August 18th, 2013
07:49 PM ET

Debating why millenials are leaving the church

(CNN)–Rachel Evans and Hemant Mehta joined CNN's Brianna Keilar and Martin Savidge to speak about millenials losing their religion.

They were debating Evan's piece from the Belief Blog looking at why millenials are leaving the church and Mehta's response suggesting millenials are leaving the church to try atheism.

Tell us what you think.  Join the conversation in the comments.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief

soundoff (1,388 Responses)
  1. Alias

    To understand a large scale change in behavior you need to see the big picture of changes in society. To get a meaningful answer to the question of why so many young people are leaving the church, you have to understand how culture has changed in the last two generations.
    This is not the correct forum for a full sociology chapter, but as soon as information about religions became more available, people stopped believing. When I was in school, I would have to have spent many hours reading the bible (in hard to understand old English, by the way) to try to find a contradiction. Today we have it at our finger tips. The other major factor is that kids are more exposed to different ideas than they were in the past. The best way to start questioning your faith is to interact with people who believe something different.
    If you look at where religion is growing, you will find that the church is a major center for social interaction. When everyone around you believes something, it can be hard to think that you are right and everyone else is wrong.
    The Mormon religion is still hanging going strong in places that isolate their children from different ideas. Do not underestimate the influence of school and friends on the ideas and opinions of children. Mormons are good at sending their kids to religious schools and encouraging them to socialize with other Mormons. No one isolate its members like the church of scientology. They also manage to avoid all messy faith issues and questions by keeping their doctrine secret.

    August 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Train the kids to be socialists. Socialists are what you'll get.

      August 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • Alias

        Are you saying it's a good thing that we are training kids to be cultists at a lower rate than in recent history?

        August 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • CharlesK

      Actually, the Mormons are hemorrhaging members and losing converts because they have always lied to them about the church's scandalous history, facts which, as you note, can now be discovered in an instant.

      Religion is only strong in countries where there are high levels of inequality, crime, and poverty, factors often coupled with an unstable government. All of that causes people to feel insecure and seek comfort in faith.

      August 21, 2013 at 5:44 am |
  2. bostontola

    As an atheist, religion in principle is ok with me. I understand people's desire to congregate together with others of similar perspectives.

    My issue is practice over principle. In practice, the big religions dominate. They have been around so long, they have unmatched skill at defending their position. They manipulate politically. They were created when man was almost totally superst.itious and are based on false foundations. They are so entrenched, they can repel new ideas and approaches.

    We need a complete house cleaning of religions, at full re-start. That won't happen. Over time, these religions will become extinct, I won't be alive to see it but I believe it's inevitable.

    August 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Much like the worship of Zeus has fallen out of practice, so will the worship of Christ. It is just a matter of time, and truth has all the time on its side.

      August 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear Bostontola:

      There has been one religion since the beginning of mankind till now and will be one till the end. The only thing changes are laws based on the geographical location and mostly time/generations. Like laws were different during the time Moses for children of Israel than during the time Jesus the son of Marry for the same people but different time, also there are some laws are different in the Quran than it was in Injeel which was revealed to Jesus the son of Marry. Prior to the Quran the prophets or messengers came very often but after Quran there has not been any prophet of divine revelation as Quran talks about the seal of prophethood and revelation. So the laws in the Quran for the mankind did fit during the time of its revelation which is 14+ hundred years ago and it fits now and it will fit perfectly to the mankind if one wants to abiding with these laws…


      August 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • OTOH


        The Bible says the same thing about being the "final" word:

        "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book (Revelation 22:18,19)."

        Mormon, Joseph Smith, worked around that warning too. In reality, "divinely inspired prophecy", from whichever claimant, is bunk. One can massage, twist and spin them to fit one's purpose with ease.

        August 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • Ian

        mzh, that is false. While religions such as Islam and Christianity are well documented at having stolen stories from earlier fables, they disagree on key details, such as how many of which animal needs to be burned when, and what appropriate punishments for slaves are. Well, in fact, the stories are not even internally consistent. So, you are wrong, but thanks for playing, sort of.

        August 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  3. Vic

    ♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰

    August 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Bob

      Vic, how is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      August 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Elessar Telcontar is King!

      August 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • mzh

      3:47 – She (Marry) said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is.

      3:48 – And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel

      3:48 – And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah . And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah . And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.

      3:49 – And [make him Jesus] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah . And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah . And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.

      3:50 – And [I (Jesus) have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me (Jesus).

      3:51 – Indeed, Allah is my (Jesus) Lord and your (companions) Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path."

      3:52 – Then when Isa (Jesus) came to know of their disbelief, he said: "Who will be my helpers in Allah's Cause?" Al-Hawariun (the disciples and the companions) said: "We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah)."

      3:53 – Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger ['Iesa (Jesus)]; so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth i.e. La ilaha ill-Allah – none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).

      3:54 – And they (disbelievers) plotted [to kill 'Iesa (Jesus) ], and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of the planners.

      3:55 – And (remember) when Allah said: "O 'Iesa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that 'Iesa (Jesus) is Allah's son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but Allah) superior to those who disbelieve [in the Oneness of Allah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad SAW, 'Iesa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), etc., or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), the Quran] till the Day ofResurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute."

      3:56 – "As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers."

      3:57 – And as for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah) and do righteous good deeds, Allah will pay them their reward in full. And Allah does not like the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).

