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Are college students losing their religion?

Secular groups on college campuses are proliferating; in the past few years, the number of campus atheists and agnostics has increased more than threefold.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Feb 18, 2013 8:09PM

As the stigma of atheism weakens, secular groups on college campuses are on the rise reports Religious Dispatches.

In 2007, 80 campus groups were affiliated with the national Secular Student Alliance (SSA), an educational nonprofit that works to organize and empower nonreligious students around the country.

Today, there are 394 SSA student groups on campuses across the country.

Photo: More secular groups forming in colleges / Yellow Dog Productions/Getty ImagesMore from MSN Living: How dogs make our lives better

“We have been seeing rapid growth in the past couple of years, and it shows no sign of slowing down,” Jesse Galef, communications director at SSA was quoted.

According to a study "Religion in the Millennial Generation," which drew primarily on data from the 2008 Pew Religious Landscape Survey, a greater percentage of 18- to 29-year-olds today than young adults in earlier generations say they have no religious affiliation (percent unaffiliated, by generation).

But maybe secular groups like SSA aren’t so different than their faith-based counterparts. At least when it comes to categorizing on-campus student groups.

“There are a lot of parallels with religious groups on campus,” Ron Sanders, missional team leader for Campus Crusade For Christ (recently renamed Cru) at Stanford University, told Religious Dispatches.

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“They have weekly meetings similar to ours, and give one another support, and they do social justice projects on campus and in the communities... I don’t know that they aren’t a faith group,” Sanders was quoted.

Bing: Young adults leaving the church statistics

Despite the growth of secular groups on campus, not all young adults are leaving God behind.

More than three-quarters of young adults taking part in the National Study of Youth and Religion recognize a belief in God. But almost 7 percent fewer believe in God as young adults (ages 18 to 23) than did as teenagers, according to the study, which is tracking the same group of young people as they mature.

What young adults are less likely to believe in is religion. The number of those who describe themselves as "not religious" nearly doubled, to 27 percent, in young adulthood.

Read the rest of the story here.

Why do you think college students are less religious than prior generations?

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Photo: More secular groups forming in colleges / Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images

62Comments
Aug 9, 2013 7:34PM
avatar

Dear Ben:

I repeat my gratefulness for your efforts to enlight me. I'm also going

to explain to you the process that took me reach the way I think, since "For as he

thinks in his heart, so is he", as the old Proverb reads.

The thoughts formed in my brain cortex from my own perception of

whatever I freely chose to know (among a pile of different and/or contradictory

info), had determined the responses of my limbic system, my "instinctive brain."

What I experienced thru my own life -added to what we all can see happening to

every human on earth- convinced me that we, humans, are naturally partial to our-

selves. As a result, perception of anything and everything will necessarily be "nat-

urally" considered/judged in one accord with our inborn "self-interest." The result:

we see the many different "opinions" over same subject, rule o law; they all are in-

terpreted by each human in the way it benefits themselves. Which explains the dis-

sension and the constant conflicts around people and around nations and, in our

friendly exchange, seemed to have incited to do away with politeness while ad-

dressing the opposite believe.

Since we, humans, are rebellious by nature, it follows that our ability

to get real wisdom, true knowledge and our own strength to cope with disagreem-

ent is LIMITED, based on our personal perception of what is good or bad. In con-

sidering that in the US are 100 million adults, logic says there must be also as

many different interpretations of what is good or what is bad. It has nothing to do

with genetics, DNA and so for, but it has to do with the way our instinctive brain

addresses people, either with respect or by demeanor.

Using the simple common sense we are all endowed not by other

limited creature, but by the One who already proved His qualifications by a tangible,

visible creation, The Universe, I deemed more practical and suitable to an harmo-

nious life to follow His suggestions. That is for me, no need for you to agree.

Thanks for your involvement.-

Aug 6, 2013 8:20PM
avatar

Dear fofb:

                I have to thank you too for your involvement, no need to agree on each chosen believes, The American Constitution and The Creator both want people to

exercise their given rights. But as in America we find people who misinterpret their

endowed rights, so in spiritual matters men also takes upon themselves to used their own judgment. The one thing that does count on such process, but is com-

monly ignored, is the inborn self-interest humans use in their freedom to express

their perception. It makes all partial to one-self.

               Men never came up themselves with a Code of Ethics that guarantees an

steady peace other than imposing on others, well described in History. Wars had

never produced peace that last (an example far from "Love/care others as you

wish others would love/care for you").

               "Learning to think for yourself" is the best way to go wrong if  solid moral

principles are by-passed. "Higher order thinking skills" are acquired thru hard dis-

cipline and the recognition of own partiality, which opens the mind for learning

what one is lacking. Regardless how you put it, brain-washing always happens

when basic Moral Principles are rejected. Take this as an example:

Terrorists are faithful to their masters after being taught patriotism with hate and

revenge, while pseudo-Christians had also hated and even killed people after

ignoring the most basic Principles dictated by a very smart and intelligent mind,

The Creator of the Universe, Whom, as far as today, none of His creation has

come not even close to equal Him with even a little creation from "nothing."

As longer men will worship themselves, men will not perceive the written ad-

vice: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As

the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts", said The Lord.-

                       Thank you and I wish you well.-

 

 

 

Aug 6, 2013 7:16PM
avatar

Dear Ben:

                  I thank you for your involvement and invitation to dig into your theory, but I have to pass, it's far from what is available and practical for me. And the admission

that "something long ago disproved" is still taught in our Educational System, does

not clear the question "how in the 21 Century we had come to accept the teaching

of false theories"?

                  Any way, thanks for your reply.

Aug 6, 2013 6:48PM
avatar

Dear LvanBthvn:

I welcome yours and ANY comments,  which are helping me to keep my hope

that humans still are interested on what nobody could yet explain with the natural

human limitations.

And I imagine you meant that somehow, anybody taking for granted that humans'

nearest relatives were monkeys ( even  scientists still do) may be described by

your reply, "an intelligent bean/frijol."

I rather think they have been doomed to keep a perpetual pursue for self-esteem,

a feeling very hard to accomplish with the "monkey in mind."

Nice to hear from you.

 

Aug 6, 2013 3:59PM
avatar
After reading these comments and the article now I see why alot of lost souls are going to burn in hell.
Aug 6, 2013 3:21PM
avatar

The road to atheism began in public schools decades ago. Education there is more indoctrination than education. Unless a chuild is cognitively well rooted in the teachings found in the Bible or has developed a strong faith from within the family, our higher halls of learning  will mold them into accepting  humanistic philosophy and relativism. The Bible states it very well when it says "There is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the ways thereof are destruction"....take a long look at our present  schools compared with education of several decades back ....are we worse off or better? By the way I am a college instructor.

Aug 6, 2013 3:03PM
avatar
Wow!  Education finally starts working!
Aug 6, 2013 2:20PM
avatar
people who think there's a god are paranoid  schizophrenic and need a psychiatrist, they don't belong in any college, and should be refused admittance,  no one who is a superstitious fool should be allowed to pass grammar school, least of all  college
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