Young Evangelicals Leave Church, Take Voting Power With Them

Church attendance among 18 to 24-year-old evangelical Christians is down 43%, according to David Kinnaman, author of “You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving the Church and Rethinking Faith.” This sharp drop represents the number of times these believers visited church between their teenage and young adult years… and the news is sobering for Republican presidential hopefuls.

66% of Barack Obama’s 2008 supporters were under the age of 30, indicating that the Republican party needs to hold strong with its young adult voters in order to triumph in the 2012 election. But many beliefs touted by evangelical organizations, including abstinence until marriage and anti-gay sentiments, have many religious young adults questioning their beliefs.

Laura Sessions Step of CNN writes:

These young [church] dropouts value the sense of community their churches provide but are tired of being told how they should live their lives. They don’t appreciated being condemned for living with a partner, straight or gay, outside of marriage or opting for abortion to terminate an unplanned pregnancy.

Many people stop going to church during their teenage and young adult years, but return to the fold after settling down for marriage, kids and a mortgage. The members of the new generation, however, are holding off on these important rites of adulthood until later than Americans ever have before. The longer a person stays away from church, the less likely he or she is to return. It is unclear whether young evangelicals who leave the church will ever find the motivation to join a congregation again, especially if church views remain unchanged.

But will disillusioned evangelicals go so far as to support Obama in his reelection campaign? So far, the Democratic party has “done little to reach out to younger voters.” Some may continue to vote Republican in support of their conservative upbringing; others may not vote at all. The young adult evangelical demographic is a powerful one, and one that the Democratic party should be careful not to overlook.

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Photo credit: PBoGS


William G.
William G4 years ago

Chris said - 'at some point every fellowship faces rot and self indulgence and empty legalism'. This has been the state of the Christian churches for many years. Yet, the bad behavior off the Christians survives because Christians can not get past their dogmatic teaching and 'bible thumping' long enough to reason that 'love thy neighbor and environment' is just plain smart. Give love and get love in return, give hate and hurt and receive hate and hurt in return. Somebody said 'what goes around comes around'. Great writers throughout history have repeated these thoughts in thousands of different languages and ways; but a Christian will tell you it is only Jesus because it is all they know and all they ever want to know. Realize your endless blessings, cleanse your spirit and prepare for the passing; for tour own good and the good of mankind practice love and forgiveness, and stop trying to control the universe.

bob m.
bob m4 years ago

For we learn also to comfort others with the comforts with which we are comforted.
...When I came amongst did not reject me for the weakness in me ...but recieved me as though I were Christ Jesus Himself.
It is all about moving and and receiving..being filled and being all things to all men...swimming in the river of
Learning to be selfless,to understand in panoramas so vast and glorious; the ways of the Spirit.
abounding or abased...vessels to His Glory. sit at such a Glorious Table with Him.To walk with Him learn to rest the more quiet whilst His heart doeth bear the test.. to hear his voice in the tumult say ..Fear not....for I am with you..forevermore.

bob m.
bob m4 years ago

HI Chris; just a reflection.....when Paul fell from his prideful place...of his horse and believed... he immediately set out for Damascus.....the place he remained and grew in for a long time before he began to join and share in his new life.
If a seed goes not into the ground...
many young move out into the earth ...which is the Lords' and fall..and are lifted up and bear young and learn and are handed over to death in the hope.
At some point every fellowship faces rot and self indulgence and empty legalism.
Some forget that the door swings in and out.. seeking to enslave in doctrines which burden and create bondage.
There is no law against love. who is His teacher?
You need not that any man should teach you.. (born of Spirit).
Sometimes younsters are led by God into new things for a reason (always I should say).
There are so many personal realities and experiences in the journey of faith that though it speaks of a narrow way... it is always opening unto vistas wonderous and broad in kingdom learning and supping with Him.
His gates shall be called Praise.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

The alternative churches are on the highway to hell.

Tracy F.
Tracy F4 years ago

Again Christopher, If the Christian Coalition and the Rupublican party would allow condoms and the pill and vasectomies to be available to the public as well as information on birth control available to the public abortions would become non existent. But there is not any room in your religion for rational compromise.

Tracy F.
Tracy F4 years ago

Again Christopher, people who have their own alternative churches don't need your approval to worship God in their own way.

Tracy F.
Tracy F4 years ago

Christopher, Throughout history many Christians have killed many heritics even into recent times Christians have killed doctors that perform abortions.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

Yes, Christianity is about the love of God and salvation but it is also about the will of God, when you embrace God.

If you are going to live this life you must live it God's way. You can have your own way, but it will not save you.

Pego Rice
Pego R4 years ago

I dunno Christopher, I can certainly name a few people that are now dead because they did not practice Christianity the way you espouse. The urge you have fallen to, of dictating how other people "must" practice religion so as to be acceptable to the great all-knowing you is pretty evident.

You are certainly not the only one (or those people wouldn't be dead) we've seen someone desperately start pointing fingers at Islam. I think it is the ultimate loser position to say "We aren't this awful, see, because someone else is worse". Sure, I can think of some Muslims worse than you... I know more who are better in logic, compassion and behavior.

I will stick with my universalist stance. Who knows, even the haters could turn out nice, with time.

Bridget M.
Past Member 4 years ago

It says in Romans 1:19-23 For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the image of the glory of God for the likeness of an image of mortal man...