Checking out of church: Are young people giving up on God?


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  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Feb. 23, 2011 9:35 p.m.

    Deism states "God gave us reason not religion"

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.- attributed to Seneca the Younger

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 23, 2011 4:41 p.m.

    Often believers will try to place atheism and theism on the same plane. If the only reason for going with one over the other is faith...then, presumably, the theist will argue that their faith is somehow better than the atheists faith. This claim relies upon the erroneous assumption that all propositions are created equal. Disproving a god requires an adequate description of what it is and what characteristics it has in order to determine either if there is logical contradictions or if any testable implications hold true. When a god is defined adequately, it may be possible to construct empirical or logical tests to see if it exists. Claiming that atheists cannot prove that God does not exist often relies upon the misunderstanding that atheists claim God does not exist and should prove this. In reality, atheists merely fail to accept the theists' claim God exists and, hence, the initial burden of proof lies with the believer. If the believer is unable to provide good reason to accept the existence of their god, it is unreasonable to expect the atheist to construct a disproof of it...or even care about the claim in the first place!

  • amst plano, tx
    Feb. 23, 2011 3:03 p.m.

    Actually atheists and agnostics have faith since faith is simply believing in something you can't see but is true or factual so the belief that there is no god would in itself actually require faith no matter what. Its simply a different definition of the term.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 23, 2011 2:47 p.m.


    Let me explain. Making a conscious decision to go forward and accept things on faith even though you haven't satisfied your intellect with proof FOR MANY would be FORCING oneself to believe something their mind cannot accept. Atheists, agnostics etc. are justified in regarding faith as little more than a cop-out because faith isn't really any kind of standard that can be tested for reliability. Even if religious theists don't intend it in this manner, it seems that in practice "faith" is simply pulled out whenever attempted arguments based on reason and evidence fail. In order to arrive at her/his beliefs I'm sure Vanka has studied many beliefs and her own reality before coming to his/her conclusions. It seems from reading Vanka's posts that she probably finds faith brings no reliable truth and no amount of self-convincing will bring the proof you speak of.

    Truth of religion or the existence of some god cannot be defended to a skeptical nonbeliever on the basis of faith. It means that faith is not an adequate or reasonable defense of any belief system despite our incomplete knowledge or the infallibility of ALL OUR_intellects.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Feb. 23, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    "Joseph Smith ( how often do we talk about peter, james, or john - not very often), Family Home Evening, Family Prayer, Pay your Tithing, the standard list goes on."

    And how often do we actually practice these things - all of them?

    We keep talking about these things, because they work. It doesn't work if you talk about them on Sunday and then go home and give them no further thought or effort. But if you actually get out of your comfort zone and do these things better than you ever have before, your life changes. You get very happy, and everything seems to fall into place. It really does. If it didn't, I would have given up on it a long time ago.

    It's not about being perfect. It's about being happy. If you can't see that living LDS Doctrine makes you happy, you're missing the point. Unfortunately there are a great many Mormons who are missing the point. They are the ones who come to church with scouls on their faces and then go home and yell at their kids and treat their neighbors like garbage because they aren't LDS.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Feb. 23, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    "'Abandon your intellect' and then mormonism works? I agree."

    What makes you think your intellect is so infallible?

    I'm saying you have to accept that you don't know everything and accept some things on faith. Begin to practice it, and the proof you seek will come, so that you would actually have to abandon your intellect to deny it.

    But, I guess if you know everything, you're set, and I'm talking to the wrong person. Carry on.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Feb. 23, 2011 10:48 a.m.


    Of course your a good person.

    I didn't mean to accuse you of not being humble. I'm just saying that God sometimes requires us to accept things on faith. We don't get earth shattering confirmations of truth all the time. If we did, no faith would be required.

    I'm saying you have to make a conscious decision to go forward and accept things on faith even though you haven't satisfied your intellect with proof. Eventually, bit by bit, you do get the proof. I don't know for certain that every point of LDS doctrine is true, but I believe it is, and as I live it, I see evidence of its truth in my life, and I come to understand what it actually means, and I have experiences that have little explanation beyond the ones offered by my faith, so that I would actually have to set aside my intellect to deny them. I'm just saying that if you require proof that a principle is true before you practice it, the proof will never come.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 23, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    A former student of mine told me she was tired of hearing the "my God can beat up your God" rhetoric. That's why she stays away from organized religion. Out of the mouth of babes...

  • Mom of 2 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    Darn kids, always growing up and getting their own opinions of stuff.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 12:00 p.m.


    I have never claimed to be "a better person" than anyone else. What would that even mean? Betterfor what?

    "what part of 'reason' dictates that bashing others for not believing as you do is logical or moral".

    I have not "bashed" anyone who does not "believe" as I do." In case you missed it, I do NOT believe. That is the point of atheism. Pointing out that believers have failed to evangelize effectively, have failed to offer good reason for belief, is not "bashing" them.

    "In every breath you utter, you defy what you claim to be true."

    What exactly have I claimed to be "TRUE"? I have asserted no positive belief whatsoever. What have I written that "degrades others"?

    BTW, "unsecure" is not a word, and I defy anyone to explain what this means: "to defend that which you are unsure of." Huh?

    "God doesn't hurt people... people do that themselves."

    So who do we blame for the earthquake in NZ? The diseases that kills millions? The tsunami that killed 300,000? Let us know so we can blame them, and we will let god off the hook (if he has a good alibi).

  • Fred Bastiat Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 11:53 a.m.


    I do not understand how you can possibly describe God as immoral and cruel. Your statement completely ignores the Christian belief that God sent Christ to take upon everyone's sins, sorrows, and pains. In that respect any cruelty a person felt is also felt by God. Furthermore, Christ's Atonement makes it so a person's finite actions can be forgiven and as a result have no effect on their eternal wellbeing. But God will not stop someone from refusing forgiveness. As CS Lewis said, "All that are in Hell choose it."

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 22, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Vanka... so your are trying to say you are a better person than all these other by the fact that you use reason to drive your life.

    So my question back to you is what part of "reason" dictates that bashing others for not believing as you do is logical or moral. In every breath you utter, you defy what you claim to be true. If you truly have found "reason" to be your guiding principle, they you would understand that degrading others is completely counter productive.

