Losing religion at college? New study flips the common wisdom

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A female college student reading a book.

Photo courtesy of Creativa via Shutterstock

A female college student reading a book.

(RNS) You don’t need a doctoral degree to think higher education leads people away from organized religion. That’s been common wisdom for decades.

A female college student reading a book.

Photo courtesy of Creativa via Shutterstock

A female college student reading a book.

Now, a sociologist’s new generational study upends that thinking.

Today, it’s the least-educated members of Generation X — people born roughly between 1965 and 1980 — who are “most likely to leave religion,” said Philip Schwadel, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Millennials — Americans roughly between the ages 18 and 30 — were not included in the study because, Schwadel said, it’s too soon to tell if they will settle on a religious identity.

Schwadel, whose study is published in the August edition of the journal Social Forces, found a clear historical shift.

“Americans born in the late 1920s and ‘30s who graduated from college were twice as likely to drop out of religion than people who didn’t graduate from college,” he said. The postwar baby boomers proved to be “the last holdout of the church dropouts.” For boomers, “a college degree was still associated with a higher likelihood of leaving religion.”

However, for the generation born in the 1960s, there’s no difference between those who did and those who did not go to college in their likelihood of religious affiliation. Now, for America’s middle-aged adults who were born in the 1970s, “those without a college education are the most likely to drop out.”

In other words, a college degree used to mean people were more likely to lose religion. Now, some people are losing religion whether they went to college or not but it’s especially true for those who didn’t go to college.

Although the study does not examine the reasons for this shift, Schwadel observed:

  • You can find God on the quad: Campus life has also changed and now offers “a lot of room and opportunity for religious connection. The social networks are wider,” he said.
  • College is more widely accessible, no longer a bastion of the cultural elite. What’s more, cultural trends that started with the elite — including quitting organized religion — have become more widespread. “Secularization has lost its elitism — moving across all social classes,” he said.
  • Churches have changed, too. As more college-educated people affiliate with churches, those without degrees can feel uncomfortable. “I know from my other research that people want to go to church with people like themselves.”


  • Lles Nats

    Wow. This is unexpected good news!

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  • etseq

    No link to the study? What was the population sampled?

  • Jane L Reoch

    I read your article fairly quickly and at the end I discovered you wrote it. It’s great a study was done to find out if religion is studied and/or practiced by the X and M generations. I’ve seen a variance. I’ll leave it at that.
    I had a combination of New Testament Christianity and some Buddhism, namely karma and reincarnation, during college. However, the Buddhism didn’t stick until I met Buddhists in Hawaii. You’ll have to excuse me, for I have a sense of humor at times, while watching the World unwind. I do feel and think of those who are in great pain and are suffering. I’ve read much about the Holocaust and also many biographies. I have known others with hardships greater than mine, and I didn’t always have an easy path.
    I am guided, as I have always been.
    This was not realized by me until the day my life was saved from imminent death, on September 25, 1981, Oahu, Hawaii.

    I have a story, of my journeys with the power(s) beyond.
    I’m ending this current journey, going where, I don’t know for sure, I just have some clues.

    I’m always asking and have learned to ask better questions which are really no questions at all. All that is required is to have the right intentions.
    I just put out, “What should I do?” Then I wait and listen.
    Listening is the ability one must acquire, it is praying.

    It’s funny, but when you’re very young you have it, and then can lose it in the distractions of growing up and becoming socialized. I speaking for myself.

    I better end before another word creates a sentence.

    Thank you for the article.

    Thanks for the article.

  • ronald

    No surprise that dummies who lack a collage education end up being athiests! As a DeVry graduate, I have the education to understand the mysteries of the Lord.

  • As long as most people are losing religion
    the world will get better and better.

  • Tom

    But apparently not the education to correctly spell “college”, 🙂

  • Sabelotodo2

    This really doesn’t prove anything! I’m sure the study is s “snapshot in time” of individuals’ religiosity at a particular point in their lives when the research was done. For decades now I’m noted the phenomena of people returning to a greater interest in religion and spirituality in their 50’s and 60’s and beyond!

