Plenty of studies have shown that young people are disillusioned with Christianity and choosing to leave it behind in adulthood. The latest person to confirm that phenomenon is former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
During a recent episode of her podcast “You and Me Both,” while speaking with progressive leader and pastor Rev. William J. Barber II, Clinton said that the church was perceived as judgmental and, therefore, off-putting for many people.
… a lot of people are leaving the church. A lot of young people are leaving the church, in part because the way they understand what Christianity has become is, you know, so judgmental, so alienating that they think to themselves, well, I don’t need that. I don’t want to be part of that. So this should also be a time for the church to take a hard look at itself and try to figure out how it can be a real partner in this moment of moral awakening.
She also agreed that Jesus and justice should be synonymous (echoing what Barber had said), claimed that “Black Lives Matter…[is] a theological statement,” and that there is a “concerted effort by one political party to basically try to own Christianity.”
Love her or hate her, she’s got a point. A few of them, actually.
Of course not all strands of Christianity are like this, but the kind that sold its collective soul to the Trump administration is definitely trying to “own” the religion, as Clinton put it. In this uniquely American brand of conservative Christianity, if you’re not a Republican, then you’re not truly “saved.” If you don’t think the Bible is perfectly clear about homosexuality being a mortal sin, you don’t get a seat at their table. If you care about social justice, whether that involves supporting Black Lives Matter (or even just saying it) or wearing a face mask in the middle of a pandemic, then you’re a Socialist.
It’s no wonder that young people, who see progressive religious leaders and secular politicians fighting for the very things Jesus spoke about, are rejecting it. Plenty of older adults are, too.
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