American millennials, irreligion, therapy and pseudoscience

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In 2010, the Pew Research Forum reported concerning the millennial generation:

By some key measures, Americans ages 18 to 29 are considerably less religious than older Americans...

Compared with their elders today, young people are much less likely to affiliate with any religious tradition or to identify themselves as part of a Christian denomination. Fully one-in-four adults under age 30 (25%) are unaffiliated, describing their religion as “atheist,” “agnostic” or “nothing in particular.” This compares with less than one-fifth of people in their 30s (19%), 15% of those in their 40s, 14% of those in their 50s and 10% or less among those 60 and older. About two-thirds of young people (68%) say they are members of a Christian denomination and 43% describe themselves as Protestants, compared with 81% of adults ages 30 and older who associate with Christian faiths and 53% who are Protestants.[1]

Peter Burfeind's article Millennials Are In Election Hell Because Politics Has Become Their God published in The Federalist indicates:

According to progressive faith, the “arc of history” always bends Left. Well, history just spawned Donald Trump, and if European political trends are indicative, this is not an isolated incident. For leftists, this is akin to if Christians woke up to find Jesus’ bones had been discovered. It shattered their faith.

The freak-out is especially acute among millennials. These are the “nones” and the “spiritual but not religious” bunch we’ve heard about the past decade. Millennials, we were told, didn’t abandon faith per se—can the human spirit truly live without faith?—they simply redirected it away from “organized religion” toward other things, chief among which was politics. I wonder how that’s working out for them.

As ridiculous and ubiquitous as the pathetically referenced “stages of grief” has become to explain how they feel about losing an election (!), the depth of leftist grief does magnify the essential religiosity they place on politics. Some reflection is in order.[2]

Thomas D. Willliams PH.D. wrote in his article Report: Atheist Millennials Trade Faith for Therapy:

In the absence of God or religious faith, many millennials are seeking meaning for their lives and an explanation of existence through psychological therapy, a new essay suggests.

Writing for Quartz, self-described atheist millennial Elizabeth King argues that for herself and countless colleagues, “therapy is our new church,” while noting that “many millennials grappling with the big questions in life want to work them out on a psychologist’s couch instead of a church pew.”

“Most of the people I know are in therapy,” she states.

The idea of psychology used as a substitute for religion is nothing new. Already in his groundbreaking 1977 book, Psychology as Religion: The Cult of self-Worship, Dr. Paul C. Vitz offered a stinging critique of the selfism that is central to the most popular psychological schools. The narcissism described by Vitz has reached its apex in the millennial generation, and thoughtful observers will find it unsurprising that many millennials would find psychological therapy to be a natural surrogate for religious faith.[3]

  1. Religion among the millenials, Pew Research Center
  2. Millennials Are In Election Hell Because Politics Has Become Their God by Peter Burfeind, The Federalist
  3. Report: Atheist Millennials Trade Faith for Therapy by Thomas D. Willliams PH.D. Breitbart News, 1 Oct 2016