Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Monday, March 09, 2009

America Becoming Less Christian

As a Christian minister, who is increasingly embarrassed by the "Christian" label, I find this good news: America Becoming Less Christian, Survey Says.

The rise in evangelical Christianity is contributing to the rejection of religion altogether by some Americans, said Mark Silk of Trinity College.

"In the 1990s, it really sunk in on the American public generally that there was a long-lasting 'religious right' connected to a political party, and that turned a lot of people the other way," he said of the link between the Republican Party and groups such as the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family.

"In an earlier time, people who would have been content to say, 'Well, I'm some kind of a Protestant,' now say 'Hell no, I won't go,'" he told CNN.

I really love my little congregation. I think there is a need for communities. People ought to connect, find a place where they can think, tap into the great wisdom traditions, find their own personal paths, and contribute to the welfare of Earth.

But I think before humanity discovers its next step, religion 2.0 or creation spirituality perhaps, organized religion may need to deconstruct. That is not a bad thing. People are finding their way without the need of the structure, its hierarchy, and the outmoded beliefs of conventional religion.

While erecting bigger and bigger crosses may be thrilling for some, this is this very thing that people are rejecting. We don't need any more crosses. We need some human decency. The ones getting hit the hardest are the mainline denominations who haven't yet found a way to celebrate this movement away from religion and still cling to old ideas and methods.

Meanwhile my atheist friends are impatient with me. As Sam Harris has suggested, we moderate-liberal-mainline-progressive Christians are enabling the religious right.

Religious moderates are, in large part, responsible for the religious conflict in our world, because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out especially as human beings will face the biggest challenges we have ever faced in the next few decades.

I frankly don't care what happens to religion as such. I do care what happens to humanity and Earth. I wonder if those who have left traditional religion will be sufficiently organized to offer any substantive help.