    Rather, you continue to prove that you are unsecure in your own belief system. There is no other reason to attack others unless you feel the need to defend that which you are unsure of. If you truly held to your beliefs, you would happily go along with the other 4% of Americans that have uniquely found truth. But rather, you spew that others are "a turnip, hallucinating on exotic mushrooms that I am a child of a god who harms his children in order to test their faith"

    By the way, God doesn't hurt people... people do that themselves. If you want to blame someone, blame who did the act.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    I don't have a with people who claim to believe in God...

    I have even less of a problem with people who actually do.

  • snowcat21 baldwin, md
    Feb. 21, 2011 7:59 p.m.

    In 1940 I was born into a family where my parents had very strong religious beliefs. By age 14 I came to the conclusion that religion is based on unverifiable magic. By age 17 I totally quit attending. I had become an atheist and I could no longer believe in a magical sky god.

    Now at age 69 I consider that becoming an atheist was the best decision I ever made. Since the time I quit attending church there have been over 2700 Sundays. I spent the majority of those days doing outdoors activities such as skiing, hiking, camping, fishing, bicycling, mountain climbing, sailing, motorcycling and golfing.

    Now as I am reaching the sunset years of my life I have many fond memories of the hundreds of Sundays that I spent doing great outdoors activities with friends. If instead I had spent those Sundays sitting in church meetings I seriously doubt that I would have any good memories of those days. I thought that church meetings were terminally boring and a total waste of my time. Giving up religion was the most intelligent thing that I ever did.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 6:09 p.m.


    "The saddest, of each of those reasons - and there are many more, is that of somebody choosing not to believe in God because they have been offended."

    As Fairenough4U so eloquently put it, it is not the religious people who offend me, it is your god.

    I have no problem with imperfect people. It is the monster of a god in which you all believe that offends me.

    But you are correct about one thing. It IS easier to not believe in god, just as it is much easier to not believe myself to be a turnip, hallucinating on exotic mushrooms that I am a child of a god who harms his children in order to test their faith as I play existential hide and seek with them!

    Reason is so much easier. You should try it sometime.

  • Fairenough4U Draper, utah
    Feb. 21, 2011 3:33 p.m.


    If God existed, his failure to intervene would be the least of his sins.

    Your parental analogy is only a further indictment. The most immoral parent imaginable would never punish its offspring eternally for some finite action, much less a belief or lack of a belief in himself. That is immoral and psychotic. This is especially true because the belief in a supernatural being is totally nonsensical. Infinite punishments for finite actions and beliefs cannot be reconciled with some weak-sauce speculative theology and parental metaphor.

    My atheism is a compliment to your God. I simply describe him as not existing; you describe him as unimaginably immoral and cruel. If I were God, I'd be angry with God groupies who are so willing to excuse horrible injustices in my name. God ordered the tribe of Israel to murder every man, woman, child, newborn infant, fetus and animal from an enemy tribe? Your okay with that? I am not a moral relativist, so I won't give your God a break on that one. With groupies like you all defending God, he will welcome atheists with a cold beer and a slap on the back.

  • Belching Cow Sandy, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    This is news? I think everyone knew this already.

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    Feb. 21, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    When people claim that God doesn't care or that He should be punished for not helping make me feel sorry for them. That sounds like a child who wants something that isn't right for them crying that thier parents hate them and don't love them. When in actuality, at some time they will understand that the parents love more than you know and are acting very responsibly. I remember feeling that way towards my parents, but now that I have children of my own, I have apologized and realized how wrong I was.

    The day will come that you'll feel sorry for feeling that way about God. You'll realize that He had more love for you than you understood, and that He actually had something bigger going on for you.

  • Clear123 Spanish Fork, Utah
    Feb. 21, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    Read 2 Timothy 3 and you will see why these things are happening.

    Nobody is forced to believe in God, but that does not mean he does not exist.

    Obviously, reasons for not believing in God vary, from person to person. I would say that many youth not following God are too consumed in the world.

    For many, it's easier to believe what you want than to believe in God. Others have sinned and reject God because of their pride. There are also issues of those who have been offended. Others simply choose not to. (I'm thankful for agency)

    The saddest, of each of those reasons - and there are many more, is that of somebody choosing not to believe in God because they have been offended. Christ was the only perfect person to walk the earth. The church is put forth as a tool for the imperfect to reach God. Imperfect people say and do offensive things. Too many people are so self-consumed that they do not give the sinner a chance. This doesn't just mean the person who says something offensive, but the person who is offended. Being offended is an easy way out.

  • Tommy2Shoes Lehi, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    Why do people leave anything? Because they are not getting what they need from that group. I stay in my religion because I believe it is the right religion for me. All of our children have stayed in the same religion and are more committed than their parents. All of us are in this life together. When we die we will either continue to live as spirits until our resurrection or become nothing more than a decaying corpse slowly returning to mother earth. There are several other beliefs about what happens to us after death but I'll not recount any of those.
    Regardless of your beliefs, try to obey the laws of our land. I respect your rights to be a non-believer or a different belief system. I'll probably die within the next 20 years and be at rest from my mortal trials. I'll have enjoyed this wonderful life. I'll try not to harm my fellow creatures here on this beautiful planet. Life here has been awesome.
    Cut the youth some slack, we were young and some of us remember the 50's and sixties. Rock on and hold to the rock.

  • Fairenough4U Draper, utah
    Feb. 21, 2011 4:27 a.m.

    I disagree. More and more young people do not believe in God. This is not just about not being willing to fall for organized religion. It is also about not believing in God. Being an atheist is not a bad thing. Atheists are among the most educated, intelligent, responsible, happy and healthy people in society.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Feb. 21, 2011 12:29 a.m.

    To: Fairenough4U | 3:30 a.m. Feb. 19, 2011
    Draper, Utah - I believe you have missed the part of the story of "Why you are here". If there was not test, there would be no reward. Are you sure you want to take the bet that there is no God or would you rather hedge that bet?
    To: Dennis | 6:14 a.m. Feb. 19, 2011
    Harwich, MA - believing in something that inspires one to be better is hardly a burden.
    To: Sterling Allan | 10:02 a.m. Feb. 19, 2011
    Mt. Pleasant, UT - our society is anything but "growing up". We continue to make the same mistakes and look for the easy way out way too much. I see a weaker and less compasionate society going forward with a loss of vision and moral compass.
    To: The Vanka | 12:54 p.m. Feb. 19, 2011
    Provo, UT - If you have tried your best and still no answer, then go your way. No one can blame you our critize you.
    To: diddy | 2:36 p.m. Feb. 19, 2011
    Salt Lake City, Utah - be careful the generation you dismiss as you could not sacrifice as they have.

