So how are the Nones doing with child rearing?

sec_parentingNot too shabby, according to Vern Bengtson, a USC researcher who recently added secular families to his field of study. The Longitudinal Study of Generations, which Bengston oversees, looks at religion and family life over generations.

From a Los Angeles Times story, Bengtson

was surprised by what he found: High levels of family solidarity and emotional closeness between parents and nonreligious youth, and strong ethical standards and moral values that had been clearly articulated as they were imparted to the next generation.

(We all know that the Nones are on the rise, from all research fronts including this study from Pew Research that says 20 percent of American adults — and a third of adults under the age of 30 — do not identify with any particular faith.)

So let’s go, believers. Step up your game, fer cryin’ out loud.

Published by datingjesus

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12 Comments

  1. I don’t know why Bengston would be so surprised. It would seem to indicate a bias on his part, tainting that 40 years of (scientific?) research.

    Also, as that Pew study reports, non-affiliation does not necessarily mean non-religious. The majority of Pew’s unaffiliated are religious or spiritual in some way. They believe in God or gods, in one way or another. Some even pray and attend religious services. Most agree religious institutions benefit society. That’s not really unaffiliated…it’s genericism…latitudinarian…a recognition benefits can be realized without buying into high profile brand identities associated with Religion™ LLC.

    And…can Atheists really be considered unaffiliated? New-2.0-Four Horsemen® Atheists often demonstrate an organized hate and discontent that is genuinely ecumenical in scope and just as deeply rooted in clericalism. Especially when it comes to women and Islam. Some are even building churches. Holding weekly services. A communion of sorts. (No news on pancake breakfasts, though.)

    It seems to me the only truly unaffiliated would be the agnostics…those willing to admit doubt restrains commitment. As Pew reports, that is a very small percentage of “the nones.”

  2. I think that being a “none” has loads of advantages and no disadvantages that I can understand. And I think those advantages extend to parenting, too.

    For example, a “none” can learn from all philosophical sources, including the teachings of all religions. As a none, a person has to figure out what is just and moral, and must understand such things internally, not by trying to remember what some particular book or preacher might say. The scariest people to me are those who say that without their bible or religion telling them what to do or not do, they would have no idea how to be moral or what is right and wrong.

    As for child-rearing, IMHO being a none is a HUGE advantage because as a none one must figure things out. So, a child is born as pretty much a blank sheet. A none can look at what a parent’s obligations are (or should be) regarding their kid(s). What is it that the parent needs to prepare their child for, starting with that blank sheet? Well, by age 17 or 18, that child needs to be reasonably well prepared to deal with the realities of life and the world at large, and they need to have enough experience doing that so that the prospect does not scare them to death and they have some sense of competence and confidence. Granted, no teenager can be fully prepared, and no new-born is a totally blank sheet.

    Now, if a parent is all wrapped up in a religious belief system and feels they have to persuade or scare their kid into believing as they do, it seems to me they as parents will often be concentrating on the wrong stuff at least much of the time.

    I’d like to know what some people think the advantages are for a parent to be a religious believer. Maybe somebody could help me out.

    1. Someone else said this on Facebook, but it’s interesting that Nones (call them what you will, of whatever stripe) can raise moral children without the threat of punishment or reward in the afterlife. Me, I’m just doing it for the cookies.

  3. A “None” won’t throw his or her LGBT child out on the street, at least not on religious grounds, so right away that has survival value for those children.

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