William Donohue, president of the Catholic League said he thinks a radical shift towards individualism over the last quarter-century has a lot to do it.
"The three most dreaded words are thou shalt not," he told Lou Dobbs. "Notice they are not atheists -- they are saying I don't want to be told what to do with my life."
Well, that's a simple answer. It's that pesky individualism that's got people giving faith a miss. We don't care for your rules. We're all rebels. We're all rockers.
But if you actually read the article, there's something else at play. Something that I find a little more disturbing.
The survey also found that "born-again" or "evangelical" Christianity is on the rise, while the percentage who belong to "mainline" congregations such as the Episcopal or Lutheran churches has fallen.
One in three Americans consider themselves evangelical, and the number of people associated with mega-churches has skyrocketed from less than 200,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the latest survey.
Right there, folks. I don't at all think it's a coincidence that as "'born-again' or 'evangelical' Christianity is on the rise," a larger number of people are being turned off by the idea of faith altogether. Really, I'm surprised that these fundamentalist, anti-intellectual, harshly judgmental, and (in the case of the mega-churches) impersonal versions of Christianity haven't chased off more people.
Especially as, more and more, this is the version of the Church most people are seeing.