Steadily fewer believe in God or pray, since 1980

From Vocative:

Since 1980, the number of Americans who believe in God has decreased by half and the number who pray has declined five-fold. Has America lost its faith?

The findings suggest that, “millennials are the least religious generation in memory, and possibly in American history,” says Jean M. Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State University and coauthor on the study, in a press statement. “Most previous studies concluded that fewer Americans were publicly affiliating with a religion, but that Americans were just as religious in private ways. That’s no longer the case, especially in the last few years.” More.

Reality check: As always, the problem is more with what people do believe than with what they don’t.

Millennials, coming of age in this environment, are also vastly less interested than people their age used to be in traditional intellectual freedom issues, as Greg Lukianoff documents Unlearning Liberty

There is a correlation. In North America, freedom of religion, freedom of media, and intellectual freedom have tended to be seen as a bundle. It’s not surprising that the new generation would also want to restrict free speech.

What they really want is a government-funded cure for thinking for oneself.

See also: US Millennials Most Likely To Vote To Curb Free Speech

Thoughts On Clinton’s Promise To Ease US College Debt

  • They’ve replaced belief in higher things with lesser things like the Kardashians or Trudeau.

  • Kaye92

    “What they really want is a government-funded cure for thinking for oneself.”

    Now that’s a great line, Denyse. To take the thought a little further, because of the underlying emptiness and (I would argue) despair inherent in their worldview of nihilism and hedonism, they want the government to essentially live their lives for them. They may get their wish: If Islam doesn’t offer them the escape from thinking and responsibility that they crave, perhaps robots will do it.

  • DMB

    For me it’s not so much in the lack of belief in God it is the feeling of dissolution in the church. Take “Pope” Francis as a prime example who is pro Communist, Socialism, Islam when not that long ago we had Pope’s who condemned it. Someone who makes speeches about man made Climate change rather then God or Christ. Someone who is more interested in dialogue with Islam then defending persecuted Christians. Things seem so bad that even my local church had sponsored a Syrian MUSLIM family rather then a Christian one. It’s hard to believe in an age of so much information can people be so naive.

    • So is the church where I volunteer.

    • Waffle

      I don’t think it’s naivety but a distinct lack of curiosity. Somewhere along the line, we knocked the hell out of intellectual pursuits –“so elitist”, etc., etc. Perhaps it’s the easy availability of drugs, the easy availability of mindless distractions like video games, the shallowness of Wikipedia? I don’t know. I’m guessing. But there definitely is a lack of curiosity. It probably started in the cradle and continued in the schools with all the b.s. propaganda shoved down hungry young minds — heaven forbid they should be challenged to do any real thinking.

      When I audited a few history courses at U of T a couple of years ago, I was shocked to discover how spoon-fed the students are. The profs passed out typewritten sheets with questions about the topic at hand!! When I was an undergrad, we had to come up with our own thoughts and questions. Times have certainly changed.

      • G

        Our church went the same way. Not only sponsoring a muslim family but lecturing about the “meanness” of those who were less than ecstatic about accepting refugee from that region. I can’t escape the touchy feely police even at my own church.

        I don’t think we need to be accepting refugees from a region where the people have been killing each other for 6000 years and don’t seem to want to stop. Their culture is toxic.

        • Waffle

          We have lost our ability to discriminate between the real and the fake. The invaders recognize this and take full advantage of it. Maybe it started when we were all too willing to buy cheap knock-offs of designer goods. It has gone full tilt downhill from there, now to our virtual suicide.

          Don’t mind me. I’m in a very dark mood today. It doesn’t help that I’m listening to the sounds of the late 60s and early 70s as I read and write. Everything seems to be a bloody fake these days. Pop music is sh**. I’m sick and tired of trying to read sophomoric essays full of spelling and grammar mistakes, not to mention illogical arguments. Plagiarism rules the day! Our politicians are greedy, self-serving vultures. Our religious institutions are no better.

          We have to start fighting back. Refuse to be intimated!! Refuse to let them “guilt” you. So what if I’m a xenophobic Islamaphobe? What are they going to do to me? Execute me? Throw an old lady in jail? On second thought, it might very well come to that. . . (I better shut up)

  • Spatchcocked

    No men with chests in the lead…
    Chesterton and Belloc foretold this state of paralysis nearly a century ago.
    Hopefully our God will not forsake the West.

  • Yo Mama

    What about the 1.2 Billion Mus….

    Sorry, I forgot they pray downwards, and certainly not to God.

  • Ron MacDonald

    The result of two generations of students being brainwashed by progressives.

  • No wonder the Western world has gone nuts, and does not any longer know right from wrong, to the point that it is heading fast to self-annihilation.

  • Alain

    I doubt that this is true. I suspect that not belonging or attending some church, synagogue or temple is taken as not believing in God or a Higher Force. It also depends on how one defines and sees God. Few of my neighbours, friends or even family bother any more with “organised religion”, in other words membership in a local religious institution, but they most certainly have not become atheists or lost any belief in a higher power.