Baby boomers have been known for a lot of things, but religious observance is not especially one of them. As they began to come of age in the tumult that was the 60s, many boomers were more likely to have a copy of “Steal This Book” shoved into the ripped back pocket of their jeans than the Good Book. “Just as the boomers’ parents had been largely responsible for the postwar surge on religiosity, the boomers themselves were largely responsible for the collapse in religiosity two decades later,” notes “American Grace,” a book about American religious practices.
But over time, even members of a generation of iconoclasts, or self-styled ones, might one morning come to find themselves in the kind of a place where icons are revered, not smashed.
Academics and pastors alike have long known that as people get older, they tend to become more religious, and it turns out that boomers are no exception. A survey conducted by Gallup in 2010 found that people ages 50 to 64 were more likely to say they frequently went to church, temple or mosque than those 18 to 29 did. The figures were 43 percent versus 35 percent, and for the group containing the oldest segment of the baby boom population – 65 and up – the figure was 53 percent.