      3:58 – This is what We recite to you (O Muhammad SAW) of the Verses and the Wise Reminder (i.e. the Quran).

      3:59 – Verily, the likeness of 'Iesa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: "Be!" – and he was.

      3:60 – (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.

      3:61 – Then whoever argues with you about it after [this] knowledge has come to you – say, "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars [among us]."

      3:62 – Indeed, this is the true story. And there is no deity except Allah. And indeed, Allah is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

      I am working on collecting evidences from OT –> Psalm –> NT –> The Quran to link the prophets...

      Muslims accepts all the prophets... Chrisitan believes Moses and not Muhammad but Jew does not accept Jesus and Muhammad both...

      August 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • Which God?

        Oh look, more quotes from another book of myths. More drivel

        August 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
        • George

          Nice that mzh omitted the demands in his mythbook to kill infidels.

          August 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • CharlesK

          Like trying to prove Professor Dumbledore was a real live wizard with quotes from Harry Potter

          August 21, 2013 at 5:56 am |
      • Vic

        How can the Quran speak so fervently of Jesus Christ and not mention "Jerusalem" by name even once?!

        "Jerusalem" is mentioned over 800 times in the Holy Bible!

        August 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • mzh

          Dear Vic:

          Its good question... when Jesus son of Marry is saying that he (pbuh) is sent to children of Israel, it is obvious that they live in Jeruselem...

          Below is the verse where it mentioned the sacred mosque which is al-Masjid al- Aqsa...

          Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. – 17:01

          Also the main point is believe in Oneness of Almighty and name of the place or even the name of people sometimes is not important... for example Quran did not mention the name of wife of pherroh or name of Mary's mother (she is mentioned as wife of Imraan)...


          August 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • ME II

          Different language, different names, different focus...

          Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa mosque, etc.


          August 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
      • Kate

        Now lets look at some of the violence demanded of mzh in his mythbook, including the frequent demands for "infidels" to be murdered:

        It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. – 8:67

        Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – 2:191

        Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme. (different translation: ) Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely. – Sura 2:193 and 8:39

        Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – 2:216
        (different translation: ) Prescribed for you is fighting, though it is hateful to you.

        ..... martyrs.... Enter heaven – Surah 3:140-43

        But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them. – 4:89

        O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – 5:54

        Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme – 8:39

        O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there are 20 steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish 200; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding. – 8:65

        Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. – 9:2-3

        When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. – 9:5

        Fight those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, nor what has been forbidden by God and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are People of the Book, until they pay the tribute and have been humbled. – 9:29 (another source: ) The unbelievers are impure and their abode is hell. (another source: ) Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute.

        Islam is a religion of violence and murder, plain and simple.

        August 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • mzh

          Thank you Kate... it is very nice of you... 🙂

          August 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          And now from the big book of multiple choice:

          KiII People Who Don't Listen to Priests
          Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

          KiII Witches
          You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

          KiII Hom os exuals
          "If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

          KiII Fortunetellers
          A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

          Death for Hitting Dad
          Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

          Death for Cursing Parents
          1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)
          2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

          Death for Adultery
          If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

          Death for Fornication
          A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

          Death to Followers of Other Religions
          Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

          KiII Nonbelievers
          They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

          KiII False Prophets
          If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord." When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

          August 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

    – Isaac Asimov

    August 19, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Asimov had a fear of flying, only doing so two or three times in his life.

      In the Asimov universe, because it was conceived a long time ago, and because its author abhors confusion, there are no computers whose impact is worth noting, no social complexities, no genetic engineering, aliens, arcologies, multiverses, clones, sin or seex; his heroes (in this case R. Daneel Olivaw, whom we first met as the robot protagonist of The Caves of Steel and its sequels) feel no pressure of information, raw or cooked, as the simplest of us do today; they suffer no deformation from the winds of the Asimov future, because it is so deeply and strikingly orderly.

      In other words his creations are fantasy.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:53 am |
      • ME II

        Ummm... yes, his novels were fiction. What's your point?

        August 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          That based on his psychology and proclivities toward fantasy he shouldn't be presented as any kind of authority on the Bible. DD is making an appeal to authority based on the popularity of a writer, who isn't even an authority outside his own specialty. besides, I'm more of a Clarke fan myself.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Observer

          Bill Deacon,

          So Asimov, the vice president of Mensa, wasn't sharp enough to write science fiction and also read the Bible? (Actually there is a lot of science fiction in the Bible if you read about Noah's ark).

          Get serious.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
        • ME II

          I agree that an appeal to authority is fallacious, but a critique of his novels is an ad Hominem attack, so what's your point?

          p.s. I think he was a Professor and held a Phd in Biochemistry and while that's not relevant to his authority, he was knowledgeable about other things that just science fiction.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I recall reading Asimov when I was young. Even then, his sterile, orderly universes were improbable to me which lent an air of technical contrivance to his work. I found Clarke more realistic and human in his characters and plot tensions. Heinlein completes the spectrum with his wildly roving, liberal story lines and characters. In contrast to Asimov, Heinlein is wide open. Clarke strikes the right balance.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        But how that address the fantasy that is the bible?

        August 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Precisely. It doesn't.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • Sara

        I think this is the citation for that quote?


        But how does any of this relate to the validity of the original statement?

