Abandoning Religion? It’s About Time

I think you should all stop reading my blog and go bookmark Mark Morford’s blog at SF Gate. He’s far more interesting and writes the BEST pieces about religion! Today’s is no exception. People are stirring up such a fuss over the latest Pew Research about religion. A lot of Christian blogs I’ve read recently do what they usually do: blame the believer in the pew rather than Christianity itself. We are selfish for knowing that institutions don’t satisfy. We are selfish if all we are fed is evangelical marketing rather than Jesus. Methinks they doth protest too much. I think Morford’s spot on.

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23 thoughts on “Abandoning Religion? It’s About Time

  1. Me abandon your blog? Instead I think I’ll ‘broaden my definition of the devine blog’. πŸ˜›

    The irreverence of his opening paragraph is the sort of humor I imagine God (if there is one single entity) to enjoy.

    Fabulous read! Thanks!

  2. It’s an interesting article. I found myself hoping that one day we will live in a more secular society. It would certainly free people up to start talking about God without fear.

  3. I read a quote somewhere, and I wish I could remember who it was from. It is this: ‘religious fanaticism is the result of an overcompensation of doubt’. I think that’s true.

  4. Rob,

    Robertson Davies said that in his “Manticore” trilogy!! (Great books by the way. Canadian writer I believe). See? Just ask, I’ll tell you! πŸ™‚

  5. I am new to the blog, and I like it. Are you aware of Pronoia by rob Brezsny? Or the Red Book by Sera J. Beak — similar to Mark Morford’s ideas.

  6. Hi Cheryl,

    Yes I love Brezsny and have his CD World Entertainment War, his Pronoia book and the The Televisionary Oracle. All mind-blowing. I have not heard of Sera Beak. I’ll have to check “her”? out! Thanks!

  7. ** A lot of Christian blogs I’ve read recently do what they usually do: blame the believer in the pew rather than Christianity itself. **

    I wonder how much of that is a self-defense mechanism. If those still sitting on the pews start thinking that the ex-believers have a point, then they might start questioning their beliefs. Or, they might start wondering, “We did this wrong, and it drove the person away. What else do we do wrong?” That question could easily veer into matters of doctrine and faith and the Bible, and then the whole thing comes tumbling down.

    Not that it makes dealing with the pew-sitters any easier. πŸ™‚

  8. “A lot of Christian blogs I’ve read recently do what they usually do: blame the believer in the pew rather than Christianity itself.”

    I am not sure how that statement bears much relevance to the content of my post since it is not remotely my point there, but I am willing to hear. I am not “blaming the believer” I am critiquing Artress who thinks that the Pew forum means that Americans are seeking some deeper level of spirituality. I think that’s a load of crap and I was pursing an opposite argument with the same data. I am not blaming anything at all, just seeing what the data might actually mean which is opposed to what I have heard from a lot of Christian writers who are using that data to serve their own ends. Most of the comments have been speculative nonsense and that is my main point.

  9. Drew,

    Which is precisely my point as well. You can use the statistics to further any view. However, unlike you, I DO believe people are seeking deeper spirituality because the old forms no longer work in an information age. And I do NOT think it’s because “most” believers are selfish and have a consumer mentality which spurs them to move from place to place on whims as you conjecture in your post. I could make the same argument that it’s the preachers in the pulpit that further this consumer mentality by preaching junk food faith (i.e. Joel Osteen, John Hagee, etc.) and the only way to weed out junk food faith is to go looking for a healthy faith. Since every body is different and metabolizes food differently, it’s insane to think that one religion suits all. That’s what many Christians are doing, finding a healthy spirituality, and it’s very difficult to find a church that not only exhibits deep humility while looking to social justice matter, but that preaches anything of substance. The only thing I see the believer in the pew guilty of is waiting far too long to move on.

    Thanks for the comment!

  10. OSS,

    I do believe the faithful are asking questions and they are beginning to realize just what the important questions are, thanks to those who have left the church machine and wandered into the self-fulfilling wilderness. After years of being inundated with minutiae about church committees, arguments about non-essential doctrinal matters, and wondering what having faith actually means, the believer is finally “getting it.” To reach fulfillment, they must do it themselves and not rely on others to do “it” for them. Sometimes this means moving outside the environment that claims a monopoly on faith and thought. Like politics, perhaps it’s time for a “third party” religion. πŸ™‚

  11. To be clear I am not even sure if the data points to selfishness. My only point is that before we say that the study tells us what the state of spiritual seeking is in terms of its causes, let’s probe the evidence a bit more. The national study on religion and youth calls the form of spirituality of the so-called “millenials” “therapeutic moralistic deism”. God is basically not an intimately involved being, but wants us to be happy and is there when we need him to fix problems.

    While this might be an age cohort kind of thing (teenagers are the sample here), it will be interesting to see how this view persists. To say that the data regarding religious switch and this study might be related contrary to the view that Pew is telling us people are seeking deeper spirituality is, I think, a rational hypothesis. And I am only presenting an hypothesis here – nothing more – since that is all we can do at this point.

  12. Drew,

    Fair enough. I would also agree with the “therapeutic Moralistic Deism” theory. That sounds about right. As you say, a lot can be inferred wrongly or rightly from statistics. Thanks for the comments. πŸ™‚

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