This morning's Des Moines Register, a Gannett newspaper, reprinted a week old story by USAToday reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman on young adults dropping out of church. Oh, the horror!
Anywho here's what Grossman has to say:
Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30 — both evangelical and mainline — who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23, according to the survey by LifeWay Research. And 34% of those said they had not returned, even sporadically, by age 30. That means about one in four Protestant young people have left the church.O.K., I don't know Cathy Lynn Grossman but I assume, and I know this is a word that gets a lot of poeple in trouble, she is a religous reporter, just from glancing at her body of work. So, O.K., she's on the church beat but there's no attempt at objectivity in this reporting, dropping out of church is bad. End of story.
Just over half (51%) of Protestant young people surveyed (both the church dropouts and those who stayed on in church after age 22) saw church members as "caring" or had other positive descriptions, such as "welcoming" (48%) or "authentic" (42%).
Among dropouts, nearly all (97%) cited life changes, such as a move. Most (58%) were unhappy with the people or pastor at church. More than half (52%) had religious, ethical or political reasons for quitting.
Dropouts were more than twice as likely than those who continued attending church to describe church members as judgmental (51% for dropouts, 24% for those who stayed), hypocritical (44% vs. 20%) or insincere (41% vs. 19%)
Unlike reporting about atheists or even Buddhism there's no running over for opinion from "experts" with an opposing view. No one is interviewed who says, "This is a good thing!" No, the thrust of the story seems to be that Protestant Christianity, both mainline, meaning Methodists, Presbyterian etc., and Evangelical, i.e. snake handlers and so forth, in the United States is on the ropes and preachers must do something to stem the rising tide of backsliding and incipient atheism. Or, even worse yet, incipient Catholicism.
Quite frankly I think that young adults liberating themselves from organized religion is a welcome development. Hell, if they want to continue in delusional thinking in the privacy of their own homes that's just fine. If we have to put up with religion let it be disorganized. I mean, once you realize the monkey in the pulpit really doesn't know any more than you do, it's time to go.