New on AlterNet: The Rise of Young Atheists

My latest article has been posted on AlterNet, Goodbye Religion? How Godlessness Is Increasing With Each New Generation. It surveys the demographic transformation that’s been taking place in American society, with rates of godlessness steadily increasing in each generation since World War II, highlights the work of some outstanding young activists who are part of this trend, and points out the panicked warnings from religious authorities who recognize that their influence is fading away. Read the excerpt below, then click through and see the rest!


Something strange is happening to American teenagers. If you believe popular wisdom, young people are apathetic, cynical and jaded; or, they’re supposed to be conformists whose overriding desire is to fit in and be popular. But if you’ve been paying close attention over the past decade, you might have seen any of a growing number of cases that conspicuously defy these stereotypes: stories of teenagers who have strong principles they’re unashamed to display and which they’re committed to defending, even at great personal cost, against the bullying of a hostile establishment.

Continue reading on AlterNet…

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://www.dvorkin.com David Dvorkin

    What an encouraging article!

  • Andrew T.

    I sometimes wonder how long it will take before the rise of atheism from generation to generation starts to correlate with a noticeable nationwide demographic shift on multiple issues. We’re already seeing that now on the topic of gay rights and same-sex marriage; and that particular road no doubt points both ways: People embrace LGBT equality when secularism eliminates any reason not to, and people question and abandon their religious beliefs when they’re called upon as justification for anti-LGBT bigotry.

  • Jormungund

    This reminds me of a Barna Group study I read years ago about are leaving religion and generally don’t return. Being a Christian polling group, they were concerned by fact. They also found that young people’s views on Christianity are that it is primarily anti-gay.

  • http://daylightatheism.org J. James

    I’ve been reading Daylight Atheism since I was sixteen. Even just since middle school I’ve noticed a large shift in attitudes as my peers start to outgrow the Santa-clause mentality of unquestioning belief(the Fundie is strong in these ones. I hail from Jesusland). A huge portion of youth are hardly influenced at all by Christianity, and hold vaugely Deist views.

    Agnostics are roughly 15%. I know a handful of openly atheist youths aside from myself, but still a lot compared to the 2% we supposedly represent across the age groups.