Kids are wising up

A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that the biggest change in religious affiliation among young people is toward no affiliation at all.

The report contains sobering numbers for Protestant  and Catholic churches. Consider the following statistics:

  • Only 11% of college-age “Millenials” were religiously unaffiliated at childhood. Today, 25% of college-age Millenials are unaffiliated.
  • Only 23% believe that the Bible is the word of God, and should be taken literally.
  • Only 26% believe that the Bible is the word of God, and should not be taken literally.
  • 37% believe that the Bible is not the word of God.
  • 54% believe that abortion should be legal in some or all cases.
  • 59% believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry members of the same sex.
  • 64% believe that Christianity is “anti-gay”.
  • 62% believe that Christianity is “judgmental”.

A summary of other stats in the report can be found here.

In short, the report is a nightmare for the conservative religious movement in America. If these trends continue, this movement will become progressively smaller and more marginalized. (Suffice it to say, no tears are being shed here.)

It seems, then, that if Christianity wishes to sustain itself into the next few generations, it has some serious rethinking to do. I look forward to seeing what it comes up with.

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4 Responses to Kids are wising up

  1. What you may not be aware of is that the bible has already foretold us of the “falling away,” or apostasy of the once faithful. The bible has told us that toward the end of the age men will only listen to false teachings and doctrine that “tickles the ears” or says what they want to hear. All these things must come to pass before the return of Christ, and they are occurring as you have clearly demonstrated with your stats in this post. You think this is a good thing and it will be…for those who are ready to meet Jesus, it is. For the rest…I don’t think so.

  2. Keith says:

    Christian doctrine also “tickles the ears” of its believers, and tells them what they want to hear. So much so, in fact, that they turn a blind eye to the lack of evidence for their beliefs.

  3. Actually Christian doctrine doesn’t do anything of the kind, in terms of the whole of the bible, that is.

    Christian doctrine describes a true hell for those who reject the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That isn’t anything that anyone who truly loves would desire for even their worst enemy. Christian doctrine describes a holy god who is getting fed up and at the end of His holy patience.

    Revelation describes the consequences of real human nature for mankind. This is who we are at our most base level. Few know the realities of this, but we can get in touch with it by watching the daily evening news on our televisions or simply browsing on our ‘puters.

    Christian doctrine does not tell us what we want to hear. The last thing I want to hear is to love my enemy, whom I would prefer to destroy, physically, emotionally, and in every way. Instead I’m instructed to “love” them, to forgive over and over again, and a host of other extremely difficult things to do…

    I think you’re really mistaken in this comment, this time, Keith. 😉

  4. Keith says:

    Warrioress:

    “Christian doctrine describes a true hell for those who reject the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That isn’t anything that anyone who truly loves would desire for even their worst enemy.”

    It is also isn’t something that anyone who truly loves would create in the first place.

    What type of god creates a place of eternal torment for those who commit no worse crime than refusing to enslave themselves to him?

    “Christian doctrine does not tell us what we want to hear. The last thing I want to hear is …”

    OK, but you’re leaving out all the things most people *do* want to hear: that they’re not really going to die, or that they’re going to see lost loved ones again. Or that they’re going to exist in a beautiful paradise for all eternity. Or that there is going to be some sort of cosmic justice meted out to those who have gotten away with earthly crimes.

    There are plenty of sweet-sounding promises that Christianity makes to its believers, all in the name of making life on earth seem less frightening and less random.

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