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Atheists Who Go to Church: Doing It for the Children

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LAGC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:32 AM
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Atheists Who Go to Church: Doing It for the Children
He probably won't get down on his knees, but that fellow sitting near you during the Sunday church service just may be an atheist. And a scientist.

A new study out of Rice University has found that 17 percent -- about one out of five scientists who describe themselves as either atheists or agnostics -- actually go to church, although not too often, and not because they feel a spiritual yearning to join the faithful.

More likely, it's because of the kids.

What? Why would somebody who doesn't believe there's a god want his own offspring wasting their time in an enterprise he believes has no foundation in fact? Especially a scientist.

The study, by sociologists Elaine Howard Ecklund of Rice and Kristen Schultz Lee of the University at Buffalo, found that many atheists want their children exposed to religion so that they can make up their own minds on what to believe. In addition, church may provide a better understanding of morality and ethics, and occasionally attending services may ease the conflict between spouses who disagree over the value of religion to their children, the study contends.
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http://news.yahoo.com/atheists-church-doing-children-22...

Hmm... if I ever had kids, I think I'd prefer to "church hop" to different churches/synagogues/mosques, so that my kids weren't exposed exclusively to any one particular creed.

Nothing wrong with showing kids all the different perspectives and letting them make up their own minds...
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:27 AM
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1. or to help keep their kids from being bullied by the kids who do go to church nt
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The Second Stone Donating Member (603 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:29 AM
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2. My Dad is an athiest and I was never confused
by his only very rare attendance at church.
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 04:04 AM
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3. Isn't this what Unitarian Universalists are for?
Actually it's not nearly as true as it was a couple of generations ago, and it depends on where you are in the country. But there was a whole generation of influential atheist UUs here, many were professors.

It's not about the creed, even for religious UUs, so much as the community and the opportunity to do public service and social activism. Our local UU church's activist group has more members than the church as a whole does.
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:34 AM
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4. That's why the Tulsa OK UU church has one of the largest
if not the largest congregation in the US. It's an oasis. They have religious studies, but it's more like history lessons.
Our daughter loves to sing, so the choir was really fun for her too. Social activism is really important as well.

Added: looked it up. It say the largest in the world... lol
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=1...
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:27 AM
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5. My mother was a third generation freethinker/atheist and had me
to a Jewish Sunday School to make my father happy. I tried to adopt the religion, but it just didn't take. I'm now a teacher at a Sunday School, but for preschool children in Ethical Culture.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:09 AM
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6. "having a religious spouse or partner was the main reason ...
... that scientists who were not religious involved their children in a religious community with no clear gender differences (sic)."

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/elai... /

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Humanist_Activist Donating Member (603 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:11 PM
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7. Hmm, sounds no different than some open minded religious people who "church hop" as you put it...
my own parents never forbade me or my sister from attending any denomination's service, though the one time my sister went to an Assemblies of God service, she thought it was nuts. We were raised Catholic, and now are unbelieving heretics. :)
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