Millennials becoming less religious than past generations.

By Elizabeth Mullett

In class we had a discussion of science vs. faith and I was admittedly fearful of what this discussion would turn into a real debacle but to my surprise it had not. Why is that? Many people in our class, even me, were brought up with a certain religion and even when to religious public schools but they commented on how they either moved away from religion or they questioned the belief entirely. In the article “U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious” by the Pew Research Center, it talks about this issue. It discusses how in all the public is still very religious and most people do believe in some kind of God but there was a drop in how many people are “absolutely certain” that there is a god. It also discusses how the number of people who do not identify with any religion has risen, “Altogether, the religiously unaffiliated (also called the “nones”) now account for 23% of the adult population, up from 16% in 2007.” The article goes on to say, ” The growth of the “nones” as a share of the population, coupled with their declining levels of religious observance, is tugging down the nation’s overall rates of religious belief and practice.” The article also talks about how another reason for this decline in religiousness is due to the younger generations becoming more spiritual rather than religious. It goes on to say how less and less of the younger generations are going to religious meetings on a weekly basis, and how less people actually pray everyday which is half as many as the Baby Boomer generations. It also says that, “the share of Americans saying religion is “very” or “somewhat” important in their lives has declined, while the share saying religion is “not too” or “not at all” important to them has grown by 5 percentage points.” The article also states, ” the United States is growing less religious (in percentage terms) not because there are fewer highly religious people but rather because, as the overall U.S. population has grown, there are now many more nonreligious people than was the case just a few years ago.” So in all, the number of people who are faithful has not changed much but the younger generations do appear to be less religious as older generations and that more and more people now do not identify with a religion at all.



6 thoughts on “Millennials becoming less religious than past generations.

  1. I think people are just being more objective. I think that they are basing what they believe off of what they can see. Seeing is believing. They may be more spiritual because of what they feel. Vibes. I can feel negativity and positivity. Does that mean there’s some sort of divine power messing with the realm of reality? Not necessarily. It could just be the evaluation of a situation and the realization of someone being positive or negative and my body’s natural response to their expressions. Religion is what it is and people believe it and others don’t believe it. It’s very hard to choose a certain religion if you weren’t raised believing it. The more adults who don’t believe it, the more kids that won’t be raised believing it, and so on…

    Jensen Harris


  2. I would say technology has a lot to do with the non believers. Just like Jensen said “seeing is believing” so in the modern era of electronics its easy to compare science against religion, and this generation seems to have increasing numbers of the science based. The way in which kids are being raised might also have something to do with it, if kids are spoiled they might develop a one track attitude perspective, perhaps leaning away from the confines of religion. The church (and any other religion) can be strict and judgmental so the young ones could also be reacting to that stigma of “church fanatics”. who knows.

    Chandler Braxton


  3. I wonder what impact america becoming less religious as a population will have on science. Obviously there is a current debate about science versus religion, and in someways they have always been at opposite ends of a spectrum. On the other hand I would also argue historically religion has helped science out, with concepts such as “keeping the earth god gave us beautiful” some religious people would take better care of their planet. Religion has a strong pull on encouraging people to try and do new things, and with ever changing rules in the field of science religion could actually help to smooth this transition.

    ~Asha Brogan


  4. I think that this present idea is totally generations. I also with the statement above, “seeing is believing”. In this era, we see so much through media, television, twitter, etc. Its like if we can’t find proof, it wasn’t real. Like the all too familiar thing, “pics or it wasn’t real”. The older generations who have a strong base in faith have that strong base because that is indeed all they had. They didn’t have all of the pictures, media and other distractions we have today. It honestly depends on what you’re growing up in.

    Mikayla Hounchell


  5. I am glad that you are speaking out on the interpretation of these statistics. Many people interpret them to mean that America is progressively becoming less spiritual in general, which is not the case. I think the reason why religion is decreasing is because it seems “old-fashioned” and culturally irrelevant. However, the basis of many of the world’s major religions still holds true and relevant. I am wondering if religion would start to rise again if these old traditions began to modernize.

    Erica Bock


  6. So no one I socialize with is religious. I know they came from religious families though. Which makes it very clear that they are first generation that doesn’t identify with a religion. I think it stems from this odd fascination with being a generation that doesn’t care about anything. Most of the people I know and have met that are in my generation have this sort of devil-may-care attitude, which they think makes them look cool. And being religious clearly implies that you care about God, so therefore, you don’t seem cool to all the people who don’t care about anything at all. Its kind of sad and stupid but that’s my honest opinion.
    For me personally, I accidentally alluded towards being less involved in my catholic religion which wasn’t my intention. I definitely still identify as a practicing member of the church. I where my ash Wednesday cross proudly every year. The real difference for me comes between science and religion coinciding because I feel that traditional catholic views may not exactly favor evolution as I do.


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