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The changing face of American identity: Less Christian, more queer

discusses the decline of cultural Christianity and the concurrent rise of what he terms “cultural queerness” in America, particularly among Gen Z. He outlines the diminishing association with Christian beliefs alongside an increase in identification with LGBTQ+ identities, suggesting a shift in societal norms and values. This change is attributed to various factors, including a move away from traditional religious practices and the embrace of more inclusive definitions of identity.

Van Maren writes:

There are many reasons for the ‘rise of the nones,’ but one is that many who had merely identified as Christian as a nod to their heritage or culture without actually believing any of its tenets are now abandoning the label as it becomes socially inconvenient. Until recently, identifying as some sort of Christian was a net positive; that’s why elites such as Barack Obama did so. But as it becomes a net negative, many are switching their allegiance to the new cultural elites. This is especially true of younger Americans, who have come of age cut off from their civilizational inheritance and deformed by the public education system.

For example, around a quarter of Gen Z identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or ‘genderqueer’—while just a few years ago, less than 3% of the population identified as on the LGBT spectrum. Politico reported in 2020 that “a third of Gen Zers say they know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns to refer to themselves and nearly 6 in 10 say forms or online profiles should allow more options than ‘man’ or ‘woman’” and that consequently, “religious liberty, particularly as it relates to discrimination against LGBTQ people … does not at all resonate with younger Americans.”

In short, the upcoming generation of Americans increasingly views religious freedom as overt bigotry. Identification with the LGBT movement is undergoing an astronomical rise; identification with Christianity is plummeting.

Read the full article here.

Key Points

  • There’s a notable decline in cultural Christianity among Americans, particularly Gen Z, with an increase in those identifying as having no religion.
  • Concurrently, there’s a significant rise in identification with LGBTQ+ identities among younger generations, reflecting a change in societal values and norms.
  • The shift is attributed to a variety of factors, including a decrease in adherence to traditional religious beliefs and practices, and an increase in the acceptance of diverse sexual and gender identities.

Themes Pros Cons
Societal Change Reflects growing acceptance and inclusivity. This may indicate a loss of traditional value systems.
Identity Formation Allows for greater self-expression. This could lead to confusion and a lack of cohesion.
Cultural Shifts This marks progress in human rights and equality. Challenges existing religious freedoms.

Questions to Consider

  1. What does the shift from cultural Christianity to cultural queerness signify for future societal norms?
  2. How might this evolution impact intergenerational relationships and understandings of tradition?
  3. What are the implications for religious freedom and the rights of individuals to express their beliefs and identities?

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