The share of Americans who do not identify with a religious group is growing, as is the share who identify as spiritual but not religious and the share of respondents – both religious and nonreligious – who say belief in God is not a necessary component of morality, the Pew Research Center has found over the past few years.
So it should be no surprise that more and more people are parenting without religion.
This marks a change from previous eras, in which it was more common for people to look to religion once they became parents even if they were not religious as teenagers or young adults, said Christel Manning, a professor of religious studies who researched unaffiliated parents for her book "Losing Our Religion: How Unaffiliated Parents Are Raising Their Children."
"If I'm single, and I have a certain spiritual or secular outlook, that's my personal thing," Manning told NPR. "But when I form a family, then there are other people who become stakeholders in this process."
Emily and Nathan Freeman are one example of parents who leave religion out of the picture.
When their kids came home from their grandfather's house talking about Bible stories, Emily and Nathan objected.
"Parents like Emily Freeman try to help their kids find their own voice in the conversation," writes journalist Deena Prichep. "About belief, about what's right, about their values as a family."
More on Family & Faith:
What to Do When Your Adult Child Chooses a Different Spiritual Path
I Don't Believe in God. But I Still Want My Children to Find Religion
I Never Thought Muslim Prayers in School Would Be This Fraught
So What'll We Tell the Kids About God?