Why woul atheist parents send their kids to Catholic schools?

We have these friends who are the sort of people you stay friends with mainly because you’ve been friends with them for so long. They aren’t just atheists; they’re elitist, condescending, Catholic-hating, religion-mocking, throw-it-in-your-face atheists. One of the milder things they’ve done is when they had a death in the family and, when someone on Facebook said they’d keep them in their prayers, the wife responded with something like, “And the next time you’re having a hard time I’ll clap my hands and call for some faeries. Why don’t you do something helpful like make a donation to [some charity] or bake us dinner?”

I should also point out that they’ve never been the most well-off people in the world. Their cars are 15-20+ years old and one is literally held together with duct tape. They went over a year without broadcast TV because they couldn’t afford a converter or new TV. They shop at the Goodwill outlet store (clothes for 69 cents/lb) and have strategically placed no bathing and no electric days to cut down on their utility costs. (Note that I’m not criticizing their lifestyle, but trying to illustrate their financial situation.)

Despite this, all their kids have been baptized, received the rest of the Sacraments through Confirmation and have gone to Catholic schools at least through high school (one just started her freshman year at a very orthodox and expensive Catholic college this past fall). I asked the husband about it in the past but didn’t get an answer. After he made some extremely nasty comments about Pope Francis and the Bl. John Paul II’s upcoming canonization, I got to wondering again just why someone like that would send their kids to Catholic schools. The area where they live has very good public schools, so it’s not the quality of the schools that’s the issue. I’m honestly perplexed.

:eek: :mad: What kind of a thing to say is that?

I too am perplexed. I would have said ‘quality of schooling’ as the reason but if the public schools are good then I don’t know…unless they just don’t want to send their kids to public schools.

It must be hard for the children though; coming home and mentioning something Catholic-related and having your parents go PFFT every time.

Well, I don’t know. I go to a Lutheran school, but that’s because of the quality of education. Maybe they disagree that the public schools are as good as the Catholic ones. Maybe they’re opposed to the public schools for other reasons. Maybe the kids have friends there and have asked to continue attending. It could be any number of things.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe it has to do with the fact that there are no other private schools as near as the Catholic one, and they rather have their kids “shielded” from drugs, violence and other kind of abuse that might happen on public schools. The fact the kids are more controled in private schools, they can’t go in an out as they please, can’t smoke can’t drink and so on. Also, the fact they hate religion doesn’t mean they hate everything the children are taught there, values such as honor, respect, etc which public schools tend to not even mention.

Two reasons:

  1. High-quality education.

  2. Cost

Many parents who have the financial means will investigate the schools in their area and select the school that offers the best curricula, a wide range of excellent extracurricular activities, and produces students who achieve the highest scores on the standardized tests.

As for cost, many Catholics schools have the cheapest tuition of the private schools in an area.

We know many “atheists” who chose to attend the very rigorous Catholic high school in our city. They just sat quiet and stayed polite during religious classes, Masses, prayers, etc. They put up with “religion” because they wanted the good education in the non-religion subjects.

Our daughters attended a secular private school, and they didn’t sit quietly when their faith was challenged! But they stayed polite (most of the time). :slight_smile:

I can picture the same reasons that have been mentioned as to why they might have their children attend Catholic schools, one of which is that they believe that their theist is not threatened if the Catholic school does not do a good job of teaching the faith. But what I am more curious about is why they would have their kids receive the sacraments and basically be raised as Catholics? Something is not adding up between their words and their actions, that’s for sure.

Huh. It’s not just schools, then; it’s baptism and confirmation? I have no idea why you would enroll your child in a religion you despise.

Wow. I will add her to my prayer list! :slight_smile:

I should also point out that they’ve never been the most well-off people in the world. Their cars are 15-20+ years old and one is literally held together with duct tape. They went over a year without broadcast TV because they couldn’t afford a converter or new TV. They shop at the Goodwill outlet store (clothes for 69 cents/lb) and have strategically placed no bathing and no electric days to cut down on their utility costs. (Note that I’m not criticizing their lifestyle, but trying to illustrate their financial situation.)

