In my two years of blogging, I've never before seen a study measuring the comfort level parents feel when talking to their kids about religion. I guess it's too specific of a question to be addressed directly in mainstream religious surveys. But, the other day, buried in a report about life insurance, of all things, I found an answer.
In a report called (yawn) "Public Affairs Life Strategy Survey" and funded by State Farm, surveyers found that 62 percent of parents in America are uncomfortable talking to their kids about life insurance. Harris Interactive revealed its findings after examining the opinions of 2,000 U.S. adults. Then it offered some comparisons.
According to the study, as reported by PR Newswire:
When it comes to life's most important topics, higher percentages of parents feel comfortable talking with their children about drugs and alcohol (55 percent), religion (53 percent) and politics (44 percent) than discussing life insurance (38 percent), family finances (36 percent) or sex/puberty (30 percent).
Did you see that? Blink and you missed it.
Forty-five percent of parents in the United States say they are at least somewhat uncomfortable talking about religion with their children.
Wow wow and wow.
It's easy to see why nonreligious parents (who make up no more than 20 percent of all parents) would have issues with talking to children about religion — oh, boy, is it easy — but these findings go directly against the common assumption that religious people know just what to say to their kids because they are guided by the well-practices teachings of their faith. The truth is, it's as uncomfortable for some of them as it is for some of us.
And considering there are something like 150 million parents in the United States, that's a whole lot of discomfort.