I confess I’m not completely on board with the “let the children decide for themselves what to believe” thing.
Yeah, I get it that you have to let kids develop the ability to evaluate the nature of the world on their own.
But on matters of fact? Things which are KNOWN, and which you sort of have to accept as part of the real world? Is that about “belief?” And, considering the broader package of stuff — Eternal Torment! The Evilness of Gays! Mistrust of Liberals! Altarboy Diddling! — that can come along with it, is it okay that actual scientists are willing to expose their kids to it?
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.
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.
Somewhat misguided, I say.
I just hope they’re choosing some of the more moderate, progressive places to send their kids, and not, say, the Mormon Church, or the Catholic one.