New data from the Cooperative Election Study reveals startling facts about the least religious generation ever
Someday, if we're very very lucky, humanity will finally cast off all religious delusion.
A dream, I know. But still I have it.
So, we have religious communities that alienate and vilify benign and vulnerable sections of society being replaced with the nebulous communities that intentionally act to protect and include the most vulnerable. But we lament the change?
I’m not lamenting anything. Finding new ways to solve problems the religious only superficially address is progress. It doesn’t have to look like it did before, and it should not.
Religious leaders cling to the delusion these young people will come to their senses, find Jesus, and come rushing back to church. A few might, most won't. I know of very few people who ever returned to organized religion after abandoning it.
Makes perfect sense to me. Gen Z have spent their whole lives getting fucked over by overtly religious asshats taking away their bodily autonomy, vilifying them and their LGBTQ peers, wrecking the economy, trashing the environment, and blaming them (y'know, when they're not 𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 blaming Millennials instead) for all the world's problems- which they had no hand in causing because they weren't even born yet when the relevant decisions were being made- and all the while, those same overtly religious asshats extol the virtues of their goddything and how wonderful Da Lawd has been to 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮. Boomers and elder Gen X-ers might as well have put up a flashing neon sign proclaiming "𝑹𝑬𝑳𝑰𝑮𝑰𝑶𝑵 𝑴𝑨𝑲𝑬𝑺 𝒀𝑶𝑼 𝑨 𝑺𝑯𝑰𝑻𝑻𝒀 𝑷𝑬𝑹𝑺𝑶𝑵" in giant bold lettering.
Frankly, I'd be surprised if 𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘵 another quarter aren't nones as well, and just can't be as vocal about it because their families and communities are largely composed of overtly religious asshats. You can only kick down at and browbeat the youth so much before they realize the grownups in their lives are full of shit and just do their own thing instead.
"[Gen Z] began high (non-religious) and yet the numbers are still going up. As [the older generations] appear to be leveling off, there’s no telling how much higher the Gen Z non-religious numbers will get."
The leveling off of the older generations is simply because people tend to make big decisions and big changes before they reach the last third of their expected lifetimes. When we get old, we stick with the decisions we have already made.
BUT what I find encouraging about the multi-generational chart is that ALL of the older generations including my generation, the Boomers, are NOT DECREASING in their secularity. This debunks the myth I have heard for years from theists that as atheists get older and begin facing their mortality, they will return to religion. Nope. We've measured this for a long time, and the return to the churches isn't happening. When you have seen through a delusion, you don't want to go back.
"That said, the problem with people leaving organized religion is that they’re not necessarily replacing it with anything else. "
You know what, I'll take what I can get with people leaving religion and leave what happens afterwards to afterwards.
Generally speaking, the kids are alright.
It would seem as though, indeed, The Kids Are All Right.
Big surprise (NOT!) that it's the generation that has grown up with the internet and its open availability of unfiltered information that are the most likely group to be without religion. It also helps that, as religions begin to lose their numbers and influence and react by becoming more radical and less reasonable, GenZ sees this as well and likely doesn't care very much for it.
We still have a LONG way to go before religion is relegated to obscurity and irrelevance ... but we're getting there.
And to think... I was atheist before it was 'young and hip' to be so (;
"when I was your age I had to climb uphill in the snow (both ways) to GTF away from religion!"
OT#2- This is what happens when the modern GQP gets a supermajority: https://apnews.com/article/tennessee-lawmakers-expulsion-d3f40559c56a051eec49e416a7b5dade
No vote to censure, no proportional disciplinary action, just expulsion. Their offense? Shouting through a bullhorn (𝘰𝘩 𝘯𝘰, 𝘰𝘩 𝘯𝘰, 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥, 𝘰𝘩 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘳, 𝘰𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘳). Disruptive, certainly, but hardly grounds for summarily shitcanning sitting legislators. Two of the three Democrats targeted were successfully expelled; the third retained her seat by a single vote (for bonus points, guess which two out of the three aren't white).
A couple of commenters here have mentioned a certain Who song, soooooooo...
(Were they ever that young?)
This raises two points: OT: What are they going to call the children of Gen Z?
The leading edge of Gen Z is rapidly approaching 30.
As they become parents, will any significant percentage of them flock back to the church to teach their kids "values", as so many older generations did, or will they stick with their disdain for traditional religions and instill values in their children without it? And what kind of woo will they embrace in its place?
The decline religiosity, and especially the way it's more pronounced for the younger folk, is what motivates a lot of the increasingly hysterical reactions from the religious freaks, or religious freakshows as I like to call them now. This was already the case back in 2010 or so and it's getting worse, e.g., the anti-trans/anti-anything gay laws they're passing. And these efforts, as the article mentions, are likely a big reason why younger folks are leaving or never acquiring any affiliation. In other words, the more of this hateful bigoted crap the hardcore religious keep engaging in, the faster they're going to push people out of the faith, and that includes folks of all ages. So we can thank them for doing the world a great service for committing a kind of metaphorical suicide, or darwin awarding themselves.
"... the problem with people leaving organized religion is that they’re not necessarily replacing it with anything else. We’re not changing what our communities look like and believe; we’re just losing communities, period. As much as I’d like to think people who leave church are becoming more politically or socially active, we’re often just choosing isolation and nebulous online communities which don’t have the same benefits."
This element does not bother me in the least.
OT- Have another cup of schadenfreude, courtesy of The Daily Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8GPuFSHkA8