Two-thirds of teenagers don't believe in God... and think reality TV is more important

Nearly two-thirds of teenagers don’t believe in God and think that reality television is far more important than religion, new research has revealed.

The survey showed that 66 per cent of teens do not believe a deity exists while 50 per cent have never prayed and 16 per cent have never been to church.

Teenagers rated family, friends, money, music and even reality TV shows above faith.

Other statistics which emerged from the report included:

*]59 per cent of children believed religion has had a negative influence on the world
*]60 per cent only go to church for a wedding or christening
*]Only 30 per cent of teenagers think there is an afterlife…
*]… while 10 per cent believe in reincarnation
*]47 per cent said organised religion had no place in the world
*]60 per cent don’t believe Religious Studies should be compulsory in schools
*]However, 91 per cent agreed they should treat others the way they wished to be treated themselves
The study of 1,000 teenagers aged 13 to 18 was carried out by Penguin books.

It also revealed the south-east was the region with the least faith as only 28 per cent of those surveyed believed in God.

A Church of England spokesman said: 'Many teenagers aren’t sure what they believe at that stage of their lives, as is clear from the number who said they don’t know whether they believe in God.

‘On the other hand, many of these results point to the great spirituality of young people today that the Church is seeking to respond to through new forms of worship alongside tradition ones.’

Hanne Stinson, chief executive of The British Humanist Association, said: 'I am not at all surprised by the results.

'Some of the results are very interesting, for example that only four per cent believe God is the biggest influence in their lives.

'That is consistent with Government research which shows that while religion is very important to a small proportion of adults, most people rank religion with very low in importance in their lives.

'Also significant, and reassuring for those who are worried about children’s values, is that 91 per cent think they should treat others as they wish to be treated.

‘It confirms that young people - like adults - do not need a religion to have positive values.’

The survey was carried out to mark Penguin’s publication of controversial novel ‘Killing God’ by Kevin Brooks.

The book is about a 15-year-old girl who questions and rages at the existence of God.

Mr Brooks, who is a popular teenage author, said: ‘I can’t say I am surprised by the teenagers’ responses.

'Part of the reason that I wrote Killing God was that I wanted to explore the personal attitudes of young people today, especially those with troubled lives, towards organised religion and the traditional concept of God.

'How can the moralities of an ancient religion relate to the tragedies and disorders of today’s broken world?
'And why do some people turn to God for help while others take comfort in drugs and alcohol?
‘These are just some of the questions I wanted to consider… And I wasn’t looking for answers.’

As a seventeen year old Catholic teenager living in England I’d like to give my opinion on this. I was surprised of this when I first read but, but now I’m not so surprised. The UK like most Western countries is very materialistic, and teenagers only really care about everything in the here and now. I’m not sure how reliable these statistics are though.

Faith schools are the best performing schools in this country. According to Wikepedia (not sure how reliable these statistics are), there are 6,955 Christian faith schools in England. The Roman Catholic church also maintains schools. In addition, there are 36 Jewish, 7 Muslim, 2 Sikh and 1 Hindu.

The way that it seems to work in Western countries, young people don’t tend to go to Church, I don’t think they really tend to take a position such as Christian or Atheist. They just don’t tend to think about it. And then when they get older, in their late 20s onwards and have children, then they start going to Church and becoming more Religious. A little bit like my Mother and my Uncle, for that fact. My Uncle actually lives in Austria. As he was in University and so fourth he didn’t go to Church, and then when he started a Family he came very devout and started going to Church every Sunday. And my Mother, She’s always considered herself Catholic but she didn’t start going to Church until about ten years ago. She is now just turned 52. That’s why Church attendance in the West isn’t so high as say America. People consider themselves Christian, Catholic - but they just don’t tend to go to Church very often. Although, Catholic Church attendance has been rising!

There are over 60 million people in Britain, and according to the 2007 statistics, the United Kingdom was on the 13th largest Christian population list with 43,515,786.

