The results of new research by Pew can come as an eye-opener to a number of religious households. 78 percent of religious “nones” say they were raised in highly religious families. In other words, if you are very religious and are trying hard to indoctrinate your child into religious beliefs, the chances statistically are that your child might grow up to hate it and leave religion altogether. Religious households may now have to change tactics if they want to see their children grow up as practicing believers.
America is seeing a steady rise in atheism due to various factors such as scientific developments and rise in rationalist movements. Atheists and people who profess adherence to no religion have also revealed that having been brought up in homes where religion was “forced” on them made them disgusted with religion altogether. The responses of each member of the study were obviously different as each person experiences religion and spirituality differently. However, researchers were able to identify certain common themes into which these responses could be categorized. Almost half, 49 percent to be exact, of those who said they were raised in a religious family revealed that they went away from religion simply due to a lack of belief. Science seems to be one of the major reasons why these individuals lost their belief in religion. Responses such as “logic,” “common sense” and “lack of evidence” also surfaced during the interviews. Added to these respondents are those who cited religious scandals, sexual abuse, religious politics, hierarchical unfairness, religious extremism and injustices within religious institutions as major reasons for them to leave religion behind.
Around 18 percent of the study group say that they do believe in God, but in their “own way.” This number is representative of those people who have left organized religions, yet believe in a higher power. These people say they are seeking for a spiritual path of “enlightenment” and believe in rather open-minded practices. This segment of people is on a rise even as religious people are becoming fewer. A smaller number say they are religiously inactive or unsure. These people have been born into religious families, but no longer actively practice their religion or attend services. Though they do not say they are atheists, they also do not conform strictly to any church and do not show inclinations towards religious rituals.