Boomers may have been the most destructive generation in history, but Gen X were the worst parents.
For years, religious scholars and observers have argued that the decline in American religious life is explained by other factors or isn’t important: it’s because this generation is still young; this generation just doesn’t like institutions; Americans are just as likely to believe in God and pray; more young Americans are now spiritual instead; the changes are small. The most recent survey data, which you’ve seen here, knock down every one of those explanations: it’s not age, because Boomers and GenX’ers were perfectly happy to be religious when they were young; iGen is less religious even in beliefs that don’t require religious institutions; fewer Americans now believe in God or pray; fewer, not more, young adults are spiritual; the number who do not participate in religion has doubled. iGen’ers are less religious and less spiritual, publicly and privately, and strikingly different from previous generations when they were young. The move away from religion is no longer piecemeal, small, or uncertain; it is large and definitive. More young Americans are thoroughly secular, disconnecting completely from religion, spirituality, and the larger questions of life. These complete nonbelievers are still a minority, but their numbers have swelled significantly in a very short period of time. More iGen’ers than any other living generation are unconnected to religion.
Twenge, Jean M.. iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us . Atria Books. Kindle Edition.
I warned you chapter five was worse. Brace yourself for some black pills.
Face it, you’ve been had. There are a lot of people on the right who think it’s a good idea to gaslight their own side to meme victory into existence, like a Stuart Smalley affirmation. It’s a lie they wanted to tell you for your own good and you fell for it because you wanted it to be true.
To actually believe in the Generation Zyklon meme you’d have to be a cosmopolitan elite, a shut-in NEET with the windows painted black, or a Gen X parent who’d rather send their kids to fight a war than get off their asses, put on their black leather trenchcoats, go outside, and actually do something. Well I got news for you Gen Xers out there, if you don’t want to take your kids to church Jordan Peterson will be happy to do it for you, and charge them $500 per head too.
Will any religions survive? Evangelical churches have not lost as many members over the last few decades as other Christian denominations have. That might be because they’ve recognized that iGen’ers and Millennials want religion to complete them—to strengthen their relationships and give them a sense of purpose. Some of those churches will begin to loosen their views on premarital sex, same-sex marriage, and transgender individuals as their acceptance becomes more mainstream, even among religious people. Religion will survive, but it will be a flexible, open, equal religion that gives people a sense of belonging and meaning and that reaches less than half of Americans. It is unclear where iGen’ers will find community interaction to replace religion. Perhaps they won’t find it at all, content to rely on their social media network, with deleterious impacts on their mental health. Or perhaps iGen’ers will affiliate with others who share their interests rather than building community through religion. Either way, the structure of American community will fundamentally change.
I genuinely can’t wait to see how the new Manicheans out there manage to conclude WINNARZ from this. The way they talk about Christianity waxing and waning in cycles, you’d think they were actually talking about Astrology or something.