David Campbell (Co-Author of American Grace) has a piece in TIME.com on the link between religion and giving.
Over the last twenty years, one of the most stunning changes to the American social landscape has been the dramatic rise in the percentage of Americans who report having no religious affiliation—the group that has come to be known as the “nones.” Today, 20 percent of Americans disclaim a religious affiliation,and among millennials, it is over 30 percent. At the same time, there has been a growing debate over whether the secularization of society will lead to a decrease in charitable giving, with secularists—whether they consider themselves atheists, agnostics, or humanists—tending to argue that fewer religious Americans will simply mean fewer contributions to pay for churches and synagogues that fewer Americans are attending anyway.
Not exactly. A new report by Jumpstart and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy details the many ways that religion and the charitable sector are intertwined. Based on a major national survey, this report finds that three-quarters of all household charitable giving goes to organizations that have religious ties. These span the range from large organizations like the Salvation Army (which, many Americans do not realize, is actually a church) to small soup kitchens run out of church basements.
Read the rest of David Campbell’s “Religious People are More Charitable” (TIME.com, 11/26/13)
Posted in american grace, charity, david campbell, giving, millennials, nones, religion, secular, TIME
Tagged american grace, charity, david campbell, giving, millennials, nones, religion, secular, TIME
What a difference 2 years of tough economic times can make. We wrote in 2008 about the fact that over 2/3 of 18-24 year-olds voted Democratic, partly driven by the charisma of Barack Obama. [“Why Republicans are Worried“] Political pundits speculated that this generation could be the bulge in the snake, altering the political equation for years to come in their skewed support for Democrats.
That was then. This is now. This February, Pew Research revealed that young Democrats (“millenials”) were much more on the fence. There was still a 14 point net democratic leaning of millennials (54-40%) but far less dramatic than the 32 percentage point gap in the 2008 elections.
The New York Times claims that young Americans’ political loyalties are now much more up for grabs (“Fewer Young Voters See Themselves as Democrats“), but the evidence seems more mixed on that score than the article’s lede. Since February, Pew Research suggests that, while the democratic advantage among young adults is less than in the 2008 elections, it has actually widened over the last 6 months and is now closer to a 20 percentage point advantage of youth toward Democrats. (see following graphic)
The Times later in the article admits as much: “Self-identification figures for Democrats — in national polls asking young people what party they lean more toward — peaked at 62 percent in July 2008, according to the Pew Research Center. By late last year, the number had dropped eight percentage points, to 54 percent, though researchers saw an uptick earlier this year, back to 57 percent. Republican gains roughly mirrored Democratic losses.”
For sure, everyone agrees that the critical issue is who turns out in November 2010 as party identification matters far less than whether those votes count. This goes for millennials as well as liberals or Tea Party members.
Stay tuned to see whether this generation of youth is likely to alter the long-term equation for democrats or not. And equally important in 2010 and 2012 is whether the new young voters coming to the ballot box have very distinctive views than the young voters who voted in 2004 and 2008.
Posted in civic engagement, millennials, new york times, Pew Research Center, politics, youth, youth engagement
Tagged civic engagement, millennials, new york times, Pew Research Center, politics, youth, youth engagement
[cross posted on American Grace blog)
Flickr photo by Echobase
American Grace co-author David Campbell appeared on a Pew-sponsored panel called Portrait of the Millennial Generation with Neil Howe, Andy Kohut and Judy Woodruff, among others. Allison Pond, research associate at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, discussed some of Pew’s findings re Millennials and religion. Millennials, in comparison to earlier generations, according to Pond, are less likely to pray, less likely to assert that religion is important to them, just as likely to believe in heaven/hell or in the afterlife, and more likely to tinker with religion (finding ways to cobble together a spiritual life although they are less connected to religious institutions).
As David Campbell points out on the panel:
If you look over the long haul from the ’60s to the ’70s, you do see a slight increase in the overall percentage of Americans who were evangelicals, and much of that growth was concentrated among young people.
That, however, ceased to be the case over the last 10 or 15 years. You have seen evangelical churches remain on the American landscape. And anyone who has been to the Saddleback Church in California or the Willow Creek Church in Chicago — these are massive megachurches — will know what I mean. It’s not that Millennials are streaming out of these churches, but they’re not being attracted to them the way that young people were in the past. That suggests to me that there’s an opening for religious entrepreneurs to somehow reach that segment of the population. They haven’t yet done so, and evangelicalism as it exists today does not seem to be reaching them.
On a later panel that same day Scott Keeter et. al. discussed differences between the Millennial Generation and earlier generations on abortion (more pro-choice) and religiosity (less religious). And one questioner alluded to Pew’s findings that Millennials much more strongly believe that “Houses of worship should express views on social and political issues”, to which Andy Kohut observed that these differences have to be interpreted in light of Millennials growing up in a context of greater separation of church and state than previous generations.
[In other discussions on the morning panel and afternoon panel there was a discussion of Millennials and community engagement. For our (Robert Putnam’s and my) take on this, see “Still Bowling Alone?” in the January Journal of Democracy.]
Some of findings to come in American Grace are consistent with Pew’s findings and some appear to differ. Stay tuned.
Posted in american grace, Andy Kohut, david campbell, Journal of Democracy, millennials, pew, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, religion, religiosity, robert putnam, Still Bowling Alone?, thomas sander
Tagged american grace, Andy Kohut, david campbell, Journal of Democracy, millennials, pew, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, religion, religiosity, robert putnam, Still Bowling Alone?, thomas sander