  • KD Lewis Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 11:49 p.m.

    I find this thread disappointing. People on both sides are judging each other, then complaining about being judged, and judging yet again. People on both sides are making broad generalizations based on their worst experience with the other side. Most disheartening I see people trying to find truth, yet attacking people who are trying to do the same thing. Instead I think we should focus on the things we agree on.

    I think that we can all agree we should "love our neighbor" and strive to not cause injury or offense.

    I think we can all agree that personal responsibility is a good thing.

    I think that we can all agree that it is better to forgive and forget than hold a grudge.

    I think we can all agree what defines a 'good person' is not their belief system, but how they treat their fellow men and women.

    These principles are all good. They are all key to have a thriving society. They are not unique to a single religion or belief system and should be celebrated wherever they are found. How about instead of throwing insults, we recognize the good in each other and our beliefs.

  • amst plano, tx
    Feb. 20, 2011 7:04 p.m.

    Well I haven't yet. Nor will I.

  • Fairenough4U Draper, utah
    Feb. 20, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    Almost nothing theists believe about atheists is true.
    Just because we don't believe in any gods, including yours, does not mean we have no obligations, morals or standards. In fact, atheist are among the most educated, law-abiding, healthy and happy in our society. Many of you need to be more open to understanding and stop dehumanizing atheists.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    A former LDS friend of mine once told me:

    "Personally, I find atheists just as annoying as fundamentalists and evangelicals. But the important thing is that I find a way to feel superior to all of them. That is what my Testimony is for."

    So I told her:

    "For millennia, members of the human race have groped for comfort in the darkness of the abyss, and in the face of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and I begrudge nobody their sources of solace, no matter how ridiculous.

    "But secularism, humanism, and science provide tools: $100 Billion a year in scientific studies and medical R&D have bought us some pretty powerful slings and arrows of our own.

    "This world is amazing, and Im going to live to experience more of it thanks to people who refused to gracefully swallow the blue pill and blithely accept the ineffability of existence.

    "I find my courage where I can, but I take my weapons from science, my direction from humanistic ethics, and my hope from secular democratic societies and the undying spirit of mankind."

    She hasnt spoken to me since.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 20, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    What a wonderful exchange of ideas! Many people have expressed feelings I feel my own: " Young People are not giving up in God but in religion". I think the question should be Why organized religion is not able to satisfy the spiritual needs of so many people, young and not so young? We will see that while society is evolving to be more tolerant and loving, religions(many of them) remain holding to the principles of Paul and Not Christ. Therefore, it is easy to explain why they don't feel spiritualy satisfied.
    Young people are not afraid of God and no one should be. As the founder of the Hari Krishna movement in the U.S. declared once:"Christians by the most part are Christians because of fear or interest, Fear of going to hell. Or interest in going to heaven". As a Christian I love to see young people loving the world, humanity and God for the sake of pure love and not for selfish reasons. I certainly have hope in the future, our youth gets better with each generation. Religion is important and should become more consistent with their own preaching to become more relevant in society.

  • FYI Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    "Maybe the parents of those who are checking out are responsible for dropping the ball."

    Or maybe their parents taught them well the idea of agency and then let them govern themselves. By your last comment of following the prophet, I perceive you are LDS and the idea of agency is central to the teachings and what God did with His children.

    And with regard to the prophet to follow which prophet would that be, Monson, Mohammed, Jeffs, etc. Several religions beleive in following prophets although they may be different than what you believe.

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    "If the well meaning member had wanted wanted the boy to have nicer clothes to go to Church in then he/she could have bought them."

    Leaving a pile of *BETTER* clothes on a doorstep is being just as hateful, rude and judgmental as telling someone to their face that their clothes are disgusting, and they are not "welcome" with their less than perfect clothes.

    If God is real, I would like to think he wouldnt care if we came to church in dirty t-shirts and jeans with holes in them...

    If he does care, is he really the kind of God we should worship????

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    Feb. 20, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    If the well meaning member had wanted wanted the boy to have nicer clothes to go to Church in then he/she could have bought them.

    When my kids where little we dared not bring them to church with a rip or hole or anything like unto it. If we did the same day or next day at least one box of clothing would be on my door step.

    I have bought more then 1 white shirt for a new member child or adult.

    Iwould be shamed if someone said somthing like that here.

    Thats jugement that you are not good enough to be with us if you do not dress a certain way.

    Priest in the Performence Duties if at all possible need to follow guide lines. General Attendence , Not so much.

    In Hawaii we are Happy You Are Here With Us, we just assume you are doing the best you can.

    Some would Reject Jesus because of the way he was dresses. Tell Josepth Fielding Smith to Shave his Beard.

    However the offended must be partly accountable.

    I walked into the Church and a kindly lady told be what time the Spanish Ward met. I thank her.

  • Jiggle Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 2:13 p.m.


    We all judge to one extent or another! It's human nature! Those who criticise people who seek to judge by the standards given in God's Word seem oblivious to the fact that in their criticism they too are judging those they oppose by labelling them 'judgemental'! However, is this critical judgment being based upon God's word, or upon those things by which we are forbidden to judge: traditions of men, party spirit, autonomous human opinion, reason or experience, etc.?? Or is it only--Do not judge the faithful, lest you be judged! Who gets to decide? The greatest sin (if there is such thing) is "intolerance" and it seems this is also increasingly the case in many churches. Anyone who wants to critique something is instantly dismissed as 'judgemental' (so much for tolerance then!).

    The question of our knowledge of our own emotions is especially problematic, as it seems they are both the object of our most immediate awareness and the most powerful source of our capacity for self-deception. What is often perceived as true is false.

    Nobody is keeping score though, but everybody does have an opinion to share....including you!

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 1:58 p.m.

    "Abandon your intellect" and then mormonism works? I agree.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 1:51 p.m.


    You see? The same old tune. If I didn't get "the right answer", then there is something wrong with me.

    Did you read the rest of my comment? I have asked. I have prayed. I have done everything the believers say you are supposed to do. Still nothing.

    Do you understand that? Nothing. Zilch. Nada.

