Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Are Americans losing their religion?

"More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion - or no religion at all. If change in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another is included, 44% of adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether."

That's a quote from the new report on the state of religious affiliation in America from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The Observer's story on the report is here, and the full report, which is well worth exploring, is here.

The report paints a picture of spiritual restlessness, of adults being dissatisfied with the "faith of their fathers," or at least their father's denomination.

Cause for panic? Or cause to celebrate?

I say the latter. And I say this as a member of a mainstream Protestant church -- a group whose numbers are in decline. Why celebrate? I can think of two reasons:

1. It shows that people are not willing to settle for boring, irrelevant services and dry theology. They are seeking communities where they can authentically encounter God and learn to love one another.

2. It's a wake-up call to all houses of worship that they won't keep their members unless they are willing to engage and challenge them on every level -- providing spiritual depth, mental stimulation and opportunities to serve those in need. Being a Sunday-only, mindless, see-and-be-seen, believe-what-you're-told-and-shut-up-about-doubts club won't cut it.

Yes, the study shows there are many who turn away from organized religion altogether. But are they so much worse than pew-warmers who go through the motions but haven't let faith transform their lives?

Perhaps Americans are not so much losing their religion as finding it for themselves.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps Americans are not so much losing their religion as finding it for themselves."

As if losing religion is a bad thing?

Promising thing is that we see only a small percentage of youth (under 29) associated with religion.

It would be interesting to see the distribution of religious population in prisons (since most of them claim higher moral values) compared to regular population.

The report shows agnostic/atheist to be at 4% (I think it is actually higher but even at 4% it beats most of others combined (exceptions are top 4 Christian groups and if we break down only few sub groups are larger). At 16.1% (used to be 8% in 1990) for the whole unaffiliated group it makes it a clear trend for the future. It surely is the only group that has over 30% of people under age of 30.

It will be interesting to see the same survey years from now if the trend (and I think it will) continue.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

I don't know, Jane. I have spoken with many persons who have switched faiths and a great deal of them said they switched faiths because they "didn't agree with the teachings of a particular faith."

To me, this is a symptom of what I believe is a more serious condition; faith-shopping -- looking for a faith that will make you feel good about what you want to believe.

There are many times I have disagreed with the Catholic Church on one or more issues. But rather than throw in the towel and jump ship -- looking for a more user-friendly make-you-feel-good alternative I delved deeper into prayer and study as to why the Church professes what it does. In the end I find that there is good reason why the Church professes what it does, and I have come to grips with the realization that I am not always right about what I believe(d).

I feel that the need to faith-shop is indicative of a people who have grown haughty about who is calling the shots; that is, them as opposed to God. It is an outgrowth of the "me" generation.

Now, before I have to don my flame-retardant suit in answer to this, I don't feel that all people switch faiths for these reasons. [I do, though, feel the the majority who abandon faith totally are driven by their intense egotism, their feeling of "How dare God try to tell me what is right and what is wrong!"] Some switch faiths because the other faith offers them a greater expression of God's love, and that's fine by me. It all boils down to why one switches faith. Religious cowardice shouldn't be a reason to switch faiths, but an invitation to learn more about the faith you need to come to terms with.

Danbo59 said...

Previously posted -- "As if losing religion is a bad thing?"

It's a very bad thing, and a very sad thing. I disagree that it's Churches who are pushing people away. It's more that people are pushing Churches away because they can't admit that there is someone greater than themselves that is responsible for all of Creation. They don't wish to be told what is right and what is wrong, what is moral and what is immoral. They don't want to be told that they need to worship as a community so many days a year.

These people, these lost souls who have convinced themselves that there is no such thing as God, possess the ultimate ego-mania. For them, there is only one hope (as there is for all of us) -- an all-loving, all-merciful, all-forgiving God. The only pre-requisite? That they ask for it.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

Before someone brings up the perceived corruptibility of organized religion (the old saws of The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the pedophilia [which somehow is only pointed out as being a failing of the Catholic Church, as if other religions don't suffer from the same] let me point out that one does not (or should not) attend religious services to worship the organization of religion.

You go to Church (to services) to worhip God. If I go to a Church and find out that Pastor John Doe has been embezzling parish funds, I don't stop going to Church (services). Instead, I insist that a new pastor be appointed and the old pastor answer to the authorities. God's not stealing my money -- the pastor is.

Anonymous said...

"It's a very bad thing, and a very sad thing"

Do you have any evidence that this is a very bad thing? (Obviously it is a bad thing for churches and religion but I don't see non-religious people doing any worse then religious. In fact one would argue that most do better (quality of living wise due to better education, better income, less imprisonment - as in non-religious people are underrepresented in prison population).

