I think this is something we’ve all suspected for a long time, but now there is research to back it up. Like most children of my generation, I was raised religious, I was sent to Sunday School, I was religiously indoctrinated in my home, by parents who thought it was the best option, and in fact I went to all religious private schools which further pushed an unending stream of religion on me. I was lucky to escape but I’m sure a lot of people I knew in my youth probably never did.
Now, however, there are multiple studies that show that kids raised non-religious are simply better. According to a Duke University study in 2010, non-religious children are “less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian, and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults.”
According to Phil Zuckerman, “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.” Bengston is in charge of the Longitudinal Study of Generations, the largest ongoing examination of American families and religion. Bengston says that “many non-religious parents were more coherent and passionate about their ethical principles than some of the ‘religious’ parents in our study. The vast majority appeared to live goal-filled lives characterized by moral direction and sense of life having a purpose.”
We’ve long-since known that atheists are vastly underrepresented in prison populations, they simply do not appear to commit crimes at the same rate as most religious people do. There are only a very few religious groups that have a lower percentage in prison than in their normal demographics. I also talked on the podcast a while back about a study that showed that non-religious children were more likely to differentiate between fantasy and reality than religious children.
We also know that there is a strong inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence/education. The smarter someone is, the more educated they are, the less likely they are to be religious. This has been confirmed in dozens of studies performed over the past century.
So I guess what I’m saying is that if you want your kids to be smart, well-adjusted and decent human beings, for goodness sake, keep them away from religion. And for those who do not want those things for their children, you assholes have no business being parents.