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July 27th, 2013
08:33 AM ET

Why millennials are leaving the church

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

(CNN) - At 32, I barely qualify as a millennial.

I wrote my first essay with a pen and paper, but by the time I graduated from college, I owned a cell phone and used Google as a verb.

I still remember the home phone numbers of my old high school friends, but don’t ask me to recite my husband’s without checking my contacts first.

I own mix tapes that include selections from Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but I’ve never planned a trip without Travelocity.

Despite having one foot in Generation X, I tend to identify most strongly with the attitudes and the ethos of the millennial generation, and because of this, I’m often asked to speak to my fellow evangelical leaders about why millennials are leaving the church.

Armed with the latest surveys, along with personal testimonies from friends and readers, I explain how young adults perceive evangelical Christianity to be too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

I point to research that shows young evangelicals often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness.

I talk about how the evangelical obsession with sex can make Christian living seem like little more than sticking to a list of rules, and how millennials long for faith communities in which they are safe asking tough questions and wrestling with doubt.

Invariably, after I’ve finished my presentation and opened the floor to questions, a pastor raises his hand and says, “So what you’re saying is we need hipper worship bands. …”

And I proceed to bang my head against the podium.

Time and again, the assumption among Christian leaders, and evangelical leaders in particular, is that the key to drawing twenty-somethings back to church is simply to make a few style updates - edgier music, more casual services, a coffee shop in the fellowship hall, a pastor who wears skinny jeans, an updated Web site that includes online giving.

But here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances.

In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular.

Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions - Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. - precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.

What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.

We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.

We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.

We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.

We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.

We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.

You can’t hand us a latte and then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around. We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.

Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus.

Now these trends are obviously true not only for millennials but also for many folks from other generations. Whenever I write about this topic, I hear from forty-somethings and grandmothers, Generation Xers and retirees, who send me messages in all caps that read “ME TOO!” So I don’t want to portray the divide as wider than it is.

But I would encourage church leaders eager to win millennials back to sit down and really talk with them about what they’re looking for and what they would like to contribute to a faith community.

Their answers might surprise you.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Opinion

soundoff (9,864 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Most of what you're saying isn't really new as I think you point out. In fact, A.W. Tozier from the 60's would probably agree as I do. In fact, I don't believe your ideas are generational at all, but rather based on time in the church, not time on the earth. Part of what I hear you saying falls into what Tozier would say, which is we seem to more concerned with what separate us instead of what unites us and more about being theologians rather than being saints. God calls us to be like Christ (to be saints). So while I love a good discussion on whether or not we should sprinkle or dunk, but bottom line is are you sharing the good news gospels with the world around you. Great soul-searching article and great writing - thanks for sharing.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Jayne

      Read her other essays. She is a very devout Christian.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
  2. jonp

    You don't need to the church to have a relationship with god. Faith is and should be a personal matter.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • John

      I would disagree with it being priviate:
      "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" Mark 8 38

      July 27, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
      • Burzghash

        Glad you brought that up. Because like most things in the bible and the religion, it contradicts itself on several points, this being one of them.

        "And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly." – Matthew 6:5

        July 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
        • John

          Yeah that deal with praying but in no way is the lord specifying that you should be ashamed of me which means shying away from speaking of him. There is a difference between praying and being proud and vocal about your love for God

          July 28, 2013 at 7:08 am |
  3. kenny

    religion is a fairy tale system of beliefs that promises something that has no basis in logic or reality. Follow these rules and you get to live forever... who wouldn't take that deal... if it were true. Anyone with half a brain and knowledge of the world and history can't believe they hypocrisy and complete b s that makes up religion and the thousand year old books they are based on. The simple logical explanation is that religions were created by men to control other men. The rich and powerful have used religion to control people since religions were invented. The reason soooo many people choose to believe is because they can't fathom not existing when they die. It's probably the scariest thought I can think of. Where do people go when they die.... no where... their brain is who they are and when it dies they die... its sad but simple.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
  4. MLS

    One of Jesus's beautiful teaching is to love and serve the bride of Christ, which is the church.

