I just got done reading a rather fascinating article written about modern youth and why they are increasingly wanting nothing to do with organized religion. Here’s a link, so you all can see for yourselves. It is very worthwhile and I think you’ll find something worth pondering in it. However, it got me to thinking about the reasons that I left religion, and what I think about it in the modern age. Religion isn’t doing too well these days, and it is getting worse and worse for it each day. There are several reasons that I see this trend. I think I’ll discuss that in this post, so you all can see where I am coming from.
This one isn’t hard to talk about. One can’t talk about the Catholic church these days without showing the cases where their corruption might as well be open. Between the child sex abuse scandals and the laundering of money and paying off abuse victims (along with threatening them with excommunication if they talked), the Catholic church looks less like a church and more like a crime syndicate. A syndicate that is quickly losing money and public support.
Then there is the Mormon church. You gotta give the Mormons credit. They took a system of making money off the faithful and went pro with it. Their church is worth an unfathomable amount of money, which you can see goes to their extravagant palaces, like the one in Salt Lake City, that has a solid gold statue of the admitted con artist who started their religion – Joseph Smith. However, between their open and vocal opposition to gay rights, along with their own scandals involving abuse, they are getting a lot of loss as well.
The last group that shows its true colors are the mega-churches. Palaces of cash, that would make Jesus want to bitch-slap each and every person who works there. These churches are well-financed, got a ton of members and are often either run by hardcore extremists who have the right area, or new-age preachers who are trying to pander to younger demographics, with mixed success. With as much money as flows into all of these places, part of me refuses to believe that the people in power are not as much an atheist as I am. After all, how could you know that you are taking money from people and not believe that your God would have an issue with it, were he real? But that’s a debate for a whole other day.
The Internet is better
Here’s the bitter truth – religion teaches us stuff that we all know isn’t true, on some level. I mean, a guy living in the stomach of a whale for three days? Really? That’s bullshit, and we all know it. A boat being made by a 600 year old man that carried two of each animal on it for a year after the entire world was flooded? That’s scientifically impossible, for a TON of reasons. The Internet has made the world more connected, which means that the minds of the educated and the informed are much easier to reach. Some of them, like The Amazing Atheist and others on YouTube have good ways of communicating with the younger audience, connecting with them in a way that doesn’t feel condescending. While religious leaders talk down to us, the Internet doesn’t care enough to do that. I give it to you straight, no junk in it.
Some have called the Internet – the place religion goes to die. There is some truth in that. The Internet is a place of fast pace and quick information. We see stuff, take it in and then move on, often in the space of a few hours or a few minutes. I read the article about how that guy on that airplane sneezed, joked that he had Ebola, caused them to land the plane, and everyone thinks he’s an idiot and I just wrote it off as the dumbfuck American public and moved on. That’s how the Internet works. Religion is a place of beliefs that one has to contemplate and involve themselves with. It is a place where people go to invest themselves. But that’s now how the age of the Internet works. We don’t want to sit in a place and get involved for hours on end. We want to go on to the next thing after a few minutes, maybe less. Having something be dwelt on on the Internet for a day is almost incredible.
It’s all becoming WAY too political
The millenial generation doesn’t like politics. The reality is that political apathy is something that makes my generation more than any other. We all view politics as corrupt, boring and ultimately useless. Look at modern Congress. Can you really blame us? Since both parties are no pretty openly appealing to the older demographic, who actually votes, the party lines are now drawn in the sand. Religion is a big part of that, and unfortunately for them, so much of the vocal side of this is on the right. Right-wing fundamentalism is getting more vocal all the time, which is a problem for religion in general, because the fact is that the youth are now seeing it as all connected.
It doesn’t help that most of the fundamentalists like Evangelicals and Baptists have no done with some religions true to do and embrace a more progressive worldview. Instead, they are becoming more entrenched in their philosophy, seemingly unaware how the younger generation, all of whom are connected to the Internet, have no desire to be around it.
However, the biggest indicator for how political religion has gotten is the battle over gay rights. Both for and against, religious groups are throwing in their hats into what should be a discussion that religion has no part in. The separation of church and state has gotten very blurred in the last few years. Ironically, this reality is something that gets my generation even more alienated from politics. We want nothing to do with these cultural battles.
The reality is that religion desperately needs to change if it is going to survive. The latest string of religious propaganda films like “God’s Not Dead” are showing that there is a lot of fear in religious groups of the non-believers, with them trying to caricature and down-play atheists like myself as ignorant and hellbound. But the youth aren’t biting at this. The fact is – religion is getting old. It has all the traits of old people – whiny, stuck-in-their-ways, very opinionated and out of touch with the modern world.
How long can religion survive like that?
Until next time, a quote,
“90% of every war that’s ever been fought is because of some made-up, mind-control, completely-fictional religion. You never hear in the news, ‘200 killed today when atheist rebels took heavy shelling from the agnostic stronghold in the north.'” -Doug Stanhope