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How religious liberals could outnumber religious conservatives

Published: Monday, July 29 2013 6:00 a.m. MDT

Because 23 percent of millennial adults (ages 18-33) are “religious progressives” while 17 percent are “religious conservatives,” the “moral majority” could eventually migrate from the political right to the left.

That’s the main thrust of “The Rise of the Christian Left in America,” an article on The Atlantic’s website that draws heavily from data collected in a recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute and Brookings Institution.

“If current trends persist, religious progressives will soon outnumber religious conservatives, a group that is shrinking with each successive generation, the data show,” Jonathan Merritt wrote for The Atlantic. “PRRI reports that 23 percent of 18- to 33-year-olds are religious progressives, 17 percent are religious conservatives, and 22 percent are nonreligious. By contrast, only 12 percent of 66- to 88-year-olds are religious progressives, while about half are religious conservatives. … ‘What you clearly see in the data when you move from the oldest Americans to youngest Americans is a stability among religious moderates and decreased appeal in religious conservatism,’ says PRRI CEO Robert Jones.”

The joint PRRI and Brookings study — “Do Americans believe capitalism & government are working? Religious left, religious right & the future of the economic debate” — was released last week. Deseret News reporter Eric Schulzke penned an article Saturday that highlighted several of the study’s economic and political findings.

EMAIL: jaskar@desnews.com

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