Generational Secularization

This week our jigsaw readings and presentations were centered around different secularization theories, and Thursday’s class made me start thinking about whether secularization or religiosity is better for society as a whole. My first thought was that religion is probably beneficial to society, since so much volunteering and charity work is done through religious organizations. A religious society would theoretically be very happy, too, since religion is meant to provide a sense of purpose. It also crossed my mind that a large religious presence could result in lower crime rates, not only because good morals often come with piety, but because programing outside of weekend services can help keep idle hands busy. However, a quick Google search revealed that Vatican City had the highest crime rate in the world in 2017.

While religion is beneficial to society, and America remains a relatively religious player on the worldstage, it is my experience that my generation as a whole is moving further from organized religion. Most people I know hardly go to church if at all, and a lot of those people are atheists. I think this might have to do with how socially and intellectually progressive my generation is. Most people my age believe in gender equality and accept the LGBT community, which both go against the beliefs of some mainstream religions, and these fallacies bring into question the logic of other religious stories, such as those surrounding the creation of the universe.