    I hate that people see so much ugliness in the church, but you get a bunch of sinners (which we all are) in a room and there's going to be ugliness. But how refreshing to be apart of a church that says, "At some point I will disappoint someone, we are all sinners and this is a fallen world. But walk in here and feel loved and safe because trust me, you are not alone!" My church welcomes "messes, ugliness and those who aren't perfect".

    My favorite saying, "It's okay to not be okay, it's not okay to stay that way. "

    July 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "I hate that people see so much ugliness in the church"

      I, contrarily, hate that there IS so much ugliness in the church.

      July 27, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  5. John

    Did some people even read the entire article? This article is not about millennials leaving the church because they do not believe. "We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.". I think a lot of people are just using the article headline to spread their disapproval and hatred for religion in general. What lengths some people will go to, to try and separate people from God. And why do they do it boggles the mind.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Jayne

      I don't think many people did, otherwise they would have gotten RHE's point that it's not Christ's message that is being questioned, but all of the extraneous baloney peddled with some churches.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  6. Brother Maynard

    Good Job Millenials !!!
    You understand that you can never be alive until you reject the fantasy that is belief.
    Now we just have to get the Gen Xer's, Gen Yer's, the Me generation and the baby boomers in line

    July 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • John

      This article was not about the rejection of a belief "We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.". Why do people not read the entire article?

      July 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  7. Qwert

    CNN keeps advancing its atheist propaganda every day...

    July 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Duggerdog

      Yes, and it's about time we stop promoting ancient beliefs and move forward. It's because of science that we have progressed, not religion. Think about it. Religion moves us backwards, but science allows us to progress and live better.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Jayne

      You didn't read past the headline, did you, Qwert? This whole essay isn't about atheism at ALL.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Thank you for demonstrating conclusively that there are trolls out there who will accuse CNN of promoting atheism even when they run a blatantly evangelical essay from a devout Christian propagandist — a woman who lived an entire year slavishly following every commandment the Bible imposed on women — yes, even the nasty and crazy ones. You have shown beyond question that mere facts are utterly irrelevant to your prejudices.

      July 27, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
  8. MLS

    Not every church, christian or follower of Christ believes or acts the way you describe them in your article. However, sadly their are some that do. In every single "group" around the world there are members who try and push their own agenda, there are extremist or those who just do not get it. Any group or organization, not just religious ones.

    I do encourage "millennials" to not look at your relationship with Jesus or the bible as a buffet. Which is what I believe many people, regardless of age, are doing today. Christ wants your heart, your life and your soul. He doesn't want us to love and praise him with it's convenient for us or when it doesn't interfere with our personal desire, which is what many of us do, including myself.

    A relationship is not about following the rules, and there aren't just "rules" in the Old Testament, that saying is getting so redundant, there are several items Paul and others discuss several things and situations to stay away from, that do not bring glory to God. Jesus asks us to give every part of your life to Him and ask daily, "What do you want?" not "What do you want that won't contradict what I want for myself". Which again, we all do including myself. The difference is true repentance followed by obedience which is what I believe is missing from the new age Christianity.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Duggerdog

      How does one have a relationship with a 2000 year old dead supposed deity? You can't. You make up conversations in your brain and believe you're having a personal relationship with Jesus. This is the modern age, not the ancient and primitive times where people believed in just about anything. Snap out of it.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
      • MLS

        I completely understand! To an outsider looking in it seems ridiculous or crazy. Sometimes I'll be at church and I see everyone worshipping and I think, "How weird this probably looks to someone visiting for the first time", but I can promise you for me it's very real. My Jesus is not dead. He died and rose again. He is very very much alive.

        Again, if you do not believe you don't believe, that's your freedom and choice. Until the Lord reveals himself how can anyone truly believe?

        But I do not push my relationship on anyone. I believe it to be truth and can carry a mature conversation with anyone, believer or not. I'm always up for it!

        I never really respond to articles online, I actually think it's really silly to, but I do read them so I guess I'm silly also. Especially when I see strangers get into fights. It's so odd...

        I do not know you and probably never will, but I will be praying for you. That you can see the same truths I see.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
        • RichardSRussell

          If Jesus is very much alive, what's his e-mail address? I've got a coupla bones I wanna pick with him.

          You don't know, of course, because you were lying about that part, too.

          July 27, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
        • Name*Mike

          Remember. Jesus saves but Moses invests.

