My niece just graduated from high school and one thing she said threw me for a loop. When I was in high school (graduated in 1989 from a small rural school) religion and religious people were pretty uncool. I remember my Biology II teacher spending days on evolution and then, right at the end, he said roughly, “But I don’t believe any of this because I think God created the world in six days like it says in the Bible.”
We were all flabbergasted. It seemed so goofy to us that it was the talk of the school for a few days.
Now, my niece, also a grad of a small rural school, says that a number of her classmates embraced creationism, and the general feeling was that it was “cool” to do so.
I found a couple of statistics, like this one reporting on a Gallup poll:
I don’t have statistics from my high school years, but my experience was that very few of the kids believed in creationism. It was laughable and opened one up to ridicule. True, ridicule makes someone more likely to hide their beliefs, but my sense was that it wasn’t a widely held belief in my school at that time, despite the other religious trappings we had (prayers at graduations and other meetings, etc.)
Religion, to us, was one of those things that our parents did that we, at least amongst ourselves, rebelled at and laughed at. Kids not doing that (if it’s true that they aren’t) makes me wonder about a few things.
Is that rebellion nonexistent, or simply taking other forms? And if teens become less rebellious about things like religion or other societal organizations, what does that mean for the future? Are those who rebel more likely to stay outside of the mainstream, or do they return to it? Is rebellion a good form of “thinking outside the box” and learning about the world, or is it just a tiresome habit of some people?