As a (relatively) young person who is also religious, I often feel like a very odd duck.
Maybe it’s part of the separation of “church” and “state” (for which I am enormously grateful), but religion doesn’t come up very much in the day to day life of American society and culture. For most people, religion is a very private matter. Often relegated to a particular time and place, not spilling out into every day interactions.
It’s odd to hear a celebrity in a magazine mention going to church or a picture of a celebrity at a temple. Our favorite TV characters don’t seem to participate in religious practices unless that’s the entire point of the show.
It makes me wonder whether most people simply keep their relationship with God as a completely private thing or if most people don’t think about God or religion or the Big Questions in life.
There’s plenty of older folk who are ready to decry my generation and younger as God-less, but I’m not sure whether it’s true or not. Are the young people today less religious than in the past? Is religion something that is more likely to be meaningful to you later in life?
Using myself as a case study is a terrible idea. I’m pretty sure I’m far from typical. Then again, there’s probably always some percentage of people who are interested in the Big Questions early in life.
Do we not see religious people in our media because that’s reflecting real life or is it to avoid controversy and offense? (As sensitive as I am about the monopoly of Christianity, I wouldn’t mind seeing religious characters on TV and in movies, so long as it was balanced and religions other than Christianity were present too).
I was thinking about it because I got my new Cosmopolitan magazine and there was a brief interview with a woman who has written a memoir about growing up as an ultra Orthodox Jew. Religion is so rarely mentioned in Cosmo that it caught my attention. It made me think that in some ways it is strange that I enjoy this magazine that is so very secular and written towards an audience who is interested in the superficial things in life. It made me wonder how many other religious young people also read it.
There are young people who are religious. There are young people who care about figuring out life and God and the universe. We don’t always see them because often they do blend in. They are hiding in plain sight sometimes. A little cross necklace or a hijab can sometimes give you a clue but there are plenty of people who don’t show any outward sign of their religious practice.
My religion is a part of every moment of my life, but at the same time is not really visible at all.