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Losing Our Religion
Author: BobR    Date: 03/13/2009 12:35:26

In the beginning, there was nothing. The world was a huge mysterious place with seemingly random phenomena that scared and awed mankind. Science didn't exist yet, so mankind did what men do on a Sat night at the local bar when they're trying to pick up women - they bullshitted their way through an explanation. Thus - religion was born.

Okay, perhaps that was a bit harsh. More than likely, the best minds of the times tried to make sense of things like the movement of the sun, moon and stars, earthquakes and volcanoes, and killing storms by attaching a "rational" explanation: the Gods are angry with us. Early leaders quickly saw how this could be harnessed for power, and the civic leaders and the religious leaders quickly became closely aligned and - in some cases - identical.

Power once gained is never willingly relinquished. Thus the era of the Inquisition became a grisly chapter in our planet's social history. Galileo was famously censured for going against the church by suggesting our planet was not at the center of the universe. Our country's population was burgeoned by Christians escaping the wrath of religious intolerance. It was ironic that these same people persecuted their own during the Salem witch trials.

It still IS ironic that Christians have tried to label the United States a "Christian" nation, and blur the lines between Church and State. Having seen the bloody results of this throughout history, and the current nightmare that these policies render in the Middle East, one would hope that this never comes to fruition. A recent study points out that perhaps Americans are finally waking up: More Americans say the have no religion:
A wide-ranging study on American religious life found that the Roman Catholic population has been shifting out of the Northeast to the Southwest, the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more people say they have no religion at all.

Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent. Still, the study found that the numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state.

"No other religious bloc has kept such a pace in every state," the study's authors said.

One thing the study doesn't cover is why people are losing their religion. There are any number of explanations, but it could likely be a combination of more than one:

  • Science: As science gets better and reveals more explanations as to how our world works, we are less inclined to need a more superstitious explanation.

  • Hypocrisy: With religious leaders like Ted Haggard falling like dominoes, perhaps people are beginning to wonder if they've been getting scammed all along.

  • Islamic Terrorism: Nothing is scarier than a person on a murderous mission that cannot be reasoned with. It's enough to make anyone wonder if religion is doing more harm than good.

  • Questioning Authority: For centuries, children were raised to unquestioningly respect and follow authority. It seems like the 60's (and books like "1984") and quite possibly the Bush Administration have shown people that they can (and should) question authority.
My bet would be on the first explanation. Science has always been the scourge of religion. It shows that many things through history that were thought to be miracles at the time were not. Consider all of the things that happen in the natural world today. How many of those would be considered miracles were science not there to explain them away?

It almost seems to go against reason that the populace would lose it's religion during one of the most anti-science presidential administrations in history. Perhaps it was a knee-jerk reaction to that reactionary thinking (see my fourth rationale, above). After all, it was during Clinton's administration that the Republicans and the "Moral Majority" found their voice, founded their "traditional family values" position, and milked it for power.

Considering that the Obama administration is one of the most pro-science/pro-thinking administrations in a long time, it makes one wonder how religious leaders (both civic and cleric) will react? If a new bill in the GA General Assembly assigning human rights to embryos at the moment of conception (even in a petri dish) is any indication, we are in for a rough ride.

53 comments (Latest Comment: 03/14/2009 04:59:23 by livingonli)
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Comment by Random on 03/13/2009 13:10:33
Comment by clintster on 03/13/2009 13:24:25
Excellent post, Bobber.



I've gone through several religious phases in my life. I was baptized in a little mountain church when I was 10 years old. I think I did it mostly to please my dad, who was religious but didn't attend church all that much. I went to Baptist churches (with occasional dalliances with Methodism and the Quakers) on and off up until I met Mrs. C in 2001. There she introduced me to Unitarianism



I enjoyed the open nature of the UU's, and when we moved to VA, there was no UU fellowship in town; we ended up going to a Presby church for the music. Today I consider myself a free-lance Christian; ready to commune with my God, but not willing to put up with the extra BS baggage that some insist on putting up on the basic message of "Do good things and be nice to people". Maybe it's not theologically sound, and maybe I don't even need a god to work it, but it's what I've got to work with.



:peace:

Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2009 13:32:13
Morning all.. ugh gonna be a long day, was up 'til 2AM watching UConn and Syracuse play to SIX OVERTIMES!

Comment by TriSec on 03/13/2009 13:41:29
Morning, comrades!



T-1 hour and counting....this is with the hiring manager up at UHC, so I've got to hit the first pitch out of the park...



Some musings this morn.



I'm mystified by two emails I've received during my job hunt. One from Health Markets, and the other from United, both confirming interviews. Both statet "Wear Business Attire".



Am I that out of touch these days that people need to be reminded to 'dress to impress'? Seems like a clear delimiter to me. Showing up to an interview in anything less than the proper attire should be an automatic out, IMHO.



And Clintster....I have an even more convoluted religious path.



I was baptized as a Roman Catholic. Sometime in my youth, we started going to Methodist Sunday school...probably because our friends across the street did. My scout troop met in a Methodist church, so for years that's where we went.



Eventually, I drifted away and stopped going. Then I had to fall in love with a devout Roman Catholic, so I came back to the church and went through adult confirmation classes.



Then we couldn't have children, and the church decided that the therapy we tried was against dogma, so we were de facto excommunicated. Then the church sex scandal broke in Boston, so there was no going back for me.



But we had to have our son baptized as a Roman Catholic; against my strenuous objections.



We tried Lutheran and UU, never really clicking with anything.



Unfortunately, our young son was adopted from a Roman Catholic charity, and part of the agreement was we had to raise him in the faith. So, he's going to first communion classes against my better judgement.



In the end, I call myself a 'monotheist', as I would stay with the one God, but there's so many interpretations and prophets, I find it impossible to settle on one as being "the way".



I remember something I read about paganism long ago, and I've sort of used that as a guiding principle. "Why cut down a tree to build a church, when you could simply worship the tree?"



(or for the monotheists....'worship *at* the tree?')





Comment by TriSec on 03/13/2009 13:42:30
Did livin work that game last night?



Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2009 13:45:29
Quote by TriSec:

Did livin work that game last night?


Hmm.. it's possible since it was at MSG, but the broadcast was on ESPN so I'm guessing no.

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 13:48:16
:coffee2: Good Morning everyone!



:hug:

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 13:52:26
6 overtimes?



Who won?

Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2009 14:17:50
Quote by Raine:

6 overtimes?



Who won?


Syracuse...

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 14:36:28
http://images2.dailykos.com/images/user/191280/gopnosteele.png


Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/13/2009 14:37:54
Goood morning all

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 14:38:45
Sorry about UConn... but I always had a special place for the Orangemen.

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 14:39:24
*sigh*



Can they just friggin get Franken in place at this point? Seriously.

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 14:53:57
Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/13/2009 14:54:17
Quote by Raine:

*sigh*



Can they just friggin get Franken in place at this point? Seriously.




At the very least if an "R" (God forbid) takes the seat 6 years hence, then Franken gets to keep it for a time equal to the amount Coleman is stalling.

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 15:09:38
Quote by trojanrabbit:

Quote by Raine:

*sigh*



Can they just friggin get Franken in place at this point? Seriously.




At the very least if an "R" (God forbid) takes the seat 6 years hence, then Franken gets to keep it for a time equal to the amount Coleman is stalling.
I like that!!!



Comment by Random on 03/13/2009 15:18:39
Hm....Yesterday goat rapers...today...



Fort Lauderdale man killed girlfriend in fight over beer and tried to have sex with her corpse.



Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2009 15:39:24
Quote by Random:

Hm....Yesterday goat rapers...today...



Fort Lauderdale man killed girlfriend in fight over beer and tried to have sex with her corpse.



Could've been stranger.. Could've been that turtle from last night. :rofl:

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 15:40:30
Quote by Random:

Hm....Yesterday goat rapers...today...



Fort Lauderdale man killed girlfriend in fight over beer and tried to have sex with her corpse.





Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 15:40:58
This guy is SO NOT A LIBERAL!

Comment by Random on 03/13/2009 15:46:41
Quote by Raine:

This guy is SO NOT A LIBERAL!


...

Random must know what just happened and why.

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 15:46:54
THIS IS WHY I HATE CNBC.



The market has been open for what... 2 hours and 45 minutes?

Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 15:48:30
Quote by Random:

Quote by Raine:

This guy is SO NOT A LIBERAL!


...

Random must know what just happened and why.


Guy calls in... gives disclaimer that he is a liberal... then says he is ashamed for it, that Barney frank sold us out and that it is good for business for these CEO's to have private Jets.



EPIC FAIL: Whenever someone calls a liberal show and gives the disclaimer that they are liberal...

Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2009 15:48:47
Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/13/2009 15:49:13
Yay! Made it in.



Can't get over how quick she hangs up, bingo you're gone.

Comment by Random on 03/13/2009 15:51:51
Quote by Raine:

Quote by Random:

Quote by Raine:

This guy is SO NOT A LIBERAL!


...

Random must know what just happened and why.


Guy calls in... gives disclaimer that he is a liberal... then says he is ashamed for it, that Barney frank sold us out and that it is good for business for these CEO's to have private Jets.



EPIC FAIL: Whenever someone calls a liberal show and gives the disclaimer that they are liberal...


...It's not good for a buiness for these CEO's to have private Jets.



Comment by Random on 03/13/2009 15:57:23
Quote by Raine:

THIS IS WHY I HATE CNBC.



The market has been open for what... 2 hours and 45 minutes?


They're saying Market is bad when it's got 4 hours left...



Comment by BobR on 03/13/2009 16:02:05
Quote by trojanrabbit:

Yay! Made it in.



Can't get over how quick she hangs up, bingo you're gone.


Aw rats - missed it... :kickcan:

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/13/2009 16:05:29
Quote by BobR:

Quote by trojanrabbit:

Yay! Made it in.



Can't get over how quick she hangs up, bingo you're gone.


Aw rats - missed it... :kickcan:




I could always post the WBZ call and the call to Steph

Comment by livingonli on 03/13/2009 16:16:53
A belated good day to everyone.



I didn't wake up until 11:20 this morning. I did hear trojanrabbit's call to Mooma about Scott the Nazi's calls.

Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2009 16:23:50
Please tell me you weren't working that insane six overtime monstrosity, Livin..

Comment by livingonli on 03/13/2009 16:34:28
No, I don't work for ESPN. They're master control is in Connecticut. I had the Ranger game last night which was in Nashville.



Tonight I am doing a Women's Basketball game for FSN Florida 2 and then I am doing a Comcast Bay Area overflow event which will keep me pretty late. Sunday, MSG Plus had the MAAC tournament game that went into double overtime pushing all the late programming on a 45-minute delay.



Next week, I have two nights of late tennis which I am not looking forward to.

Comment by livingonli on 03/13/2009 16:35:48
My big problem with dressing is I still can't tie a tie after all these years since I wear them so rarely and these days it's not like I have anyone around to help me with them.

Comment by TriSec on 03/13/2009 16:57:14
Hey folks. Back home and looking good!





Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/13/2009 17:05:14
Calling someone like Steve LeVeille who for the most part runs a pretty laid-back show and Stephanie, who runs it very fast, are definitely two totally different animals.



With Steve, unless you really screw up and get obnoxious, you pretty much dictate when the call's done and 5 minute calls are not uncommon. With Stephanie you don't even get a chance to say goodbye. Yes, the big difference is one show is on midnight - 5am and the other is on during the rush hour (but isn't it rush hour all day in LA?). By the time I get to call around 4:30 in the morning Steve is pretty much begging for calls because most of the people who started off with him at midnight are probably asleep. I can't imagine Steph doing a 5 hour shift.

Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2009 17:15:40
:unsure:



Everyone we try to contact for ad renewals this month has been simply dismal.



Everyone I try to contact to pay their 3-month-old bills has been lying & delaying incessantly.



This shit is seriously scary.

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/13/2009 17:23:38
Quote by TriSec:

Hey folks. Back home and looking good!







Sounds like great news coming, I hope!



Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 17:28:57
I am hungry. I think lunch is in order.







Comment by TriSec on 03/13/2009 17:36:09
Quote by Raine:

I am hungry. I think lunch is in order.







: Wayne's World back in time sound :



Lunch awaits us!



Lunch awaits us, indeed!



Lift up your lunch.



We lift it into the microwave.



It is right to give lunch thanks and praise.





Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2009 18:00:08
Quote by TriSec:

Quote by Raine:

I am hungry. I think lunch is in order.







: Wayne's World back in time sound :



Lunch awaits us!



Lunch awaits us, indeed!



Lift up your lunch.



We lift it into the microwave.



It is right to give lunch thanks and praise.



Aces on the adaptation of the eucharistic prayer :P

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/13/2009 18:20:13
I'm just now listening to yesterday's show. That (Guitar Hero?) guitar crash reminds me of Quick Draw McGraw as El Kabong.

Comment by Scoopster on 03/13/2009 18:29:09
Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2009 18:49:28
Greatings from the study bunker. I totally lost what little faith I had during the nightmare that was the aftermath of Mrs Mondo's stroke. So if God is so compasionate, why did He or She let my wife suffer as she did? People tried to comfort me with the "God's plan is mysterious" saw. Some of these very same people would also say they understood God's plan when it came to issues like reproductive rights. So when bad shit happens to people, we can not fathom God's plan for his/her's most favorite creation? But, when it comes to an issue of public policy you have some higher clairity to the mind of the Almighty? You can't have it both ways. We do or we don't understand the Plan. This is one of the very few things where you will find me advocating a binary position. Then there was the God is testing you, Mondo arguement. This comes back to why does God torment and cause his most favored creation suffer if He/She loves us so much. Again you can't have both way.



There are some very intersting explainations for this duality in God's nature. The gnostic idea that the creator diety is blind and crazy. Look it up or better yet, read Phillip K. Dick's "gnostic triology."



Mondo has gradualy drifted from vaugue Protestant, to beliving in God is some amorphus form with not doctrine, to angnosticism and now outright atheism. Which of course means I have no moral center since all ethics and knowlege of right from wrong comes from being a Christian. Excuse me I am going to go have unprotected sex with an underage prostitute since I can't know that is wrong. Wait! Kant has several moral imparatives that are not based in Christianity. Oh Spinoza says there are ethics and morality in the absense of the devine. Well gee no underage hookers for me. I will leave that behavior up the poster boy for self indulgence, Rush. While you are at it Rush why don't you eat some lard straight from the tub with an ice cream scoop. Yeah you are the self indugent.

Comment by livingonli on 03/13/2009 19:44:26
Almost time to head to the salt mine.

Comment by TriSec on 03/13/2009 21:42:15
It's Pinewood Derby Night....wish us luck!



Be back much later this evening.





Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 21:44:10
Good Luck Javi and Tri!!!

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/13/2009 21:48:58
Quote by TriSec:

It's Pinewood Derby Night....wish us luck!



Be back much later this evening.







May the Turtle win!

Comment by trojanrabbit on 03/13/2009 22:14:59
Quote by TriSec:

It's Pinewood Derby Night....wish us luck!



Be back much later this evening.







Good luck to the both of you! Have fun.



Comment by Raine on 03/13/2009 22:35:21
:rofl: Shep Smith totally mocks Glenn Beck!!!

Shep Smith Mocks ‘Glenn Beck Friday’: ‘I Don’t Even Know What The Heck The Thing Is’







This is priceless bitchyness...