Understanding Religious Liberty (Opinion)

Millennials and Religion: Understanding Religious Liberty

Do millennials value religion & religious liberty? We have some statistics for you!

 

Religious Americans fortunately live in a nation with a long history of maintaining safeguards against the government persecuting private citizens. 

 

But freedoms– including religious freedom — can be lost without vigilance.

 

Religious liberty cannot be sustained in a culture where the youth do not have an unchanging fundamental sense of purpose and a foundation of infallible truth. Religious freedom only exists when there is a sound conception of what religion entails.

 

Religious liberty influences any devout individual’s everyday life.

 

Religious believers do not leave their convictions home as they go into the public square.

 

Therefore, why are Millennials who are both religious and non-religious not supportive of the various religious organizations and individuals fighting for their indispensable way of life?

 

According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center in 2014:

 

Only 38% of Millennials say that religion is very important in their lives.

 

(Compare that to the 67% of the Silent Generation (1928-45) which values religion in their lives.)

 

Only 28% of Millennials are attending religious services weekly or more, 16% monthly and 56% yearly.

 

After viewing this study, one may start to understand why Millennials do not care about religious liberty.

 

Naturally, the decrease in religious beliefs has a negative effect on religious liberty.

 

As the Fund for American Studies found: 93% of Millennials overwhelmingly claim to support religious liberty.

 

However, according to The Federalist, when one breaks down the poll, Millennials seem to misunderstand what religious liberty entails.

 

When given the statement:

 

“Business owners should have the right to refuse service to people when certain practices are not in accordance with their religious beliefs.”

 

  • Only 43% support the above statement while 53% oppose it ^

 

Breaking it down further:

 

  • Only 28% fully support the statement while 41% strongly oppose.

 

However, 93% “support” religious liberty.

 

Clearly there has been a misunderstanding of the free exercise clause among America’s youth.

 

Millennials have traded in moral foundations for flippant moral relativism

 

which conveniently allows them to exert their opinions based on which hashtag is trending that day.

 

The lack of theological knowledge and individualistic centered “feel good” faith or no faith at all found in the millennial generation has damaging negative influences on society.

 

The wave of equality and tolerance sweeping the millennial generation has caused many to choose tolerance over religious conscientious objections.

 

Pew Research Center, reports 40% of Millennials believe government should be able to prevent people from saying offensive things to minority groups.

 

Therefore, when given the dilemma of a devout individual objecting to taking photos at a same-sex wedding could qualify for being offensive to a minority group.

 

Thus, Millennials either keep quiet to be perceived as “tolerant” or supposedly “fight for equality.”

 
 
Virtue is not cultivated through vacillating beliefs. One must have a solid unchangeable foundation to participate in the difficult questions facing society.
 
 
However, if Millennials are not in the pews hearing the Word, then how can one expect them to effectively engage in the blatant attacks against freedom of religion?
 
 
By Hannah Lutz
 
See the stats of the Millennials & Religion Study here.

 

 
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