Dueling young columnists discussed the rise of atheism among millenials Sunday morning on CNN.
Rachel Evans, an evangelical blogger, attributed the number of millenials abandoning the church to a loss of connection to the traditional religious values of service and spiritual connection, and not superficial questions of style. "I think there's this assumption among a lot of Christian leaders that, you know, if we bring in some hipper worship bands and a coffee shop in the fellowship hall and maybe a pastor who wears skinny jeans young adults will come flocking back to the church," she said. "Clearly, that's not happening."
But Hemant Mehta, author of The Young Atheist's Survival Guide and editor of FriendlyAtheist.com, connected the rise of modern atheism to the increasingly-obvious problem of squaring religious belief with modern scientific reason and social ethics.
"Not all the millenials who are leaving church are necessarily flocking to atheism. But if you ask young people, if you ask millenials what comes to mind when they think of Christianity, when they think of the church, they will tell you it's anti-gay, anti-doubt, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-sex education," Mehta said. "We all know what the church is against, and we really don't care what the church is for when you have that much baggage."
Watch the discussion here.