Half of Americans agree religious groups are alienating young people by being too judgmental about gay and lesbian issues, according to a Public Religion Research Institute report.
There was a significant age gap with the study results. Sixty percent of young adults say negative views about gays and lesbians coming from places of worship are alienating young people, while only 42 percent of seniors agree, according to PRRI.
Some believe the issues can stem from outside houses of worship and that true dedication often comes from the home and branches into the chosen religious house. “The research I’ve seen that is most convincing says that relationships matter,” said Nancy Ammerman, a professor of the sociology of religion at Boston University, to the Deseret News. “It’s both about families being committed to participating together and about youth having other adults in a congregation who are trusted figures.”
This decline in church participation is nothing new. “Nones” are those with no religious affiliation, and in November, Deseret News reported that one in four Americans aged 18-29 are considered nones today, in comparison with the 12 percent of young Americans identifying as nones 20 years ago, according to a PRRI study.”
While previous generations were also more likely to be religiously unaffiliated in their twenties, young adults today are nearly four times as likely as young adults a generation ago to identify as religiously unaffiliated, according to a previous PRRI study.