Pat Robertson Tells Worried Grandparent to Enroll Grandson in Christian School After Father Says Jesus Doesn't Exist
Controversial televangelist Pat Robertson recently told a viewer she should consider enrolling her grandson in a Christian school after his father tells him Jesus doesn't exist and to stop believing in God.
On an episode of the longstanding CBN program "The 700 Club," Robertson took a written question from a viewer named "Elizabeth."
"Pat, I am very concerned because this past weekend my 6-year-old grandson said his dad told him God and Jesus were not real and were just made up to scare people about dying," wrote Elizabeth. "I tried to explain the truth to him but he won't believe me. I'm worried for my grandson's soul."
Robertson replied that "there are all kinds of things you could do to kind of get him into some positive influences."
"If there is any way you can get him enrolled in a Christian school, get him into some … daily vacation Bible school and things or youth group," advised Robertson.
Much has been made about the rise of the "nones," a group of people who do not affiliate with any religion and many of whom do not believe in God.
According to findings released in October 2012 by the Pew Research Center, there is a considerable generation gap between rates of religiously unaffiliated status.
"A third of adults under 30 have no religious affiliation (32 percent), compared with just one-in-10 who are 65 and older (9 percent)," noted Pew.
"And young adults today are much more likely to be unaffiliated than previous generations were at a similar stage in their lives."
Despite the concerns about nones and generational gaps on spiritual upbringing, there is a chance that Robertson and his viewer need not worry about the grandchild.
According to a 2012 survey by Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, children raised in an atheist home are the least likely to retain said beliefs when reaching adulthood.
Only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults. This "retention rate" was the lowest among 20 separate categories surveyed.
"What these findings reflect is that in the U.S., atheists are for the most part 'made' as adults after being raised in another faith. It appears to be much more challenging to raise one's child as an atheist and have them maintain this identity in their life," wrote Mark Gray at CARA's blog.
Gray also noted that "of those raised as atheists, 30 percent are now affiliated with a Protestant denomination, 10 percent are Catholic, 2 percent are Jewish, 1 percent are Mormon, and 1 percent are Pagan."
Jehovah's Witness, Congregationalist and holiness churches had the next lowest retention rates at 37 percent, 37 percent and 32 percent, respectively.