Father linked to a good article this morning from, of all places, my conservative hometown paper. The article discusses the implication for a society that is less religious than ever, and only becoming more so:
The decline in religiosity is especially telling. When one considers how theistic beliefs typically are passed down from generation to generation, the fact that so many are now opting to break this cycle indicates monumental change.
How will this play out for our society during the years ahead?
In politics, it might result in diminishing returns for the the conservative movement. This could potentially cause a seismic shift in our country’s right-wing sphere, and allow for fiscal and national security issues to overtake social ones.
On a broader scale, less religion may cause various charities and social welfare organizations to secularize. It might also spark an interest in non-theistic philosophy; classical and contemporary alike. Perhaps instead of a church on every corner, the future will boast neighborhood intellectual salons.
But I mostly want to post this so I can include my dad’s reaction:
There are several reasons for this. The politicization of religion is one of the big reasons, starting when fundamentalist religion got married to the Republican party back in the halcyon days of Robertson/Falwell. Worked very well for them for quite some time but now is jumping up to bite them. Bottom line, many of the younger generation despise right wing politics, and losing them politically has resulted in also losing them religiously.Gay rights is another big item. In today’s world, most younger people are personally acquainted with gay people, and know darned good and well there isn’t any “gay agenda”, that gays are zero threat to the country, that homosexuality isn’t a “choice”, and that allowing them civil marriage or to die for their country in the military hurts no one. Denying CIVIL MARRIAGE to gay people is nothing but institutionalized bigotry, and the youth of today recognize institutionalized bigotry as evil.
Another reason is the anti-intellectualism of fundamentalist religion. The assault on science by the Christian right has played out and the Christian right has lost. Too many people understand that every bit of progress in the real world has been based on science and knowledge, not on faith. Evolution is evidence supported fact. The modernity of the 21st century is here despite those who want to drag it back to the Dark Ages when the church and the government were one.
Another big reason for the exodus from religion is misogyny. Large numbers of women have decided they don’t want to be subservient second class citizens or congregation members where they shall not raise their voice nor instruct a male. Many women are fed up with the prevalent religion based patriarchal male dominated culture in the US, and feel that the only way to claim their equality is outside of religion.
He’s 100% correct.