Politics Driving Young Away From Religion

Millennials less likely to belong to a faith; conservatives blamed
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2010 2:33 PM CST
Politics Driving Young Away From Religion
Young people have faith, but they're leaving organized religion.   (Shutter Stock)

Young people are turning their backs on religion, with a whopping one in four 18- to 29-year-olds unaffiliated with any particular faith, according to a recent Pew study of the so-called “Millennial” generation. Yet the number who say they believe in god or pray frequently is similar to past generations of young people. It’s not lack of faith that’s driving them out of churches, it’s politics, writes Jeffrey Weiss at Politics Daily.

Harvard professor Robert Putnam and Notre Dame professor David Campbell make that argument in their upcoming book on religion. The Millennials are a strongly left-leaning generation, and their "religious disaffection is largely due to discomfort with religiosity having been tied to conservative politics,” they write. A 2002 Berkley study found similar things happening with moderates in the 1990s. But Putnam and Campbell think the trend is reversible—provided some religious institutions without political ties reach out to the generation. (More millennials stories.)

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