Reading through the comments on this post it seems things got a little off the rails :-).
Since, from prior conversations, I have found Patrick to be a thoughtful person who writes from a well-informed perspective - I wonder if it might be helpful to approach this from another direction. Let’s take the “God” question out of the issue. The question of meaning and purpose in life appears to be a constant issue for human beings. So, those who have no Christian (or even Deistic) leanings have also wrestled with finding meaning in life. Alfred Camus for example argued that the only question of philosophy ought to be: why not to commit suicide? Nietzsche, though I don’t agree with his conclusions I must recognize his brilliance and his fearlessness in going where his ideas led - recognized that nihilism is a very real threat without God (since, in his estimation, the Enlightenment killed God…and he’s not entirely wrong in his assessment). Sartre, Heidegger, Derrida, all took up this existential issue…the list could go on.
So Patrick, I am not convinced that you are correct that the millennial None will be free from these existential questions, nor possibly, the angst that often accompanies them when left unaddressed. Why would they be any different from the the majority of humanity that came before them that found such questions compelling and deeply important? Now, I am not in anyway suggesting that they will come running to the Church for their answers. However, as a parish pastor, I am not unaccustomed to discussing such questions with a millennial None. And, in some ways, I think the millennial None may be more likely than some to consider such metaphysical questions as post-modernism has brought such questions to the fore. How they resolve the existential angst or what resources they use to wrestle with these questions…now that’s an intriguing question.
Patrick, I wonder if you’d disagree much with my assessment of the situation? Some? All? I look forward to your feedback and your perspective!