Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Religious Right Has Given Christianity a Bad Name

Diana Butler Bass, in her new book Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening , has a succinct paragraph about the effect that the religious right has had on Christianity in America:

There was ample evidence that young adults -- even evangelical ones -- now understood "Christian" to be coterminous with "religious Right" and were leaving churches because of it. In 1985, 26 percent of young adults under twenty-nine claimed to be evangelicals; that number now hovers around 15 percent, while the number of "nones" under twenty-nine has risen from 12 percent to nearly 30 percent. Indeed, most evangelical loss stems from the defection of young people, who increasingly identify Christianity (not just evangelical religion, but Christianity as a whole) as antihomosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, out of touch with reality, overly politicized, insensitive, exclusive, and dull. The old religious Right may have won some cherished political battles, but in the war over the hearts of their youth they surely lost more than they gained. And for American public opinion, conservative evangelical politics may have been the worst marketing campaign for the word "Christian" since the Salem witch trials.

1 comment:

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Amen, I don't think they realize the damage they have done. Political evangelicals look at the decreasing interest that young people have for Christianity as evidence that their (of the political evangelicals) efforts need to be redoubled.