United States Becoming Less Religious

Crossposted from ProudToBeAFilthyLiberalScum.com

The five scariest words a conservative can hear. Without religion to prop it up, the conservative movement has just about nothing to keep it going.

TPM reports:

Pew, which has been studying the trend for 25 years, finds that just 68 percent of millennials in 2012 agree with the statement “I never doubt the existence of God.” That’s down from 76 percent in 2009 and 83 percent in 2007.

Among other generations, belief in God is high and has seen few changes over the last few decades. Between 81 and 89 percent of older generations say they never doubt the existence of God, although the older the generation, the more likely they are to believe in God.

Here’s the chart:

TPM suggests that the athiest movement is luring young people away from religion. I suggest that there are two forces at work here. The first is that, yes, the atheist movement has become more pervasive but it’s not that atheists are convincing the religious to abandon their beliefs. Rather it gives people an option they did not realize they had, to not be religious. It’s a subtle difference but a real one.

The second, and I think far more important piece to the puzzle, is the fault of the very movement, conservatism, that is most injured by the secularization of the country. Over the last 40 years, the right has allowed itself to be infiltrated and eventually dominated by radical Christians. It was a devil’s bargain in every sense of the phrase. The right would sell its values to gain the support of the Evangelicals (among others) and the Evangelicals would engage in political fear mongering to spread their message of intolerance. Just like Jesus would have done!

In the last ten years, coincidentally when the Millenials were growing up, the conservative movement went all the way old timey religion and became explicitly about hate and prejudice. Essentially, the religious right showed its true face and the Millenials found it repulsive. This is another one of those demographic changes, like the “browning” of America that signals the eventual demise of the conservative movement as we know it. Sooner or later, the wedge issues of race, sexual orientation and gender all based on religious “beliefs” will simply lose their potency.

This is one of the major reasons the GOP is pushing so hard to restrict voting rights and enact as many far right laws as possible; they can read the same charts we can an come to the same conclusion: consolidate power now or lose it forever. The next 20 years are going to be some of the most corrupt and tumultuous in our nation’s history as the failing right goes to its grave kicking and screaming.

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