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Wed Sep 16, 2015, 10:31 AM

Op-Ed: How secular family values stack up

The number of American children raised without religion has grown significantly since the 1950s, when fewer than 4% of Americans reported growing up in a nonreligious household, according to several recent national studies. That figure entered the double digits when a 2012 study showed that 11% of people born after 1970 said they had been raised in secular homes. This may help explain why 23% of adults in the U.S. claim to have no religion, and more than 30% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say the same.

So how does the raising of upstanding, moral children work without prayers at mealtimes and morality lessons at Sunday school? Quite well, it seems. Far from being dysfunctional, nihilistic and rudderless without the security and rectitude of religion, secular households provide a sound and solid foundation for children, according to Vern Bengston, a USC professor of gerontology and sociology.

For nearly 40 years, Bengston has overseen the Longitudinal Study of Generations, which has become the largest study of religion and family life conducted across several generational cohorts in the United States. When Bengston noticed the growth of nonreligious Americans becoming increasingly pronounced, he decided in 2013 to add secular families to his study in an attempt to understand how family life and intergenerational influences play out among the religionless.

He 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.

“Many nonreligious parents were more coherent and passionate about their ethical principles than some of the ‘religious' parents in our study,” Bengston told me. “The vast majority appeared to live goal-filled lives characterized by moral direction and sense of life having a purpose.”

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0115-zuckerman-secular-parenting-20150115-story.html#page=1



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Reply Op-Ed: How secular family values stack up (Original post)
cleanhippie Sep 2015 OP
Warren Stupidity Sep 2015 #1
SheilaT Sep 2015 #2

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2015, 11:08 AM

1. The book of arbitrary slaughter, misogyny, homophobia

 

cryptic tales with "secret meanings", impossible events, and absurd explanations for the nature of reality, is not essential for living a meaningful ethical life?

I'm stunned.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2015, 11:31 AM

2. If you always have to look outside yourself to

 

behave morally, you won't ever internalize those values.

On top of that, the Bible is a very short-attention span work. There is no sustained narrative in it, which is probably why religious people who read it a lot, have no ability to follow a line of reasoning the encompasses more than three sentences.

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