re a regular here, you’ll surely remember the story of Mason Crumpacker, the eight-year-old Texas girl who asked Christopher Hitchens to advise her on good books to read. It was a touching story, complete with Mason’s heartfelt thank-you letter to Hitch and a narrative of the episode written by Anne Crumpacker, Mason’s mom.

Inspired by interest in the affair, Anne has just started a new website (some call it “blog”) hoping to turn her daughter’s meeting with Hitchens into something good that could influence more people. It’s, and here’s her description of it:

Recently I wrote an essay on how my daughter, Mason Crumpacker, met the author Christopher HItchens, who is battling stage four esophageal cancer.  I think that the reason the post became so popular was that people were moved by Christopher Hitchens’s kindness to Mason and how he took care despite his illness to answer her questions seriously.  Their story inspired me to create an interactive blog site—a place where ideas are judged on merit alone, where questions are explored, and where adults and kids can come together to puzzle about life’s wonders.  I would like to dedicate the site in Mr. Hitchens’s honor. is intended as an fun-loving open forum for secular parents and their children. However, you do not need to have a young child or teen still living at home to participate.  We value the wisdom of grandparents and empty-nesters alike.  Also, we would deeply appreciate any academics or professionals who would like to share about their research as well as graphic artists, filmmakers,  and authors who can help make the site really shine.  Feel free to showcase your work as long as it contributes to the discussion.

Socrates believed that the truth could be discovered by asking questions.

Are you willing to try?




  1. Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful concept! I wish you luck and will participate if I feel I have something to contribute. You might want to check out my new blog site, graygoosegoslingwordpress.

  2. Torbjorn Larsson, OM
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Off to a (gad)flying start. [Well, you have to be there to get that.]

    Good initiative, and I wish a good flight!

  3. Still learning
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Excellent! I hope Mason will blog too.

  4. Kevin
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink


  5. Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Great job. I’ll definitely check it out daily. I need all the ideas I can get for my 8 y.o.
    (Plus I expect to be a classroom teacher in about a year and a half–so I’m sure this will be a great resource for that as well.)

  6. Barbara
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    No kids of my own but I am a classroom teacher in two different countries–I’ll go check out the site.

  7. Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Pity, it’s called ‘mama’. what about mama and papa? It’s not just mothers that bring up young children, despite what Christopher Hitchens says.

    • phaenarete0042
      Posted October 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Papas are very welcome. Just needed a short URL. 🙂

    • Microraptor
      Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      There was too high a risk of California Dreaming.

  8. Pagan Forge
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    This is awesome. I will look forward to reading more. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a question or two, (or maybe even an answer)!

  9. Cora
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    This issue comes up frequently in the ex-Mormon community. It’s a challenge to leave such a domineering religion and then know where the *real* lines are to be drawn.

    Congratulations on the new site!

  10. Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Great idea. I’m the author of a kid’s book called Aching and Praying. The story covers Christianity and its ties with slavery and challenges kids (and adults) to think critically. It’s all about asking questions! Good luck with the website, Ann!

  11. Jeff Derry
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Mr.Hitchens inspired me years ago and what he did regarding Mason is exactly what I would have expected from Christopher. “It’s not your compassion,but the amount of passion in your compassion that makes the mark.”

    Your site is a wonderful concept, and I wish you and Mason all the best.

  12. Michael Fisher
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Anne. is for spreading the values of the enlightenment ~ adding to the world good. I’m sure it will be a success & I will drop in to say “hi” regularly & add what I can to the project. Well done to you & yours !

  13. Ross Findlay
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    More power to your elbow, we live in Scotland, where, despite helping to give the world the Enlightenment, we are subject to Theocratic encroachment in the Public Realm, all the Best to you and your Children.

  14. Mustafa Khasraw
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Great initiative!

    I am another Papa who will follow this website or Blog very closely.

  15. Posted October 25, 2011 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Excellent! Empty nester here desiring to be part of the dialogue. Best of luck to you!

  16. Posted October 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    It is a well-done site and should be much in demand for parents and others, too. The whole issue of morality, ethics and philosophy has been hijacked by sectarian religions; it’s about time to present alternative thought.

  17. Posted October 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m aboard!! Hitchens is a hero, younger than Iam, but a hero nonetheless, wom I admire mostly for his admission of poor punctuation. Brave stand young man.

    • Pinky Lane
      Posted November 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      I like this idea and look forward to participating in this forum.

  18. Anne Crumpacker
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I’ve been working hard the past few days. I just added a user forum. Please visit and check it out.

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