Monday, December 14, 2009

No, Wait... Now I Know the Only True Religion!

So much for the jealous God. A survey released earlier this year by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that the U.S. is a "nation of religious drifters." If, in the realm of love, Americans gravitate toward serial monogamy (moving from marriage to divorce to remarriage and so on), we likewise flit from one religious affiliation to another, pledging our fidelity, say, to Methodism in our youth, Catholicism in middle age and Episcopalianism in our dotage.

Most (not all) religious people would probably have a very hard time explaining exactly WHY they believe what they believe. Back when I was still a "believer" this is what started me toward the tipping point of dis-belief. I was asked "Why do you believe that? Who taught you that or where is that written?"

I was raised catholic and then drifted toward non-denominational christianity because of a lot of the stupidity in the catholic doctrine. And I adopted different "beliefs" - altering things I had been "taught" as a catholic to better suit "reason." But challenged as I was above, I soon realized that there was no firm basis for what I believed... and that was when I went to re-read the bible front-to-back... and realized that it was ridiculous, too. There was no "there" there!

So back to the article in the link above. Why do people switch religions when the one they are in claims to be the absolute truth? I'm not sure... fickleness? a nagging skepticism? that hot gal is a Baptist so I will be, too?

I think many people cling to religion because it brings them a sense of community and belonging. Nothing wrong with that, I s'pose... unless, or until, they start to impose their beliefs (whatever they happen to be that day) upon others.

When they choose to leave their religion, I'm guessing that it brings comfort to choose another religion, instead of putting the entire concept to the test. Your thoughts?


G said...

That article shouldn't really be a surprise (although switching between Christian denominations isn't really changing religions). People go to church for various reasons... and leave for various reasons. I would imagine that most people stay in the denomination they were taken to as a child, not really knowing exactly what that denomination believes.

The church in America, for the most part, has neglected the teaching of the Bible. So they end up with a bunch of congregants who can't answer the "why" questions. And the people are equally negligent in not doing their own personal studies to figure it out for themselves.


Sure sounds like the best method would be to let the offspring make their own decisions, but then they might go in a direction you didn't plan for and to your ultimate horror.

csm said...

The world would be a better place with more horrified parents.