A mass exodus from Christianity is underway in America. Here’s why

While the trend toward atheism and agnosticism in Europe has been a slow but steady decline, Bullivant said, the increase in Christians dropping the faith didn’t really take off in the U.S. until the early 2000s, and the decline since then has been steep and quick.

For people who study such trends, there was kind of this feeling in the ’90s that if a rise in secularism hadn’t happened yet in America, there was no reason to think it would. “Even the most dramatic historical examples of religious growth or decline tend to occur over many generations,” said Bullivant. “But then it was as if in the early 2000s, something was released.”

And it’s important to note, said Bullivant, that it wasn’t about an influx of secular immigrants or nones raising throngs of nonreligious babies. It was about Americans deciding they were not tied to any religion. Interestingly, while a third of Americans that identify as nones say they are atheist or agnostic, Bullivant notes in his book, the rest have varying degrees of belief in God — Christian or otherwise.


Those who want to save or reconstruct Western civilization must not ignore to the rapid decline of Christianity. Western civilization is much more than one religion. Civilizationally, a religion is an agreed upon moral, intellectual, and linguistic standard. It provides a backbone or reference point for laws, behaviors, and societal goals. Buddhism could fill that role very well. Buddhism is closer to ancient Greek and Roman philosophies than Christianity. Buddhism is rational, ethical, and teaches spiritual wisdom above all else. Buddhism has zero problem accepting science or evidence-based reason. It also has zero problem accepting other religious traditions. Christians can be Buddhists and no Buddhist will ever have a problem with that. Same for all other religions if they have an ethical basis, are able to change as new truths are discovered, and respect the ineffable primacy of the unnamable, which you are free to name in your own way. ABN

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