According to a new report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, the gap on some issues has widened into a chasm, notably on issues related to gay rights and tolerance.
“Young people are more accepting of homosexuality and evolution than are older people. They are also more comfortable with having a bigger government, and they are less concerned about Hollywood threatening their values,” said the report, which was released on Wednesday.
The report also found “Millennials” (aged 18-29) were far more likely than their elders from “Generation X” and the “Baby Boom” to be unaffiliated with a specific faith. Generation X was born between 1965 and 1980, Baby Boomers from 1946 to 1964.
While I fully plan on lamenting later generations as I grow older, I like to take advantage of earlier generations still being around to do the same thing to them*. Because really, Baby Boomers and Gen X really fucked a lot of stuff up, the least of which might be their slow come-around on social morality.
The number of those 18-29 who accept homosexuality (and presumably same-sex marriage, by and large) nearly double up the rickety old fogies who reject it (63 to 35 percent).
Those without any particular faith go from 13% for Baby Boomers to 25% for the 18-29 group. Unfortunately, this doesn’t fully translate into better acceptance of the fact of evolution. Only 55% of my generation accepts it while 47% of all other older groups accept it. (Incidentally, these numbers seem to be higher overall than what commonly gets touted.) One reason may be that while religion is obviously the primary root for ruining the thinking parts of people, the poor focus on science education is also to blame here. Of course, with the older generations making most of the policy decisions and passing most of the terrible laws, it’s not surprise the younger generations have been harmed.
And while this still seems like a generally positive trend, that may not be the case.
But in other ways American Millennials are not so radically different in their religious beliefs.
“Though young adults pray less often than their elders do today, the number of young adults who say they pray every day rivals the portion of young people who said the same in prior decades,” the report said.
“This suggests that some of the religious differences between younger and older Americans today are not entirely generational but result in part from people’s tendency to place greater emphasis on religion as they age,” it noted.
Credulity is as much a trait of the very old as it is the very young, it would seem.
*Of course, I don’t restrict myself from yet again doing the same when it comes to my own generation. Maybe it’s just humanity.