  • Karla

    Ronald-It’s not very Christian to call people dummies! Bible says if you
    have a sharp tongue your religion is worthless! The reason most people
    fall away from the Lord is because they were never saved/a true Christian!
    Jesus said that many will grow cold/depart from the faith/give themselves over to false teachings/seducing spirits/doctrines from demons. That’s why false religion like Buddhism and other false/new age religions are so popular.
    People who were never true followers of Christ fall away into false religion
    and theology/false teachings. That’s why Bible prophecy accuracy is so
    important because it shows that we can trust Jesus/the Bible because of all
    the prophecies that came true about Jesus with 100% detail/accuracy.

  • @Sabelotodo:

    “I’ve noted the phenomena of people returning to a greater interest in religion…”

    Not in America.

    Vowing ‘Obedience to a God’ is being laughed out of town
    wherever you go on the East and West coasts.

    They have no patience with this nonsense in Oregon, Washington, Most of California, New England. Churches are closing.

  • Dane

    All the “No True Scotsman” fallacy that is so popular among the religious. Only the “true” Christians are saved, “true” Christians don’t believe X and Y, only Z!

    I’m sorry, but your last statement is false. You do realize the only part of the Old Testament that is used to “prove” the coming of Jesus is messed up right? The Prophet said a virgin would birth a son as a sign they would win the upcoming battle. They lost the battle so this should never have happened!

    Basically none of the Bibles prophecies game true. Like Jesus’s second coming being “within their generation”. It has been like 60 generations since then… at least! He isn’t coming back because he was never here.

  • Karla

    Dane- Psalm 22 came true with 100% accuracy as did every other
    prophecy. Jesus didn’t lose the battle when He died on the Cross
    because He did what He was supposed to do! The battle you are
    talking about/referring to is when Jesus Christ comes back after the
    Rapture happens and He wins the battle! Read all of the Bible and
    do some more research because there are many false things that
    are being taught right now to deceive people. The Case for Christ
    by Lee Strobel is a good book to read. Jesus is real. For you to say
    that this world just came about by chance and there is no creator
    it actually takes more faith to believe in that than to believe in God.
    Look at the universe and the design/wonder of it and that proves
    there is a designer. If you see a building you know that someone
    built it. People who don’t believe in God say we formed out of nothing
    which makes no sense because there had to be a start and that
    start was not by chance. If the Sun was any closer we would burn
    and any further we would freeze and you say that is just by chance?
    Read Romans 1:18-25.

  • Thomas E.

    I didn’t know DeVry offered degrees in collage.

  • rob

    If people could come to faith in Jesus due to their own intelligence
    there would be no need for the Holy Spirit ..

    Jesus even commented about God with holding truth of those considered
    by society to be wise and learned and reveling his truth to little children instead.

    When it comes to trusting God having a college degree because of exceptional
    mental capabilities God gave that person often works to their disadvantage .

    Solomon is a good example of what can happen to the wise and learned

    and the little shepherd boy David who no one thought was capable of defending Israel is a example of a child putting the wise and learned and strong to shame …

  • gilhcan

    Phew on the Pew Poll and all others that claim to be able to get serious, genuine, honest responses to their calculated questions about things “of the spirit” like religion.

    First of all, young people are still maturing, still becoming, still in the midst of studying and thinking for themselves, of making decisions. Decisions about religious beliefs are very much in the category of “phantasms.” Because faith decisions are such a changing category as people mature, and because young people tend to give pollsters responses they think will either startle them or make them fit neatly into expectedly secure categories, such polls are extremely unreliable.

    Only a deep and long-range observance of the life-styles of any people will provide honest estimates about the depth and sincerity of their attitudes about anything, especially about “ethereal” things like religious faith. The young are not young long enough for that to show while they are young.

    Come back when the young are mature. Observe deeply. Then you might get some honest, reliable ideas about religious attitudes. It is not about age, it is about all people of all ages.