Despite this, all their kids have been baptized, received the rest of the Sacraments through Confirmation and have gone to Catholic schools at least through high school (one just started her freshman year at a very orthodox and expensive Catholic college this past fall). I asked the husband about it in the past but didn’t get an answer. After he made some extremely nasty comments about Pope Francis and the Bl. John Paul II’s upcoming canonization, I got to wondering again just why someone like that would send their kids to Catholic schools. The area where they live has very good public schools, so it’s not the quality of the schools that’s the issue. I’m honestly perplexed.

Now this part is really interesting to me. Our son attends a small, orthodox Catholic college and I wonder how a person with atheist leanings would be able to make it through the classes. They infuse Catholicism into *every *subject, unlike high school where it is a separate theology class.

I wonder how she likes her college selection and if she does like it, I would think she will begin to have some very lively discussions with her parents. Christmas break should be very interesting! :thumbsup:

Are they really atheists or are they just haters who like to stir the pot and share their misery? Atheists would be against their kids receiving the Sacraments.

Maybe the parents are getting pressured and funded by grandparents, with a stipulation of Catholic school and sacraments in the hopes that the kids do not turn out like the parents.:eek:

I really wish you would ask them and then get back to us.

It is all somewhat understandable up to the part where you said they receive the sacraments.

I can think of 3 reasons this couple is sending their kids to the catholic schools and having them receive sacraments.

  1. Possible “peer pressure”. The kids receive the sacraments because the other kids at the school are receiving the sacraments and the parents don’t want their kids left out, set apart. The parents are atheist so what do they care if some priest sprinkles some water and says some words?

  2. Cultural catholics. The family is catholic, but not really practicing. So the kids receive sacraments and go to catholic schools simply because thats what the family has done for generations.

  3. I know of at least a few people who view catholic schools and churches as a networking opportunity. Literally attend because they are making connections to help them in life with things like job leads and receiving goods and services at a discount because they attend the same parish as the business owner. Maybe the parents think that going to catholic schools and attending Mass will help their kids get ahead.

I agree with all 3, especially the cultural Catholics. I see that a lot at my child’s school. Of dd’s classmates, only about 3-4 ever attend mass with their families. The majority just attend that school because mom or dad and even grandparents/great-grandparents attended that school.

My thought is: It is their decision.

They obviously have made a choice to enroll their children in Catholic school and have even given their children the Sacraments and graces of the Church.

They do not need to express to anyone why they have done so: unless the parish priest thought he should ask them before Baptizing their children in the Church.

We could all come up with reasons they choose what appears to be conflicting ideas. You have already asked them. They choose not to answer.

That is their boundary to set up: choosing to have their children receive the Sacraments or to allow the children their own choice in receiving the Sacraments, choosing Catholic schools, speaking their negative thoughts on the Faith, and choosing not to answer your questions on “why”.

May God continue to bless this family. May they release their negative thoughts on prayer and faith. May they be at Peace.

THIS is the strange part that I cannot understand, the Catholic school part I sort-of get because there can be many reasons for that, but the Sacraments are a different story. To the best of my knowledge, even if you send your child to a Catholic school you can “opt out” of some classes even religious instruction and especially Sacramental preparation if you are not Catholic!

A woman that in public humiliates someone for praying for her because prayer is ridiculous while at the same time sending her child to religious instruction to pray is indeed impossible to understand. I can understand why you are confused, so am I.

Pray for the children, if you and I are confused imagine what they are going through.

methinks the lady dost protest too much…

…these people, are on an unconscious level, aching to believe and join the church.

I’ve been there.

That was my first thought as well. We are seeing that more and more where the impetus behind kids being enrolled in CCD and sacramental prep are the grandparents rather than the parents. It tends to complicate catechesis (to put it mildly).

That’s possible, as well. I remember when I was Atheist and first learned that I have heart problems. I envied people of faith because they weren’t as worried about dying as they believed in an afterlife. It wasn’t until years later that I got the call from God to join the Church.

I could totally see wanting my children to have faith to make them feel peace and security even if I couldn’t.

This is probably the best response. :thumbsup: Praise God that the spark of faith glimmers enough that they have immersed their children in a Catholic environment and pray that the spark is fanned into flame in their heart.

This is what I was thinking too.

Who, would post such a thing in response to someone saying they would pray?

I mean, aren’t friends on facebook actually friends? Who would talk to their friends that way?

“And the next time you’re having a hard time I’ll clap my hands and call for some faeries. Why don’t you do something helpful like make a donation to [some charity] or bake us dinner?”

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