“Why are young people moving from religious to non-religious?”
I read articles on a regular that talk about how religion is losing it’s place in American society. Everyone has their viewpoint on why, but there isn’t just one reason. But this topic is why are the young generations moving away from it at such a rapid pace? Even a community as deeply rooted as the African American community, there still seems to be this disconnect. I have a number of reasons I can think of just off the top of my head. Lose of religious belief comes from: the information age, religion’s grip on society, and the willingness to always expect forgiveness.
The information age has played a large role in the decline of religion. In our parents generation they knew little. But the fact that we know more makes us curious about things that are readily available. Things that we were taught are not possible are really possible. Meaning, our parents would tell us, keep living life you’ll see. But with so much information readily available, we don’t have to wait until we get their age. We get it all now, what took them into their middle age to get, with the click of a button, we can grasp hold of everything that took them decades to learn. So we feel and think old in our youth. Which forces us to now ask questions about beliefs that contradict each other. Contradictions can really effect religion because the more contradictions the more it seems less deity and more man driven.
But it’s not all information, what about the role it has in the control of our lives. I remember when Kim Davis, city clerk refused to issue a marital license for a gay couple because she said them getting married was against her belief. But the idea that a woman don’t have to fact check with you before making a decision concerning your life is troubling. A young demographic says fine, believe what you want, but interfering with others lives is problematic. But there is some fear in people like Kim Davis that was exposing. Because for one, the Confederate flag flies in Kentucky. I highly doubt that’s of Christian sentiment. But also, she exposed her own doubt. Because if her belief was real you don’t intervene, let God deal with it. What she fears is the idea that everything she believed was a lie. She was raised that’s not possible. So seeing that’s possible puts her faith in question. And that’s why people want control because you don’t want your faith in question by your own self.
But a lot of people say love and forgive her. Which brings me to my next theory which is the forgiveness. Is there ever a time to not forgive? Are we expected to say let God deal with it all the time? The expectations to constantly say, “I forgive you, I forgive you,” has become way too expected. The police officer in the shooting death of South Carolina man Walter Scott was caught up in a mistrial. But he was on tape clearing killing Walter, an unarmed man. But Walter’s mom came on TV and spoke God and the Bible. Some loved it, but there was an age push back. Because young Blacks were not as forgiving. The idea that someone can take a life and nothing, you just wake up each day and deal has become seen as irrational.
In the end, whether you agree with why it’s declining, it’s rapidly going away. Especially as science gets better and better. Religion is regional in its creation (meaning the stories are of the region of their time) and constant, but the world changes; and man gets smarter. The smarter we get the more irrational religion becomes. But there is a passage that is interesting about such changes in the bible. “He who increases knowledge, increases sorrow on the land.” The smarter we become the more religion disappears, but the more we become slaves to a new vulnerability.