A new study conducted by Rice University in Texas reports that 17 percent -- about one out of five scientists who describe themselves as either atheists or agnostics -- actually go to church, although not too often, and not because they feel a spiritual yearning to join the faithful. They go “for the kids.” I haven't read the full Rice report yet but you can read the ABC news account here.
I guess I can see the stated explanation – the atheist parent wants to let their children make up their own mind. But the article doesn’t even hint at another possible reason. Perhaps the atheist parents aren’t 100% convinced that they have it all figured out and attend church services either for some spiritual insurance of sorts (“hey, it can’t really hurt, can it?”), or maybe to check the whole “God thing” out to see if they just might hear a persuasive argument or two along the way. You never really know what those wacky scientist might be thinking, now do you?