And similarly, the percentages from the 2001 National Census show that in the UK there are; Christians: 71.6%, Muslims: 2.7%

But the Christian communities in this country need to think of new things to invigorate the Faith here! This is very important and must happen! Over 2 million in this country have attended an Alpha course, an opportunity to explore the meaning of life, running in tens of thousands of churches of all denominations across the world. We need more things like this! I think it’s time for the Faith Communities in this country to become a little more aggressive. I have heard about African and Asian Missionaries coming to the United Kingdom, but I’m not sure if this is true and if it will happen. Young people need to see the relevancy of Christianity to life, to modern life!

God Bless!

No country is a Christian country. Except maybe the Vatican City-State. But the Church dose not believe in a social Kingdom. No country is under Christian law. Hence, no country is truly Christian. It is only those who wish to peddle either the idea that Christians are socialist pigs or that a country is in a spiritual crisis who say such and such a country is Christian.

And I don’t trust statistics too much. The data can be easily changed or gotten wrong.

I don’t trust the statistics either! Because if you think of the number of Faith Schools in the
UK, the people that attend are hardly going to be atheists are they? It just doesn’t make sense. Those statistics don’t make sense.

I don’t trust the statistics either! Because if you think of the number of Faith Schools in the UK, the people that attend are hardly going to be atheists are they? It just doesn’t make sense. Those statistics don’t fit with the Census statistics.

It’s all very well when your a teenager (and I can say this because I AM a teenager), when you are young you have your television, and you have Big Brother reality TV show and you have your family and friends around you. But when you get older most people start asking questions. Why am I here? What is the purpose of life? Does God exist? etc.

That’s how it seems to work in the united Kingdom. People generally start asking questions older.

Part of it has to do with “immediate gratification”.

Reality TV, video games, television viewing in general … all involve getting some kind of brain stimulus instantly. Same thing applies to watching sports on television … we can be instant experts … enjoying the game … getting our adrenalin all up … without actually throwing one single ball or running one single step … and we can watch the game without being exposed to the sun or heat (or cold, in the case of winter athletics).

There is no time delay, no need for studying.

We can believe we are participating without breaking a sweat, not getting a hair out of place, or breaking a nail.

And folks start to believe that all the world’s problems can be solved in 22 minutes [the length of a half-hour television program in the U.S. after the 8 minutes of commercial announcements are subtracted.]

Even the participants in “reality TV” have to put up with some discomfort … and if it’s one of those talent contests … they have put in years of practice and coaching. But we see it instantly and without all the practice sessions and get an instant vicarious thrill.

The same thing applies to belief in God. Some amount of studying and reading and practicing prayers is needed … and while answers to prayers do sometimes come quickly, more often it takes a few days/weeks/months/years. And sometimes God decides that He has something better in mind, so that the answers take some other direction … OR, He decides He needs to use us for some purpose of His own … that we may not ever be privy to.

That’s what parents, teachers and priests are supposed to do … provide the basics so that the teenagers don’t have to rediscover God on their own from ab initio … from scratch.

Go to the thread about evolution, and you’ll see a large part of the reason for unbelief. Read Reggie’s postings on page 66 of the “discussion”. The biology texts have become ultra-strident in their indoctrination of atheistic beliefs. It’s amazing that ANYONE emeges from government run schools with their faith intact. And Catholic schools aren’t much better in disseminating Christianity today! Teaching of the bogus theory of macro-evolution isn’t the only reason for our lost young generation, but it goes hand in glove with all the other evil media influences. :frowning: Rob

What doesn’t make sense? If the Faith Schools are performing the best, then there are going to be plenty of students who go there for the education and not the religion. I don’t know how exactly it works in the UK, but I’ve known plenty of atheists and agnostics who have gone to Catholic schools here in the US. I had a homosexual goth atheist friend who went to one. In my experience, people will look past a school’s religious affiliation for its academic excellence.

