Oh no! It must be true, CNN says so. And the proof is that one of many religious forum blogs has more atheist followers on the atheist page than Christians on the Christian page! Well, it couldn't be that there are legions of Christian blogs out there, and many believers feel no need to follow these big tent blogs that often have a strange mix of representatives or anything. Nope. It must be that Millennials are leaving the Church! Oh No!
Truth be told, they are. The iPad generation is doing with religion what it is doing with everything else: cutting and pasting whatever affirms my isolated world I've carved out in some obscure corner of the Internet filled with like thinkers. Likewise, it isn't shocking that after 30 years of propaganda at the hands of schools, entertainment and media, many young people consider Gays as the Jews being persecuted by modern Nazis (those religious types who don't accept homosexual normality). And it doesn't hurt that some who oppose homosexuality do so in ways far less than Christian (and are often the focus of news stories), while those not wanting to be the Westboro types stumble and fumble about not knowing where to compromise and where to stand.
Plus, of course, the idea that we are nothing but glorified animals and religion is made up myths and fairy tales is the narrative of our time, and just as children growing up in the old South in the 30s assumed blacks were inferior, and children growing up in the 30s in Germany knew Jews were inferior, so those growing up today know that religion is hateful, bigoted and a lie. It's the cultural ocean in which they swim.
Add to that the vacant attempts by a variety of churches and traditions to deal with these challenges, and it's not hard to imagine young people flocking out of the church doors in droves. Of course they aren't becoming atheists either. They are, in that classic salad bar approach of the iPad generation, becoming karma believing atheist mystics who pray regularly to a personal god. In short, they are whatever they want to be because nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about, and the Internet proves it.
FWIW, CNN lost me on a couple points, most of which was failing to examine just what this phenomenon is, as well as by letting Mr. Mehta, of the ironically titled Friendly Atheist, use this as a platform for the modern Atheist gospel, rather than holding his feet to the fire about the things he says. Given the impotence and ineptitude of the media regarding religion, atheists usually come out the winners since they can spout any ludicrous atheist dogma and pretty much get away with it. Anyway, watch and learn. This, as much as anything, is the world of truth that millennials are experiencing, which probably answers much: