America is not digging religion

prayerA new Gallup poll says that confidence in organized religion — though not Roman Catholicism — has hit a new low of 42 percent.

(Confidence among Catholics has steadied after some rough hits around the church sexual abuse scandal of the ’80s-’90s.)

Published by datingjesus

Just another one of God's children.

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  1. Yes! I need a second cup! Life and how we all spend our time has changed so significantly since we were kids. It seems we have less free time now. Maybe the competition for our time and expectation that beyond work, some things should be available on demand, have had some effect on going to church and ties to religion? Some things that come to mind for Christians are:

    * While in the past the church provided a unique social community of like minded individuals for 1-2 hours a week (sometimes more), similar communities are available on demand on the internet, nearly any day, any time.

    * Services, even from local churches, are available on cable channels and as podcasts. For some who may not have extra cash for the donation plate, why pay for something that is available for free? And for those who are overtired or have difficulty with mobility, why drag over to the church when the sermon is available at home later?

    * Families with kids in sports (starting from early ages), like soccer, have games scheduled through the weekend, including Sunday morning. Playing in a soccer game so as to remain competitive and not let the team down almost always is a higher priority than going to church. And when they don’t have a morning game scheduled, the kids as well as the parents may need that one day to sleep in. Kids start school very early, especially high school kids. They usually need a little extra sleep when they can get it.

    * Not every church makes you feel guilty for not coming. (I believe the Catholic Church does, so maybe that explains why attendance hasn’t dropped off as much. I have family members who are Catholic and will find any Catholic Church to attend on a Sunday if they happen to be out of town.)

    * More businesses are open Sunday mornings than 30-40-50 years ago. More people have to get up and go to work.

    * Questioning religion isn’t necessarily taboo. And, those who are not religious are not afraid to say so. It’s become more acceptable to separate from a church. 50 years ago, people might talk. ;-) (Though I don’t know if America would vote in an Atheist President yet.)

    * Publicity of Priests/Religious leaders who have betrayed trust through abuses of children and adults have made people skeptical of religion and church, even if it occurred in another church. The church appears to be a less holy place.

    * Knowledge and familiarity of the unknown can fight fear. If fear is used by some religions to maintain a hold of the congregation, knowledge may undo some of the hold

    etc, etc.

    Churches will need to change to support and serve congregations differently than they have in the past. I believe survival of the fittest will force religious practice to evolve, though it’ll be painfully slow for some.

    See how wordy I get when forced to stay home and wait for a painter to show up? Congratulations if you read this whole thing! I’d buy you a coffee to celebrate, but am stuck here! ;-)

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