A new national survey shows that an overwhelming majority of Millennials (18-34 year-olds) support religious and other social freedoms. A surprising result in light of the constant protesting and other outrages young Americans seem determined to perpetrate on the rest of us trying to live our lives.
The survey found that 93 percent of Millennials support religious freedom and nearly the same number (92 percent) support free speech. Not what you’d expect if one looks at the news.
“The media keeps showing us images of violent protests on college campuses, young Americans being angry and disruptive, but the truth is that millennials support religious and social freedoms more than non-millennials,” said Roger Ream, President, The Fund for American Studies (TFAS). “There’s a vast, silent majority of millennials who embrace these freedoms and those are the young men and women we are seeing in our programs.”
The survey was conducted by The Fund for American Studies as a part of its Support for Freedom Index which is the first of its scope to measure “how Americans define freedom and whether they generally support “more” or “less” government interference in their daily lives.”
The study also found that Millennials diverge from older generations in how they value liberty over security. Nearly 60 percent of Millennials would prefer liberty to security (40 percent). Their Baby Boomer parents, on the other hand, split nearly even in their support of liberty (51%) and security (49%).
Millennials are the best current indicator for how future policy will likely shape up in coming decades.
Of course, these numbers might simply indicate that as young people, who tend to be more left and move right as they get older, Millennials are simply like the young adults before them. The study found that political party affiliation also largely predicted whether or not liberty was valued over security:
- Republicans support security (57%) over liberty (43%)
- Democrats support liberty (64%) over security (36%)
- Independents support security (60%) over liberty (40%)
Will Millennials start to favor security as they begin to have families, something they are putting off until their 30’s in greater numbers? In all likelihood, yes.
What the study also found that is of interest is the divergence between Republicans and conservatives within their party:
Additionally, further distinctions at the ideological level within the Republican party were found. When asked to choose between individual liberty and concerns about security, conservatives split evenly between their support for liberty (51%) and security (49%). Republicans fall more in the camp of “more government” that ensures national security. Conservatives fall primarily in the camp of “less government” that promotes liberty.
Republicans are for bigger government? There’s a (not really) stunner.
Regardless of those unshocking revelations, the survey does give some hope that my fellow Millennials aren’t as anti-free speech and religious liberty as they seem on a regular basis. It just shows that there is a loud contingent of those who are that are being attributed as indicative of the whole. One can hope anyway.