Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Atheists Find Agreeable Churches Good for Family

With so many of America's churches separated from Biblical Christianity, it's not surprising that elitist atheist/agnostic scientists join churches with their family to satisfy their need for community and to rear their children with a moral compass.

For background, click headlines below of previous articles:

Atheist Scientists Say They're Spiritual: Study

Atheists Crave Church Fellowship, but Absent God

Methodists Team Up with Atheists for Bible Study

Church is About Friendships, NOT God: Study

-- From "Some atheists attend religious services" posted at UPI 12/4/11

Some U.S. scientists who are atheists and have children are involved in religious institutions for social and personal reasons, researchers say.

Principal investigator Elaine Howard Ecklund of Rice University and colleagues at the University at Buffalo found 17 percent of atheists with children said they attended a religious service more than once in the past year.

In addition, some atheist scientists want their children to know about different religions so their children can make informed decisions about their own religious preferences.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Atheists Who Go to Church: Doing It for the Children" by Lee Dye, ABC News columnist 12/7/11

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.

The research, published in the December issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, was based on in-depth interviews with 275 scientists at 21 “elite” research universities in the United States. Sixty-one percent of the participants described themselves as either atheists or agnostics, and 17 percent of the non-believers had attended church more than once in the past year.

Still, it may seem a bit odd for some atheists to perceive church as a desired “community” at a time when many leading atheists are calling on their colleagues to come out of the closet and take a public stand against religion. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, physicist Victor Stenger and others see religion as a source of evil in the world.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Some Atheist Scientists With Children Embrace Religious Traditions" by Elaine Howard Ecklund, Ph.D., sociologist at Rice University 12/7/11

Research I conducted with sociologist Kristen Schultz Lee (University at Buffalo, SUNY) showed just how tightly linked religion and family are in the United States--so much so that even some of society's least religious people find it important to expose their children to different religious choices. Our research challenges the assumption that parents who engage in religious socialization always hold religious beliefs themselves.

The atheist scientists interviewed cited personal and social reasons for introducing and integrating religious traditions and institutions into their children's lives.

Their reasons include:
• Scientific identity - Study participants wish to expose their children to all sources of knowledge (including religion) and allow them to make their own, informed choices about a religious identity.

• Spousal influence - Study participants are involved in a religious institution because of influence from their spouse or partner.

• Desire for community - Study participants want a sense of community (moral or otherwise), even if they do not personally hold religious beliefs.
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Study: 1 in 5 Atheist Scientists Attend Church With Family" by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter 12/5/11

Roy Speckhardt, executive director for the American Humanist Association . . . [said] that atheists will attend places of worship that are “very welcoming,” listing Unitarian Universalist churches and secular Jewish temples as examples.

Dr. Billy McCormack of the Christian Coalition saw the study as showing that atheist academics see church as a positive moral environment.

“Atheists understand that people who attend church are more likely to be persons of high moral character and would prefer their children experience this more positive environment,” said McCormack in an interview with CP.

“Academics are dogmatic as a rule. Their usual arrogance, subtle or pronounced, makes them less likely than the general public atheists to allow their children to be exposed to truth with which they strongly disagree,” said McCormack.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Atheists and Agnostics Negotiate Religion and Family" by Elaine Howard Ecklund & Kristen Schultz Lee, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 50, Issue 4, pages 728–743, December 2011

Through in-depth interviews with scientists at elite academic institutions—those particularly likely to have no firm belief in God—we provide insight into the motives scientists who are not religious have for joining a religious group and the struggle faced by these individuals in reconciling personal beliefs with what they consider the best interests of their families. Narratives stress the use of resources from identities as scientists to provide their children with religious choices consistent with science and in negotiating spousal influence and a desire for community. Findings expand the religious socialization and identities literatures by widening the range of understanding of the strategies parents utilize to interface with religious communities as well as lead to more nuanced public understanding of how atheist and agnostic scientists relate to religious communities.
To read the entire study referenced above, CLICK HERE.