That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
It’s not hard to correlate Generation X’s rampant distrust of institutions with a palpable longing for authenticity. I could drone on about this, but chances are if you’re reading this you’re a member of Generation X and you know exactly what I’m talking about because you’ve lived it.
The bottom line is religion remains a hard sell for Generation X. Just look at the numbers. Generation X attendance at churches, synagogues and parishes has declined nationwide. According to a generational fact sheet by Zondervan, 60 percent of adults who attended religious services as a child do not attend as adults.
It’s no surprise to any of us that Generation X does not regard itself as a unified generation, but rather “millions of diverse individuals.” I was once annoyed by this. I longed for the sorority or fraternity that comes with strong generational identification; however, after a lot of thought and research, I actually think Generation X’s pride in individuality is a strength that will ultimately benefit churches and synagogues. After all, we serve a highly individual God who magnificently figured out how to make each of us unique.
Surprisingly, there is quite a body of work available about Generation X and religion including a number of books. I found more than 150 titles on Amazon. I’ve read a few of these. There are quite a few that will be of interest to Gen X Catholics, and even a few titles that explore Generation X and Judaism including one about how Gen X can transform the American Synagogue.
Finally, for all of you observing Lent, I encourage you to read Andrew Thompson’s Ash Wednesday meditation at Gen-X Rising. He writes:
Let us remember that the way of the Christian is not health, wealth, and worldly success. It is being made to be like Christ, who laid down his life to save us. And his command to us is to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). When we think about how far that love goes, it should humble us indeed. It is the greatest power the world has ever known.
I’ve been listening to REM since 1987. Guys who wear eyeliner kind of freak me out. I’ve always thought this song had dual meaning for Gen X. This won a couple of Emmys in 1991. It’s interesting to note that sometimes in the middle of the intersection where desperate people lose their religion it is there that they often find God.