Millennials stray away from religion as push for rights continues

Many can agree that religion and the beliefs and morals that accompany it are the cause of many problems in a society that’s supposed to separate church and state. Issues such as abortion, birth control and LGBTQ rights are used in arguments advocating against these types of rights. Studies have shown that our generation is significantly less religious than those before.

In a Huffington Post article, Jaweed Kaleem writes, “While recent surveys have revealed that one-in-five adults in America claim no religious affiliation, the number reaches around one-in-three for Millennials under 34.”

One third of millennials claim that the reason they left their church or decided to stay away from religion is because they feel many churches are not accepting of gays and lesbians.

 

 

The article further notes, “A majority of Americans, 58 percent, also said that religious groups are ‘alienating young adults by being too judgmental on gay and lesbian issues.’ Among Millennials, that percentage jumped to 70.”

As advanced as we are in 2014, it seems unusual that rights for the LGBTQ community are still limited because of religious beliefs. Religion should not factor in to the rights that a certain group of people deserves, and they should not have to suffer through inequality because of that.

Steps need to be taken if religion is going to be a core part of our generations’ lives. Churches should be spreading the word of how to live your life without judgment of others and have more a focus of how to better your own life without trying to change the way others choose to live.

Fortunately, it seems that many churches are beginning to see that change is coming. A big step for the acceptance of gays and lesbians came from Pope Francis, who was named person of the year by a gay magazine, The Advocate, and was quoted saying, “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?”

Certainly this is a small step for the LGBTQ community to become more accepted in the practicing of the churches — but it is a start. For now, I think the fact that so many young adults choose to be non-religious directly reflects how our generation is much more open minded and understanding of the rights for all groups of people.

There is a large gap in the views from one generation to the next and churches need to realize that in order to keep religion alive, there is a need for change and greater acceptance. It is what our generation is pushing for, and hopefully it is something we can look forward to in years to come.

Reach the columnist at kassidy.mcdonald@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @kassmcdonald