        August 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
      • OTOH

        Bill Deacon,

        One only needs to look at how L. Ron Hubbard turned his fantasy fiction into a religion in just a few years to see how the ancient Hebrews did their thing... way back when over many years in a very unknowledgeable and superst.itious culture.

        August 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • G to the T

        Actully Bill I'd say you're letting your feelings about his writing style/position get away on this one. Asimov wrote several extremely exhaustive works on the bible in the context of the history and cultures in which the various books of the bible were written. I would recommend you read them before you are so quick to dismiss his opinion. And all it was was an opinion, nobody was stating it was a law or some kind of irrefutable truth...

        August 21, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • AE

      “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”

      – Paul Davies

      August 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
      • ME II

        But Davies wrote a really bad essay once enti.tled "My summer vacation". – in the style of Bill Deacon.

        August 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Aw, I thought we were friends ME II. I never disparaged Asimov's fiction, but here you are insulting me. I'm truly hurt.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          Apologies, I didn't mean to insult you personally, just the form or argument that you used.

          August 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Notice that he did not define which god. For all any of us know he could be speaking of a deistic god or Allah or any of the other numerous gods out there.

        August 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Davies positive claims have no more authority than Asimov's negative ones.

        August 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • mzh

        I believe science also part of the entire creation by The Creator... the new discoveries are being revealed to the mankind through the scientific knowledge as much as mankind ready to receive... for example our grand fathers were not i think ready to know about the information of MARS that we came to know now... and we do not know what will come in the future... I also believe things will be given (or discovered) as per human needed in the future...

        August 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • G to the T

          Amazing how the outcome is indistiguishable from normal human progress even though you believe it's "as we're ready to know it".

          Could the people a thousand years ago really "not handle" the idea of other planets existing? I think you vastly underestimate the intellectual capabilities of our ancestors.

          August 21, 2013 at 11:44 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        If there were a god that is probably true, but at the time of writing still no evidence.

        August 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  5. Just the Facts Ma'am...

    I like how Rachel says people have the impression that the Church is anti-gay and anti-science as if that is not the reality. People are leaving because they see the Church and Christianity for what it really is which is anti-human. The Church wants you to invest your time and money in invisible non-humans for a reward that can only be received after death, and more and more people are waking up to this Ponzi scheme.

    August 19, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • lamelionheart

      While I agree with your analogy that All manly built churches have within their social order an undeniable basis toward being a ponzi scheme, these built by mankind churches are not the True Churches... God's True Churches are made by our physical beings and are inside each person's labyrinth of atomized cellular essences... Science has yet to truly peer into the realms of the atomized natures true essences... What truly lies upon the very surfaces of the atomic kingdom domains might never be fully understood with comprehensive certainties... Packaged within the smallness of things Life dares to exist...

      August 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  6. niknak

    Religion is creepy.
    Scratch just below the surface of your average believer and you will find some really creepy stuff.

    August 19, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Why do you delude yourself that creepiness isn't beneath the surface of non-believers?

      August 19, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • Ted

        What was that logic about the converse again Bill?

        August 19, 2013 at 11:15 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Bill, I agree there are plenty of creepy non-believers. The issue is if your religion was actually a path to morality and rightiousness I would expect better behavior than non-believers, when at best the batting average is the same.

        August 19, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Then your misunderstanding of religion is simply classic. You seem to presume that churches should be full of holy people, when in fact, they are full of people who know they are sinners.

          August 19, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          That seems like all or nothing thinking.
          If religion or a particular religion actually had a better path to morality ( or a path to a better morality) wouldn't it be reasonable to expect at least some increase against other alternatives?

          August 19, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • Bob

          Note the excessive fraction of jailed population that is Christian.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Well, again, i contest your presupposition that religion (Christianity specifically) provides a path to morality. I'd say a truer representation is it provides a path to salvation for the immoral. But lets accept it for a second. Are you prepared to tell me that there are no people who live more moral lives because they became Christina than if they had not?

          August 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          "I'd say a truer representation is it provides a path to salvation for the immoral."

          Fair enough. I don't know that everyone would agree with that, but fair enough.

          "But lets accept it for a second. Are you prepared to tell me that there are no people who live more moral lives because they became Christina than if they had not?"

          I'm not saying that, no. The question would be, Are there more people who live more moral lives because of Christianity, as opposed to the numbers because of any other religion or non-religion?
          Just because people get "better" doesn't mean the medicine is effective. They must get "better" more quickly or in greater numbers than an appropriate control group.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Then your misunderstanding of religion is simply classic."

          Oh I completely understand that rationalization, I lived it. Your religion teaches we are diseased (full of sin) and need the cure (salvation). It is the fact that it is not able to provide any sort of tangable benefit in this life that makes it BS. It is not something your religion claims to be able to do, I agree. But it is what I would expect if it was ACTUALLY true. Instead "forgiveness" is more often than not used by believers to excuse their negative behavior.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  7. bostontola

    When I was young, most of my friends were quite indifferent to religion. When they got married and had kids of their own, most went back, although not with much passion. Amplifying a signal about religion from youth is just amplifying noise. When the story is about married couples leaving the church, that will be interesting.

    August 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • niknak

      Exact same thing happened to my friends.
      Their parents could not get them to the church/temple when they were young, but now that that have had kids, they all have become ultra xtian/jewish.

