An article from the CS Monitor on a study of religious & spiritual beliefs among 100,000 college freshmen. Not too much meat to the article, really, but here are the relevant statistics:
• "Religious commitment" (following religious teachings in everyday life and gaining strength by trusting in a higher power): Forty-seven percent of African-Americans scored high on this scale, compared with 25 percent of whites, 23 percent of Latinos, and 22 percent of Asian Americans.
• "Spiritual quest" (interest in finding answers to the mysteries of life and developing a meaningful philosophy of life): African-Americans scored the highest on this (36 percent), with other groups ranging from 23 to 34 percent.
• "Ethic of caring" (commitment to helping others in difficulty and making the world a better place): Twenty-five percent of African-Americans scored high, versus 13 percent of students overall.
These issues are clearly breaking along racial/ethnic lines and the researchers also saw a significant difference between males & females - 30% of women vs 21% of men for "religious commitment" and 20% vs 10% on "ethic of caring."
Less than 30% of college freshmen have any committment to religious teaching which, of course, tends to be moral in nature, which is probably why the "ethic of caring" scores were so low. The question in my mind, given my recent stint as a youth pastor, is what the hell is the church doing wrong? We're obviously failing and failing badly - why?