A new breed of secular seeker is replacing the New Atheists. But how can we reach them?
The cultural ground is shifting when it comes to religion, atheism, and Christianity in the West. Three recent stories in my social media feed are a reminder how quickly it’s happening.
Richard Dawkins, the world-famous atheist, has been doubling down on his criticism of the transgender movement and progressive ideologies in general. The popular podcast host Joe Rogan, whose show receives over 190 million downloads per month, featured intelligent design expert Stephen Meyer, who advocates for a creator God behind the universe and critiques evolution by natural selection.
And for the first time, less than half of people in the UK identify as Christian. The most recent UK census, taken every ten years, saw those who tick the ‘Christian’ box drop to 46%, with those identifying as ‘no religion’ rising to 37% of the population. This decline is mirrored in the United States, where almost half of millennials and Gen Z now identify as “nones” (religiously unaffiliated).
But few of those who tick the “none” box identify as materialist atheists of the Richard Dawkins variety. In fact, nones are more likely to describe themselves as agnostics who are “spiritual but not religious.” Many of them still pray occasionally, engage in New Age practices, or even dabble in the occult.
That is, modern people aren’t necessarily less religious; they are just religious about different things. When people reject institutional faith, their “God-shaped holes” will be filled by something else.
As some of the most dogmatic atheist leaders today take up the culture war as their new sacred cause, they are also demonstrating a growing interest in hearing from views outside the …