Young People Less Tied to Organized Religion, Poll Finds

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    Affiliation with organized religion is at a 50-year low among young people, according to a study by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion. The study focused on the generation known as The Millennials — those under 30, born after 1980.

    But the data "doesn't necessarily mean that young people are more secular," says Greg Smith, one of the researchers who conducted the study.

    According to the study, one in four people (25 percent) between 18 and 30 say they are "unaffiliated."

    By comparison, one in five (20 percent) Generation Xers — people born between 1965 and 1980 — identified themselves as unaffiliated at the same age.

    And the number of unaffiliated Millennials is nearly twice that of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) at the same age. Among Baby Boomers in the late 1970s, 13 percent said they had no religious affiliation.

    But there's a twist to the study. When measuring other religious benchmarks, young people begin to look very much like their elders. On the question of whether they believe in a heaven or hell, three-quarters (75 percent) of the Millennials answered "Yes" — the same as for people over 30.

  2. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

    I think some of this is due to the Information Age. Young people are growing more disinfrancised with organized religions because of all the pitfalls that get plastered across TV and the internet. It's kind of comparable to "crooked" politics. Organizaed religions have always had problem people associated with them, just like there have always been "crooked" politicians. The change comes in the Information Age, all these things that quietly went on are now front page news and right in your face with all the details, opinions, and blogs.

    The difference between Kennedy and Clinton is a prime example. Kennedy had an untold number of affairs while President. The press always knew about them, as did most Americans having a good idea about them, but they weren't talked about. Fast forward roughly 30 years, and the President having an affair in the White House becomes the news story of the year. It makes all the papers, news shows, talk shows, and becomes the main subject of comedians everywhere. It reaches such a fevered pitch, that Congress actually has hearings on it and seeks to impeach the President. The point is, the huge media coverage lead to a huge decline in the people's faith in the Presidency even though at the time of Clinton's affair, only 1 US President hadn't had an affair in the White House.

    But I believe this is just an erosion of faith in the organizaed religions due to the huge media coverage of every little slip they make becoming national news. To me, when you look at the numbers, the decline is only in organized religions, not in the belief in God.
  3. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

    I agree, but also the public face of organized religion. If you don't agree with the most vocal, it's assumed you are anti-God. It's hard to maintain your sympathies when even the faithful are demonized.
  4. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

    i'd love to see home churches start up more and more.
  5. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member


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