Yes you would think that, but it’s completely different here in the UK. People move house so they are in the right catchment area to get into the school of their choice. I’ve even heard of Parents who are not Catholic who get their children and/or child baptized so they can try and get into a Catholic school. It’s sad actually! But if the children and/or child then becomes Catholic after a Religious Catholic education, then I see that as a good thing.

i also hear that a lot of young people who are in church today will not remain in church when they become adults.

with so much nonsense on tv - especially the reality tv shows - is it any wonder that teenagers are falling away from any belief in the God of the Holy Bible?

Hollywood has been a big part of this i think through the ideas that are expressed on tv and in the movies.

Sad, sad news.

On the other side of the pond, where I am, atheism seems to have become very popular among teens. Being 15 myself, I’m acutely concerned about the impact this will have on society as time progresses. Westerners seem to be falling into a culture of disbelief.

That happens in the US too. People move into different districts because the district excels at a special discipline or perhaps in some special educational capacity. This is simply being proactive when it comes to not handicapping your child with a less than enriched learning environment. I would never hesitate to send my child to a religious school if it was the best educational choice.

I have always recommended that everyone, teenagers included, read more books as a partial substitute for television and video games. And then the Harry Potter series came out in book and film formats … and I was distressed because of the focus on “majick” … [not sure what else to call it] … to me, reinforcing the notion that extreme make-believe is a substitute for real science.

One other thing that has bothered me was the long-term lack of good solid well-written Catholic books. Mercifully, that has changed … actually thanks to Karl Keating and Catholic Answers … with getting reprints of excellent Catholic books and also the recent emergence of new solid writers … Keating, D’Souza, Hahn, DeStefano, Kreeft, Groeschel, and many others.

For example, here is DeStefano’s book:

When I read DeStefano’s book, I was “bothered” at it not having an imprimatur. What he did to avoid it looking like a book just for Catholics … he put the imprimatur in the BACK of the book, which I thought was sort of clever/different.

Interested folks can get to EWTN on television and listen to interviews with great recent Catholic authors. They have a bookstore on-line, but the television network has lectures as well as interviews by these great authors.

It takes some self-discipline to get into reading these books … you also need a lot of little yellow stickies … parents can encourage / “incentivize” their children to read these books, as well. [Incentivize is a nice word for paying their kids to read these books … with payments for each chapter. ]

Kids love to memorize, so parents can pay / make facilitation payments … [bribes are for illegal actions] … to their children to memorize math multiplication tables, the periodic table of elements [which is pretty majickal all by itself], memorizing the names and locations of states, countries, oceans, etc [writing them in on whited-out copies of maps] and for reading good Catholic books.

The statistics do not surprise me as much as they should.

Out of sight, out of mind.

The human brain and human will is especially vulnerable to the corruptible modern medias of today. The profane television is fun to watch. But watch too much and it becomes a way of life. “Hey, if it feels good, do it” becomes the order of today.

Yet, do we not have access to Churches and Bibles as we used to? Nourishment for the soul is even more available than it ever was before due to modern medias like this blog. But then you come back to “Hey, if it feels good, do it” that has permeated worldwide culture. Since many follow the will of the body over the will of the spirit, the profane television programs win. The spirit is left to want.

The media wields much power which is why satan has made it an important goal to control much of the media. satan knows how true that “out of sight, out of mind” rings true.

i used to have a Rosary that would come untied from time to time down by the Crucifix. i would always tighten it before i’d begin to pray it. Then one time i didn’t tighten it but instead challenged myself to think to tighten it throughout the rest of my normal day. Many times i would reach for my Rosary only to have it loose with the Crucifix ready to fall off. The point is i got into such a routine that i wouldn’t be able to think of this one simple act, to remember to tighten my Rosary even once throughout the rest of my day. This showed me just how much i push God to the side. The prayer time is what was isolated from the rest of my day. Yet, it should be just the opposite: the prayer time, offering my actions up, or the simple rememberence to tighten my Rosary should be throughout the day while performing the other mundane tasks.

Out of sight, out of mind.

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