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College students evenly split among religious, spiritual, secular

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1 2013 12:10 p.m. MDT

New survey also finds spiritual students embrace the idea of God, but are more likely to concur with their secular counterparts when it comes to politics and science.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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Thirty-two percent of college students are religious, 32 percent are spiritual and 28 percent are secular, according to survey results jointly released Thursday by Trinity College and the Center for Inquiry.

Reporting for USA Today, Bob Smietana wrote, “Each group or brand of students in the survey had a distinct worldview, researchers said. Religious students go to church, are more likely to believe in creationism or intelligent design, and oppose assisted suicide, adoptions by same-sex couples and gun control. Secular students do not believe in God, endorse evolution, accept assisted suicide as moral, say gay couples should be able to adopt and want more gun control.

“The spiritual students were split. They sided with the religious students on questions about God and with secular students on questions about politics and science.”

Christianity proved a prevalent faith among both religious (70 percent) and spiritual (43 percent) students.

Napp Nazworth of the Christian Post reported, “The survey asked the respondents how often they attended religious services as a child. It found a strong correlation between attendance at religious services as a child and self-identification as religious while a college student.”

“For the study, the researchers asked students nationwide a series of questions about their spiritual, political and moral values, ranging from belief in God and worship attendance to climate change and same-sex marriage,” Katie Potin wrote for Red Alert Politics. “… The one area the three groups had in common was global warming, with 96 percent of secular students and 80 percent of religious students worried about climate change.”

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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