Religious Bonds Divide Some Parents, Kids

July 9, 2007

Author: Cathy Lynn Grossman

Source: USA Today

Pamela Moss worships every Sunday at Messiah Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., where they preach the Bible straight up, sing the old hymns "and then let me get on with my day." But her son, George, 24, is a fervent Evangelical, witnessing to strangers and praying "in a church that looks like a gym. To me, he's just out the gate," his mystified mom says.

Stephen Rochester, 32, grew up "Jewish lite" in St. Louis, says his father, Marty. "So I was stunned when Stephen went religious with a capital R," switching to his Hebrew name, Shaya, and adopting the black hat of Hasidic Jews.

Mari Beth Nolan, 22, grew up a "Christmas and Easter" Catholic. Now she plans to go to work at a missionary clinic in Ecuador, leaving her parents proud — but confused.

Small wonder parents are befuddled. Though Gallup polls dating to the '50s say young adults are less likely to attend services or say religion is very important in their lives, clergy of all stripes say they are seeing a small wave of young adults who are more pious than their parents. And they're getting an earful from boomer moms and dads who range from shocked to delighted.