From bowling alone to churching alone?

Robert Putnam is back with a forthcoming book, “American Grace” in which he presents the results of his research on the increase in the number of young “nones”. He spoke to reporters Tuesday at a conference on religion organized by the Pew Forum on Faith in Public Life.

ABC News reports:

While these young “nones” may not belong to a church, they are not necessarily atheists.

“Many of them are people who would otherwise be in church,” Putnam said. “They have the same attitidues and values as people who are in church, but they grew up in a period in which being religious meant being politically conservative, especially on social issues.”

Putnam says that in the past two decades, many young people began to view organized religion as a source of “intolerance and rigidity and doctrinaire political views,” and therefore stopped going to church.

This movement away from organized religion, says Putnam, may have enormous consequences for American culture and politics for years to come.

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