    But what is your response to me? More accusations that I have not been humble enough. More personal attacks that there is something wrong with me. It is my fault, you say. Humble yourself and try again. Abandon your "intellect" and try again.

    I have abandoned everything. I have humbled myself beneath the dust of the earth, just to make King Benjamin happy.

    Still, nothing. For years. For decades. Nothing.

    How long shall a person continue to play this game? 10 years? 20 years? How about 30 years? And what about the same game as applied to other religions? Shall a person spend 30 years studying and praying about Scientology? Jehovah's Witnesses?

    Is that what you did?

    Or, you can accept the possibility that good, intelligent, honest people have tried "Moroni's Challenge" and gotten an answer: Nothing. No God. Nada.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 20, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    I am bewildered by those who get so defensive of others not believing in the way they do. If you are confident it how you believe, then someone else's opinion will not impact your testimony one bit. There is no need to be offensive, nor defensive.

    But I must say, the whole concept of Joseph's perfection, that his interpretation Gods commandments was perfect, and therefor no wiggle room in how one interprets the gospel is a rather bold and provocative statement. Thinking so only shows that one has a very selective knowledge of church history. One of the first lessons we learn as primary kids is how Joseph was told not to share the documents with anyone, which he disobeyed, and hence those text were lost. Those parts of its 100% completeness are missing.

    The scriptures are replete with stories of the lord's Prophets making mistakes. Adam did. Moses did... this list goes on, and I am sure that continues into todays leaders. They are no more perfect than the leaders of old. The gospel may indeed be perfect - but it is funneled through men who are anything but.

    There is no perfection here.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Feb. 20, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    IS THERE A SCORE HERE? Would someone go through and count all the comments that are attacking believers, all the comments that attack non-believers. Then count all the comments where believers are being civil in explaining themselves and where non-believers are being civil in explaining themselves. I personally do not appreciate when either believers or non believers have to be rude. And as a believer myself, I believe the famous words that are written "judge not, that ye be not judged" And this quote is from a google search. "If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now."
    -- Marcus Aurelius (121-180 A.D.) Roman Emperor and philosopher

  • Jiggle Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 12:12 p.m.


    Seriously....there is NO group of non-believes rallied to attack this comment thread. Do you actually expect everybody to agree? There is NO attack. There is just opinion! Since when is an opposing opinion an attack? We can't help that you don't like opposing opinions. We certainly don't always like opinions like yours either, but unlike you we realize people simply have opposing opinions! I have news for you though! There are plenty of opposing opinions out there and some of them even come from within religion.

    Life is often ugly....that is a fact of life....so your typical religious scare tactics and paranoia are the same tactics that have been used for ages such as the Dark Ages when there were periods of intellectual darkness. Doomsayers have been predicting the end of mankind practically forever and still the world continues on in all its glory and ugliness!

    Times of ignorance and superstition have been replaced by times of reason, but unfortunately many are locked in the world of religion and can't seem to step outside into light of reason.

    I fully support your choice though, but I certainly don't agree with_it!

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Feb. 20, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    Sutton, you so don't understand what I am saying, of course I believe in God and my daughter doesn't and we discuss this openly. I am not hiding from my daughter or she from me what our feelings are, but we also share that we can not agree, yet still have a deep profound love for each other. I didn't tell the full story, she rails on me all the time, cause I am not in shape and I sought medical attention for lower back pain. My daughter is big into pilates and has tried to get me to do that, I don't and I did ask the Dr is my pain could be because of poor core muscles and she said yes. So I told my daughter she can tell me she told me so as long as when she dies and I see her I can tell her I told her so. She laughed, thank heavens she is my daughter and doesn't get her all uptight for us having warm and humorous conversations. But I guess someone has to take any believers response and spin in into being close minded.

  • Jiggle Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    When I see comments like "all you non-believers in God will be begging for mercy one day"...."I know in my heart that there is a God"...." I don't understand how anyone could believe that there is not a supreme creator"...."Narcissists have a tough time developing spiritually"...."Atheism is such an easy way out. Wouldn't it be nice not to be held accountable for anything and to do whatever you please"?

    OBVIOUSLY, many of you don't understand atheism, have never studied it, judge it and the people without really knowing their well-thought out reasons, and most of all you perpetuate common myths and lies about it.

    It is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. The statements above are NOT evidence and can easily be refuted.

    Atheists are no less moral than any other individual. In general, atheists do not lack belief because of ignorance or denial, but are non-believing through choice based on reason, observation, evidence, and logic. Atheists are actually distinctly better informed about religion than people who consider themselves religious.

  • justathought Draper, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 11:35 a.m.

    Interesting article. Is it possible that one reason young people leave faith is because they expect things to come easy to them with little effort. I see a difference with young people today (not all but some examples) feel things should be easily given to them rather than seeking answers even if it takes some enormous effort on their part. This applies to both religion and non. Just a thought.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Feb. 20, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    "I am puzzled, because this seems to presuppose the very thing I am asking about. In other words, I have to believe there is a God in order to ask that God if there is a God."

    I can understand why you are puzzled, but the answer is actually very simple. Yes, you have to take that leap and believe there is a God. It may go against all reason, but you have to take that leap. That is called being humble. Despite the fact that you have no concrete proof, you are humble enough to acknowledge that you don't know everything, and you will just take it on blind faith that there is a God. Once you do that, you will begin to see and feel the evidence in your heart and in your mind. You don't receive the answer until after the trial of your faith. You have to take that leap before you get an answer. I understand you have put forth great effort. You have read. You have prayed. You have honestly tried, but you've held something back. You have held on to your own intellect, just in case.

  • scottpehrson Monticello, utah
    Feb. 20, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    I guess I will become unpopulare here and agree with runwasatch except I see the 60's philosophy permeating more than just religious intentions of the young people. The young people of today are children of those infected by the 60's. That generation has not changed anything about what they think and believe except their clothing and hair styles. A nice suit and tie and short hair will get you further than rags and long stringy hair. Many of those so influenced, now teach in our liberal universities and govern at the highest levels. They abhorred God and all things requiring personal responsibility 40 years ago and still do.
    The problem is that they have influenced succeeding generations to participate in the same drug induced stupor that existed in then. A book intitled "The Death of Right and Wrong" by Tammi Bruce, should be required reading in our schools. (Not a religious book at all) A return to God, any God, would be a natural byproduct of a turning away from narcissism and the self serving attitudes that have permeated our society.