    The decrease in mainline churches, especially among the young, where deep and literate attitudes about religion can be observed, is much stronger evidence than the emotional energy of religion in evangelical churches. The latter is loud, but not lasting.

  • gilhcan

    A snapshot only of certain people at a certain time.

  • gilhcan

    We must remember, in spite of a lot of sophisticated experts, students, and practitioners of religion, its is all belief, it is not scientific, replicable, provable fact. Belief is not fact.

  • gilhcan

    Karla: That is all belief. It is not fact. There is a world of difference between the two.

  • gilhcan

    Karla: You should be preaching this sermon to evangelicals, especially those on the far right. Lack of respect and decency toward those who differ with them is so common among them that it can be claimed they are not truly religious–except for the fact that religious history is so loaded with wickedness of people toward those who differ with them.

    Consider how the warriors of ISIS have trapped a religious minority of 40,000 on a mountain in Iraq and are treating them so viciously that they would die without humanitarian help. That is one example. The sexual abuse of pedophilia of Catholic clergy is another. The ancient Inquisitions of the Catholic church in Europe are others. The implication of religion in all the wars and other ugliness of one people toward another is an atrocity that should make religion and its adherents hang their heads in shame.

    The Iraqi situation continues to be a religious war. That is the strongest reason we should not become involved by putting “boots on the ground.” We never should have earlier. Only the Bush/Cheney lies led us into that grave error. Al-Maliki, prime minister of Iraq, is of the Shia denomination. He has not respected those of other Islamic denominations. It’s another war of religion.

    Our greatest wisdom, if we would live by it, is the wisdom of the Framers of our Constitution for placing freedom of religion as the very first right of all people. A vital and equal aspect of freedom of religion is freedom from religion.

  • gilhcan

    Ronald: Karla is right. It is not only “not nice” to call people dummies, it is usually a sign of tragic ignorance. For your information, there are more college educated people who are atheists than those who had no college education.

    It’s not that college matters. But it is possible to study, learn, think, and decide whether you’ve gone to college or not. College costs, more and more. Relatively few can afford it anymore. And much of college is not a good or sure preparation for work, professional or otherwise.

    For you to brag about your DeVry education, as if that were a guarantee “to understand the mysteries of the Lord,” is an example of not understanding religion or any other areas of learning.

    It would be interesting to learn who paid the costs of your DeVry education.

  • Karla

    gilhcan-Thank you for all of your feedback! Do some more
    research and read the Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. Check
    out all of the prophecies that came true about Jesus with 100%
    accuracy proving He/Jesus is the Messiah. God bless you!

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  • Philip

    I thought a college education was meant to encourage critical analysis, observation and evidence based research. When theistic religions are scrutinised carefully, the lack of evidence to substantiate the existence of a god is always the killer. I recommend that anyone wishing to understand religion need only to read the story of the Emperors New Clothes, it sums up religion quickly and accurately.

  • Karla

    Phillip- Read Romans 1:18-25. If God didn’t create the world/universe how
    did we all get here? Look at the design/the wonder of the universe and
    for you to say that it is just by chance is absurd! Bible prophecy accuracy
    proves Jesus is who He says He is! The Case for Christ be Lee Strobel is
    a good book to read.

  • Art

    @ whomever – or AM – I like the wording “losing religion” this is a good thing notice it did not say leaving God. Although God started religion; today it only resembles a shadow of who He is. Persevere you non-believers reject religion and embrace God; He is bigger than all the flummery!

