, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Pretty good thread summing up what we've known for a while: children of the Christian right are running - not walking - away from the faith, because of its politics.
2-3 things to add to @gelliottmorris' thoughts.

1. Disaffiliation doesn't happen equally across Christianity. Mainline Protestants are shrinking because older members aren't being replaced by their grandchildren. Catholics leave because they're disgusted by clerical abuse.
(Somewhat incredibly, mainline Protestants actually have the *lowest* rate of disaffiliation these days.)
2. Disaffiliation is also uneven because it's largely based around two things: tolerance and respect for science. When young people say "Christianity is too political," what they mean is that it's exclusionary. They're also pretty sick of creationism.
Churches that are tolerant/welcoming/supportive don't provoke the same kind of reaction. Basically, just about all of the people who would leave a too-liberal church have left already.
3. Increasingly, the choice people make when they leave a too-conservative church isn't to find a more liberal home. It's to leave the church altogether.
So part of the reason Christians seem to be getting more conservative as they go along is that they're hemorrhaging more liberal members. If you compare the numbers with the religiously unaffiliated, they're through the roof liberal.
(Standard disclaimers here: "Nones" don't necessarily hate faith - they're just not big fans of *religion.* And none of this means religion/faith is inherently conservative. It's a matter of who's practicing it at any given moment.)
Just a couple more things.

4. Conservatism/intolerance alone doesn't explain evangelical attachment to the GOP. I have long believed it's that they share a high respect for authority. That's not the same as authoritarianism - I don't want to tag anyone as a fascist.
It's more along the lines of what George Lakoff calls "strong father" morality. Whatever the case, I think @robertpjones pointed out that as evangelicals grew as a proportion of the GOP, their concerns grew in importance to the party, as you would expect.
5. Last thing: the sharp growth of the Nones has been one reason I've been dubious of religious left outreach. The real action for liberals isn't in the church these days, it's with the people who've left the church.
As a political observer *and* as a Christian minister, I think it's imperative to recognize that those people can and do have coherent moral perspectives that are worth validating and engaging.
Schemes that imply that liberal religion > secular liberalism > conservative faith are really hot garbage. Nobody's morality is "better." Where that morality leads you is another story.
Okay, basta. This thread has been brought to you as always by Cardigan & Cane®, for the Old Man Crank in your life.
(tip o' the pin to @DemFromCT for calling Elliott Morris' thread to my attention.)
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