Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Monday, September 14, 2015

good news

I think this is great news. This year, apparently for the first time, the number of atheists and agnostics going to Harvard outnumber the number of Protestants and Catholics.  This bodes very well for the future. The less superstition in public policy and culture, the better off we all will be.  Catholics and Protestants may disagree with that, but that's only because they see their dominance (finally) slipping away.

More Harvard freshmen say they’re atheists, agnostics in new survey

Annual survey of incoming freshmen shows fewer students identify as Catholic or Protestant

In an annual survey of Harvard University’s incoming freshman class, more students identified as agnostic or atheist than as Roman Catholic or Protestant, signaling how millennials may be chipping away at the status quo in a nation that has long had a majority who declared themselves Christian.
In Harvard’s poll of the beliefs and lifestyles of the class of 2019, 21 percent said they identified as agnostic, and 17 percent reported they were atheists. Freshmen who identified as Catholic or Protestant made up 17 percent each — meaning that with a total of 34 percent, they were outnumbered by the 38 percent of the class who said they were agnostic or atheist.
Ten percent of the class reported that they were Jewish, 3 percent Hindu, 3 percent Muslim and 0.4 percent Mormon. Some 12 percent identified as “other.” The findings were published in The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper. 
Two years ago, 14 percent of the incoming freshman class said they were atheists when they took the same survey. That year 18 percent of the class identified as agnostic, 20 percent as Protestant and 22 percent as Catholic.
The Harvard survey falls in line with other recent findings that Americans are turning away from traditional American faiths. Longitudinal studies of American adolescents have found that millennials are “significantly less religious” than their Generation X and baby boomer predecessors, and the Pew Research Center released a survey in May indicating that the population of Christians in the United States declined by nearly 8 percent from 2007 to 2014, largely among younger adults.
That could be because Americans are increasingly eschewing religion altogether, with millennials leading the charge. When breaking down the numbers, Pew found that 35 percent of millennials, those born from 1981 to 1996, said they didn’t have any religious affiliation, 32 percent said they were Protestant and 16 percent said they were Catholic.
Harvard sends out the email survey to its incoming students in August and said that 1,184 students completed it this year — more than 70 percent of the class of 2019.

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