Another article about religious demographics, another sign that we’re heading in the right direction:
As recently as 1990, all but 7% of Americans claimed a religious affiliation, a figure that had held constant for decades. Today, 17% of Americans say they have no religion, and these new “nones” are very heavily concentrated among Americans who have come of age since 1990. Between 25% and 30% of twentysomethings today say they have no religious affiliation — roughly four times higher than in any previous generation.
Wow… nice work,
atheists “nones” under 30!
What’s the reason people are getting away from the Protestant church?
Authors Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell say it’s because of its association with conservative politics.
… in our recent book, “American Grace,” we have extended their analysis, showing that the association between religion and politics (and especially religion’s intolerance of homosexuality) was the single strongest factor in this portentous shift. In religious affinities, as in taste in music and preference for colas, habits formed in early adulthood tend to harden over time. So if more than one-quarter of today’s young people are setting off in adult life with no religious identification, compared with about one-20th of previous generations, the prospects for religious observance in the coming decades are substantially diminished.
When it comes to Christianity’s treatment of homosexuals, I’m not always sure what I want.
Usually, it’s an easy call — I want Christian to accept gay people as they are, without trying to change them, and stop getting in the way of equal rights.
But part of me wants them to keep being intolerant. The more they keep up their bigotry, the easier it is for people to walk away from them.
That’s purely selfish of me, though. For the sake of my gay friends, it’d be much better if anyone claiming to be a Christian did a better job telling other Christians that homosexuality wasn’t a sin, gay people deserve the right to get married, and the church is on the wrong side of this issue.
If they condemned their own church leaders for being bigots and urged others to leave the church as a result, even better.
But I’m not holding out hope that a lot of Christians, even the young ones, will ever get that sort of courage. I know a handful of Christians who are LGBT-friendly and brave enough to speak out publicly on the matter, but they’re a rare breed. They need more Christians to join them.
Even the “non-jerky” Christians seem to have a hard time saying there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality. I’ve talked to two Christians recently who have told me how angry and upset they are about the church’s stance on homosexuality… but when I ask them if they would vote for gay marriage, they go silent.
But if there’s any silver lining to that, people are leaving the churches in droves.