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American parents want their kids to exhibit faith-related values like generosity, compassion and honesty when they grow up, but few worry about whether they’ll actually carry on the family’s religious traditions, according to a new survey on parenting from Pew Research Center.

The survey found that while large majorities of parents say it’s extremely or very important to them for their children to “be honest and ethical” (94%) or “be someone who helps others in need” (81%) as adults, just 35% expressed the same level of interest in their kids having “similar religious beliefs to their own.”

Although parents who belong to a faith group are generally more concerned about young people’s religious futures than those who don’t, Pew identified notable variations in interest between members of different traditions.

“White evangelical Protestant parents (70%) are more likely than White non-evangelical Protestant (29%) and Black Protestant parents (53%) to say it’s very or extremely important to them that their children have religious beliefs that are similar to their own as adults,” researchers wrote, adding that only “about a third (35%) of Catholic parents ... say this.”

Another interesting takeaway from the survey, which I saw some religion experts discussing on Twitter, is that parents today care more about their kids’ financial and academic plans than their romantic lives.

While nearly 9 in 10 parents (88%) say it is extremely or very important to them for their children to be financially independent and 41% want them to earn a college degree, just 1 in 5 parents say it’s extremely or very important for their kids to get married (21%) or have children (20%), Pew found.

If you asked faith leaders the same question, I have a feeling many more pastors than parents would be worried about young people’s family-related plans.

For more information about Pew’s parenting study, check out my colleague Lois Collins’ article on the data.


Fresh off the press

The National Prayer Breakfast will look different this year. Here’s how

Pope Francis says homosexuality is a sin, not a crime in new interview

Dolly Parton says a dream about God inspired one of her newest songs


Term of the week: NIL deal

NIL or name, image and likeness deals allow college athletes to be compensated for their growing fame. The phrase refers to agreements under which young sports stars are paid to endorse products or companies on social media, in TV commercials or in other types of advertisements. The NCAA legalized NIL compensation in 2021.

Although I’ve long known that NIL deals come in many forms, I was stunned to discover last week that even churches can take part. In his “Extra Points” newsletter, college sports reporter Matt Brown wrote about County Line Church of God in Indiana, noting that it appeared to be paying five college athletes to sign autographs at an upcoming Super Bowl-themed charity event.

“It’s entirely possible that other churches have paid athletes to participate in charity events or promote initiatives. But this is the first such deal that I’m aware of,” Brown wrote.


What I’m reading...

Doug Emhoff, the first Jewish spouse of a vice president in American history, led the U.S. government’s commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. He spent last week visiting key Jewish sites in Europe, including a former concentration camp, and met with Holocaust survivors, NPR reported.

Canada has appointed its first “special representative for combating Islamophobia” as it continues to work to reduce violence against the Muslim community. Amira Elghawaby, a journalist and human rights advocate who will hold the role, will advise government officials on religion-related initiatives and manage her own $4.2 million budget, The Washington Post reported, noting that Muslims comprise around 5% of the Canadian population.

Here’s how faith leaders across the country reacted to the release of video showing Memphis police officers’ violent arrest of Tyre Nichols, according to Religion News Service.


Odds and ends

This bit of news isn’t faith-related, but I was delighted to learn that this year’s Super Bowl will mark the first time brothers face off in the championship. (Travis Kelce plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, while Jason Kelce plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.)