Religion or manners? Which values lead your list to teach your children?

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Crosby, Stills and Nash crooned about our message to the next generation in 'Teach Your Children Well.' Photo from YouTube concert video.

We all want our kids to be responsible, hard working, helpful to others and well mannered, too.

What about religious? No, not so much, evidently.

A new survey released today (Sept. 18) by the Pew Research Center finds that adults’ political ideology and their religious identify often make a significant difference in the qualities they say are the most important to teach their children.

Cue the Crosby, Stills & Nash here.

Pew conducted the research with 3,243 adults responding by mail or online between April 29 and May 27. They were asked to rank the importance of 12 different qualities and choose their three most important traits.

The answers align like a scouts’ handbook: Being responsible was important or very important with almost everyone (93 percent overall); hard work (89 percent) and being well mannered and helpful tied for third in the rankings (at 84 percent).

Religious faith, however, registered last on the list of 12 qualities for overall importance (53 percent) — below curiosity (59 percent) and obedience (60 percent).

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 4.28.17 PMBut some stark differences appear once you sort the answers by political ideology, religious identity, and race.

I’ll leave the ideology aside and just zero in on religious variations here.

For all those who identify with a religion, reaching faith ranks very important for 37 percent.

But for white evangelical Christians, 60 percent say teaching that’s ”among the most important qualities to instill,” according to the report.

For African-Americans, 41 percent picked faith among the top values.

And for those who claim no religious identity, only 3 percent put high importance on instilling religious faith in their offspring.

The values divide on other issues is narrower but still noteworthy.

— People with no religious brand are about three times more likely than white Protestants, from evangelical to mainline, to say curiosity tops the list.

— White Protestants are the most likely to set a high value on teaching obedience to their children.

— Catholics are very strong on manners (27 percent cited this as very important).

Your turn.

Pew’s list to pick from included: independence, hard work; being responsible; creativity; being well mannered; helping others; persistence; religious faith; obedience; empathy for others; curiosity and tolerance.

What would you rank as most important? Second or third? Write in candidates?