          July 28, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  9. Mark Yelka

    I believe in kindness and happiness. They are choices in my life that are not motivated by religion. Sure, I'm an atheist. But, that just means that evidence matters to me. It is true that religion today, as well as years ago, is mostly defined by one group saying that they are better than others. Equality and Religion are not buddies. So, it is good that there are people today that do not like religion.

    If there is a religion of kindness and happiness where all are welcome and treated equally, no matter orientation, gender, age, political party, race, etc., and where evidence matters, it would be welcomed by atheists.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • AV

      Excellent, I could not agree more!

      July 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • D MURDOCH

      what an idiot

      September 17, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  10. AV

    If you want to "want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers", then that is laudable indeed. But why would you look for this in a church, of all places, with its intrinsic inclination towards authoritarianism and must-believe once-and-for-all answers? Is it not against the very grain of religion per se to "ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers"? Do not religions, per definition, state that all wisdom that humanity can fathom, is written down with finality in their holy book, whichever it happens to be? By contrast, if you "want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers", you understand that wisdom, by definition, can never be captured in a finite set of rules that make up a holy book... or am I missing something here? If so, I would be grateful to know about it.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • DS

      AV, I felt the exact same way as the author about the "predetermined answers" issue, which (among other things) precipitated me leaving my evangelical church nearly 10 yrs ago. While there are *some* clear no-no's and must-do's in the Bible, there are a lot fewer than some Christians would have you believe. I found it exceedingly arrogant that evangelical leaders believed they could decipher the will of God on every issue and topic and boil it down to a rule we must follow or belief we must hold. Ironically, it is the very opposite of the concept of faith and goes against God's declaration that "My ways are higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts." There will always be questions we don't have certain answers to and things we don't understand, but that is part of the faith journey and trusting in God to guide us anyway.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  11. Benny

    Science.

    Gods have been created throughout history to explain what we don't know. Thor was once believed to be the creator of Thunder before meteorology explained the weather. Now that cosmologists are explaining the creation of the Universe so we no longer need to create a God of everything to explain our existence.

    The Millienials are learning more about the world that we live than any other generation so they no longer need the myths created by man to explain what can be explained by science.

    No doubt future generations will look back look at us and muse over our belief of a mythical God of everything. Let's just hope it's sooner rather than later.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Qwert

      There is more to religion than just filling scientific gaps. There is a major gap of ignorance about the meaning of the universe that no scientific discovery will ever be able to fill. Those who claim otherwise are deluded. What this article reveals is that CNN loves bombarding us every single day with "news" of the death of Christianity and they do it out of pure bias. If young people are indeed more unattached to religion, it is not because of any major philosophical reason, but simply because they are too busy playing with ipods and facebook accounts. It's a step back, not forward.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
      • Burzghash

        "There is more to religion than just filling scientific gaps. There is a major gap of ignorance about the meaning of the universe that no scientific discovery will ever be able to fill."

        That, right up there, is nothing more than human ego and ignorance.

        Why would you presume that there even IS a deeper meaning to the universe? On a planet 4.5 billion years old, in a universe 15 billion years old, we have existed for nothing more than a fraction of a second. We are entirely insignificant in the scheme of the universe. If an errant meteor were to come along and crash into us tomorrow, wiping out humanity in its entirety, the universe would be entirely indifferent. It would go on existing, for billions upon billions more years, and the fact that we stopped existing in it would not matter in the slightest.

        But humans, being the egotistical, scared, naked little shivering rats in the dark that we are, need to feel like we're important. That we MEAN something. So we invent stories, and make ourselves out to be more important in the grand scheme of things than we are. We pretend a bronze-age jewish carpenter was a supernatural being, in order to make us feel like there's a bigger plan to it all, that we're far more important and meaningful to the rest of the universe than we actually are.

        And therein lies the danger of religion. It presumes to know for certainty when it really doesn't know anything. Religion, priests, nuns, worshipers. They all know NOTHING. NOBODY knows what happens when we die. How do I know? Because I don't know, and these people don't have any special cognitive abilities that I don't have.

        But at least science has helped us to understand. We crawled out of the dark with it. We've gone to the moon with it. We have planes, computers, dvr's, automobiles, dive equipment, the periodic table, industry. All of these are real, tangible things that science has brought us. All while religion continues to poke around in the dark, pretending it knows things that it doesn't.

