How to create an atheist in one easy lesson
The way in which the next generation has been exposed to Christianity this past decade has been toxic to the faith. Christianism isn’t just corrosive of our political order; it is deeply destructive to Christianity itself. Go to any college campus and ask the uncommitted their views of Christianity. What I hear is intolerance, anger, anti-gay prejudice, sexual obsession, and hatred of Islam. How many people Rick Santorum has scared off Christianity for life is beyond reckoning. And the bile directed at gay people has been deeply damaging in getting across to people what Jesus’ message really was: which is, in many cases, almost the opposite of that of his current most prominent representatives in the media.
Some articles are so stunningly clear thinking and incisive they virtually demand nothing but a repost. It’s short, sweet and brilliant and, even if you don’t read the article, at least read these two paragraphs:
Most “nones” have not opted out of religion as such, but have opted out of affiliation with organized religion. Among Christians (the great majority of all survey respondents) there are different reasons for this disaffection. The two authors are very probably correct that broadly speaking, those who are turned off by Evangelicals and conservative Catholics do so because they don’t like the repressive sexual morality of those churches (the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church has not helped).
But the “nones” have also exited from mainline Protestantism, which has been much more accommodating to the liberationist ethic. Here, I think, there has been frustration with what my friend and colleague Thomas Luckmann long ago called “secularization from within”-the stripping away of the transcendent dimensions of the Gospel, and its reduction to conventional good deeds, popular psychotherapy and (mostly left-of-center) political agendas. Put differently: My hypothesis implies that some “nones” are put off by churches that preach a repressive morality, some others by churches whose message is mainly secular.
In short: Christendom has finally figured out there is a problem and people are leaving. We didn’t ask what the problem was, we didn’t even think it through. The conservatives just judged everyone even more forcefully (Because that is what they always did) and the liberals just watered down the message of the Gospel even more (Because that is what they always did).
Stunning if you think about it. The logical response to the utter failure of a system is, apparently, to work the system harder.
Neither even bothered to check in with the radical revolutionary that was (And still is) the Jesus that threatened every system He ever met…