College students divided equally between religious and secular according to new study

bibleWhen it comes to religion and spirituality, college students are relatively split when it comes to being very religious or not religious at all.

According to a new study by researchers at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., 32 percent of college students consider themselves to be religious, another 32 percent believe they are spiritual but not religious, and 28 percent of students who could care less about religion.

For the study, the researchers asked students nationwide a series of questions about their spiritual, political and moral values, ranging from belief in God and worship attendance to climate change and same-sex marriage. The researchers found that religious students are more likely to attend church frequently, believe in creationism or intelligent design, and to oppose assisted suicide, adoptions by same-sex couples and gun control. Secular students, however, do not believe in God, believe euthanasia is moral, and think that gay couples should be allowed to adopt. 

The one area the three groups had in common was global warming, with 96 percent of secular students and 80 percent of religious students worried about climate change.

The study also found that 70 percent of religious students considered themselves to be Christian, while most of the secular students didn’t have any religious identity. In addition, a majority of the secular students – as well as about a third of the spiritual students, consider themselves to be “nones,” i.e. having no religious identity.

“This finding is a challenge to the notion that the nones are just ‘religiously unaffiliated’ or religious searchers who have not yet found a religious home,” Trinity College researchers Barry Kosmin and Ariela Keysar wrote about the study, according to USA TODAY. ”This survey clearly revealed that today’s students with a secular worldview, who are mainly nones, are not traditional theists.”

The study was also conducted on behalf of the Center for Inquiry, a secular non-profit organization whose goal is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values. Ron Lindsay, the Center’s president and CEO, believes that the Trinity College study proves that non-religious Americans aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“Clearly, secular Americans are a constituency on the ascent, one that both political and cultural establishments can no longer afford to ignore,” he said in a statement, adding that many secular college students will eventually become community leaders.

According to USA TODAY, polling conducted by the Pew Research Center found that the number of “nones” among Americans in general has grown from about 15 percent in 2007 to just under 20 percent in 2012. In addition, nearly one in three Americans under the age of 30 consider themselves not to have a religion.

Trinity College conducted an online survey of 1,800 students in April and May 2013. The researchers contacted the participating students using email address directories from 38 colleges and universities nationwide. 

h/t USA TODAY

Comments

Polititainment

Eric Roberts: Bush killed James Foley

Actor Eric Roberts on Twitter Monday accused former President George W. Bush of killing American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by an ISIS terrorist in a video posted to YouTube in August.

Palin asks fans to pray for Joan Rivers
Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol are asking their fans to show support for comedian Joan Rivers, an unlikely pal of the Palins. Rivers,81, has been unconscious in the hospital since Thursday after she went into cardiac arrest during a procedure. Palin posted on her popular Facebook page Friday directing fans to a blog post by Bristol. […]
Grover Norquist loved Burning Man
It’s official: Grover Norquist absolutely loved this year’s Burning Man festival. Before the blaze with co-founder of Burning Man Larry Harvey.He has created a wonderful festival/movement/Brigadoon pic.twitter.com/3iq5UzcPYG — Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) August 31, 2014 Burning Man. 65,000 participants. 1000s of works of art. Anyone who walks through BM and only notices nudity tells you only […]
Celebs gin up youth votes for midterms
THE HILL – With young voters more apathetic about voting and government than ever, several organizations are trying to woo the “selfie generation” to the polls this fall. “About half of those who vote in presidential elections do not vote in midterms,” explained Andy Bernstein, executive director of HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that partners with musicians […]
Maher to Cheney: light yourself on fire

As Hunter S. Thompson despised Richard Nixon with every drug-influenced fiber of his being, so Bill Maher carries on the torch for media provocateurs.

White House

Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week’s airstrikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State militants. The White House on Monday released a letter formally letting Congress’ leaders know that Obama approved the mission that repelled Sunni fighters in the northern Shiite […]
Obama: The world seems really messy because of ‘social media’

President Barack Obama, speaking at yet another fundraiser with a script that's been recycled more than a Hollywood romantic comedy, had an unlikely culprit for the world's problems.

White House scrambles to control the fallout from Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ comment
It’s hard to imagine that there was any other reaction than full panic from White House staffers after President Obama uttered a fateful gaffe Thursday afternoon, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” The line quickly exploded on Twitter and on television — though not quite as much as the president’s tan suit — as it […]
GOP: ‘He’s not a king’
THE HILL – Whether lamenting the so-called vacationer-in-chief’s swing of a golf club or criticizing his handling of the healthcare rollout, Republicans are getting in the habit of comparing President Obama to a monarch. “It’s one thing after another. You know he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen […]
Obama’s Democratic fundraising just might ruin Labor Day weekend for the rest of us

Barely having returned from a 15-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Obama will spend is Labor Day weekend traveling to support his Democratic friends. The problem is, this means that Americans planning to take seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket won't be able to travel themselves.

Congress

When Congress was popular
THE HILL — If you’re not a paid staffer or blood relative, as the joke goes, you probably hate Congress. The institution is so unpopular that voters were more positive about brussels sprouts, head lice and root canals in one recent survey. But there have been a handful of times over the last 100 years […]
Cruz highlights issues for 2014, 2016 elections
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) elicited huge cheers from the audience at the Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” Saturday when he vowed Republicans would take back control of the U.S. Senate and “retire” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I’m convinced we’re going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better,” […]
IRS says Lerner's Blackberry 'destroyed'

A senior IRS lawyer has said in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's BlackBerry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun to investigate her involvement in IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Youth impact reason enough to pass jobs bills
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is in the midst of releasing 40 reasons over the course of 40 days that the Senate should take up the 40 jobs bills the House has already passed. While most of their reasons have focused on general unemployment and economic growth statistics, they turned their attention […]
UNEARTHED: Archival footage of Harry Reid smiling

From appearances, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derives little pleasure from his job, perhaps a deputy to the paragon of joylessness. But Red Alert Politics has dug into the archives to demonstrate that it wasn't always like this.