"In God We Trust"
"In God We Trust." This acclaimed phrase has been branded onto American currency, which quietly promotes religion unto all members of society. This statement suggests that all residents of America must put their faith into God in order to feel safe. It is a proclamation that has individuals secure their lives into the hands of God, but do all citizens want to invest their trust into a higher power that may not exist? This separation of religion and society can be defined as atheism, which is a religious status whose goal is to have the ability to disassociate oneself from categorical religions without being judged as an outsider for not believing in God. Atheism has been frowned upon by past generations for its opposition of traditional religious values. Robert Sherman, an expert in the field of atheism, stated that "atheism contrasts these values because it does not have prescribed rituals or a specific book that stipulates how people should live their lives." Through this contrast between conventional American principles and recent innovation in society, atheism has gained popularity through the Millennial Generation's increasing lack of religious belief. Millennials have experienced an 18% drop in seeing religion as a positive effect in society since 2010 (Fingerhut), and have shown more belief in every aspect of society, except for religion in comparison to all other generations (Fingerhut). According to a survey done by Pew Research Center, "...only about half of Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty..." (Alper). So why has religious influence and participation decreased in the Millennial Generation? The Millennial Generation has become less religious due to the increase in knowledge about the world, the rise in popular culture values in society, and the corruption of people’s perception of religion.