        Don't disparage science. It's only because of science that you're here telling audiences of thousands your uninformed opinions, pretending you know more than you really do. I'll leave you with another fact to chew on:

        If tomorrow, the entire sum of human knowledge was wiped out – as in, completely gone, EVERYTHING we've ever known or believed – and we had to completely start over from scratch, one thing would be certain. We would eventually rediscover electricity. We'd eventually rediscover atoms. We'd rediscover chemistry, and engineering, and math, and biology, and evolution, and aeronautics, and all the other sciences.

        But the myth of the talking snake and the apple, would be gone forever.

        July 27, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
        • UncleBenny

          You forgot to point out that this planet we live on, far from being the center of the Universe, is just one little watery rock orbiting an average star in an outer arm of a galaxy of at least 100,000,000,000 stars, a galaxy in a vast cosmos containing at least 100,000,000,000 galaxies, a cosmos so huge that the light that reaches us from the farthest points we can see has traveled over 15,000,000,000 light-years (that's 90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles, roughly one quadrillion times the distance from the Earth to the Sun). And as you say, our brief time on this little dust speck is like a tiny fraction of a second one a 24 hour clock. Our precarious existence in this Cosmos can be frightening, driving us to invent gods who really, really care about us and invest our lives with meaning. Or it can be humbling and exhilarating and empowering, all at the same time, and without the need for gods. Meaning comes from what we ourselves invest in living on this little dust speck.

          July 28, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • Christian

      "There is a major gap of ignorance about the meaning of the universe that no scientific discovery will ever be able to fill."

      Except that it is presumption backed only by personal incredulity to as.sume that the universe even has any inherent "meaning." The reason science doesn't concern itself with the meaning of the universe is that there is no objective evidence that any such thing even exists.

      July 27, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
      • DaveLake

        Impressive comment!

        July 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
  12. Peter Q Wolfe

    What people all around the world are saying is they don't want progress haulted on something we cannot prove. I'm blind and cause of evangelical literalist that federally funded stem cell research was stopped that isn't fair for the future. Another thing to put into consideration is the internet and gap between the wealthy versus the poor like me in the U.S and internationally as well. Seems to me that God is a myth created by the wealthy to exploit the vulnerabilities of the poor for their own benefit.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  13. Locker

    Millennials and Xers are leaving the church or not going in the first place for one simple reason. The internet. Religion used to have a monopoly on information and completely control on what was and was not discussed. Now they can't keep the minds of the young prisoners any more. They learn, they find about about the world, science, other systems of belief. They want to chose for themselves not be indoctrinated by culture or family responsibility. Evangelism? You mean the concept that one person knows what's best for another and should be followed without question? Yea right... like you said... that's WAYYYY over the limit of the BS meter.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  14. allisondoke

    Holy Cow and Amen to everything you say! I've been saying this for years. The church needs to get real. I returned to my mother's Catholic roots because I prefer an introspective view of the world. Stop force-feeding us your political, social, and moral messages. We're smarter than you realize.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Athy

      But not smart enough to recognize the absurdity of religion.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
      • Kenny

        Zing! Got em good lol.

        July 28, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  15. Tuf

    I went for the liturgical escape from evangelicalism, and found it locked away, never touching on the current.

    That led me to Quakerism/Friends. Am quite happy with the decision. Surprised more Gen Y's aren't discovering it.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  16. mrhackman

    I think Rachel understands the millennial Christian, but I do not think she is able to make the leap to understand the non-believer.
    I think there is a larger reason millennials are leaving:
    http://mrhackman.blogspot.com/2013/07/facebook-faith-23-why-millennials-are.html

    July 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  17. Casey

    Where is CNN's story reporting that over a million young people gathered to see the Pope on World Youth Day? No... They would rather print this opinion piece, (i.e. not factual) that says why Millennials are leaving the Church. They give no facts that prove there is a trend where they are leaving the Church... just explores why some are. See how you are being manipulated?

    July 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Casey

      Oh yea... and don't forget the stories showing how people are ANGRY because the Pope had to change his travel plans. "He's hurting businesses!" See how you're being manipulated?

