Is atheism a trend?


Jacob Mendez

MCHS Senior Giovanni Santana

The earliest settlers in America came here seeking freedom to practice their own religion without the threat of being imprisoned or murdered. However, in recent times there has been an influx of those who identify as atheist, agnostic, or non-affiliated, which is a trend that has made itself apparent here at Middle College High School. Religion has become an afterthought in the minds of some youth, even with those who align themselves with one.

69 Middle College High School students took a poll which asked them about their beliefs and views on atheism. From the poll, 59 students believe that atheism is becoming more common. In “Way More Americans May Be Atheists Than We Thought,” by Daniel Cox, a FiveThirtyEight reporter, it is stated that “60 percent of Americans report knowing an atheist. Ten years ago, less than half the public reported knowing an atheist.” It is becoming more common for people to know an atheist, and 63 students who took the poll know people who identify as atheist. Americans can see atheism becoming more common, and at MCHS various students agree and some even identify as so.

Junior Jair Mendez, a Christian who regularly practices his religion, believes that atheism is increasing in popularity. “Most people that I know from school are atheists,” Mendez said, “I only know a few that are actually religious.” However, this does not mean that there are not people who are religious. Mendez stated, “I still see people going out and talking about it,” but he does not “see it as much as before.” Mendez believes one reason why more and more people are turning down religion is because “people usually think religion comes with restrictions, and they don’t like that.” It is maybe that those restrictions are part of the reason why many are leaning towards a secular life instead.

Out of 69 MCHS students, 42% know at least one person who identifies as an atheist.

Religion seems to be slowly declining and junior Karen Alegria, who is Catholic, agrees. Alegria was brought into the Catholic religion as a child but was not forced by her parents. Now, she has been involved in her church for quite a while. Growing up and being exposed to more people, she believes that atheism is on the rise. “Personally, I know like five [atheists],” Alegria said. Her view on the spread of religion is that “people don’t see the point in religion anymore.”

85.5% of MCHS students who took the poll believe that atheism is becoming more popular.

Senior Giovanni Santana stated that throughout his life he has been influenced to be religious by his mother and youth groups that his younger sister has been involved in. Santana does not attend church regularly, but his family are regular churchgoers and take their faith seriously. His grandmother always attends church and prays every single night before bed. Santana said, “I believe church is important to some people who need it because for them that is the key to their happiness, but I believe that now churches are just for making money.” Santana states that he believes that it has become much more acceptable for people to not be religious at all or to not care about religion in present day. People are more skeptical now because they need to see something to believe it. Santana also states that people who are older may become more religious because they are closer to death and therefore are searching for some kind of security. Santana said, “People don’t really care anymore. Entertainment is now the biggest thing. People do not need the church for anything anymore.”