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Is Organized Religion Fading Out of Society?

I'm curious, Readers... Were you raised within a structured religion? Are you LESS religious today? Are people straying from the church where they once belonged?

When I taught Introduction to Sociology last semester, I informally surveyed my students and was amazed to find that while belief in one God holds to be most popular in view, the association with church membership seems lacking.

I read an article today which stated, "Catholics account for 17.4 percent of the world population — a stable percentage — while Muslims were at 19.2 percent." And another statistic is that all Christians, inclusive of Catholics, represent 33% of the population--world's religion.

I was raised Catholic and put my kids through the whole Sunday school thing (up to Confirmation) and now, at their advanced teen years, it is up to them to decide how they want to go and what they believe--as a parent, I wanted to provide a foundation and education. I suspect my son (age 18) rejects Catholicism, although he is still forming his beliefs as he studies it...

What's happening in your world? What do you think?


Roger D. Curry said...

I fear that I'm REAL cynical these days. "Organized religion" comes in so many flavors that the relationship to rational spirituality is often strained. You have the staid "corporate religions," church structures of wealth, power and only incidentally teaching. (I grew up in one of those, the Methodist Church, and that experience launched me on several decades of amusing heresy.) You have gentle religious communities (where I feel comfortable these days). And you have the mega-church nouveau riche political TV empires.

I also find some analog in overtly non-spiritual realms. The concept of "Second Life," adulation of (and obsession with) celebrities, corporate loyalty, the bizarre rituals of rap music and fashion, national jingoism, intellectual snobbery and lots of stuff like that there all resemble organized religion. Oh, and money, that's a biggee.

Have you noticed that the comments I do late at night are rather dark?

Avoiding light,

doreenmary said...

Dear Roger, I have a theory about dark thinking.... People who think darkly are usually brighter than average (hence the cliche, "ignorance is bliss") Notice how when we become informed about the state of affairs in any domain (political, religious, economic, etc. etc.) there is an element such that reality pales to the way our mind sees something as it "ought" to be?

Cynicism doesn't have to be a negative thing... there is great humor in it sometimes...ways of connecting minds for academic banter...the honest and real STUFF that too many folks run and hide from.

You'd have to blind not to feel some cynicism in today's current affairs, particularly if you've lived through past times of good stuff... Maybe it's just perception or our mood being colored by other events, but I rather enjoy engaging in cynical discussion now and then for the purging, therapeutic effect it often has.

Always post your dark thoughts. It's good blogging, me thinks!

Thanks, Roger!