Spark: Young Americans Losing Their Religion.

This article on how the X and Y generations are leaving religion like lemmings turning back from the cliff is actually from xJane, but she’s chin-deep in finals, so asked me to pass this on to you all. Money quote:

“Many of them are people who would otherwise be in church,” Putnam said. “They have the same attititudes and values as people who are in church, but they grew up in a period in which being religious meant being politically conservative, especially on social issues.”

Putnam says that in the past two decades, many young people began to view organized religion as a source of “intolerance and rigidity and doctrinaire political views,” and therefore stopped going to church.

You could say the same thing about the Republican Party these days as well.


  1. I think that the more churches and conservative parties marginalise themselves, the better it is for society. Conservatism has served the US (and humanity) very poorly, and it’s time to try something that will work, rather than adhering dogmatically to policies that we’ve more than proven won’t ever work.

    Religion in modern society is good at one thing: dividing and setting people against each other. We need the precise opposite. We need people to get their heads out of the clouds and realise that we need to fix the NOW, not wait for (and especially not hurry up) the end of the world when Jesus (or whomever) will come and fix everything for us.

    We got ourselves into this mess and we need to fix it. Especially as there’s no evidence that any of the gods we’ve dreamt up over the millennia has any interest in us whatsoever.

    The more unchurched we become, the better we are able to think for ourselves and see reality for what it really is, rather than thinking that if we wish (pray) hard enough, our wishful version of reality will somehow magically come to pass.

  2. John

    Thanks for sharing that article. I really would like to see how the skeptics do when compared to the believing but unaffiliated group–it’s too bad that data isn’t broken down any further.

    I really like the wrap up–I think that Blow has a point here:

    While science, logic and reason are on the side of the nonreligious, the cold, hard facts are just so cold and hard…As the nonreligious movement picks up steam, it needs do a better job of appealing to the ethereal part of our human exceptionalism — that wondrous, precious part where logic and reason hold little purchase, where love and compassion reign. It’s the part that fears loneliness, craves companionship and needs affirmation and fellowship.

    We are more than cells, synapses and sex drives. We are amazing, mysterious creatures forever in search of something greater than ourselves.

    I believe that science, taught right, can provide a lot of this awe and wonder. I feel it, and I know those feelings of transcendence are much of what drives my scientist friends.

  3. That’s just what I said more than a year ago: here. Justifying selfish, short-sighted, often hypocritical politics by saying they’re based on “religious values” will obviously make people suspicious of religion. duh.

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