A lot of people go to church, not because they believe all the religious nonsense, but because they enjoy the community.
Why do they love the community? Because, among other things, it’s a great place to meet someone to date… and possibly marry.
And what happens when the Internet comes along with JDate and Match and OkCupid and all the other dating sites? You meet a mate online instead.
And what happens when you meet a mate online? All those people who went to church simply to find a spouse stop going to church.
That’s what Noah Millman suspects might be happening:
How many young people don’t go to church or synagogue because there’s no reason to go there to meet marital prospects? And once that dynamic starts, it inevitably accelerates, as the residual group who does show up is increasingly untenable romantically (because they are there for other reasons — or can’t find an “adequate” mate digitally).
I don’t know if I buy the second part to that, but the first part makes a lot of sense. One of the biggest benefits to being part of a church community was having access to lots of other single people with whom you shared at least one important thing in common. Now that there are (legitimate) alternative ways to meet people you might connect with, it’s another nail in religion’s coffin.
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