What do young people have to say in response to the recent Pew poll showing that religious affiliation is in sharp decline in the United States, particularly among their age group?
The New York Times asked readers 13 and younger to respond to this today at its Student Opinion blog, and drew strong reactions from young people, most of whom echo the report’s findings. One wrote:
My parents are muslim. I am not however nor is my sister. I was born and raised in Sweden and most of us here are very secular. Look up Sweden, the worlds most secular country.
I can promise you that in every western country irreligion is on the rise among the young.
What do you expect us to do? In an increasingly global world, do you expect us to grow up and believe that our best friends are gonna burn in hell or recieve some kind of punishment? That only works if you are raised in an isolated society. Homo-genous. Like Latin american countries and most muslim countries.
We are not as isolated as we used to be, now we hang out with people from buddhist backgrounds, and muslim and christian and non religious backgrounds. People can be good without religion.
Religion does not mean without God however. While I’m atheist, I have some friends that belong in the “nothing in particular” category, but still believe in God.
I do not practice anything religious at all but I believe there is something above us. I have lots of friends who have religious beliefs and who study Christianity and other religions. I have seen older people who are much more serious then my friends but that is because times change and with time do people. I understand that most kids these days express it differently but that is because we have been raised different then our parents. We have more distractions these days as in I pods, Xbox, I phone, texting and many other new technology. I think that people are less religious now because we are learning so much more about our past and if there is a god why hasn’t he/she shown them self to prove we are not alone? Why would they just leave us here and not show us any signs with proof? I think we are losing how religious we are because we are tired of waiting.
Read more comments from young atheists, agnostics and believers here. And of course, we welcome comments below from young (and old) Episcopal Cafe readers!