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

Secret Service once threatened Mr. Met's life

Mr. Met sure has a lot of fans in New York. But the larger-than-life mascot definitely doesn't have one in the Secret Service, who threatened to shoot and kill him if he approached President Bill Clinton, according to a firsthand account.

Jill Biden on Joe: "I fell in love with the boys first"

Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden didn't marry Vice President Joe Biden for his sense of humor -- instead, she "fell in love" with his two sons first.

Joe Biden's first Instagram photo

Ladies and gentlemen of this great nation, rejoice! Vice President Joe Biden has joined Instagram -- and his first post is everything you ever dreamed it would be.

Celebrate Tax Day with this ditty

What better way to celebrate curse Tax Day than with a little toe-tapping, finger-snapping ditty that perfectly describes how we all feel about the Internal Revenue Service?

Joy Behar roasts Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may need some ice for a few burns he sustained from former "The View" host Joy Behar, as the comedian delivered an awkward roast of the 2016 presidential hopeful.

White House

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Jay Carney: Toughest interview for Obama in 2012 was with Jon Stewart

Give comedian Jon Stewart a gold star sticker. The host of The Daily Show was President Barack Obama's toughest interviewer during the 2012 election cycle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

The most powerful selfie in the world

Joe Biden — he's just like you, and he takes selfies, too.

Obama: Republicans a threat to the right to vote

President Barack Obama slammed Republicans on Friday for supporting voter identification law and labeled the GOP as a threat to the right to vote.

Republicans renew fight against Obamacare as Sebelius resigns

FOX NEWS -- Republicans responded to news of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' resignation from the Obama administration on Thursday with fresh calls to repeal the president's health care law.

Read more at FOX News.

Congress

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.

House passes Ryan's budget plan

The House on Thursday passed a 10-year Republican spending plan drafted by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Read more at The Washington Examiner.

Harry Reid's Koch-fueled meltdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been in a Koch-fueled rage, seizing moments left and right (mostly from the left) to bash Charles and David Koch.