Somehow I missed that UVU (just a few blocks from work) was having a religious liberty symposium this week and a Mormon studies conference. The symposium included some big names like columnist Ross Douthat. Alas work would have kept me from going anyway. But I am sad to miss it as some of the talks sounded quite interesting.
I really need to make it more of a point to get out to some of these things – especially when they are so close by.
On of the papers that interested me the most was one by David Campbell and Quin Monson on changes among millennial Mormons. According to the Daily Herald this young generation of Mormons is bucking national trends by becoming more not less Republican. In this I think it follows trends for Mormons overall who have surprisingly been becoming more Republican. So Pew recently had Mormons going from 65% R to 71% R even though political ideology remains unchanged. I’d note that Mormon Republicans do seem to differ in many key ways from the stereotype of Repbulicans in the press.
Data I wish I had that I’m sure is out there somewhere is how Mormon millennials compare to national people of their age along many trajectories. It seems clear that the national shift with each generation towards the Nones is affecting Mormons as well. Yet in many ways young Mormons in their 20s seem to buck trends – especially among educated Mormons. So, for instance, of college students who self-identify as religious 8.1% were Mormon. This means Mormons made up 2.6% of students well above the 1.6 – 2% most polls place us at nationally.