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The Confused Millennial (?)
The Confused Millennial (?)

Faithful of the Future Favor Rational Religion

The Atlantic Monthly analyzed poll results of the recent PEW Research Study, "New Findings on Millennials", then published, "Study: Millennials Deeply Confused About Their Politics, Finances, and Culture", focusing on apparent contradictory beliefs of Millennials as indicated by their survey responses as compared to those of other generations. Subheadings like, "This generation is getting totally screwed by the economy ... but we're the most optimistic generation in the country", and, "This generation has record numbers of single parents ... but it also has the most negative attitudes toward single parents", leave the impression that Millennials are different from previous generations and more than a little confused. Much has been made of the rise of "Nones" and the fall-off of belief in and identification with religion of Millennials, and both the Atlantic Monthly article and PEW survey results confirm this trend.

Paradigm Shift

However, examining the results from a different perspective, one realizes that Millennials don't appear confused, rather they rely upon and trust their thinking on issues more than what institutions, traditions or commonly held beliefs or practices tell them. The PEW survey results indicate a possible reason for this – Millennials are the best educated generation ever – and the correlation that fewer Millennials than any other generation describe themselves as being religious.

Righteous Thinkers and Doers

Though perhaps not religious, Millennials are socially aware and take a stand on issues of social justice, notably same-sex marriage and immigration reform. David Burstein in his book "Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World", published by Beacon Press, demonstrates how as a generation Millennials are aggressively attempting to solve societal problems.

This suggests that non-dogmatic and rational faith based organizations focusing on spiritual practice in conjunction and impacting society could thrive in the coming years.

Learn about Unitarian Universalism (UU) practice and belief, action on issues of Social Justice and the UU vision of faith in an evolving culture fit the Millennial generation. Purchase "Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World".

About the Author

  • Ted joined the staff of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries in February 2010. He brings more than twenty-five years of experience using media to create social change by creating communications strategies and content for progressive non-profits, political campaigns, and cause based...

For more information contact blueboat@uua.org.

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