    Now let the proof of my words be proven by the responses that are sure to follow

  • toddd Kansas City, MO
    Feb. 20, 2011 10:42 a.m.

    I am a somewhat young person and I have given up on religion and God. The human species has finally evolved beyond religion. The recent rise of fundamentalism is a direct response to the growing secularization of society at large. I am excited we are finally shedding our myths and delusions and starting to focus on reason and science. Human progress!

  • afrost Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    I'm a 25 year old male member of the LDS faith and I know God lives. Every man/woman is free to choose for themself. In the end I'm not perfect, but I can always strive to better myself with the help of God and His Son. Just wanted to share my convictions as young person.

  • carman Alpine, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    It's always been easier to stand for nothing than to stand for something. The youth are learning how much easier it is...

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 9:34 a.m.

    Not mine. The Faith of our Fathers is well in tact.
    Maybe the parents of those who are checking out are responsible for dropping the ball. The sorting out of the sheep and goats is underway. Earth life is a testing ground...we are not robots un der a divine thumb. Follow the prophet.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    So what group rallied a bunch of non-believers to attack this comment thread? Seriously...

    Every knee shall bend and every tongue confess. It's coming folks but it might get ugly before it happens.

  • boiseblue Eagle, ID
    Feb. 20, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    All one has to do is read this mornings Fox News Headlines......all you non-believers in God will be begging for mercy one day....and then HE will say, "I told you so".

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Feb. 20, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    Dave in Taylorsville:
    What was restored????
    Do some reading.
    Absolutely nothing!

  • SL Rexburg, ID
    Feb. 20, 2011 7:30 a.m.

    I want to be "spiritual but not religious." That way I won't have to sacrifice anything, God will never interfere with my lifestyle choices, and I can be comforted by a vague hope in the afterlife.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2011 12:28 a.m.

    "You say you believe in "part" of what Joseph Smith taught. So some of the revelation and "truths" he espoused are OK but some not?"

    Not exactly. My lack of belief in the trinity doctrine and my belief in eternal marriage predate my even knowing Joseph Smith taught either of those things.

    "I have heard others espouse this same idea. I will not laugh at you. . . but I am totally puzzled by the idea."

    You don't believe everything Catholics believe is correct but probably believe some of it. It's kinda like that. Yes I know you're going to say "but the things I believe that they teach are part of both faiths". That is true. However, I'm effectively non-denominational even though technically I'm LDS, so I don't feel personally limited into a "they're right if it matches up with my denomination" requirement.

    "By the way. . . the gospel he restored is 100% true. It's perfect."

    I feel that God doesn't care if we're 100% accurate anyway, he cares more about if we're good people (I also believed truth is learned before final judgment before knowing mormons teach that).

  • Juliet Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    A related DN article suggests that young people are increasingly uncomfortable with religions that encourage conservative, right wing rhetoric-- specifically rhetoric against homosexuals. The article goes on to suggest that young people are not necessarily giving up on God, as much as they are giving up on conservative religion, whether that religion is LDS, Baptist, Catholic, etc.

  • Dave from Taylorsville Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    @atl134 | 12:51 p.m. Feb. 19, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT

    I hope you see this.

    Please, think upon this one idea. . . that after ALL is said and done (and actually even before that), there is truth. I mean THE truth. What actually IS. "oh, I believe this and that. . . why? If you do believe there is God, then as he is my witness. . . there is truth, and there is non-truth. There isn't anything in between. There is fact and fiction.

    You say you believe in "part" of what Joseph Smith taught. So some of the revelation and "truths" he espoused are OK but some not? I have heard others espouse this same idea. I will not laugh at you. . . but I am totally puzzled by the idea. If Joseph Smith had that interview with God, then EVERYTHING he has espoused and promoted is true. If not, it's a crock. Simply that!

    It's not arrogance to say 100% truth, it's fact or not; simply that.

    By the way. . . the gospel he restored is 100% true. It's perfect. Not the people (that's why the non-beleivers have problems), just the gospel.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 9:46 p.m.

    "I live by a university and at the university there are two LDS building close to each other and three wards of single young adults that meet there.. This university is NOT in Utah!"

    You're in Idaho, it's close enough to being Utah. I went to Penn State as an undergraduate, our building three miles off campus had two wards and a branch (one of the wards was for the townspeople of state college). A student ward was for married with children and a branch was married without kids and singles which shows that it was largely graduate student Utah transplants that went to church at Penn State. Undergraduates like me were pretty rare despite the school having 40k students (probably 30+k of whom were undergrads) and activity rates among them were low.

  • Paradox Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 9:38 p.m.

    I don't necessarily believe that young people are giving up on God, but on religion, and as one of those young people I understand at least my own reasons. I don't know that God is real, but I truly, truly hope he is. I am a member of the LDS church, but the older I get and the more wonderful people who I meet who aren't LDS, the more I'm unsure that it is the true church. Many of the non-members I know are more kind, more compassionate, more accepting, and more forgiving of others than the majority of members I know. Is there a problem with a religion, any religion, that turns out masses of intolerant, judgmental people? If that is the case, then isn't it better for individuals to find their own reasons for being moral, caring, compassionate people? And if you are a good person because you wish to be, rather than because you're afraid of judgement, doesn't it seem like God would prefer that anyway?

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Feb. 19, 2011 8:22 p.m.

    Boy... there sure are a lot of anti religion comments on here.
    I live by a university and at the university there are two LDS building close to each other and three wards of single young adults that meet there.. This university is NOT in Utah!
    There may be many youth leaving religion.. but there are those that also are joining.
    Interesting the comment I found was that they were putting religion down and complaing about this and that while passing judgement on those who attend and one of their main complaints was how judgement was past on them.

    I am not perfect by any means - but I know in my heart that there is a God, and I know that he loves us. I know Christ died for me and for you. I know that I shall see dead loved ones again. I can't prove it to you, because it is my personal testimony gained through hardships,pain, fear, love and through the witness of the Holy Ghost.
    Yours words may be true for you.. this is true for me. When I compare your words to what God has done for me.. Your not even close.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 7:58 p.m.

    There is some good research about it outlined in a book by Christian Smith called "Soul Searching." It's a good read.
    For the ADD crowd, M. Scott Peck had a good explanation called The Four Stages of Spiritual Development.
    Narcissists have a tough time developing spiritually.

