The youth of today, eh?
THE Church of England has debunked the widely held view that young people are spiritual seekers on a journey to find transcendent truths to fill the “God-shaped hole” within them.
A report published by the Church today indicates that young people are quite happy with a life without God and prefer car boot sales to church.
If they think about church at all, the images young people come up with are “cardigans”, “sandals and socks”, “corrupt”, “traditionalist” and “stagnant”.
The new publication, Making Sense of Generation Y, published today by Church of England publishing arm Church House Publishing, tells an unsurprising tale – young people between 15 and 25 are happy with life as it is, and view the Church as “boring as irrelevant” – and these are the words of Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, who sees the report as an “urgent” wake-up call. According to the Times article, only 5 percent of those aged 20 to 29 attend church.
Clerics are apparently shocked to find that even if the young have little or no knowledge of Christianity that they still have no religious or spiritual yearnings, and are generally unbothered by feelings of sin, or fear of death – but why should they be shocked? The anachronistic and outdated Christian church looks thoroughly unappealing to many, but beyond that, many young people now are simply too well informed and too curious to find any satisfactory answers in religion. The gist of the report in fact indicates that many young people are adopting a personal credo – that happiness is more important than religion, and that “this world, and all life in it, is meaningful as it is”.
This is all borne out by several interviews with Kesgrave High School students, and others, in the ‘Why Atheism?’ DVD, available now from the NSS Shop.