This article from the Washington Post entitled A Faith for The Nones depicts the vast majority of 20-somethings (called “nones”) who are secular and religiously unaffiliated. Put off by the legalism and political nature of the institutional church, the article describes the unfortunately polarized state of religion in the United States. What is really insightful about this article is that they actually have the right solution! A rare thing indeed.
But Putnam regards the growth of the “nones” as a spike, not a permanent trend. The young, in general, are not committed secularists. “They are not in church, but they might be if a church weren’t like the religious right. . . . There are almost certain to be religious entrepreneurs to fill that niche with a moderate evangelical religion, without political overtones.”
In the diverse, fluid market of American religion there may be a demand, in other words, for grace, hope and reconciliation — for a message of compassion and healing that appeals to people of every political background. It would be revolutionary — but it would not be new.