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A Current Student Gives An Honest Assessment of the Institution By Anne Kerhoulas For the past 20 years,...
September 13, 2022

America Is Becoming Less Christian, But Not Less Religious


By Anne Kerhoulas

The stats are in; America is becoming less and less Christian. But that doesn’t mean we are becoming less religious. 


Social Justice

Helen Lewis, in this article for The Atlantic, explores how social justice is becoming increasingly religious in its attitude. Where repentance was once a religious practice, those who are uneducated or fall on the wrong side of a social justice movement are urged to repent of their “sin.” Protests and marches are the locations of revival-like fervor, offering participants a spiritual experience of coming together around common beliefs. Personal pronouns and yard signs signal credal systems—I am he, she, they; in this house we believe in this, that, and the next thing. 


America is becoming less and less Christian, but it is also becoming more religious.


As Lewis states, “If you’re isolated, reading and sharing political memes and commentary is one way to find like-minded people; meanwhile, social media and dating apps encourage us to label ourselves so that we can be instantly categorized by algorithms and advertisers. Many common social-justice phrases have echoes of a catechism: announcing your pronouns or performing a land acknowledgment shows allegiance to a common belief, reassuring a group that everyone present shares the same values. But treating politics like a religion also makes it more emotionally volatile, more tribal (because differences of opinion become matters of good and evil) and more prone to outbreaks of moralizing and piety.”


Furthermore, Lewis notes how social justice beliefs have replaced outdated norms for dating and marriage. Where marrying someone of a different race or religion used to be difficult if not scandalous, marrying or even dating outside of your political preferences is increasingly unheard of. 


Christian Union disciples students and professionals in the way of Jesus. As our culture becomes more and more politicized, it is more important than ever that Christians are able to engage in conversations about politics and social justice through the lens of the gospel.


Read the full story here.