Why Aren’t Millennials Religious?

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xenoview's picture
Why Aren’t Millennials Religious?

This is an interesting read. 10 reasons why Millennials are leaving religion.


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MCDennis's picture
good for millennials

good for millennials

Nyarlathotep's picture
20 years ago; it was

20 years ago; it was difficult to fact check the non-sense that religious authorities told you. But now we have a generation of young adults who have (more or less) had immediate access to factual information about religious claims their entire lives (through the internet). That is my speculation on why there is a marked reduction in the religious beliefs of that generation.

algebe's picture
When I was growing up in the

When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s in England and New Zealand, I never encountered a single Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist. Christianity was like air. It was everywhere and taken for granted. Our teachers told us that "wicked" people in some countries didn't believe in our precious savior, but we found it hard to believe that.

In the 21st century, we have instant access to information, and travel is easier and cheaper than ever before. The world has gotten much smaller. I think millennials have had the chance to examine Coca-Christianity and Pepsi-Islam and realized that all religions are just flavorings, colorings, and gas bubbles.

watchman's picture
"Why Aren’t Millennials

"Why Aren’t Millennials Religious? "

In my opinion ....... 2000 years is more than enough time to waste on lies ,fabrications ,fantasies ,misrepresentations and falsehoods.

In short....... Religion ...(all religion ) is well past its "best before date" ...... time to throw them out.... I was going to go on to say ...

before they become toxic...but then realized they have always been toxic ....... from day one.

(bit like that dodgy out of date tin of salmon lurking at the back of the cupboard)

mykcob4's picture
I think the main reason that

I think the main reason that millennials are less religious is because it doesn't fit their lifestyle. More than ever the young have adopted a me first attitude toward life. They are immersed in pop culture. From playing video games to twittering their asses off, they don't have time to indulge in an outdated myth.
Have you ever had a meaningful conversation with a millennial? I have and do on a weekly basis. If you aren't into Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, you just can't reach them. General they are uninformed. That is not a cut, just a fact. They don't watch or read the news. They don't read anything that isn't on one of their devices AND isn't formatted in social media. Their humor is of the 'Dumb and Dumber' variety. They aren't intellectually curious. Their priorities are askew. And it isn't a situation that they will grow out of. It is a cultural shift. It isn't a generation gap. It is truly a cultural shift. Yes, we old farts need to adapt and believe me that is hard, but the millennial group are truly different. Now a few are very driven and responsible. It is my hope that they will lead the generation out of the pop culture abyss. As far as religion goes, millennials have collectively deemed religion as unnecessary. One great thing about millennials is that they see through bullshit really fast. They are impatient and won't spend any time on bullshit. They won't pitch a bitch about it, they'll just ignore it.

jamiebgood1's picture
I have many millennial

I have many millennial clients and Mykcob4 nailed many of their traits. Some are very driven and focused on education or sports almost to the extreme. A good amount are obsessed with social media, pop culture and don't care about news if its not affecting them.

Cypher's picture
I think that I agree with

I think that I agree with some points you made here, but not all millennials act or live life as you described. I was born in '89, so I fall into this category. I read several news stories each day from different sources to try and get the whole picture. Yes, I have FB, but I don't post my life there, like some I know. Yes, I play video games and the like, but its not my entire life. I still socialize and work full time. I don't live in my parent's basement complete with neck beard. I have an extensive library of physical books that I enjoy immensely. I'm very patient, and also see the dangerous decline of intellectualism in this age of devices. You are right that some of my generational brethren are so self-absorbed in their image that only the number of likes on a given post matter to them. I may only be one out of millions that live or act that way, but surely some of the other posters here in AR could be other great examples contrary to your image of millennials.

For me personally in regards to religion, I started to question its veracity before everyone started getting access to the Web. I have a gay uncle, and I just couldn't comprehend how he could go to hell, as he's one of the nicest people I've ever known. His only sin, according to God was being gay, and according to the Bible he was made that way. That was my first dissonance, and after I started pulling the strings, I found you can unravel the whole thing without a lot of effort. Its all circular logic and makes no sense when you start to think about it.

