Thursday, April 14, 2005

College Freshmen Got Religion

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on a poll of college freshmen conducted by The Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. Link.
The poll of 112,232 freshmen at 236 colleges and universities found eight in 10 saying they attend religious services, believe in God and care about spirituality. More than two-thirds pray.

The survey suggested that while spirituality is increasing, affiliation with mainstream religions is declining. And students who said they regularly attend church or otherwise engage in religious practices were three times more likely to be politically conservative than liberal, a pronounced trend among the general American public, as well. (...)

According to the UCLA survey, 80 percent of students are interested in spirituality, 76 percent are searching for meaning in life, 74 percent discuss life philosophies with friends, 81 percent attend religious services, 79 percent believe in God, and 69 percent pray.

Sixty-four percent said their spirituality was a source of personal joy, but nearly half said they sometimes "felt angry with God" and 52 percent said they disagreed with their families about religious matters.

Maybe we have to update the old saying, "There are no atheists in foxholes." Perhaps today it should be, "There are no atheists during finals week."

There have been many surveys showing that young people are, on average, getting more politically conservative, so these results should not be a total shock. However, they likely will be a shock to their faculty, which probably contain about 0.01% who believe in G-d and/or attend religious services. Young people tend not to vote in very large numbers. As they age, they vote much more, making these results very bad news long-term for the left.


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