  • Karla

    Art- If people accept God they also have to accept the religion! Look at
    the so called “Christians” today that live like the devil because bad mouthin
    religion backfired. If you say you love Jesus then don’t follow the Bible and
    the religion no Truth is in you! Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get drunk and
    1 Corinthians 6:10 says drunkards go to hell yet many “Christians” still
    get drunk because most people today only want to talk about abortion
    or gay marriage so they don’t have to face their own sin. The wine that
    Jesus made was from the fruit of the vine/new wine/diluted and the Bible
    says don’t get drunk on strong wine so people who get drunk with wine
    are also wrong! It doesn’t matter how spiritual people are if they aren’t
    Biblical they are still lost/headed for hell. Jesus said that many will say
    to Me Lord,Lord and not enter heaven! Bible says Repent or perish!
    It’s not enough to just believe in Jesus! We must Repent/follow Him/Jesus!

  • Art

    @ Karla – You go Girl! I approve of women in the ministry! You are right of course and we could cavil over the details. Keep in mind Paul Php 1:18 “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice”. With all due respect… Art.

  • Karla

    Art- Thank you sir and all respect to you as well!!!! God bless!

  • Chaplain Martin

    To: gilhcan
    “Our greatest wisdom, if we would live by it, is the wisdom of the Framers of our Constitution for placing freedom of religion as the very first right of all people. A vital and equal aspect of freedom of religion is freedom from religion.”
    You probably won’t believe me but you can make a study of the issue of freedom of religion and you will find many historical people such as Baptist, yes Baptist, John Leland (his connection to Jefferson and Madison) Roger Williams, Issac Backus, Ann Hutchinson and others who were dissenters of the state church. Leland especially wanted the right of conscience for every person “be the believe in one god, two gods or no gods”)
    I agree with so much you have written, especially about the Bush/Cheny lies. I spoke clearly to all I knew whether they listened or not that the war, any war in the middle east was wrong for the U.S. There are fundamentalist who claim to be Christian, but they don’t represent me, nor do they represent millions of other believers in God. Don’t forget that those Christians on the mountain are simply devout persons of deep faith or they would have given in years ago into the major religion of their country. I doubt that they are thinking about religion per-say.

    The worse thing for any religion is for it to become official.
    The worse thing that happened to the Christian faith was the embracing of it by Constantine and being made an official religion.
    History is full of Politicians, kings and emperors using religion for their own purposes.


    The worse thing for any religion is for it to become official.”
    GOD’S LAWS ARE FAR, FAR SUPERIOR TO THE LAWS OF MAN. PLEASE BOW TO THE LORD AND OFFER YOUR CONFIDENCE.As for “God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” PSALM 18:30

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  • Lee

    Actually Constantine’s version of Christianity was nothing more than baptized paganism. Not Biblical Christianity.

  • Jason

    Because that worked so well in Communist Russia, didn’t it comrade?

  • Jason

    So the only facts are scientific?

    Is the statement that the only facts are scientific itself factual? If so is it scientific?

    Beliefs can be based on facts, but beliefs can also be false, like your belief that the only facts are scientific facts.

  • Jason

    *wipes tears of laughter*

    You believe a college education is about critical analysis, observation, and evidence based research? What planet are you living on?

    A college education is about paying a lot of borrowed money to a bunch of people who’ll teach you things that it’s likely you’ll never use afterwards. You’ll then be trapped in ever increasing debt until you die.

  • Jason

    Islam is not Christianity. ISIS is not the Salvation Army.

    There are more pedophiles in the American school system than in the Catholic Church.

    The Inquisition often acted as the only trans-European police force in medieval history, they were often more lenient than secular courts, and the death toll from the most famous Spanish Inquisition broken down to a annual rate was equivalent to the death from children’s bicycles in the USA (about 9 a year).

    Religion is only implicated in about 7% of the wars in history.

    Read Vox Day’s The Irrational Atheist for more details.

    It’s good that you’re not committed to some sort of fact based belief system. I’d hang my head in shame if I were and made such egregious errors as you do.

  • Russia was never Atheist.
    Faith in Lysenko’s Miracles is not Atheism. Good grief!
    Stalin was a seminarian who placed himself as Czar (god’s intermediary) how is THAT atheism.

    Atheism is the non-belief in a god.
    Atheism is simply a reaction to claims about gods – “I do not believe”
    It is not a claim of its own.

    If you ‘worship’ a faith (communism) or a man as god (Stalin) you
    cannot be Atheist.

    Icons of “saint” Stalin are worshipped in Russian Orthodox Churches today.


  • @Jason,

    So you cannot know anything?
    How did you figure that out?

    *Laughing myself out of the chair*

  • @Jason

    >”Islam is not Christianity.”
    Of course it is!
    “bring to me those enemies of mine and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “Slay them [infidels] wherever you find them” – (Surah/ Quran)
    There in not a shred of difference. They are both faith-based programs.

    >”There are more pedophiles in the American school system than in the Catholic Church.”
    It is fun to make up some nonsense claims whenever you like. right?
    Show the study – where is it?
    More than 30,000 children were raped
    by Catholic priests since 1970.
    Those are just the ones in the United States
    that have come forward and formally
    accused priests in particular parishes.
    Untold thousands are lost to history and to suicides.

    >”The Inquisition….equivalent to the death from children’s bicycles in the USA (about 9 a year).”
    The Inquisition never officially ended. People in Spain are still persecuted openly for not believing Jesus was a human blood sacrifice to a real god.
    If you can’t determine facts by using the internet properly I’ll be glad to show you how to use google to increase you knowledge of things.

    >”Religion is only implicated in about 7% of the wars in history.”
    WRONG again!
    You have done no homework:


    at the hands of Christians.

    A minimum of 300 MILLION have DIED DIRECTLY

    War on Aids – 20 Million Dead –
    Catholics obstructed condoms over a 20 year period
    through their clinics as women begged
    to be saved from their husbands. But clinics were forbidden to help
    even though they knew the solution was within reach!
    (“Aids is bad but condoms are worse” – the Pope John Paul 2)

    Spanish Inquisitions – 200,000 dead (Catholic Fascists)

    The Crusades (1095 c.e. -1291 c.e.) 2 Million dead – Catholics
    Anti-Semitism – 5 millions dead over 2000 years excluding the Holocaust
 – 6 Million Killed over 6 years.
    Stalin’s Genocides: Czarist Communism and worship of the man/god Stalin and the Miracles of Lysenko: 60 Million
    Witch Hunts – 500,000 dead

    Ireland – 600,000 dead (Catholic vs. Protestant)

    Rwanda 1994 (Catholic Facists killed 1,000,000 with machetes)

    Taipeng Rebellion in China (1850 – 1864) 45 million dead (Christian Fascists)
    Boznia-Herzegovina (Catholic Facists)

    The Ivory Coast civil wars (Catholic Facists)

    Franco, the Spanish Civil War (Catholic Facists)

    Cypriat War (Catholics)

    East Timor civil war

    Sri Lankan civil war

    Syria vs. Israel

    Kashmir civil war

    Chechnya civil war


    Thirty Years War (Protestants VS. Catholics)

    WW1 – War of Christendom (37 Million dead;
    WW2 Nazi’s ‘God With Us’ Anti-Semitism, “Gott Mit Uns” Axis powers. Christian Social Nationalism and Cult of the Japanese Sun God vs. Christian Liberal Socialism and Czarist (faith-based) Communism
: 50 Million killed
    Albigensian Crusade, 1208-49
    Algeria, 1992-
    Baha’is, 1848-54
    Bosnia, 1992-95
    Boxer Rebellion, 1899-1901

    Constantinian Empire & Christian Romans, 30-313 CE
    Croatia, 1991-92
    English Civil War, 1642-46
    Huguenot Wars, 1562-1598
    India, 1992-2002
    India: Suttee & Thugs
    Indo-Pakistani Partition, 1947

