Andrew Price
Andrew Price

The AP Government students of Van Wert High School will be submitting a weekly editorial to inform the public on a variety of issues. They have been encouraged to research, take a position, and defend their reasoning for having such thoughts. The purpose of these editorials is to provide awareness and knowledge for the community and to be thought provoking. The views expressed in these editorials do not represent Van Wert High School, and are written solely by the student author.

Nihilism, or the belief in nothing, refers usually to atheistic thoughts and ideas. Our country for some time now has been making a trend towards these thoughts. Currently the fastest growing religious affiliation is no religious affiliation.

What has drawn the populous of this country away from their churches and into their science books for the answers to the universe? Based off of polls, many suspect that this isn’t actually what is happening. Yes, numbers are changing, but it isn’t that more people are moving in the scientific direction; rather, it is that atheists, agnostics, secularists, and so on, are now willing to openly identify as such. In the past, such people were vilified or given a default label for those with “Lost faith.” They now are a respectable alternative belief to the religious institutions of the modern day.

A more interesting rise, however, is the fervor with which this new generation identifies itself as non-believing. The most vehement opposition to the religious institutions comes from areas where these groups are the strongest, namely in the deep south, and the “Bible belt.”

Something unprecedented just 15 years ago is happening today: atheist, humanist, agnostic, and other non-believing groups have begun to emerge in our high schools; ironically, as a result to a Supreme Court decision fought over the rights of Christian groups forming in public schools, Westside Community Schools V. Mergens (1990).

While this case decided that the Christian groups could meet on school grounds it also paved the way for secular groups as well. Most importantly, it allows for students to congregate before or after school to further investigate their beliefs without fear of discrimination or violence.

Regardless of one’s personal position on religion and secular beliefs, it is my hope that ALL would be in favor of peace and toleration.