Jared Alesi's picture
Where is all this at? I've

Where is all this at? I've never met anyone who behaves even remotely like you describe, and I'm a millennial. All of my friends are millennials as well. I live in Arkansas, and everyone I personally associate with is either a redneck or college-bound, as I am. There's plenty of social media and misinformation, sure, but nobody is milling around like a zombie. The millennials I know work harder at school and their jobs than anyone I've ever met. To give you an idea, there are 93 kids in my graduating class, and all but 5 are going to college. Arkansas schools aren't the best, but at least it's education. Despite what older generations think, video games and social media aren't making anybody stupid or distracting us from living life. The country isn't going to hell because Johnny is playing his X-box and checking Tumblr. They're just hobbies. No different than when kids played card games and read books. It's a pass-time, not deviance. Besides, books are still being read. We have a library at my school that's constantly busy. Books aren't just sitting around collecting dust. Can we stop it with the hate for millennials now? Nothing you've said about millennials is true, and if it is, it's by pure luck that some minority fits the bill. Such generalizations are almost never supported by evidence. So far, your only evidence is observation, and you have a pretty small sample study. You are right about the bullshit though, for the most part. Only thing is, there aren't many millennials seeing through the biblical bullshit around here.

Pitar's picture
@ watchman - Yep, time

@ watchman - Yep, time served.

I don't know much about Millenials. Both of my sons fall into that generation but we talk about the theology thing like we might a good movie. There's so much material there what's not entertaining about it? Otherwise, they both dismiss it as the imaginings of a desperate species horrified by its imminent mortality.

Endri Guri's picture
I'd say that in this Era,

I'd say that in this Era, Parents are becoming increasingly liberal towards their Children, even Christians, and this is triggering that "fuck you" effect when Religious groups try to indoctrinate them. But, I wouldn't say it works for all, with Christians it's a little bit hard, it depends if the Child was raised religiously...But in Islam it's harder, these Millennials are threatened with Murder the moment they state that they are leaving Islam and for a good reason, plus, Islam tries to impose more Control over their way of Life so yes, even if the Muslim parents are "liberal" in some form, the Child will still "be forced" to embrace something he does not want, nor that he knows. In General, the key word for me as to why so many Millennials are turning their back on Religious wackos would be:
The Internet and the Entertainment Industry. (you get the rest)

BAACKJD's picture
"20 years ago; it was

"20 years ago; it was difficult to fact check the non-sense that religious authorities told you. But now we have a generation of young adults who have (more or less) had immediate access to factual information about religious claims their entire lives (through the internet)"


I think you nailed it there. I imagine I'd still be stuck in the dark ages if it hadn't been for youtube access to Dawkins, Hithcens and Harris debates. Not that my experience represents everyone else's. But it can't be rare.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
As an actual millenial I am

As an actual millenial I am agreeing heavily with Nyarlathotep on this one. Outlets of information are quite ubiquitous.

@Myckob4 please don't generalize. We are not all that stupid and uninformed. Tell me it's bullshit if you'd like. I'm just saying, I'm not the only one in my age group that gets their news from CSPAN, Al Jezeera, ect. College enrolled millenials have been practically programmed to accurately research subjects by tons of research projects that REQUIRE citations of legit online sources. In Florida, most of us worked a minimum of two jobs plus full time school so somebody tell me... where are these lazy ass millenials that people keep talking about? Where? I tell you where. On TV. Wait wait wait a minute.. I know a few. They do fit the negative discriptions, but besides that they all have one thing in common: They were all born with a silver spoon. Don't know true struggle.

I'll give you one thing though. At times, I can be very impatient. Very limited tolerance for bullshit. Especially after moving back to NY.

jamiebgood1's picture

This is true about the silver spoon millenial. I do rich lady's daughters at times and they could care less about anything that doesn't have to do with their social group or the next concert they go to. Then I have some daughters of teachers and working class that blow me away with their knowledge and take on life. I learn from them.
I had one of the later last week on a weekend she sat in my hair with her glasses on head in book studying for AP tests I think. After appt she was heading over to more tutoring and wants she wants to be Pre-med. love that girl. Miliniels are leading the way for a lot of progress in my oppionion. If we can get dumbasses out of office.

Sir Random's picture
"If we can get dumbasses out

"If we can get dumbasses out of office."

I'm sorry, I just had to repeat the truth of that statement in a quote.

mykcob4's picture
Okay, Secular, I have

Okay, Secular, I have generalized. The thing is that because of the availability of information in all it's forms these days, the step of hard work for authentic information has been removed. One use to have to do actual research. Investigating in libraries, back issues of newspapers, historical documents, correspondence by people, cross-referencing documents. That step doesn't exist any longer. It's not the fault of the generation, but because they just never had to or have to do it.

