Many young people think Christianity is too judgmental, hypocritical and anti-gay, according to new findings by Christian-based research firm The Barna Group. The group reportedly found that church attitudes about people are creating a negative image of the faith among people 16- to 29-year-olds, and thus driving them away. Are you seeing this within your own faith community? And even if it's not Christian, how do you convey traditional religious messages to youth to keep them interested in the faith?
It's no secret that education in our country is far from what it should be.
Young people are not up to par on math, science and social studies — let alone religious teachings, which are often completely foreign to them. I find that many of the rash statements made about religious organizations being "hypocritical" or "anti-gay" often result from a simple lack of knowledge.
I regularly come across young people (and not-so-young people) who have misconceptions about Judaism. It's my responsibility as a rabbi to educate them, and direct those who are seeking the proper path. Furthermore, it's important for religious groups of all kinds not only to be reactive, but to take a proactive role in communicating their core views to the public. It is critical to put forth our positions on basic issues so that there is no misunderstanding or confusion.