      Another example of the constant CNN bias against religion and faith. Spin the story to show religion in a negative light... and if you can't... ignore the story.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Athy

      Why would I care to read about a million people gathering to see the pope?

      July 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Casey, there are no less than 7 stories, published in this blog in the last couple of weeks, about Pope-A-Dope and his recruiting mission. But oh you poor persecuted christian!

      July 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Nathan

      You didn't bother to read the 62 page in-depth study by the Public Religion Research Insti.tute and the Brookings Insti.tute linked in the article, did you? Or, you can refer to the last Pew poll on Religion & Public Life in America that showed Americans 18-29 self-identified as unaffiliated with religion at a 20% rate in 2010 compared to a 13% rate in the late 1970s and that "Fully one-in-four adults under age 30 (25%) are unaffiliated, describing their religion as "atheist," "agnostic" or "nothing in particular."" Or the Pew report last year that found "The share of all Catholics who say they attend Mass at least once a week has dropped from 47% in 1974 to 24% in 2012; among “strong” Catholics, it has fallen more than 30 points, from 85% in 1974 to 53% last year. "

      July 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
      • Casey

        I am aware of these statistics... they are interesting and say something about our current society... but they don't clearly say "Millennials" are leaving the Church. they may never have never belonged to it... but who knows. I cannot draw a clear conclusion from the data in that regard. The statistics span over a few decades, for an organization that has existed for two thousand years.

        July 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
        • Prolapse

          I agree. There is no problem. Change nothing. Stay in denial. Keep doing what you are doing. Please.

          July 28, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Nathan

      You didn't bother to read the 62 page in-depth study by the Public Religion Research Insti.tute and the Brookings Insti.tute linked in the article, did you? Or, you can refer to the last Pew poll on Religion & Public Life in America that showed Americans 18-29 self-identified as unaffiliated with religion at a 20% rate in 2010 compared to a 13% rate in the late 1970s and that "Fully one-in-four adults under age 30 (25%) are unaffiliated, describing their religion as "atheist," "agnostic" or "nothing in particular."" Or the Pew report last year that found "The share of all Catholics who say they attend Mas.s at least once a week has dropped from 47% in 1974 to 24% in 2012; among “strong” Catholics, it has fallen more than 30 points, from 85% in 1974 to 53% last year. "

      July 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Nathan

      You didn't bother to read the 62 page in-depth study by the Pu blic Religion Research Insti.tute and the Brookings Insti.tute linked in the article, did you? Or, you can refer to the last Pew poll on Religion & Pu blic Life in America that showed Americans 18-29 self-identified as unaffiliated with religion at a 20% rate in 2010 compared to a 13% rate in the late 1970s and that "Fully one-in-four adults under age 30 (25%) are unaffiliated, describing their religion as "atheist," "agnostic" or "nothing in particular."" Or the Pew report last year that found "The share of all Catholics who say they attend Mas.s at least once a week has dropped from 47% in 1974 to 24% in 2012; among “strong” Catholics, it has fallen more than 30 points, from 85% in 1974 to 53% last year. "

      July 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Burzghash

      Everyone loves a good tourist attraction / spectacle.

      Millions more people go to Disney on a daily basis.

      July 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "Where is CNN's story reporting that over a million young people gathered to see the Pope on World Youth Day?"

      On the off chance that this was really a serious question based on your inability or unwillingness to read, and not just an exercise in ignorant CNN-bashing, the literal answer to your question may be found in the #5 entry under "The Latest":
         religion.blogs.cnn(dot)com/2013/07/27/pope-to-brazilian-bishops-you-need-to-get-out-of-the-office/

      July 28, 2013 at 1:48 am |
  18. Right

    Like every generation we long for Jesus? Same goes for Santa Claus and faster than light travel. But unlike other generations we realize that there is no Jesus.

    July 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • NM

      Jesus (or more correctly Joshua) certainly existed. The supernatural nonsense attached to his legacy is the problem.

      July 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
      • RichardSRussell

        I get it. This is the special Christianity-flavored version of "certainly" that goes along with the similar idiosyncratic uses of "know", "truth", "personal relationship", etc. that have meaning only to the dog-whistle sensitives who live within your peculiar little delusional bubble and mean something entirely different to those of us in the reality-based community.

        July 28, 2013 at 1:56 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.