How religious liberals could outnumber religious conservatives

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  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    July 29, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    People tend to become more consiervative in various ways not just because they are older but in particular because they marry and start raising children, and sometimes for the first time are concerned about the challenge of instilling a moral code in their children. The long people wait to become real adults, the longer they can play at in the ambiguous state of being a "religious liberal", without affiliation. But many of them are not going to be lassez faire about certain moral questions when they take on the role of having to account for the behavior of their children.

    A related trend is that the number of religious liberals is self-limiting because tend to delay marriage and children, and not have as many as religious conservatives. Another factor is that there are some religious conservative groups that successfully socialize their young adults to become religious conservatives. The leading exemplar of that achievement is the LDS Church, exemplified by its Seminary and Institute programs, its BYU students, and its tens of thousands of missionaries.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 29, 2013 7:18 p.m.

    Some commentators wonder if this trend will change as the population ages. That is a possibility.

    But consider this -

    No one who supported civil rights for others based on race, has turned into a racist and regretted their support as they aged.

    Some of those who were racist when they were younger, however, did change as they got older.

    The older population that currently opposes same-sex marriage has at no time in the past supported it.

    The change in acceptance of others is more than just a change of opinion - it is a change of social knowledge driven by exposure and true acceptance.

    There may be a slight waffling back and forth in the numbers, but the overall trend will continue to be acceptance and a positive change.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    July 29, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    The thing about young people: They turn into old people.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    July 29, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    Handwriting. Wall. Future. --- get the idea?
    People are moving more to "live and let live" and realizing that condemning others is a tool used by preachers to fill seats and collection plates.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    July 29, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    Given that all of the large mainline protestant denominations are losing membership rapidly, while most evangelical protestant denominations are growing, I find this suggestion unlikely. People in their 20s tend to be more liberal than they are the rest of their life, so one could argue that a 23%-17% advantage might be reversed for this same group ten years from now. One could also argue that this might represent the closest split in generations for this demographic.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    July 29, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    @ shadow01: Where is the revelation prohibiting slavery? Where is the revelation removing the prohibition on divorce? Where is the revelation allowing adultery?

    There are a great many things that have changed recently - and there are a great many things that have always been different between different religions.

    Just because you disagree with one religions interpretation doesn't mean they are any more moral or immoral than you are - it just means they are interpreting things differently.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    "So now instead of having a "Moral Majority" we have an "Immoral Majority"."

    Incidentally, condemning other people as immoral just because they have different political or religious beliefs is one of the leading causes of people ditching organized religion.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    July 29, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    shadow01 wrote:

    "So now instead of having a 'Moral Majority' we have an 'Immoral Majority'... Amazingly they have done that without revelation."

    I am always amazed at how anyone can claim some things are "revelation" and others are not. How can you tell?

    I suggest that when something doesn't fit your existing beliefs, people declare that it is NOT "revelation", and when it confirms existing beliefs it is considered "revelation". But all that means is "revelation" is just another name for "confirmation bias".

  • shadow01 ,
    July 29, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    So now instead of having a "Moral Majority" we have an "Immoral Majority".
    That majority is populated by those who feel that God has changed his laws and prohibitions to exclude those things that just don't fit their lifestyle. Amazingly they have done that without revelation. Afterall revelation is dead right.
    Perhaps it is that we are, after all, grown up now. We don't really need to be shepherded by some God that has no inkling as to how hard it is to live "his" way. Just because he sent his son to live in this world and suffer the same as we suffer doesn't mean he knows how hard it is. Just because he suffered as he knew his son was suffering and dying for the salvation of the rest of his children why should we desire live as he would have us live.

  • SME Bountiful, UT
    July 29, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    This could indeed be news, but maybe not as well.

    There is no comparison of these numbers with previous numbers, is the numnber of "religious liberals" increasing? Maybe this has always been the case and they become conservative as they gain more life experience. Without numbers to compare over time, this article really doesn't show anything.