Merry Christmas From The Takeaway!

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Many of our listeners are spending Christmas day with family and friends, using this religious holiday a time for gift-giving and for reflection on their spiritual lives.

Earlier this year though, A Pew Foundation study suggested that Generation Y might not be celebrating a very Christian Christmas; they’re becoming less religious than their parents, with 1 in 4 claiming no religious affiliation.

The Takeaway is joining in on the spiritual conversation. Today on our program we look back on stories we’ve aired of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian millennials who are keeping, or losing their faith.

We start off by talking to American Jews who identify as Jewish in name but not necessarily in practice. Adam Chandler grew up in a reform Jewish household in Houston and is secular, Sarah Seltzer, is a self-proclaimed atheist but works for the National Council for Jewish Women, and Michael Yashinsky, was raised by a conservative Jewish family in Detroit and is now paving his own secular and religious path.

Then we move to three young first generation Muslim-Americans. Tasneem, an Afghan American, Kamran, South Asian-American, and Zahra Noorbakhsh, an Iranian-American who wrote the one woman show “All Atheists are Muslim” all take different approaches to their parents’ traditions.

We also speak to millennials with no religion. Emily Peterson from Boston, Daniel Munoz from Texas, and Amber van Natten, conservative Christian turned atheist from New York City give us insight into their godless, but not necessarily tradition-less worlds.

So are America’s puritanical roots dying out for good? Dante Chinni, director of the American Communities Project, and Krista Tippett, the host of the public radio program “On Being,” offer some outside perspective on our changing religious tides.

Finally, how do religious leaders feel about this shift? For answers, we turn to Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk of the Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Ohio; Pastor Dennis Baril of the Community Covenant Church in Massachusetts; and Imam Mustafa Umar with the Islamic Institute of Orange County, CA.