  • B Logan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 7:49 p.m.

    I get why people would be turned off by religion. But I don't understand how anyone could believe that there is not a supreme creator. Seriously. Go google pictures of the universe as taken by the Hubble telescope. It all had to start somewhere.

    At any rate, I've always thought it was a terrible gamble to be an atheist. I mean, if an atheist is right, he just fades into the darkness. What happens if he is wrong? That's an awkward situation.

    Religion, for the most part, takes imperfect human beings and helps them to live a meaningful life. Imagine (as John Lennon did) if we were all atheists. It would get UGLY quick.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 19, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    Honestly, and I am a very active member, but how many years can you go to sunday school class and hear the same thing over and over again with the same pat answers, Joseph Smith ( how often do we talk about peter, james, or john - not very often), Family Home Evening, Family Prayer, Pay your Tithing, the standard list goes on. On occasion you will get someone who dares to stray from the prescribed manual script and bring in additional detail, context, and overall history to what is being discussed.... but not very often.

    How many times have the youth been told that if they aren't 100% perfect, well, they just aren't temple and mission worthy (soiled goods). Since many aren't perfect, many just give up hope and try to find happiness and acceptance in other ways.

    Something I noticed after moving to the "Bible Belt" is that other denominations members accept that they are not perfect, and attend church to become better. They acknowledge their imperfections. We in the LDS faith wear this mask of sainthood, pretending to do no wrong.

    It is a high bar to try live to.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    "'How is this?' said the Emperor to himself. 'I can see nothing! Am I a simpleton, or unfit? 'Oh! the cloth is charming,' said he, aloud. And he smiled most graciously, for on no account would he say he could not see what the officers of his court had praised so much.

    "All his retinue strained their eyes, hoping to discover something on the looms, but they could see nothing; nevertheless, they all exclaimed, 'Oh, how beautiful! Magnificent! Excellent!'

    "The lords of the bedchamber, who were to carry his Majesty's train felt about on the ground, as if they were lifting up the ends of the mantle; and pretended to be carrying something; for they would by no means betray anything like simplicity, or unfitness for their office.

    "The Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through the streets of his capital; and all the people cried out, 'Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor's new clothes! No one would allow that he could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office."

    So spreads naked "religion."

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    I agree with Abe.

    If there is a god, and that god really does love us and has revealed him or herself to mankind in order to save us, then we want more than anything to know it.

    The fact that there is no support for such claims is not a reflection on us, it is a reflection on you who make the claims.

    We who do not believe are not failed human beings; you are failed evangelists, missionaries, and spokesman for god.

    Attacking us and deriding us for our unbelief amounts to excuse-making and a red-herring to cover your incompetence and failure as self-proclaimed messengers of god.

    We are eager to believe, if you will just give us good reason. But you fail to give us anything worthy of our belief.

    Your god destroys innocent people for no reason. He gives commandments then orders his most faithful servants to break them. He is no respecter of persons, but plays favorites with Mormons: the only Church he is pleased with!

    Instead of trying to convince me I am unworthy to know god, convince me your god is worthy of being known.

  • Abe Sarvis Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 6:42 p.m.

    If people are attending church less, then maybe churches need to reexamine their message. If I feel the need to hear people being vilified, I can turn on the TV any time and get whatever message I want vilifying those who "aren't like me".

    Are you a preacher? Get yourself a Red-Letter Edition New Testament and stick to preaching the parts printed in red, and just maybe a few more people will feel that church has something to offer.

  • Jiggle Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    I think young people are rebelling against religion to find out for themselves what THEY want to believe through educating themselves. They see that a god is not needed as an explanation for anything in the natural world. Yes...more and more of our youth are leaving religion, but that doesn't always mean they are still believing in God or have faith. More people as a whole are becoming atheists, and fewer trust religion to be able to solve their problems, provide explanations, and answer questions. It's not a lack of trust in religious institutions in general, but the simple recognition that religion's factual claims and dogmas are unsupported and its moral beliefs are often cruel, arbitrary, and irrational - relics of a less moral and more superstitious past. Why should people donate their time and money to churches which have repeatedly failed to offer proof for their claims of authority, much less use that authority wisely to advance good?

    Although many youths may still have a sense of the divine or spirituality...the definition of that sense does not include the God of religion, but rather the God of the natural Universe....the Universe as God.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Feb. 19, 2011 5:22 p.m.

    I'm not young, and don't speak for the young. But if I was, I might grow to feel abused, tired or browbeaten by any system putting forth a constant drumbeat of "obey".

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Feb. 19, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    From the article:

    1. Postmodern leavers

    Postmodern leavers have a worldview that is suspicious of moral absolutes. Although they are open to the supernatural, they are allergic to any claim of larger truth that excludes other beliefs.


    That describes my feelings exactly. But I'd rather be called a postmodern thinker.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Feb. 19, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    The irony of many of the posts here, reflect common trendy slams against "organized religion".
    Since when is religion supposed to be disorganized, since that's the inference.
    Actually, Christ organized a church with a prophet, (Peter, two counselors, James and John, and of course, the 12 Apostles).
    Give me a break. If the devil gets involved, he will try his hardest to disorganize it. Thereby, a wide door is opened to the religion of "whatever". Ultimately, apostasy would again resume.
    Just like our country, united we stand, divided we fall. This applies to the church, as well.
    Kudos to organized religion!

  • BigSportsFan!! ogden, ut
    Feb. 19, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    Valid points.

    *Its not giving up on God, but more of giving up on having their spiritual life micro-managed by a church or leader.

    *Developing a relationship with God with the middle-man removed.

    *Choosing one of many different ways to worship instead of a set curriculum dictated by a church.

    *Receiving the same spiritual nourishing at home by viewing spiritual related material on the internet, TV, books, etc.

    *We all graduate from grade school and/or college at a certain point but what about church?

    *Seeing church as more of a social club and would rather worship at home with friends and family.

    *Agreeing with many of the core beliefs but not all. But feeling pushed and pressured to believe and live it all.

    *Content with attending church occasionally but get pressured to attend more.

    *Being very spiritually active in their own way but are labeled inactive by church due to not meeting their curriculum standards.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    This is nothing new - this same conversation has been going on for +/- 6000 years and has occurred in every culture. The old god(s) weaken and die and new ones are born that more closely reflect the values of the changing society.

