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 A lot of those old communities don't cater to anyone my age or younger (36), most of them are religious in nature, borderline cults, or just over-complicated excuses to get drunk away from home. The bigger a group is the less it seems to care about the individual as well.
The internet brought with it the ability to keep in contact with smaller, more specialized communities without a national org needed, so it should be no surprise their numbers are falling.
@raptor85 The biggest issue I have with the "internet is replacing traditional social communities" theory, is that most of these social communities started declining long before the internet was a thing. It's not hard to find old news paper articles bemoaning the decline of churches back in the 80s and 90s.
@raptor85 Further, to address your main point, while "most" institutions aren't interested in attracting younger adults, certainly some are. Yet it's very difficult to identify ANY traditional social organization that isn't declining in participation and membership.
Sooner or later, our society has to recognize that we have a severe systemic social problem.
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