The Pew Research Center recently projected that, if current trends continue, Christians will be in the minority within 50 years (and probably sooner). By 2070, they said, “Nones” may represent 48% of the population. That’s horrible news for Christian nationalists, who have to reckon with all this non-religious pride, which means it’s great news for everyone else.
Two of those Christian nationalists discussed the Pew findings over the weekend. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (a Christian hate-group), asked Ronnie Floyd, a former executive with the Southern Baptist Convention, what he made of those results.
Rarely will you hear a more out-of-touch response from someone who ought to know better.
Floyd argued (beginning at 1:28) that the solution to the shift away from organized religion is… more God. And then he lamented the fact that so many Americans were comfortable being openly non-religious.
… I think that the reality is… that America is becoming a much more secular nation day by day, even by various matters that are described on this program periodically, and almost daily, we are seeing this move toward complete secularism, a vacancy of God in our midst.
But I never, never has there been a greater moment to be able to really pursue deeply the next great Spiritual Awakening in the United States. It is obvious that God alone is our answer, and we must come to Him.
The solution to a nation that wants nothing to do with the Christian God is, according to a Christian leader, more Christian God.
Brilliant. Can’t believe no one thought of that one. It’s their solution to everything even though it’s never worked even once.
You would think a former Southern Baptist leader might at least consider how the Christian Right’s anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, anti-sex, pro-abuse views might have something to do with the trends. But introspection and the ability to admit personal failures have never been strong suits for religious conservatives.
The reason people are abandoning organized religion has a lot to do with the sort of monsters who lead organized religions. Their bigotry, cruelty, and allegiance to the Republican Party have caused plenty of young people to run the hell away.
Tony Perkins, of course, didn’t push back against his buddy because he fully agrees.
Floyd made another bizarre comment just moments later. When Perkins asked him if anything from the research jumped out at him, Floyd was shocked by how many people were calling themselves “Nones.”
… It was the blatant commitment to declaring yourself a “None.” Someone who has no faith, whatsoever, at all. I think we lived in an America and grew up in an America that, whether or not that was a reality or not in a person’s heart, many times they would not say it.
Today, there is a freedom to say it, and even a pride in saying it.
And so I think the the church has got to return to the priority of evangelizing their communities, Tony…
First of all, the people responding to the Pew surveys don’t declare themselves “Nones.” Some are atheist or agnostic, but most are people who just say they don’t belong to any organized religion. They’re not proudly “declaring” anything; most of them just can’t bring themselves to use a religious label.
You’d have to actually read the data to know that, though, and Floyd can’t be bothered to do it. Why bother when his own beliefs are immune to change?
Instead, Floyd wishes we could return to a time when being open non-religious was shameful and people had to keep their secular beliefs to themselves. It’s the same argument conservative Christians use when talking about LGBTQ people, as if society was better off when they were in the closet. Just utterly reprehensible thinking.
Floyd could easily have said that he was upset by how many people were comfortable being non-religious because being a Christian should be a point of pride… but he didn’t say that. Instead, he lamented all the people who courageously walked away from religion and aren’t scared of Christian lies.
He then added that Christians just need to proselytize more… as if that hasn’t done enough damage already. One of the reasons people have non-religious pride is because those old Christian tactics are no longer working.
The entire conversation is nothing more than banter between two ignorant men who have helped inadvertently lead the exodus away from Christianity.
They see themselves as the solutions because they fail to recognize that they are the problems.
(Thanks to Kyle for the link)