The Religious Views of 20-Somethings, Part 2

Service, tradition, and morality are good. But actual belief? Not so much.

In a previous post, I described a few trends I noticed in responses of my students in a community college world religions course to prompts about the role of religion in their lives. In that post, I listed the responses that came as no surprise to me. Here I list a few recurring things I did find surprising.

Tradition and morality are valued more than belief.

Regardless of their religious background, a majority of my students expressed that they plan to take their own children to church (synagogue, temple, etc.) or have them attend religious education. This was true even of students who do not consider themselves religious. They liked the traditions, they said. Or they want their children to have a strong moral foundation. Or they want their children to be baptized or bar mitzvah. These students weren't concerned, necessarily, that the content of the faith be true; it seems they simply want their kids to share memories and a heritage they themselves were raised with.

Serving doesn't require ...

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