      Yet when I ask them if they now believe in god, they say no.
      Perplexing to say the least.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Perhaps the simple force of tradition has brought your friends back to the churches they are familiar with. It's not uncommon for the arrival of children to inspire a return to a more conservative outlook. There are other smaller people to consider at that point and tradition offers a structure that facilitates family life. Sometimes, people return as they begin to form their own families because the capabilities they had to manage themselves as young single people are suddenly inadequate to the more complex dynamics of marriage and children. Another thing that happens as we age is that the pleasant offerings of the world, in consumption and materialism, begin to lose their allure and we begin to seek for something less transient than the latest "thing". Children have a way of highlighting this need for continuity because we recognize that one day we will be gone and they will be left and the question arises "What will I leave them?"

        August 19, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • niknak

          It could be a factor, but the main reason is conformity.
          They don't want to have the parents of their kid's friends to think they are "different" which will lead to their kids getting ostracized.

          August 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Doobs

          The simplest answer is that eventually your children will discover that Santa Claus isn't real, and you need another easy way to get them to behave. What's easier than telling them that a bogey man in the sky is always watching them, and will punish them, maybe now, maybe after they're dead, for whatever naughty thing they might do?

          My parents raised all three of their children as staunch Catholics. We all left the RCC when we left the parental nest. Both my brother and sister returned to the RCC as soon as their children were old enough to say "no!" and "mine!". I didn't have children, so I never had the need to employ an imaginary bouncer.

          I also agree with niknak that conformity is a compelling reason. It gets tiring being told that you're a bad parent if you don't practice a religion, and it's infuriating to have an adult tell your young child that they are a bad person for not going to church.

          August 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      the church is just a social club for so many people. They know the religion is foolish but the do it anyway.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      My wife and I are that married couple. We were indifferent to religion though we were both indoctinated as children. When we had children of our own we felt we had to choose a church. It was the process of choosing, and most importantly answering the question of "why did we believe certian dogma over others" that led to our atheism. We felt we needed to be able to rationally justify our religious beliefs...and of course that is not possible.

      August 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • bostontola

        I was also indoctrinated, but I never bought it for some reason. My kids are atheist. Unfortunately we are a small minority against powerful majorities. Someday...

        August 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Sara

        I calculate about 25% of the people I know take their kids to "church": about a third of those go toCatholic church or synagogue but don't actually believe it, a third are unitarians and the remaining third are actual hindu, christian or buddhist believers. Everyone else (the vast majority of my family and friends) is secular and gets on just fine with well behaved and well brought up children. This is a non-issue once the stigma is removed.

        August 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Sara

      The interesting part is that they are comparing people in the same age group. 26% of 18 to 29 year olds unaffiliated now, 20% for Gen X and only 13% for the boomers.


      And each time only some return, so the unaffiliated gap gets bigger. Major beliefs in god and life after death don't seem to be shifting as much.

      August 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  8. Roddy 2112

    The reason is there is more information out there and people realize it's just a mythology like any other mythology. The more educated a person becomes the less likely they are to believe in a god or gods. Believers these days just look silly and uneducated.

    August 19, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • niknak

      Just like they did back in the day.
      They just had bigger numbers and laws to stone you to death if you did not go along with the farce.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Sara

      To sum extent, but the trend started well before the internet, and in much of Europe was well past where we are now decades ago:


      August 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • Sara

        some...hom.ophones are the curse of fast typing...

        August 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          I think a h0m0phone is an instrument that only plays one note.

          August 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Sara

          Lol...I actually just looked thatup to see if it was real. Given how tone deaf I am I'd probably look into lessons.

          August 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Ken

      I disagree. I think the more educated one becomes, the more likely they will believe less of what they are told and do the research themselves. Preaching comes from both sides, believer and non-believer.

      August 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  9. Lawrence

    In my experience, the biggest reasons for people leaving the church is usually one of these three
    1) There is some sin in their life that they do not want to give up
    2) They have pride in their life, and they just cannot bring themselves to humble themselves before God
    3) They have either done something horrible, or something horrible has happened to them that they cannot conceive that God would accept them

    1 Corinthians 1:18 through 2:16 says that to the unbeliever, the message of the gospel is unreasonable to them because it doesn't make sense to them, and they see it as ridiculous. They believe its people are unremarkable, and unimpressive, and their preachers are "unfashionable."

    August 19, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'd say those might be reasons for some number of people leaving a FAITH, but why is church attendance necessary for salvation? People are disillusioned with the corporatization of religion – especially in America where "Godliness" has been conflated with capitalism (thanks Joe McCarthy).
      Anyone who expects to be paid for peddling salvation is a con-man.

      August 19, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • Lawrence

        Church attendance isn't required for salvation, but it is commanded. ("Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as is the manner of some...") And there's nothing wrong with being paid to be a preacher... (The laborer is worthy of his wages) What's wrong with that? I do agree though that there are many abuses of this, and I am totally against that, as is Scripture. As a matter of fact, Paul gives the qualifications for a pastor in the book of 1 Timothy, and among them is that he must "be free from the love of money." Anyone who is greedy for gain is disqualified to be a leader in the local church.

        August 19, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I think Robert Heinlein summed it up nicely in these two passaged:
          "The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it."

          "The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."

          August 19, 2013 at 10:11 am |
        • tallulah13

          Or maybe a cult created 2000 years ago just didn't keep up with science, education and communication. It's hard to keep believing something when you know it isn't real.

          August 19, 2013 at 10:13 am |
        • Lawrence

          "The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense."

          -Anyone who believes that the ministry of a pastor is an effortless duty has no idea of the meaning of the word: "Shepherd." For that is what they are.

          "it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it."

          -The message of the gospel is not one of joy to all manking. The message is that your sins (lying, theiving, hate, etc) have seperated you from God. Sin deserves punishment – just like in our earthly legal system, if you do the crime, you do the time. And the punishment's severity is determined by the crime, and who it was against. When you sin, since God is the standard for righteousness, although you may have offended men, your sin is ultimately against God. Since His righteousness is limitless, your sin against Him was also limitless, and requires a punishment to fit the crime. How is that spreading joy???

          "The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations,

          -God is the only thing in the universe that deserves adoration...

          that he can be persuaded by their prayers,

          -That's not the purpose of prayer. The purpose of prayer is to align our will to His. Read Scripture rightly and you'll see that.

          and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery.

          -Like a judge would become petulant if you don't respect him in his courtroom

          Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."

          -First off, it's not an industry. Few men have gotten rich on the gospel, and most of them have been quacks. As for evidence, we could discuss that, but I'm afraid most won't receive it. For instance – when you look at a painting, you know that there was a painter. When you look at a building, you know thatt here was a builder. When you look at creation, you know that there was a Creator.

          August 19, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Clergy are generally free of sweaty, dreary labour. While the common man toiled in the fields, or the mines or the forges, shamans were allowed to be scholars. Until very recently, they were among the few literate castes in society.
          And religion is most assuredly an industry – what else would you call the RCC?
          The Vatican is perhaps the oldest and richest businesses in all of history – ever since Constantine made it Rome's official religion. It was their greediness that compelled Martin Luther to nail his protest to the Church door. How much do you think and indulgence goes for these days?
          The Latter Day Saints hold enormous business interests, especially in Utah, such as Deseret Management Corporation, Beneficial Financial Group , Bonneville Communications , Bonneville Interactive Services
          , Bonneville Satellite, 35 Radio Stations, Deseret Book, La'ie Shopping Center, La'ie Park, La'ie Cemetary, Hukilau Beach Park, La'ie Water Company, La'ie Treatment Works, Zions Securities Corporation, Farm Management Corporation (commericial farms and agricultural properties), Deseret Land and Livestock, 200,000 acres of land in Rich, Morgan and Weber counties, Sun Ranch (Martin's Cove), Deseret Ranches of Florida (Orlando) (largest ranch in Florida), Deseret Farms of California, Rolling Hills (Idaho), West Hills Orchards (Elberta, Utah), Cactus Lane Ranch (Arizona), Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (CPB), Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret Trust Company, LDS Family Services, Property Reserves Inc. (PRI), Ensign Peak Advisors, Brigham Young University, LDS Business College,... the list goes on and on.
          Then there are the shysters like Creflo Dollar, Jimmy Swaggart, Falwell, Jim and Tammy Baker etc. ad nauseum.

          Shamans should be considered conmen until proven otherwise.

          August 19, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • Lawrence

          Doc: You and I are in COMPLETE agreement! The Roman Catholic Church falls into the "quack" category, so does Creflo Dollar, Tammy Baker, the LDS church, and everyone else that I saw on your list. All of these are people whom Paul was talking about in 1 Timothy – these people are all full of the love of money, and as such are disqualified as church leaders. The Scriptural term for the Roman Catholic Church, the LDS Church, and the rest of that list are "Apostates."
          And once again, don't say that the clergy is without sweaty labor. There are many pastors that I know that have to work a job other than the minisrty in order to support their families: one of them picks up trash... Now that's a sweaty, stinky job.

          Another thing I agree with you on, you must test the qualifications of any who claim to be a man of God. That's always the first step.

          August 19, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • Reality

          1 Timothy was not written by Paul so there is no divine guidance in said epistle.

          August 19, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • Lawrence

          Reality: Well, I've never heard that approach before. OK, I'll bite. Who wrote 1 Timothy?

          August 19, 2013 at 10:45 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Doc, the answer is zero dollars, though a work of devotion is usually required. But you knew that didn't you?

          The Church's Treasury (1474-1477)

          The Christian is not alone in trying to purify himself. He is one with all other Christians in the single mystical person of Christ.

          A perennial link exists between the saints in heaven, the saints in purgatory, and the saints on earth. There is a "wonderful exchange" whereby the holiness of one member profits everyone.

          This is called the "Church's treasury", which has infinite value through Christ's merits gained by his redemption.

          The treasury also includes the immense and unfathomable merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the good works of those saints who have attained their own salvation and now cooperate in saving their brothers/sisters in Christ (The Doctrine of Indulgences – #5).

          August 19, 2013 at 11:01 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Bill Deacon
          Purgatory wasn't a part of the Catholic Church until the 6th century and was only made official some 900 years later at the Council of Florence.
          The RCC used it to their own great profit, and not only monetary profit.
          Many noblemen donated vast sums of money to Churches so that they could keep a retinue of clergy employed to pray for them after death, hopefully hastening their departure from Purgatory. And there is, of course, the sale of indulgences that helped lead to the Protestant revolution – but it goes deeper than that.
          It was commonly taught (and still is by some) that if a Catholic reads their Bible 15 minutes a day, they will be given 300 days, per read, off in purgatory.

          August 19, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • OTOH

          "1 Timothy was not written by Paul so there is no divine guidance in said epistle."

          Uh, are you implying that other letters which are attributed to Paul *are* "divinely" guided?

          August 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Church attendance isn't required for salvation, but it is commanded" – now if that's not a great example of christian "logic" I don't know what is. You really don't see the conflict there?

          August 21, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • Reality

        Did Paul have divine guidance?
        (from Christianity.about.com)

        "On the Damascus Road, Saul and his companions were struck down by a blinding light, brighter than the noonday sun. Saul heard a voice say to him:

        "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" (Acts 9:4, NIV)

        When Saul asked who was speaking to him, the voice replied, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." (Acts 9:5-6, NIV)

        The men with Saul heard the sound but did not see the vision of the risen Christ that Saul did. Saul was blinded. They led him by the hand into Damascus to a man named Judas, on Straight Street. For three days Saul was blind and did not eat or drink anything.

        Meanwhile, Jesus appeared in a vision to a disciple in Damascus named Ananias and told him to go to Saul. Ananias was afraid because he knew Saul's reputation as a merciless persecutor of the church.

        Jesus repeated his command, explaining that Saul was his chosen instrument to deliver the gospel to the Gentiles, their kings, and the people of Israel. So Ananias found Saul at Judas' house, praying for help. Ananias laid his hands on Saul, telling him Jesus had sent him to restore his sight and that Saul might be filled with the Holy Spirit.

        Something like scales fell from Saul's eyes and he could see again. He arose and was baptized into the Christian faith. Saul ate, regained his strength, and stayed with the Damascus disciples three days.

        August 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Reality

          The authorship of 1 and 2 Timothy along with some other epistles (e.g. 1 Ti-tus) . written by pseudo Pauls is reviewed by Professors Bruce Chilton (Rabbi Paul), Professor JD Crossan (In Search of Paul) and Father Raymond Brown in his 896 page book, An Introduction to the New Testament. Father Brown's book is RCC approved with both a nil obstat and imprimatur.

          From said book:

          p. 654, "80-90% of the critical scholars believe the letter was written by a pseudo Paul toward the end of the first century, early second century.

          "Authenticity – Probably written by a disciple of Paul or a sympathetic commentator on the Pauline heritage several decades after the apostle's death.

          p. 639 ditto for T-itus

          August 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • Reality

          The Paul horse/blindness episode ranks up there with the inanity of the resurrection, ascension, assumption and angel / satan "visitations". Time we accept the rationality of the 21st century !!!

          August 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Observer


      Wrong. Many people leave the church because they have read the Bible enough to see that besides some good morals, it also includes errors, contradictions, hypocrisy and nonsense.

      August 19, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      You really don't know what you are talking about. It is another reason you are losing believers. I have personal experience with this since I discarded faith. (I didn't lose it, I tossed it out likea smelly bag of garbage)

      1. I never could understand how a loving god could punish people the way christian religion claimed he would. It didn't make sense when I was told god loves us all unconditionally...but only under certian conditions. I wouldn't treat my worst enemy the way your god is said to treat "his children".

      2. When I went to religious authorities to answer problematic questions, the answers were all over and often directly contradicted each other. It was obvious they were not answering from some actual known revelation, but from personal opinion, which in practice is no different from making it up out of thin air.

      3. Looking at the history of your religion, there is plenty of indication that it is man made myth and no evidence what so ever some moral creator was behind it.

      As to you claim of "humbling yourself before god". I find it interesting that believers say they have a personal relationship with the creator of the entire universe, and they are being humble....LOL.

      August 19, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Craig

      Great talking points! Additionally, there is some level of accountability of leaders of the church to practice what they preach. When people hear a message and they do not see that 'lived out' in the lives of those delivering those messages week after week, it tends to discourage the average church goer.
      Keep the main thing the MAIN thing, which is Jesus. The focus should be on Jesus and a commitment to living godly lives by those calling themselves 'church leaders'. If you cannot see the love of Christ in a pastor then there is something terribly wrong in that church.

      Atheism cannot replace spirituality or the longing of a soul for spirituality, it is a LIE. Hemant Gupt atheist might not have found spirituality in eastern mysticism but that does not qualify him to talk about Christianity.

      August 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • Brother Maynard

        "Atheism cannot replace spirituality or the longing of a soul for spirituality, it is a LIE"
        I think you may have a misunderstanding of what Atheism is.
        Theism == belief in a god(s)
        Atheism == no belief in a god(s)
        Atheism cannot replace spirituality because that is NOT what is designed to do... that is not its "job"
        Speaking only for myself ( but I bet some atheists would agree ), I came to atheism because the spirituality that was supposed to be found in religion was a lie. That was the myth(ology). Discovering the lack of anything spiritual in religion directed me to acknowledge that I was an atheist. I did not wake up one day and say " I think I'll be an athiest". On the contrary I fought it hard for 40 years. The result of my investigation of religion forced me to be an athiest.

        August 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • OTOH

          I agree, Brother Maynard, that's quite similar to my path. It had very little to do with the people of religion, but mainly with whether there was really a there there (a deity).

          August 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • ZuluXray

      "2) They have pride in their life, and they just cannot bring themselves to humble themselves before God"

      I have never understood why pride is bad or considered a "sin" by believers.
      You work hard for/on something, is it wrong to be proud of what you've acomplished? If you have children, Is it wrong to be a "proud parent"???

      August 19, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Conversely, why should 'faith' be considered a 'virtue' when in reality it is just an excuse to claim knowledge that isn't there?

        August 19, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • niknak

      Tell me Larry, why do you feel the need to humble yourself?
      Also tell me why, an all powerful being that is claimed to have created everything, needs you to humble yourself to?

      Face if bro, you have bought into a great big lie.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Religion is NOT healthy for children and other living things

      I strongly disagree! In MY own case and in the case of many close friends, we started looking at the big picture of religion and were struck by the blatant incongruencies and sheer impossibilities that EACH and EVERY religion was based upon! Then, after reading about many OTHER religions that long PREDATE Judeo-Christian culture, yet include many of the EXACT same and entirely IDENTICAL "stories" attributed to different names and places, it became GLARINGLY obvious that these religions were ALL created from the same ancient myths and legends! Do you have ANY idea how many ancient religions (all pre-dating Christianity) involve a prophet born from a "virgin" mother and is alledgedly the "son" of some god whose birth day is celebrated on December 25th? Dozens and dozens of them scattered across ancient times with nearly identical life stories and magical feats of "mercy"! These same stories have been told over and over and over and over again...

      The PRIMARY reason people are leaving religion is the logical realization that "god" was created by man to help man explain things he has been unable to comprehend and to rationalize his own shortcomings and flaws!
      In other words, There is no god! There is no heaven! There is no hell! These concepts are ALL the product of human imagination! Once you have glimpsed at the man behind the curtain, you will never believe in fairy tales again!

      THIS is the primary reason people are leaving religion in droves!... It is called REALITY!

      August 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Madtown

      ...just cannot bring themselves to humble themselves before God
      Could be that people cease going to church because they realize they don't need church to have a spiritual, Godly experience. Myself, I'd rather be immersed in God's actual creation, rather than mans. So, if I want a spiritual experience, I take a walk in the woods, or get the canoe out on the water. The church is man's creation.

      August 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • ZuluXray

        God is also mans creation.

        August 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • Madtown

          Certainly could be. For sure, "God-s" are, as in all the names and flavors humans have created over time. Whether there really is some spiritual force out there? No one knows for certain.

          August 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Sara

      Lawrence, I think you see what you want to see. 90+% of the people I know who left a religion did so because they saw inconsistencies, whether they were joining a new church or going independent. I suspect no one has ever told you they left a church because it wouldn't accept their sin, but you just chose to interpret whatever they said this way.

      August 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • OTOH


      "In my experience..."

      Good thing you came here, then. Now you can add to your "experience" a few other reasons for rejecting your myths, legends, superst.itions and fantasies (or those of primitive Middle Eastern Hebrew men).

      August 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • Grok That Wok

        Great point, OTOH. Now let's watch for what Lawrence includes in his next "in my experience" claim, to see if he learned and is being honest.

        August 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  10. Frank

    Religion is not about faith or spirituality. It is a socilogicall and an anthropological necessity for human beings to function in a society. Those who give up their fath driven relgion, they create a new religion – a ritual – for themselves.
    It is almost impossible to have an intelleigent and thougtful discussion on "religion." It is fraught with emotions.

    August 19, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      It is not necessity. I have no religion and I function quite well in society.

      August 19, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • mzh

        You probably function better that lot others who believe in something...

        August 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          I have belief, just not in deities. I see that men have created all of them, and they use religion to define them. My beliefs are based more on what is known than what was made up or defined by others. As far as I can tell, no one has it right including me, and that in itself lends comfort in the knowing that we haven't explained everything.

          August 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Faith" is the emotion that preceded rationality – and a powerful emotion it is!
      It can inspire the best and the worst in us.
      The great difficulty is that there can be no rational response to an emotional argument.

      August 19, 2013 at 10:17 am |
  11. Joe

    For the small price of Say $100 Per person I will grant absolution and eternal salvation. religion the greatest money maket ever

    August 19, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Grok That Wok

      Sounds like a deal. And I don't have to burn any sheep on an altar for you?

      August 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Doobs

      That's not a bad price for salvation. It's cheaper than 10% of your gross income.

      August 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  12. Sara

    There doesn't appear to be as big a difference in general theistic beliefs as in church membership:

    "Though young adults pray less often than their elders do today, the number of young adults who say they pray every day rivals the portion of young people who said the same in prior decades. And though belief in God is lower among young adults than among older adults, Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty at rates similar to those seen among Gen Xers a decade ago. This suggests that some of the religious differences between younger and older Americans today are not entirely generational but result in part from people’s tendency to place greater emphasis on religion as they age."


    Which leads one to look at more detailed distinctions. If you look at the data you see the known differences on things like hom ose xuality which are enough to put a pretty big crack in the infallibility claims of a religion. But I think a bigger issue is that in an society where people are increasingly connected with people in other parts of the world, the idea of associating oneself with a spatially local community of people just doesn't make intuitive sense. Why would one have more in common with the folks at the church down the street than with the people you chat with in Singapore? That's not to say there aren't very real benefits to having a local community, but I think that has to take shape from a broader source. The larger network will always come first in the future, and then o ne will find the local branch of like minds. We just haven't seen these two wordls merge fully yet.

    August 19, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Sara: The way to get around the filter is to type is the left arrow (), then the left arrow,then '/', the letter b again then the right arrow. Hope that is understandable and helps.

      August 19, 2013 at 9:27 am |
      • Sara

        I actually like to type the words in with the delimiters for a few reasons. First I think it's confusing to a new poster to see a banned word and they have their own post blocked when typing it. Second...I'm kind of lazy and adding tags takes more time than typing a space or period. Also, it kind of bugs me that they put this filter in without exceptions for real words and I kind of like to keep it up front and obvious.

        August 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • OTOH

          Yes, Sara, I agree with you... I'm not going to put in that much technical effort into my posts here; but thank you, truthprevails, for typing that out for those who are interested.

          August 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      lets try this again...the letter b should be placed between the 2 initial arrows then again after the slash

      August 19, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • truthprevails1

      left arrow, letter b, right arrow, left arrow, backward slash, letter b, right arrow (put them all together to get around the filter)

      August 19, 2013 at 9:30 am |
  13. Dyslexic doG

    they leave for the same reasons that they don't believe in santa or the tooth fairy any more.

    August 19, 2013 at 8:29 am |
  14. Kebos

    They're leaving for the same reasons others are leaving. Because of the useless dogmatic rhetoric that spews from a money-making and mind-controlling machine that cares not for humanity.

    Mankind is best served without religion. When 100% of humanity has rid itself of religion, we'll all be the better for it.

    August 19, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Dyslexic doG


      August 19, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • JimK57

      Do you mean the end of organized religion? Can I still believe in god if I don't belong to a church?

      August 19, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Of course, each of us are enti/tled to our personal faiths.
        If belief in God helps someone be happier, then why would anyone begrudge them a gentle delusion?
        There will never be a world without religious faith of some kind – but it would be a better place without the Shamans who profit from it.

        August 19, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Athy

        Or the shamans that run our governments and teach our children.

        August 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  15. Aaron

    Not everyone that is running away from the Chruch is running from their religion alot of them are running away from the dogma and the discrimination and hate projected by the chruch on them or others. I hated goin to church and the bigotry that was taught back when I went to a Roman Catholic run grade school. I didn't stop believing in something greater then myself just found a different more constructive way of expressing it.

    August 19, 2013 at 8:01 am |
  16. Millennial1986

    The Millennial absence from the church scene is a growing trend, for sure. I myself do not attend any type of church service or worship ceremonies, yet I am not atheist. If I am not mistaken, the body is your temple and not a place built of sticks and stones. If I am true to myself and true to my family, friends, and neighbors, then I think that makes me very Christian. Therefore, I don't believe faith is dead or the good nature of God's people is dying, but the organization of religion is slipping into oblivion. If you were to ask God whether he would like for his people to 1) attend church and worship his feet, and then leave to do as they please, good or bad, or 2) stay home on Sunday morning but treat everyone with kindness and love and appreciate everyday like it is a gift, I think God would choose the latter.

    August 19, 2013 at 7:32 am |
  17. Rusty Yates

    I'd hate to be starting a religion right now.

    August 19, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • HotAirAce

      You're not suggesting all religions, and their associated supernatural beings, are man-made are you?

      August 19, 2013 at 1:19 am |
      • Apple Bush

        HAC, I can't speak for Rusty, but I am exhausted running from one alter to the next. I LOOK fabulous though. Tah!

        August 19, 2013 at 1:54 am |
      • Kebos

        Hotair – I am not suggesting all religions are man-made. I am telling you that they are.

        August 19, 2013 at 8:12 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Unless you accept (INSERT HOLY BOOK) as the innerrant, ineffable word of (INSERT DEITY), you'll never get to (INSERT AFTERLIFE).

          August 19, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Even variants of new-agism like the Church of Apple and it's prophet Steve Jobs?

      (There's some deliberate sarcasm in there somewhere.)

      Arguably the 'religion' of 'spiritual but not religious" is rising. People dissociate from traditional organized religion but don't entirely want to give up the fantasy.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:20 am |
  18. Reality

    Evans must be the girl friend of one of the moderators considering all the coverage she is getting on this blog 🙂

    Again for the new members and again to end this discussion once and for all (we hope):

    Why it is not just the millenials leaving the churches, mosques and temples:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e. the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    August 19, 2013 at 12:27 am |
  19. bostontola

    "All religions have no merit when it comes to the truth."

    My only issue with that statement is the use of the definite article in front of "truth".

    August 19, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • atomD21

      My thoughts exactly. The use of absolutes in statements pro or con regarding religion are inherently flawed. The existence of the supernatural is purely a belief as it can neither be proven or disproven, only experienced or not.

      August 19, 2013 at 2:59 am |
      • Jerome Haltom

        Yes, but your experience is either substantiating something that is the case about reality, or it's not. Hence, truth or not. I'll agree that Hemant should have used slightly different language, but not because he's wrong: one of these options is true, and the other is false... but because our knowledge of which is the case will never be a certainty.

        August 19, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • bostontola

          I had an issue because Hemant was referring to general truth, not the binary truth of god vs no god. I personally believe there is no god, but I don't believe there is any general truth regarding humans. Each religion creates their own set of truths, gets followers to buy in, then franchises back at a cost.

          August 19, 2013 at 10:51 am |
        • G to the T

          Sounds like someone is conflating "truth" with "fact".

          August 21, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        In Christianity everyone gets judged.

        In socialism everyone gets a prize. All WIN!!

        August 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
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About this blog

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.