Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keeping the Faith No Longer

The BBC News Web site just posted an article based on a rather interesting finding:
Pew Research Center found that 71% of Americans identified as Christian in 2014 - down from 78% in 2007.
Statistically, that amounts to a pretty significant drop; and it will be interesting to see what sorts of hypotheses are launched to explain the shift. We have a long history of viewing our country as a secular one dedicated to the separation of church and state. However, in this new century fundamentalist Christianity seems to be playing a greater role in politics. Thus, it may be that those who previously embraced Christianity are put off by extremist fringes, possibly even seeing little difference between them and Jewish or Muslim extremists. In other words, where the fellowship of Christianity once provided a "quiet place" where an individual could take stock of his/her values within a sympathetic community, that "place" has now become unduly "noisy," meaning that, as a "social world" it is not that different from Facebook or Twitter. I have been living comfortably with my own atheism for over 40 years, so I am probably not the best source of hypotheses. Still, I have to wonder if this is yet another case of "voting against," rather than "voting for," in which case it may be a sign of an increasing loss of any value system, secular or sacred.

No comments: