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Reaction to Pew poll from young atheists, agnostics & believers

Reaction to Pew poll from young atheists, agnostics & believers

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.

Another wrote:

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!


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How do we reclaim Christ’s good name? Should we try? He was happy to have a bad name and move as an outcast among outcasts – maybe, this is the Church being returned by Grace to its basis.

-Mark Brunson


In 2011, two colleagues and I published our research on this topic, which came to the same conclusion. The book is called Forging the Male Spirit: The Spiritual Lives of American College Men, by Philip Culbertson, Merle Longwood, and William Schipper (Wipf & Stock, 2011). So many studies have now been published on this subject that the trend is irrefutable. What we didn’t know, and what is little discussed in the research, is how the church is going to respond to this trend. Philip Culbertson


They look around and they see…

15 yr old girls shot for going to school.

Young boys beaten to death for being gay.

Presidents proclaiming their faith, then sending in the drones to strafe weddings.

Govt’s holding national prayer days, then cutting food for the poor.

Bishops denying people healthcare in the name of “religious freedom”.

Child abuse as a “private matter” in the denomination.

Mega-churches built in the burbs while the inner-cities implode.

…I mean, what else could they conclude but “a pox on all your houses”?

Kevin McGrane

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