From The American Conservative by Carmel Richardson
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to us that the Washington Post publishes opinions on the future of the Church in America written by non-Christians. When contributing columnist Brian Broome last week described leaving Christianity and predicting the continued decline of church attendance in America, serious Christians did not take him seriously.
Still, it is true that church attendance is declining. Perhaps it is also true that the downward trend will continue. You may have read that this is so because young Americans are less religious than previous generations. That’s a bit like saying there are fewer Irish mothers because Irish wives are having fewer babies. In other words, it’s obvious. The question is: Why are young Americans less religious?
But the premises of this question are wrong, I think. Americans are not less religious than previous generations, they are merely adherents to new religions: secularism, science, self. These are not the sort you’d find in a religious poll, but they are ways of viewing the world that are adhered to with as much fervor as some forms of Christianity.
These new religions require less of a person. They offer much in exchange for little: a lifetime of success, acclaim, happiness. They promise the satisfaction of every bodily desire, and the freedom to chase any new ones at will. Their demand? Renounce the old creeds and anything that reeks of tradition—submit to the demands of the broader culture around you—and you’re good. These religions demand confessions, yes, but not that worst-of-all-curses, apostasy from enlightened circles.