Nyarlathotep's picture
mykcob4 - Investigating in

mykcob4 - Investigating in libraries, back issues of newspapers, historical documents, correspondence by people, cross-referencing documents.

I remember helping my grandfather scanning through microfiche to find 10 year old journal articles.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
"the step of hard work for

"the step of hard work for authentic information has been removed. One use to have to do actual research."

Agreed. I won't argue that. In my particular age group, we transitioned from tangible reading material to internet. Most of my teachers regarded the internet as a second option at first. It became more of a standard Gradually. I almost paid for a paper to be written for me. But then I said fuck it, I'll just write my own for free. That is not a problem for the rich kids though. They grow up with that culture of convenience. Back to your point, I'd say that my professors did try to compensate for the change. My Enlightenment and Romanticism Professor (Best/Hardest Class I've ever taken) made it a rule that our research was book based. Any online sources had to be verified as legit by school standards and reviewed by our writing dept. Phew... Can't say that it's like that for other schools, but it should be.

Pitar's picture
Gen-Xs are not stupid but

Gen-Xs are not stupid but they've been groomed not to work for anything.

Internet cheating = high class marks
Organized internet cheating = Top of class graduates who are functionally bordering on illiterate.

These days students network their classes for fees. Yep, one student will pass his online college password to other students. They will take his tests and he will pay them. He will do the same thing for others and in the end no one is the richer for it because you spend here, charge there and its all basically a wash.

But, there are individuals out there making huge money by organizing themselves as experts on test taking in all the usual college course-work and studies and they're banking big.

Net result - really stupid graduates, academically speaking, and otherwise street smart.

LogicFTW's picture
The education system is due

The education system is due for a major rehaul. As technology improves, preventing cheating, even within a classroom/monitored or proctored tests gets increasingly difficult. To truly prevent cheating they would need to do full body scans like they do at the airport, with experts that can identify hidden tools people use to cheat with.

You can buy "completely in the ear" bluetooth headphones for 100 bucks now. Pin size cameras that can be attached anywhere that gets just a momentary view of the test to send off wirelessly. And then someone back at home in front of a computer telling the person step by step what to write, by just googling and using other tools available to them they do not even have to be a pro test taker on that subject.

In a scenario such as a life altering SAT/ACT testing for college, people will pay 1000's or 10's of thousands of dollars for this service. Essentially buying their way into top colleges.

Memorization and testing is an outdated method of teaching that needs to go away. Else the cheaters will always have the advantage over those that do not cheat.

algebe's picture
@LogicForTW "Memorization and

@LogicForTW "Memorization and testing is an outdated method of teaching that needs to go away."

At my old university back in New Zealand they introduced open-book exams for a while. You could take anything into the exam, including textbooks and notes. Of course, the examiners expected a much higher standard of answers, and those who took in too much stuff soon found that there's a limit to how much you can look up in a 3-hour exam. It turned out be a lot more demanding than the old-style memory tests.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I got a take home test once

I got a take home test once in College; with 7 days to work on it. But it was a beast. It was interesting, in that it was a good test of ability.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
You know what really needs to

You know what really needs to go away? Common core academics. Have you guys seen that bullshit?

Jared Alesi's picture
Yes! I like you, you know

Yes! I like you, you know that? Common core kept me from finishing half the curricula for Algebra II my sophomore year. We were supposed to learn five more units, but we were kept back by stupid students. Freshman year, every English class was Pre-AP because we need educational equality, apparently. If students with better ability to perform were able to move ahead and learn what they wanted to learn, it'd be better for everyone. We have to learn how to do math "the right way" when in reality, you can use whatever method to do certain problems. I'm just glad I didn't have it as a kid, because they teach basic arithmetic and PEMDAS in a really stupid way. As if I needed another reason to hate school.

CyberLN's picture
I wish that schools would

I wish that schools would teach kids HOW to think instead of WHAT to think. They didn't teach it when I was a kid and they don't now.

BAACKJD's picture
“The children now love luxury

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”


Every generation says something similar to the generation that follows it. It's always been that way. I imagine Tom Brokaws "Greatest Generation" endured the same generalization from previous ones.

With regard to the lack of energy needed to gain knowledge, I think now the work has to go into verifying the legitimacy of your sources. Bill Burr has a great bit about how all anyone does anymore to win arguments is go to "Im right.com" so they can just reinforce opinions they already have. So few people really want to truly learn or exchange ideas. It's more about winning fights than anything else.

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