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Trust the Church

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I don’t usually write in when it comes to newspaper articles, but after reading Andy Hills’ letter to the editor (“Is God Sexist?”, Sept. 28), I felt obliged to give my two cents, to defend God’s honor. The hard evidence supports the fact that a male figure, when it comes to religion, will draw more people than a female one.

In 2000, the Council of Europe Directorate General III published demographic data regarding men, women, children and church attendance, and the results were conclusive: If both father and mother attend church regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly.

However, if the father doesn’t attends church but the mother regularly does, only 2 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, with 37 percent irregularly attending. But what about if the father is a regular church attendee and the mother is not? The percentage of children becoming regular attendees stays at a hardy 44 percent. Thus, if a father does not go to church, a pious mother can expect a one out of 50 chance that her kids will follow her example.

However, in the reverse situation a pious father could expect almost half of his children to continue attending church, following his lead.

If parents can have such an affect on their children’s religious lives, how much more so do priests? Maybe we should trust the Church on this one If one cares to look at the evidence for oneself: “The demographic characteristics of the linguistic and religious groups in Switzerland” by Werner Haug and Phillipe Warner of the Federal Statistical Office, Neuchatel. It appears in Volume 2 of Population Studies No. 31, a book titled The Demographic Characteristics of National Minorities in Certain European States, edited by Werner Haug and others, published by the Council of Europe Directorate General III, Social Cohesion, Strasbourg, January 2000.

On the internet, one can find the article that provided this information at http://www.fisheaters.com/menandchurch .html

Dale Parker


Knott Hall

Sept. 29