Pew Research Report: A Third Of Millienials Have No Religion

The religious right will be quaking in their boots, or perhaps saying that atheists are lying, when they read a new report (PDF) from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. A third of Millennials, particularly the under 30 group, are declaring themselves religiously unaffiliated. That is an unprecedented number, and it is on the rise. Right now, according to Pew, 46,000,000 Americans are non-religious. Now, more than ever, America is on the road to eradicating religion. Perhaps the rabidly religious know this, too, which could be why there has been so much gnashing of teeth regarding “sins” such as abortion and marriage equality lately.

Image Credit: lenwilson.us via Creative Commons

Image Credit: lenwilson.us via Creative Commons

As a gay atheist who was raised fundamentalist Christian, this is great news to me. So, in case you don’t believe me, let’s break it down. Here is a chart, for your convenience, that crunches the numbers:

 

Image Credit: Pew Research, Religion study 2007-2012 via The Friendly Atheist

Image Credit: Pew Research, Religion study 2007-2012 via The Friendly Atheist

In other words, 32% of Americans under the age of 30 declare themselves non-religious. This might not seem like much, but that is huge, considering that just 9% of people 65 and older say the same. Even more than that, atheists and agnostics are coming out of the closet, and bunches of them are unafraid to say that they don’t believe in god(s). Here’s a breakdown of religious affiliation’s decline, with regard to age:

 

Image Credit: Pew Research religion study 2007-2012 via The Friendly Atheist

Image Credit: Pew Research religion study 2007-2012 via The Friendly Atheist

Now, why, you might ask, after many moons of being the most religious country in the developed world, would Americans suddenly be abandoning the practice? Well, that’s kind of easy. Religion is responsible for many social ills, and they continue to live in the dark ages on many issues Millennials care about, such as equal legal civil rights for LGBTQ Americans, and a woman’s right to choose. Also, it is across demographics, rather than just in one area or group of people:

Image Credit: Pew Research Religion study via The Friendly Atheist

Image Credit: Pew Research Religion study via The Friendly Atheist

Even better than that, this growing group is heavily Democratic/Liberal. 39% of the religiously unaffiliated say they identify as Democrats, while 24% say they lean Democratic. As if that weren’t good enough news, they overwhelmingly support abortion rights (72%) and marriage equality (73%).

In other words, these numbers show what those of us who have been religiously unaffiliated have known for a long time — religion isn’t about freedom. It is about oppressing those with whom you disagree. Luckily, America’s young people are waking up and realizing that, and leaving these bronze age fantasies behind in search of true freedom. Hopefully, these trends continue, and god belief can die the death of all the gods that we now regard as myths.

H/T: The Friendly Atheist