Thursday, October 22, 2020

In Brief: Teens "Losing Their Religion"

Thursday, a new post at Heritage Foundation's blog is titled: America’s Teenagers Are Losing Their Religion. The author is Timothy Goeglein whose day job is with Focus on the Family.

Mr. Goeglein writes:
Today’s teenagers are growing up in a society that is increasingly hostile to faith, especially regarding faith-based values, and the social cost of being identified as religious amongst [sic] one’s peers is getting higher with each passing day.
Oh poor you. The reason (from my perspective) that society is increasingly hostile to faith is because people of faith are increasingly hostile to our secular society. They live in an alternate reality.

Today's teens have friends who are gay or transgender. They have straight friends who are being raised by same-sex couples. They really don't want to hear that LGBTQ persons are evil from; certainly not from self-righteous hypocrites. Adolescents tend to judge people as individuals unless they have narrow-minded parents.

We know to a scientific certainty that sexual orientation and gender identity are involuntary. We know to a scientific certainty that conversion therapy is futile and toxic.

When the Religious Right dismisses science and insists otherwise — in their equally futile attempt to conform reality to scripture — they are not giving people credit for their intelligence. Calling adolescents stupid is not going to win them over.

For years Goeglein's employer promoted the idea that gay people — in seeking protections from discrimination — were trying to get “special privileges.” Their dishonesty and hypocrisy has now travelled a full circle.

Focus on the Family has somehow convinced a compliant Internal Revenue Service that their organization is a church. As such the organization has no exposure to potential audits and does not have to file an annual tax return with the Service.

Focus on the Family is not a damned church. Base dishonesty by sanctimonious people defines hypocrisy and that gets aerosauled throughout society.

I call that the successful pursuit of special privileges. Teens are not aware of that but the hypocrisy becomes part of the environment. Before Timothy Goeglein complains about supposed hostility to religion, he should look in the mirror.

As he correctly observes:
As it has been said, faith, and the values that accompany it, are “caught, not taught,” and if mom and dad aren’t going to church, or there is not a mom or a dad to model faith to them, there is nothing for teenagers to catch unless they encounter some influence outside the home.
Yeah and when mom and dad think that you are all a bunch of sanctimonious blowhards, don't expect their kids to be pious. Moreover, mom and dad might be a tad pissed off that a small part of our society has so much control over the Republican Party and public policy.

If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed (which seems inevitable) at least one-third of the justices of the Supreme Court will be people who believe that truth is defined by Christian teachings. Evidence becomes irrelevant. So do the learned opinions of others.

Amy Coney Barrett only exists to pander to the Christian Right.

In our nation, secular people dominate almost every intellectual endeavor. People like Alito, Barrett and Thomas are probably not designing rocket ships to take us to Mars. Nor are they likely to be involved in the development of vaccines against the novel coronavirus. But they are on the Court making life and death decisions.

Imagine how pissed off people are going to be when — because of Barrett — they lose their health insurance with no plan to replace it. Their kids are unlikely to be adherents.
Finally, the Christian Right drank the Trump Kool-Aid. At least the Catholic Church was critical of how we treat immigrants and possible immigrants.

The whole lot of them know that Trump is a narcissistic, self-absorbed sociopath and pathological liar. Yet Trump benefits from their support in order to get some judges who will agree that life begins with ejaculate.

Fuck everything else. The country can fall apart. The president is free to extort a foreign power for his personal benefit. Nothing else matters if we can make it more difficult for women to get an abortion. People resent that and their kids are unlikely to be among the faithful.

In the final analysis, the Christian Right is directly responsible for making people hostile to religion. If they want to redeem themselves the first step is to divorce themselves from politics. 

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