Tuesday, October 09, 2012

No Religion

There is a new report out that indicates that for the first time Protestants aren't the majority of Americans. The report from Pew shows that 1 in 5 Americans say they  have "no religion".

From what I've read in the AJC and on Huffingtion Post the coverage seems to indicate that atheism and agnosticism are ascendant but I think what this really means is that fewer people, especially the younger population, see the need for formal religion as a crutch when it comes to their self identity.
People, and again the younger folks, are being exposed to different ideas about what it means to be human and what our place is in the great scheme of things. They are beginning to see that spirituality, to use a word, engenders more than what traditional, formal religions offer. Rigid rules and structure are at odds with what many are experiencing in their actual lives. The increased exposure of Eastern thought/philosophy, mysticism, and paganism have given people greater resources when it comes to shaping their beliefs.

Myriad aspects of modern life can no longer be strictly dealt with by whacking them with the Bible. The reality of today doesn't fit comfortably in the rigid rules demanded by Christian traditional religion. More and more people are seeing the value of a philosophy or self awareness built around the peaceful traditions of Buddhism, Shamanism and Paganism. These philosophies are rooted in the natural flow of life and dance to the rhythms of nature, human love and interaction instead of denying the reality of the world. The end result being that they blend or harmonize far better with the way the world really works.

People aren't losing their "religion" so much as they are growing out of it.

1 comment:

karmanot said...

Well done and thoughtful. The line: "rooted in the natural flow of life and dance to the rhythms of nature," also reminds me of my Sufi friends.