A brief follow-up to yesterday's post.
It is often said that we "live in a post-religious society." Or "post-Christian." I don't think this is necessarily true, at least not in the United States where 75% of the citizens identify with the Christian label.
A more accurate description might be "religiously illiterate." Individuals are ill-equipped to grapple with the complex and often confusing world of spirituality. So they either opt out entirely, or embrace an easy fundamentalism.
Most cannot name the four Gospels, or tell you who wrote the book of Corinthians. They could hardly identify the difference between a Catholic and Protestant, let alone a Sunni and Shiite. A 2000 Gallup poll shows that 70% of Americans believe "you can be religious without going to church." Is it any wonder that more people are choosing to tune out altogether?
Again, what is needed is a return to basics of the faith. Clear articulation of doctrine. A more widespread understanding of religion. Personally, I believe that Religious Studies ought to be a mandatory part of the high school curriculum. A mind that is well-educated about various religions and their denominations is more free to choose his or her path, not less.
I caught this hilarious skit from That Mitchell and Webb Look on BBC America:
Comedy aside, it makes some good points. Religious belief is becoming more "me" focused, rather than "we" focused. Our communities must reach out and embrace the "other." Without being jerks, of course! Which we Anglicans are quite good at.
There has been a shift away from the wealth of information found in a community, to the individual's personal interpretations and worldview.
Or, as the Vicar says, "You've thought about eternity for twenty-five minutes and think you've come to some interesting conclusions, have you?"