Institutional religion, especially churches, are rapidly declining in America and there is no lack for explanations from all sides -religious and secular explanations.

Yet, any explanation for why religions are declining must also be able to explain why virtually every secular social institution, like the boy scouts, the free masons, and the NAACP, are also declining in membership.

It's not just churches, people just don't know how to be a part of a community anymore.

@1dalm millennials rejecting the beliefs and traditions of their parents, it could be cyclical/ generational

@simon the declines started well before millennials came of age. In fact, the declines of social institutions started in the 70s. The declines are thoroughly documented in Robert Putnam' book "Bowling Alone", which came out 20 years ago. (A highly recommended read on the topic.)

If it's a generational issue, then it started with the baby-boomers.


@simon Generational explanations simply don't explain the declines well enough. It's not exactly historically unheard of for one generation to reject the institutions of their parents, but historically when that happens the result is that the younger generation creates their own new institutions. But that's not happening. There aren't any meaningfully sized social institutions replacing the ones dieing.

Today the majority of people are not involved in any social organization.

@1dalm i think there's a few factors. Too much choice, for one. Computer games are amazing nowadays and perhaps tiktok/fortnite etc are stealing the affections and energy of the young and online generation. I saw a recent stat that showed tiktok sucking ever more hours a day of people's time, without the others reducing. It must be sucking the time from somewhere

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