“I hear what priests and pastors say at the pulpit and say to myself, ‘No, that is not what I believe in my heart.’ ”
This comes from The Wall Street Journal (behind a paywall) and attention must be paid:
Several religious denominations have seen memberships fall in recent years, including among young adults and teens. A new survey suggests that many young people perceive a disconnect between themselves and the houses of worship that need believers to sustain their congregations.
Half of young people ages 13 to 25 surveyed said they don’t think that religious institutions care as much as they do about issues that matter deeply to them, according to a report released Monday by the Springtide Research Institute, a nonpartisan nonprofit. Those issues include racial justice, gender equity, immigration rights, income inequality and gun control. Springtide tracks the views of American teens and young adults. It has done research work in conjunction with the Princeton Theological Seminary and the Mennonite Church, among others.
The biggest disconnect involves LGBT rights. About 71% of youths said they care about gay rights, but feel that 44% of religious communities care about the same issue, according to the survey of 10,274 people across the country representing various faiths.
…Many young people consider themselves spiritual—the Springtide study found that 78% described themselves as such, even if they don’t identify with an organized religion….
…Jesse Brodka, a 22-year-old special education teacher in Buffalo, N.Y., says he is frustrated by many social teachings of the Catholic Church but remains a part of it. “It’s something I wrestle with,” says Mr. Brodka, who attended Catholic schools and leads the local music ministry at the Jesuit College he attended.
“I hear what priests and pastors say at the pulpit and say to myself, ‘No, that is not what I believe in my heart,’ ” he says, referring to messages that people who are gay need to be “guided” away from homosexuality.
He says he is reluctant to wear a cross, even though he feels a strong connection to Jesus, because he is afraid people will think he is judging them. “The fact that the Christian faith has become a symbol of judgment speaks to that gap between religious organizations and the non-judgment that we value as young people,” he says.
There’s more behind the paywall here.
The full report by Springtide can be found here.