    The King is dead! Long live the King!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 19, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    From those I know who now reject organized religion, most have left not because they don't believe in a higher force than them selves - more so they don't think that higher force is the person sitting next to them on the pew.

    You read so many self inflating comments here by those who hold themselves to be "saints", all the while they spew judgemental comments toward their fellow followers. The piousness of the comments by those who think they are without sin or fault make many feel unwelcome within the doors of "the Church". If someone smokes, drinks, has same sex attraction, doesn't have the request church outfit... they are treated as unwanted.

    My son had a friend in high school who came from a very mixed up family. His step dad was only a handful of years older than him, and drank heavily. He loved coming to our house for what he felt was normal family life. He slowly started attending church with us as well, until a "well meaning" member told him he needed to get nicer clothes to come to church in.

    He never returned.

    Its not God they are rejecting.

  • Another Perspective Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    This article presented evidence that some young people are giving up on organized religion. It presented no evidence that any young people are giving up on God.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    Feb. 19, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    I do not just think that it is the LDS Church it is Church in General and that includes TV Church, Internet Church.

    I do not think that they have given up on God, many have Great Faith in God. What they have given up on is Organized Religion.

    How many times can you be rejected as an LDS Single and get back up with out going and finding a Non Member that loves you and accepts you.

    We could Start having Nursery for Kids. Some Faith groups have Kiddie Church which does a Sermon on their level while the Adults have theirs.

    Sometimes in the Church things jut get to much and you have to say No. To do that you feel you have to step out.

    People are always watching you judgeing you and reporting on you. Evan after you become less active and leave.

    So it comes down to your watching me, okay then "Watch This."

    My Dad always told me to stop crying or he would give me somthing to cry about.

    Not forgiving you for things God has forgiven you for long ago.

    Welcome Back are you just like US Now.

  • Lowonoil Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 2:56 p.m.

    A more accurate headline would have been "Checking out of Church: Are young people no longer falling for it?"

  • diddy Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    runwasatch - how can you make a correlation between respect for authority and responsibility/accountability. While I will question the authority of anyone who tells me how to live my life under the pretense that they have a divine connection that I lack, that makes me in no way someone whimpy or lazy or having any less value to society. In fact some may argue that those who simply go along without questioning authority have very little value to the community and are lazy. I've worked hard. I served a mission. I am educated. I believe in morality that builds and doesn't destroy. I also believe that God gave me a brain and a voice and requires that I use both and will not condemn me for using those most precious gifts. You're more than welcome to show how tough your generation is by doing us all a favor and sending your social security check back.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    "They, the youth of this article, can more acurately be described as anti-anything authoratative that may require them to act or perform other than what they WANT to do at the moment."

    Or maybe they just don't believe in whatever doctrine that religion adheres to. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of people leave the LDS church (I use it as an example only because it's the most common one here) because they just don't believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, not because "they just want to drink booze".

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 1:37 p.m.


    The patronizing tone of your post was astounding! You basically act like your daughter is some simpleton and you are patting her on the head until she learns the lesson the hard way.

    As much as you love your daughter you apparently love, being right" more. I mean, you are pretty much salivating at the chance of telling her, "I told you so"...

  • So-CalAggie Anaheim, CA
    Feb. 19, 2011 1:04 p.m.

    Actually runwasatch, I've found just the opposite out of people who aren't religious. In my general observation I find that Christians seem the most entitled to things and lacking responsibility, not all, but if that attitude seems prevalent to you then look around at those who have it. Most probably consider themselves Christian. To me the fact that you can say "I'll be saved" gives people a false sense of well being and license to do as they please, because in the end they believe that some guy 2000 years ago died for their sins, and it's all good in the end. Whereas those who don't believe that might have other reasons for having a moral compass. The religious person might have you believe that morals come from got, yet studies have shown that many of these things are indeed inherent, and the absence of moral behavior has more to do with environment and upbringing more than anything else. Don't take my word for it, look around. Maybe that's what people are doing, perhaps they are considering more than just what they are taught in church as being an absolute truth.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    runwasatch gives us the same nonsense.

    Believers tell me there is a God.

    I am intrigued. I sincerely want to know if there is such a being.

    But so many people for so long have told about so many different Gods and different stories, how can I know?

    You tell me "Read the BOM and pray about it. The Spirit will give you the answer." (Moroni's challenge).

    I read the BOM. I pray.


    You tell me: "You didn't pray right. You didn't have a 'sincere heart'."

    I try again. I do the best "sincere" I can muster.'


    You say "You didn't have 'real intent'".

    I really get intent. I write out a plan. I read and pray.


    You say, "You didn't have 'faith in Christ'".

    I am puzzled, because this seems to presuppose the very thing I am asking about. In other words, I have to believe there is a God in order to ask that God if there is a God.


    I try (somehow).


    You say "you are just 'anti-' and unworthy. Repent and try again."


    This is why people are leaving religion. It is irrational.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 12:51 p.m.


    One thing that turns people off of religion is when people use religion to attack them. That's why hellfire preachers are mocked and scorned rather than taken seriously at college campuses. People don't like their churches attacking others since those other churches are places where they probably know someone that goes there.

    Denominations seem to like competing for membership claiming they have the whole truth and nothing but the truth but the problem with that is if any single thing doesn't add up right to a person it can make them quesiton the whole "100% truth" thing. My personal beliefs don't really match up with any denomination very well at all (I believe in eternal marriage, don't believe the trinity doctrine, believe Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet). If you start building up my list of beliefs pretty much everything is systematically eliminated which for me leaves church activity to the question "Does it matter or do they care if I'm not 100% following exactly what they teach?"

  • runwasatch Ogden, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    Very interesting article. Some of the posts are equally insightful.

    I hear a "60's" type rebellion in the voices of those who have posted their anti-God and anti-religion opinions on this thread. They, the youth of this article, can more acurately be described as anti-anything authoratative that may require them to act or perform other than what they WANT to do at the moment. Just like the drug lost 60's.

    The issue is less about God and religion, and more about a general attitude of "I'll do as I please". These same youth bemoan professors who actually expect assignments to be turned in and give poor grades for poor work. They complain about employers who actually expect them to work the whole 8 hours for which they are being paid and to turn off their cell phones during those hours. They rant about the unfairness of having to live in a dingy apartment in a less than perfect neighborhood because they feel entitled to a starter castle funding by the public through sub-prime mortgages and their associated bail out.

    Abondoning God / Church? Not really. Abondoning responsibility and accountability? Likely. A whimp genration? Absolutely...

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 12:10 p.m.

    The biggest factor driving youth and older people away from organized religion is the kind attitude displayed by Craig above.

    When you are raised in a Church to believe that God "is no respecter of persons"; that God "sends his rain on the just and on the unjust", then you see such judgmentalism, arrogance, condemnation, and irrationality as Craig displays... well, you just figure it makes no sense to associate with such people as that.

    Craig says we are "lovers of ourselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power." Therefore, Craig and his religionists conclude that God has told them: "Have nothing to do with them."

    So we are just going along with Craig's God! You want us horrible, evil people out of your lives, we will happily oblige!

  • Gr8bald1 San Diego, CA
    Feb. 19, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    It seems to me that young adults drift away believing that they will find answers to their concerns/desires and wants (and acceptability)from "the world". Some continue to float from one approach to another, and then another. Some return -- some do not. Much of this is due (in my opinion) to the expectantcy of quicker/immediate answers. They are seldom found.

    Our minds want certainty, the gospel wants and operates by faith.

    Bro. Maxwell stated (I'm paraphrasing here) that knowing the true nature of God keeps us pretty close to the gospel. But there are many that have such a pre-conceived notions of who God is, and what His plan is that they are easily deceived, discouraged, then doubt -- and finally are led away.

    Doubt is natural. It is OK. Shelve the concern for awhile. Then return to investigate it some more at another time.

    One of the lesser known truths is that of freedom to choose -- and that God will NEVER force his will on anyone.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Feb. 19, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    I am a baby boomer Mormon and raised my child in the LDS church. And of course I am first and foremost a Christian. My child choose to leave the LDS church at the age of 20, I encouraged her to at least attend some religion, she instead opted to become and atheist. Of course I would love her to believe as I do, and she knows that, but she also knows that I love her and we have learned to find those ways that we agree.

    The other day there was something that I called to tell her, and I started out and said, I am going to tell you your right about this as long as when you die and find out that there is a life after death I can say I told you so then.

    So if I as a mother can love my daughter just the same, even though she stopped accepting God, then I know without a doubt that a perfect loving Father in Heaven will love her more then I possibly can, and He will too say, "I told you so".

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 11:11 a.m.

    Thank God that the Infinite has not given up on them. The finite condemning the Infinite as some posts here in do, shows the why- He is infinite and they so finite.

  • diddy Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    Craig - Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

    Clearly you have honed your ability to judge others. I would argue that society today is many times more moral than it was at the time of Paul.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    There is no connection between morality, God and church.

    ANY "Church", as an organization, is merely a corporate function that taxes its consumers and lives as a nonprofit entity.
    Churches are therefore supported by the taxpayers, whether we believe in them, or not.

    No wonder the young people are leaving in droves.
    And it's not just the young people.
    I left a Protestant religion as an adult, after 19 years of hearing the same pap every Sunday and during the week.

    That came after years of our family being denigrated as even and as "gentiles" by a neighbor-relative of the President of the LDS Church. After years of seeing as much conflict WITHIN our own church, as outside. It was obvious that the church wasn't improving anyone's life.

    If you want to support and attend church, fine.
    If it gives you the answers to things that scare you, fine.
    But I don't think we taxpayers should be supporting you and your political interference.

  • Sterling Allan Mt. Pleasant, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    Our society in general is growing up, evolving spiritually into a more independent relationship with the divine; not needing or hungering for the strictures of dogmatic religious tenents, but preferring to be free to think for themselves and not be controlled by their ecclesiastical leaders.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    This is encouraging news. It's getting easier and easier for young "no-religion" types to be out of the closet with it. Good for them, and good for all of us.

  • Craig Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    It seems that people are becoming exactly like Paul prophesied 2000 years ago in Timothy chapter 3."1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."
    Some of the comments on this story prove this.

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    God said: "I Think I will Bring Religion to the people"

    Devil said: "Great! I'll organize it."

    As an young Atheist, in the demographic that is discussed in the article, it's not God I have a problem with, its his fan club.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    Interesting article. And some well thought out, reasonable discussion on the posts, as well.

  • Cedarite Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2011 8:18 a.m.

    As the focus at many churches has drifted away from the teachings of Christ and has focused on singling out sectors of society and reviling and berating them as path to some mythical puritan City On A Hill , and as they have become more aggressive, I think you'll find that many young people are turning away from aggressive petty obsessive churches, not God.

  • diddy Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. Galileo Galilei

  • diddy Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    I agree that many churches don't give people an opportunity to have real conversations about the real issues they have with faith and God. If you bring up those issues often times you're looked down on or your are judged. The first reaction is to remove yourself from that environment because you can't get the answers you need. Heaven forbid your doubt were contagious. Try having a real conversation about evolution sometime. Any belief worth having must survive doubt.

  • AT Prospect, KY
    Feb. 19, 2011 7:21 a.m.

    Interesting article - thanks. While reading I wondered if the issue of church drifting from God might be an influence. This paragraph was interesting:

    Dean agrees. "If churches are indistinguishable from the popular culture, there is no reason to go to the churches. You can get what you need in 13 other venues - and probably in a better package."

    Perhaps Churches are part of the problem. (and no, I'm not knocking religion - just encouraging some introspection)

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Feb. 19, 2011 6:14 a.m.

    Dropping the burden of guilt and anxiety that all religion brings into everyone's lives is possibly the smartest thing this younger generation has contributed to society. Well done in my book.
    Living under the "fear" that religion creates is a felling worth living without.

  • Fairenough4U Draper, utah
    Feb. 19, 2011 3:30 a.m.

    This world seems exactly like the world I would expect to see if there were no intervening God. Believers make excuses for God's failure to intervene and attribute all kinds of random and natural occurrences to their God, but in the end, existence testifies to the improbability of an intervening supernatural being.

    My atheism is actually very merciful to God, because if God did exist, He would deserve to be put on trail for neglect, abuse and malfeasance of duty. What an incompetent oaf or cruel demon God would have to be if He existed.

    And it only gets worse, because most religions say God will dish out eternal punishment to some people because of their finite sins or disbelief. How can you all call your Gods just if He is willing to punish infinitely for finite actions? That makes no rational or moral sense.