MTV/PRRI Study Reveals a U.S. Religious Realignment

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Politics is the bedrock of such a realignment

A study conducted by MTV and PRRI on 2,000 Americans aged between 15 and 24 years generated interesting results . The subject population is described as younger Millennials and Generation Z's older members. The subject of the study was Diversity, Division, Discrimination: The State of Young America. The empirical result was clear: young Americans are more progressive compared to older citizens. Issues of gender, race, and religion divide the respondent population in a number of ways.

The study found that politics seem to submerge everything else. Younger Americans, although less engaged in politics than their older counterparts, were aware that the United States is colored by the division of politics. Race and religion play a comparatively minor role in this regard. The class system plays a minor role. About 50 percent of the respondents claimed that race could be a divisive issue.

The Trump administration has a massive presence in the minds of the Millennials and their adjacent age groups. About 84 percent of respondents say that Muslims face extreme discrimination in present-day America. This perception is uniform among black (88 percent), white (81 percent), Hispanic (88 percent), and Asia Pacific Islander (88 percent). About 79 percent believe that discrimination is faced by lesbian, gay, and transgender individuals. About 72 percent holds the view that black people face discrimination.

The issue of religion throws up a few interesting bits. 38 percent of the Americans believe that religion is a divisive issue. This is a lot less than what the evangelical Christians keep crying out. The issues in question are practical ones like religious liberty and same-sex marriage. The Millennials consider issues like premarital sex and sexual morality a settled one. When it comes to abortion issues, the young are more in tandem with the older ones. Many feel that the issue is settled on the state level.

The study reveals that politics constitute a decisive dividing line and this comes from changing religious identities. The United States is presently moving through a significant religious realignment. The GOP is now being perceived as a party dominated by white Christians. The Democratic Party takes in everyone else. This does not equate to falling white Christian membership among Democrats. It means their influence is now much less. The composition within the Democratic Party symbolizes the U.S. of today while the Republicans are a sea of white Christians.

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