At this time of year, people without children by choice can come up against inaccurate assumptions others make about them. Many people can assume that this growing segment of the population tends not to celebrate Christmas because they don’t have kids. Continue reading “Assumptions about the Childfree and Christmas”
The San Francisco Chronicle had an informative editorial on Obama’s recent contraceptive mandate. But first, if you have not already seen it, here’s a take on the mandate that is definitely worth the watch-Stephen Colbert’s: Continue reading “Ruminations on Religious & Reproductive Liberties of the Contraception Mandate”
Last year Grist did a piece on why the childfree had finally gone mainstream. I had to disagree. While this choice is talked about more than ever before, it’s not hit mainstream acceptance by a long shot. One big reason? Religion. This “Happily Childfree” post by a Catholic medical student is a sure reminder of how certain religions will always stand in the way… Continue reading “Case In Point: Why Accepting the Childfree Choice is Still on the Uphill Climb”
I recently had an announcement on the front page of this blog regarding the opportunity to participate in Nicole Ross’ survey project for a class of hers at the Canberra Institute of Technology. It is on religious affiliation in the childfree community. The results are in and the report complete; here are some highlights from her report: Continue reading “A Report on the Childfree and Religious Affiliation”
There’s a new documentary out about the population problem: Mother: Caring for 7 Billion. It lays out a provocative theory about this problem and how to solve it.
While many childfree people are Christian and celebrate Christmas, the flip side deserves attention too. Plenty of people with no children by choice don’t celebrate Christmas in the traditional way –or at all. They may do some of what a lot of people do — have a tree, decorate, gather with and give gifts to family and loved ones, but plenty would say they don’t celebrate the holiday first and foremost as the birthday of Jesus. Why? Because they are atheist or agnostic. What do we know about the numbers of childfree atheists and agnostics?
There sure is a lack of hard statistics here. One of the few surveys ever formally done happened over 30 years ago. The National Alliance of Non-Parents (which turned to the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood) conducted a survey of a random sample of their members, and of the 334 who responded, the mean age was 31, and 49% reported they were either atheist or agnostic. That was a sizable percentage. But what we don’t know is if this can be reasonably extrapolated to the percentages of the childfree population as a whole at that time.
I have not found many other sound studies that with look at childfree and religious affiliation, if any. Prior to 2000 there were some trend studies that indicated the childfree “tended” to be less religious, but that does not tell us much. However, these day I do notice a growing amount of web action on childfree atheist and agnostic topics and sites.
One interesting site is “Selfish Heathens” which is designed for liberal childfree atheists and agnostics. You see more out there about atheism as a potential movement in our society. Last summer ABC did a provocative piece on whether atheism is a growing positive force in America. But are those with no children by choice more likely to be atheist or agnostic?
I can only tell you what I have seen over ten years engaging with hundreds of childfree. I have encountered more childfree that consider themselves christian, but not necessarily practicing christians. For example, they don’t necessarily go to church regularly or on Christmas, but have christian beliefs. The second most include people who subscribe to other major religions including judiasm, hinduism and buddhism.
Then I would say I encounter serious practicing christians and their opposite–people who describe themselves as nonreligious–atheist or agnostic. Just because I have not run into more atheist or agnostics does not mean they have not been there all along–maybe they are just becoming more vocal about their beliefs in this regard. Or maybe this just means I am talking to more of them these days!
In any case, they are the ones that will do Christmas as just another day they get off as part of our society’s christian-oriented calendar.
To childfree people reading this and who are willing to share, how would you describe your religion, spirituality, or the like?
The September question: Was there ever a time in your adult life when you thought you wanted kids? If so, what changed your mind? Here’s what you said and the tee up to next month’s question:
A visitor to this blog recently commented on the post, “100+ Reasons to Have Children” at Life in a Shoe. I spoke to the 100+ reasons in a recent post, and Leslie copied her comment in the string here. It is a great one that speaks to the childfree christian and right/wrong/judgment issues I have been discussing of late, and just have to highlight it an excerpt. Check it out. Continue reading “Postscript to Childfree Christian and Judgment Issues”
Back to the childfree christian channel (thanks again I.Am.Free for her recent interview) — Cha Cha, did a great guest post on feministmormonhousewives.org. She lays out her reasons for not wanting children, which will sound familiar to many childfree. But then she goes on to how the mormon church sees her, and asks some insightful questions.. Continue reading “Insights from a Childfree Mormon Feminist”