Why young church-goers are dropping out

October 9, 2011 | By | 6 Replies More

According to this Huffpo article, a study of almost 1,300 formerly church-going teens sheds light on why they are leaving their churches:

New research by the Barna Group finds they view churches as judgmental, overprotective, exclusive and unfriendly towards doubters. They also consider congregations antagonistic to science and say their Christian experience has been shallow.


Category: Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (6)

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  1. In other breaking news:

    Inquisition convicts Galileo
    Calvin burns Servetus

  2. Mike M. says:

    ‘I was lost, now I’m found; I was blind but now I see..’

    I was a baptized and confirmed Roman Catholic, went to CCD (Religious Education), attended church most every Sunday for 18 yrs, followed along with all the customary rituals and antics and holy days, avoided meat during Lent, read parts of the Bible, and generally drifted along in semi-lucid churchy indifference until about age 35. I had liked the flashy rituals, stained glass and incense, some of the music, but otherwise I just waited anxiously in the pew for the rare bits of real wisdom to break through amidst all the dogma and repetitive nonsense. Since I can remember, I never wanted to pray or kneel or say anything at all, and hated the “groupishness” of everyone doing and saying the same thing over and over every week. Then I had a fairly rapid awakening that blossomed over a few years, culminating in my complete abandonment of organized religion in favor of inner exploration and occult wisdom. I traded in the exoteric for the esoteric, the outer for the inner, the other-organized for the self-organized, the phoney for “real”, and never looked back.

    Now, clearly seeing mainstream religion for what it really is, I’m disappointed that it took me nearly 40 yrs to wake up. The 2,000 yr documented history of the Catholic Church is overflowing with genocide, torture, abuse, misogyny, hatred, and intolerance. Their “Holy” Book advocates even more genocide, infanticide, torture, and slavery than any horror novelist would dare to write. Why would anyone participate in, and enthusiastically endorse, such a group? I’d have to chalk it up to ignorance and/or sleep-walking.

  3. Karl says:

    Trying to sound like atheism is a religious experience in itself,(i.e. offering a testimony)is kind of interesting.

    Sounds like Mike has discovered what Evangelical Christians would call a “real” relationship. Evangelicals strive to be real with both themselves and also with whom they believe to be their “God.”

    Some atheists do have a “real” relationship with both themselves and also with something, that they do not believe to be their God.

    In either situation, it still sounds like these are perspectives on life that can be described as religious experiences. Glad to see you are getting in touch with your inner you, and not just acting out somebody else ideas for what you should be thinking, feeling and believing.

    • 42startingover says:

      wow Karl, you have spoken to me right where I am right now. After being married to a man who rose up against me with his “marine” knowledge then “religious” doctrine, now that I am divorcing him I sit here a stripped person but a real one. I have for my whole life been indoctrinated with religious ideals with the Seventh Day Adventist, I then put myself into an Amway group that took me in so far that I based all my existence on that goal for 13 years, within that found a husband that I thought would “take me to the top”, then once I quit working my full time corporate job he took over in the house as if he was the king of all. Telling me I will not undermine his authority and why can’t I do what I was told. He turned on me with his religious doctrine saying to me and my girls the divorce was evil. He told my daughters that I would always be married to his soul and that I will never be able to remarry biblically, he was such a fraud I was his 3rd effing marriage! This man looked me in the eye a couple of times, held his hand out against me and said “satan in the name of jesus I cast you out”. HE DID THIS TO ME HIS WIFE WHAT A FREAK. SO….(breath) I say all that to say this: I am stripped of nothing, no religion, no church, no business, No man. no one tells me how to think, No man, No business, and No church. I’m 42 and starting over.

  4. Mike M. says:

    I see existence itself as a religious experience, and all life a sacrament. And I am not an atheist at all. Currently I prefer the agnostic model, but if you insist on pasting a label on me the only one I’d be proud to accept is ‘Heretic’. I worship nothing, and I pray to nothing. Or, more accurately, I don’t worship and I don’t pray. I’d bet my concept of “God” is very very different from yours. I suspect “God” is a verb, and not a noun, and is found in the manifested intelligence of nature. Immanent, not transcendent, and visible in the eyes of my children, the trees in my backyard, and throughout the earth and Universe.
    A very wise man by the name of Tom Robbins once wrote, “I believe in nothing, everything is sacred. I believe in everything, nothing is sacred.” A pretty great motto, don’t you think?

  5. Karl says:


    Didn’t mean to place you into the atheistic mold of so many of the bloggers here. Agnostics of course do wish to have it both ways, believing in nothing and everything at the same time does however make for just a little bit of irony from my perspective.


    The man you thought you married was obviously a control addict, you will find them from all walks of life, but especially the types that do not know how to do anything other much other than belittle the people they don’t happen to agree with. Sounds like he beieves casting out other people’s demons will keep his own from being uncovered.

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