America, since its founding, has stood as a primarily Christian-populated nation. Christians have dominated the statistical standards of what constitutes the faith of most Americans. However, a recent trend seems to demonstrate that this may not continue to hold true for much longer.
The newer generation of people who are growing up in an increasingly modern age are becoming less sure of their belief in a God. According to CNN, “More young people are expressing doubts about God now than at any time since the Pew started asking the question a decade ago. Thirty-one percent disagreed with the statement ‘I never doubt the existence of God,’ double the number who disagreed with it in 2007.”
Why such a dramatic change? Is the influx of technology, globalization, or political change the instigator to a new way of thinking?
Furthermore, this is not something that is limited to certain regions of the country, or even younger citizens, which makes singling out any one variable difficult. As stated by the Washington Post, “Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers.”
The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped about eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to the Pew Research Center’s survey. Those who answer as not being affiliated with a religion has jumped from 16 percent to 23 percent in the same time period.”
The trend towards becoming a less religious nation could mean large-scale political change as values are altered and traditional mores become something held by a minority.
Religion is powerful and influential, shaping the way people behave. It can show up through voting, campaigning, social justice and various facets of life that often end up impacting society as a whole. Whether these actions are beneficial for the nation or not usually depends on the individual’s way of processing their beliefs.
One might discover themselves at a loss, clinging to an increasingly smaller community as the nation morphs around them. They may find themselves swayed by the masses, thinking it is easier to give up religion entirely than to explain to their peers why they have not adapted to the changing times. Yet, there will be others who hold on to their values, beliefs, and traditions, as archaic as they may seem, because they have found hope in what they believe. Hope, which the world around them has yet to deliver on its own.