10/6/06

NY Times: Kids Flee Fundamentalism - God Sent Pervert

The Times today has several religion stories. The top item tells us that church leaders are in a panic state about mass defections by their kids.

At an unusual series of leadership meetings in 44 cities this fall, more than 6,000 pastors are hearing dire forecasts from some of the biggest names in the conservative evangelical movement.

Their alarm has been stoked by a highly suspect claim that if current trends continue, only 4 percent of teenagers will be “Bible-believing Christians” as adults. That would be a sharp decline compared with 35 percent of the current generation of baby boomers, and before that, 65 percent of the World War II generation.

While some critics say the statistics are greatly exaggerated (one evangelical magazine for youth ministers dubbed it “the 4 percent panic attack”), there is widespread consensus among evangelical leaders that they risk losing their teenagers.

“I’m looking at the data,” said Ron Luce, who organized the meetings and founded Teen Mania, a 20-year-old youth ministry, “and we’ve become post-Christian America, like post-Christian Europe. We’ve been working as hard as we know how to work — everyone in youth ministry is working hard — but we’re losing.”

The board of the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group representing 60 denominations and dozens of ministries, passed a resolution this year deploring “the epidemic of young people leaving the evangelical church.”
Jewish leaders should take note and start to worry. Cultural trends eventually show up in Jewish communities in one form or another.

The second item deals with a strange religious group that has been going around the country picketing funerals of Iraq war veterans. They were dissuaded from picketing the funerals of the Amish girls by a radio personality. Their notion was that God sent the pervert who committed the murders as a sign that perverts are killing us all. Strange people come up with stranger theological ideas. What kind of nutty God would.....? Well, you know the lament by now.

The article is Air Time Instead of Funeral Protest:

Mike Gallagher, a nationally syndicated talk-radio host, turned over 55 minutes of his program yesterday morning to representatives from a fringe Christian group in exchange for a written promise that its members would not picket the funerals of the five Amish girls killed on Monday by a gunman inside their Pennsylvania schoolhouse.

Some representatives of the group, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, have contended that the Amish community bears some responsibility for the girls’ deaths as a consequence of its religious practices.

The group said it was also seeking to draw attention to its dispute with Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, who signed legislation this year barring pickets near funerals, a response to the church’s efforts to protest near the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq. The group said the military deaths were a result of God’s disappointment with “the sins of America.”

“The Lord your God is ramping up the issues, is smiting this nation,” Shirley Phelps-Roper, a church representative and a daughter of Mr. Phelps, told listeners of “The Mike Gallagher Show,” in reference to the shootings in Lancaster County. “What he did with one stroke on that day, sending a pervert in — because America is a nation of perverts — it’s appropriate he sent a pervert in to shoot those children. The Amish people were laid to an open shame because they are a false religion.”
Now given this lunacy in the name of God, is it any wonder that the kids are running away from religion?

1 comment:

Bryce said...

"Now given this lunacy in the name of God, is it any wonder that the kids are running away from religion?"

Usually they just run away from THAT DENOMINATION of the religion. Or, they run to ANOTHER religion. Besides, there's been this sort of lunacy since time immemorial, so what's the chiddush?