    Iran, Islamic Republic, 1979-

    Iraq, Shiites, 1991-92

    Jews, 1348

    Jonestown, 1978

    Lebanon 1860 / 1975-92
    Molucca Is., 1999-
    Mongolia, 1937-39

    Northern Ireland, 1974-98

    Russian pogroms 1905-06 / 1917-22

    St. Bartholemew Massacre, 1572

    Shang China, ca. 1300-1050 BCE

    Shimabara Revolt, Japan 1637-38

    Sikh uprising, India, 1984-91

    Spanish Inquisition, 1478-1834
    Tudor England

    Vietnam, 1800s

    OTHER Witch Hunts, 1400-1800
    Xhosa, 1857

    Arab Outbreak, 7th Century CE

    Arab-Israeli Wars, 1948-

    Al Qaeda, 1993-

    Dutch Revolt, 1566-1609

    Nigeria, 1990s, 2000s

    These lives were lost
    AT THE DIRECTION of one religion against another,
    THE staggering figure is very close to One Billion
    800,000,000 people dead JUST BECAUSE OF RELIGION.

    500,000,000 dead are attributable to Christianity alone.

    Yet God doesn’t appear to exist,
    nor does he appear
    to take a side in these battles.
    For shame.
    Religion is an inhuman disgrace.

    “I’d hang my head in shame if I made such egregious errors..”
    That is the one thing you
    said that would be useful.

    Only the Atheistic US Constitution
    with its separation of Church and State written into the Establishment Clause
    holds out the possibility of true freedom of religion
    without the threat of dictatorship.

  • Kevin

    It took a little digging but I found it. And if you don’t have access to the Web of Knowledge database, you may not be able to access the entire paper.

    “The Effects of Education on Americans’ Religious
    Practices, Beliefs, and Affiliations” by Philip Schwadel

    His main points are as follows:
    Hypothesis 1: Education is negatively associated with biblical literalism.
    Hypothesis 2: Education is negatively associated with exclusivist religious viewpoints that stress that one religion is true and that others are false.
    Hypothesis 3: Education does not negatively affect belief in God or the afterlife.
    Hypothesis 4: Education does not have a negative effect on prayer, reading the Bible, or emphasizing the importance of religion in daily life.
    Hypothesis 5a: Education is positively associated with switching religious affiliations.
    Hypothesis 5b: Education is negatively associated with switching to a conservative or Evangelical Protestant denomination.
    Hypothesis 5c: Education has little association with religious disaffiliation.
    Hypothesis 5d: Education is positively associated with switching to a mainline Protestant denomination.
    Hypothesis 6: Education is positively associated with religious participation.
    Hypothesis 7: Education positively effects questioning the authority of religious leaders, questioning the role of religion in secular society, and supporting the right of atheists to make speeches opposed to religion.
    Hypothesis 8: Education is positively associated with supporting the right of religious leaders to take public stances on political issues.
    Hypothesis 9: The negative effects of education on biblical literalism and exclusivist religious viewpoints are diminished among Evangelical Protestants while the positive effects of education on religious participation are most pronounced among Evangelical Protestants.

    So in actuality, he’s saying that education just makes you more culturally strategic. And practicing something everyone else in the your culture does is simply more strategically sound for survival and comfort. And THAT is evolution.

  • Shawnie5

    For crying out loud, will everyone quit taking this idiot seriously? It’s making me depressed in a big way about the direction in which average human IQ is headed.

  • Brandon

    Micro or macro? Please define your terms. You sound as though you are a naturalist and have committed an error in basic terms but I can’t tell.

  • Brandon

    If you have time, I think you might find this interesting. Also note the comments after the article. http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2014/08/5-ways-be-a-better-atheist/

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  • Daniel

    Really dude? Is that your comment? First of all there is no “only part of the Old Testament” that prophecies Jesus (the Messiah) is inaccurate since any Bible scholar will tell you the Old Testament has literally hundreds of prophecies about Jesus. Your remark that that “one” didn’t come true is false, and the battle you referred to is totally not what the Bible is talking about. Finally, even scholars who aren’t Christians believe in the historicity of Jesus. What your concluded isn’t accurate. What’s great about the Bible, which isn’t true about other books claiming divine authority, is that it’s prophecies have always come true (in fact 99% of the prophecies have been mostly fulfilled, a majority of them in Old Testament time and the rest when Jesus appeared). It’s important to know the facts before attempting to assess and educate others.

