Social and mainstream media are abuzz about the rise of the “nones” and the decline of people identifying with religious institutions. A lot of the discussion reflects quite a bit about each writer’s hopes and dreams about religion’s future.
Atheist and progressive writers are excited that more people are questioning religious beliefs while conservative Christians gleefully respond that the figures show only a rejection of liberal Christian alternatives. The lessons people are taking from the recent release of the Pew Research Center’s second U.S. Religious Landscape Study, a follow-up to its first study of religion in America in 2007, are more enlightening than the actual poll results.
That bastion of Evangelical Christianity, the magazine Christianity Today, headlined its analysis: “Evangelicals Stay Strong as Christianity Crumbles in America,” while another headline read: “Christianity in Decline and Atheism on The Rise in America.”
The report mostly documents the slow rise in the number of Americans who don’t want to identify with any religious institution. Some who check the “none” on the poll are atheists, some agnostics and skeptics, but others are “spiritual” or just don’t identify at this time in their lives with a denomination.
However we want to read such polls, here are some interpretive thoughts...
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Michelangelo Signorile: "How the Supreme Court Actually
Mirrors the American Public on Marriage Equality"
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"What the justices do by and large represents where the American people are on the issue and how, though a majority favors equality, the minority is substantial and deep-seated in its beliefs -- and encompasses entire parts of the country throughout the Deep South, where conservatives are busy promoting dozens of laws to blunt marriage equality. There will be an enormous amount of work for LGBT activists to do, and many more battles ahead, including those back at the Supreme Court."
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Religion Is an Addiction
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"We all lose those we love. No one is immune. We can lose them to death or departure.
We might have been the one to decide that it was time to separate. It might have been the other person. Or it might have been an end brought on by human mortality itself.
It’s guaranteed that no matter whom we love, they will leave us if we outlive them. That’s even true of the animal members of our families.
It’s a sad fact but no reason for morbidity. How we respond to it is what matters.
It’s a fact that makes every present moment of love even more valuable. Our response, if we recognize this, is to love even more, to value every attempt to love on the planet, even if it’s an imperfect try.
It’s a reminder of how important love is in our own lives, whether it’s the love of family, friends, or someone special. It’s a call to love all the more..."
more in Dr. Minor's latest column: "Never Waste Time Un-Loving Someone"
Minor on July 13, 2014, again responds to
Journal World "Faith Forum"
Is Your Opinion on People Getting Ordained
Online to Perform Weddings?"
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Fairness Project On-Line Activist Tool Kit
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