Thursday, May 11, 2023

Where are the nones and why did they leave Evangelical churches?

I was listening to a Christianity Today Podcast and the guest claims there was a big rise in "nones" beginning in 2016, and he claims it's Trump's fault. Nones don't identify as evangelicals--or any religion. It's the "I'm spiritual, not religious." I listened about 5 minutes and logged off. I assume he's tagging a particularly demographic--millennials and some gen-x--because Pew reported there was no mass departure of White Americans from evangelical Protestantism between 2016 and 2020. Besides, like so many other terms, the word has become almost meaningless and meaning is squishy. They weren't pro-life, they didn't care about gay-marriage, and they weren't particularly sensitive to the needs of the poor unless it was through a government grant for their church body. So the support of the pro-life movement, the biggest rise in income of blacks in 50 years, policies to keep illegals in Mexico, and prison reform meant little to those who rarely attended church opting for yoga classes and mindfulness.

Trump haters/blamers rarely can point to a policy--i.e. that which affects us at our address, only a visceral dislike of his personality and how he threatened to "drain the swamp." Whereas those of us who can't stand Biden know exactly minute by minute what he is doing to tear apart the nation, to drag us into wars while funding our former enemies, to destroy our border and thus the concept of a nation, to enlist us in attack groups of race, sex, class -- ridiculing God's creation and our religion. Let me count the ways . . .
Trump tried to transplant a spine into a party that lost theirs. It was messy and painful. Maybe those "nones" (a group which had been growing for two decades before 2016) really had no religion before Trump and just got honest about it? It's so much easier to love the guy fumbling in the basement who is the head of a crime family.

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