13 Reasons Why More Americans Are Raising Their Kids Without Religion

Being a parent to a child is one of the most challenging yet fulfilling responsibilities you’ll ever have, and choosing between raising them in a religious or non-religious household is a big decision in and of itself. However, more and more parents are deciding to raise their kids without it because of the possible negative implications it can have in our ever-changing world. Plus, many believe that religion isn’t needed to teach children about what’s good or bad; there are even cases where religion gets in the way of the morals and ethics parents want to ingrain in their kids!

Parents Think Religion Gets in the Way of Morality

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Morality and religion have always been and will always be intertwined and inseparable for most religious people. However, people argue that, in reality, there are times when religion gets in the way of morality; they believe that humans—kids—can be perfectly moral, good, and ethical, even without following rules set by the church. A user on Quora shared, “If religion is the only thing keeping you from raping someone, from murdering a person who wronged you, from stealing as you see fit—if religion is your sole provider of a moral framework, then you are immoral.”

Parents Believe in a Changing Philosophy

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In line with how some parents think that religion gets in the way of morality, they are also influenced by a changing philosophy—a belief that they can raise good kids without the need for authoritarian parenting. Studies have shown that religious beliefs can affect and influence one’s authoritarian parenting styles. This leads them to become more controlling parents, eventually causing conflict to arise between them and their kids.

Parents Have No Particular Belief Themselves

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As a parent, you translate your beliefs and values to your kids. So, how can a person who is not religious or an atheist truly and fully capture what it is to become religious? Children are a reflection of their parents, and if their parents have no particular belief in any religion themselves, then one should never expect them to raise their kids otherwise.

Religion Could Be Detrimental to Their Studies

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While religion is mainly found to help develop someone’s soft skills, such as self-control and social skills, unfortunately, it seems highly likely that religion can be detrimental to hard skills. This is more commonly seen in the academic scene, where children raised by religious parents had low performance on subjects like science, math, and reading.

Religion Could Be a Cause of Familial Divide

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Religion can, unfortunately, be the cause of familial divide, even when parents don’t intend it to. For one, if there’s a disparity between a child and a parent’s religiousness or if the family is of mixed faith, there are higher chances of arguments ensuing between members of the family. Secondly, Brigham Young University explains, “Research has demonstrated a link between authoritarian religious parenting and increased tension within child-parent relationships. First, authoritarian, religious parenting is linked to increased conflict between the parent and child, as well as unnecessary tension between families and church authority.”

Parents Believe They Don’t Need Religion to Teach Their Kids How to Be Kind

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Kindness is a value deeply ingrained in Christian beliefs and teachings. However, some parents believe they don’t need religion to teach their kids kindness. They think if they treat their kids with compassion, kindness, and respect, they’ll learn these values themselves—without ever having to turn to any religious text or teaching.

Parents Think There’s Not a Big Disparity Between Religious and Non-religious Kids

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People mistakenly believe that religiosity equals being a person with good morals and values. However, numerous studies have shown that it’s the opposite—non-religious kids are actually more altruistic than their religious counterparts. An article from Current Biology explains, “Overall, our findings cast light on the cultural input of religion on prosocial behavior and contradict the common-sense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind toward others.”

Parents Had a Bad Personal Experience With a Religious Upbringing

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Parents naturally want the best for their children. So, if they’ve experienced anything associated with religion in the past, especially if that trauma has stuck with them into adulthood, then they’d naturally want to take their kids as far as they possibly could from the negativity.

Parents Want to Veer Away From Taking the Choice Away From Their Kids

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If a parent tries to force religion onto their kids, they might only grow to resent it. For example, kids in religious households might be brought up having to attend church every Sunday. While they won’t form an opinion about it while they’re younger, as they grow older, they’ll slowly realize things they want to do and don’t want to—and their religious obligations might get in the way of their personal preferences. At the end of the day, we must all remember that religion is a deeply personal choice that one needs to decide on one’s own.

Parents Desire to Raise a Child With an Open Mind or Compassion for All Belief Systems

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Though Christians preach that their God is the one true god, we can’t contest that millions of people worldwide believe otherwise. Because of this, instead of just following one belief system, some parents want their kids to develop an open mind and an acceptance of all other religions or belief systems in the world. For them, it’s up to their kids to pursue or follow a specific religion when they’re older and can make an informed choice.

Parents Don’t Want to Use Religion-Based Fear Tactics on Their Kids

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The sad truth is that many people use religion as a way to scare their kids into doing something. To veer them away from what they think is wrong, they threaten them by saying that God is watching them, God will be mad, or worse, they’ll end up in Hell if they keep doing something the parent deems isn’t correct. However, if you break it down, this is using fear-based tactics to make a child obey.

Parents Think Religious Institutions Can’t Be Trusted

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A good chunk of society sees Christians and Christianity to be hypocritical, and sadly, we can’t blame them. After all, we see lots of news articles and even documentaries showing the dark side of the church where abuse and the like happen. Because of this, many parents believe that religious institutions can’t be trusted, and therefore, they cannot leave their children in these institutions’ hands.

Parents Want to Raise Their Kids With a Rational and Scientific Worldview

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Many atheists thrive on a scientific and rational worldview. Because of this, some parents think the best way for their children to grow up is to have the same worldview—a view where everything is concretized and proven by science and reason.

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Poorly educated individuals may exhibit certain noticeable characteristics that set them apart from others. On the flip side, some may also compensate for their lack of education by pretending to be knowledgeable in certain areas. This behavior is often a way for poorly educated individuals to maintain their self-image and self-esteem.

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20 Behaviors and Traits That Are Dead Giveaways of Having Low Intelligence

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Speaking loudly, being overly confident, or even gossiping can all be signs of someone having low intelligence. However, by recognizing these markers, people can become more proactive in addressing their limitations and weaknesses, eventually improving their overall mental and emotional capacity. Read on and learn more about the top 20 dead giveaways of low intelligence!

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20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

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People have different personalities; that’s a fact. When you move somewhere with a tight-knit community, you will get to know many people who will either clash with your personality or make you feel like you’ve found a new friend. However, no matter what it is, remember to establish boundaries. If you don’t, you might soon see a lot of bad blood between you and other people in the community!

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20 Signs You Have Little to No Emotional Support in Your Relationship

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Navigating a relationship without enough emotional support can feel like being caught in a storm without shelter. Constant feelings of isolation, misunderstanding, and loneliness indicate a loss of balance in the emotional aspect of your relationship. Thankfully, it’s not too late to get help because we’ve gathered the top 20 signs that can help you determine whether or not you’re receiving the emotional support you need for a healthy, thriving relationship.

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20 Christian Practices That Confuse and Puzzle Others

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All regions differ in some way. Catholics collect saint cards and plan their vacations around religious sights, and Buddhists believe in karma and reincarnation. Like them, Christians also practice some things that are simply unheard of or puzzling for others. They practice tithing, cast out demons, and more!

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.