Religious Right + SBC Fundamentalists = flight of millennials from the church?
Oklahoma’s Bruce Prescott ponders the conjunction of dates. The millennials, “who were born after 1980 and came of age around the millennium,” certainly grew up amid the ardent voices of the Southern Baptist Convention’s fundamentalists and the others of the Religious Right. As Prescott observes:
The fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention began in 1979. The rise of the Religious Right in America dates from the same year.
Certainly Prescott is not the first to see “a link between in-your-face religion in the public square and declining interest in organized religion among young people.”
While not focused precisely on the issue Prescott addresses, Michael Gerson, senior research fellow in the Center on Faith & International Affairs at the Institute for Global Engagement, made a show of discovering the relationship for himself late last year.
Somewhat similarly, Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, responded to the shift in public attitudes away from right-wing political zeal and turned Ft. Lauderdale’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church away from its hyper-political, right-wing activist heritage.
Of course he had to fight off an attempt by the old hands to remove him from the pulpit there.
In the necessity of that fight is one answer to Prescott’s closing question: Will those who helped bring the alienation about “ever realize“?
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