  • Daniel

    Your point is mostly accurate, but I would like to point out that the war in Iraq is hardly religious at all, even when it covers itself in religious mantras. It’s purely sectional and ethnic really. In fact, most wars for which religion is blamed can be attributed to other ethnic, social, political and economic factors, or before the Renaissance to strictly greedy power grabs by elites. Since then, the big warmakers are functionally atheist (Stalin, Hitler, Mao, numerous 17-19th Century kings, etc.).

  • Daniel

    No, it won’t. Atheism is the cause of the greatest tragedies in human history, and not just in the 20th Century.

  • Daniel

    Atheist, that’s cyclical. The fact that the coasts are more atheist that the mainstream speaks to yet another factor in their out of touchedness. Also, in case you didn’t notice, the trend in New England, Oregon, and Washington have begun to reverse themselves. You didn’t notice, but it will be more blatantly obvious within a decade. Atheists and progressives always miss religious trends by at least a decade or so…

  • Wow. Unexpected and great news.

    My memoir, “The Promise, or the Pros and Cons of Talking with God,” which discusses my journey of faith during my college years , was recently published by TouchPoint Press. I think people will might find it illuminating.


  • Carson

    @Atheist Max

    >”Islam is not Christianity.”
    Of course it is!”

    That’s a pretty bold statement. If you bother to read the quote you just listed as from “JESUS”, Jesus was in fact quoting king midas in a parable. I will assume you just googled for bad quotes from the Bible without reading it and weren’t intentionally disingenuous. He never told his followers to execute others, which is obviated by the fact that the only time they raised their swords he stopped them. When Muhammed told others to cut off the hands and feet of nonbelievers at opposite ends he wasn’t saying a parable about spirituality, they actually went out and did just that. The two religions have many differences in terms of teaching, culture, and the figures of Muhammed and Jesus lived drastically different lives, so I’m not sure why you say they are the same, certainly you need to do better than that quote.

    >”There are more pedophiles in the American school system than in the Catholic Church.”
    It is fun to make up some nonsense claims whenever you like. right?
    Show the study – where is it?

    You doubt that? Think about the difference in scale between the two and re-read your reply with a cool head. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/has-media-ignored-sex-abuse-in-school/ There are likely more victims in the public school system than the entire Catholic school system, even assuming you had 100% molested this would be the case. It’s fun to call others’ claims nonsense whenever you like based on nothing, right?

  • Carson

    @Atheist Max.
    “War on Aids – 20 Million Dead –
    Catholics obstructed condoms over a 20 year period
    through their clinics as women begged
    to be saved from their husbands.”

    You blame Catholics for all deaths from AIDS? http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/09/what-impact-does-catholic-teaching-have.html You might as well blame us for every death in all of history, in fact you seem to have tried to do just that with your other comments. Explicitly blaming WW2 and other wars on Christianity is quite a leap, other than the fact that they happened to involve Christians (on both sides) which isn’t surprising, given that there are billions of us. Most of the countries with AIDS have a very small Catholic population, in fact if you research online you can see that, if anything, there is an inverse correlation between AIDS and Catholicism, see my link.

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  • It would be interesting to see where the Gen X and Gen Y end up after their mid-life transition. We all seem to inevitably have one. I have seen individuals who wanted nothing to do with religion end up returning to the one they were indoctrinated with as children in response to a mid-life crisis. And I have seen many who once experience their mid-life crisis come to terms with their own truth, and see the ridiculousness in the religions of the world and the harm they have done on the minds, hearts, bodies and spirits of humanity. Some come to understand what spirituality means for them individually and have a relationship with Spirit outside of any religion or belief system. In order for any study to be fully conclusive I believe it needs to follow individuals at least until their fifties where wisdom and life experience coincide. Personally I think organized religion is losing favor to spirituality without the constraints and fear-based limitations of dogma.