So on what evidence do you base that losing religion is a bad thing?

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Iztok asked, "So on what evidence do you base that losing religion is a bad thing?"

The evidence of truth, as stated herein -- "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." -- Matthew 6:19-21.

In other words, what good are "better education, better income, less imprisonment" if in pursuit of such you sacrifice your eternal happiness?

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with the questions and this forum, in my opinion, is that people confuse fact with what they have chosen to believe. It is impossible for you to use a quote from the bible as an argument because I do not believe in the bible. Just because you believe in or think something, doesn't make it true. You may choose to live your life and follow a particular faith because that makes sense to you, but you should give other people the same latitude when they make the choice to change religions or to not have one at all.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's not so much a matter of Americans losing their religion as it is a matter of religion losing Americans.

The church I used to attend regularly (as in, every Sunday) has slowly but surely transformed from a place of worship into a social club, and now they support things I can't or don't believe in. As a result, I and many others like me have stopped going, or moved on to other churches whose core beliefs are more in line with what we believe.

Matthew 7:3 sums it up pretty well: And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Why assume that we are losing our faith, when it seems more likely that the instrument of our faith, the church, has lost us?

Anonymous said...

Danbo, unless you have evidence that there is heaven then your quote is useless. And you can't use the same book to prove itself what it says about it either (circular logic).

We have real tangible evidence of quality of life of those who are more educated and with higher income. (They get better health care, live longer, access to variety of things in their pursuit of happiness.) You offer no evidence but words for your claims. Plus you are in no way responsible if what you claim is true or not. If people die and there is no heaven/hell you are not held responsible for false promises. Basically this is the ideal product up for sale (as customers can't come back and "ask for refund").

On the other hand we have all sorts of research regarding quality of life (there is also quality of live index). In fact if we look at some numbers it seems that religiosity in the world is in reverse with peoples purchase power (exception might be US). There was graph posted here: http://www.theatlantic.com/images/issues/200803/secular-graph.gif



That shows it clearly.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Chris said...

I think a big part of the trend is the shifting of social change against religious tolerances. As folks encounter and accept more things like homosexuality, for example, they are searching out religions that are more accepting and have less traditional rules and regulations. That's just what I'm observing, I don't know how that relates to anything on the statistics.

Like Iztok, I'm surprised non-believers aren't a higher %. It is a fast growing segment though (I too view it as welcome news). I don't know if people are lazy (could be) or maybe they are just not afraid of being a lot more critical and objective about what is being said and taught (more likely).

JayCee said...

Like Jane, I’m an Episcopalian. And by the way, Danbo, I’m Catholic, albeit Anglo-Catholic. It’s just that our Presiding Bishop in the USA has a different take on the role of women and homosexuals in the church, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is our global head, not the Pope. Otherwise the beliefs and services are similar if not identical.

In “high church” we use incense, genuflect and take communion seriously. You can blame King Henry VIII for the schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

I admit my wife and I are “lapsed” Episcopalians. (She was raised an Associate Reformed Presbyterian; I became a Christian at age 28; she agreed to marry into “my” Episcopal Church). I was attracted to Christianity after sitting in one summer at services at a small Episcopal mission church in the North Carolina mountains. But we’ve found the big Charlotte churches too wrapped up in golf outings and social events.

And so we’ve remained “faithful” Episcopalians, but have stopped attending services. We envy our Methodist friends on Hawthorne Lane who give their time to “Room at the Inn”, helping the homeless as I think Jesus would have wanted things to be done. But I feel I promised to be an Episcopalian, not a Methodist.

We checked out one of the big “rock ‘n roll churches” in South Charlotte – the one with the minister who has a radio spot on WBT-AM. Enjoyed the music and enthusiasm. But their theology is way too conservative. When a minister says that evolution is a myth – I have to wonder if he has ever caught one of the ever-evolving forms of influenza.

So, we haven’t given up on God. We’re still “true to our school”, as the Beach Boys would have sung, but we are desperately seeking Jesus and His teachings as we understand them. Help!

Gamecock said...

I don't accept that one has "changed religion" if one switches from a Baptist to Catholic Church. Christianity is the religion. It has various sects.

Also, some people switch churches for bad reasons, one of which could be that they desire a more responsibility free experience. The trend over the past decade has actually been the opposite however, as the growing churches are those that see the Bible as more authoritative.

great blog as usual Jane

pornstudent said...

I agree with you, Jane. In addition to your two reasons, I think the survey is good news because it shows that we are free in the United States to worship, or not, as we want. Not just because the Constitution guarantees us this freedom, but also because many of us are free intellectually and emotionally to disagree with the religions that have raised us. We have the courage to tell our family, friends and clergy that what they believe doesn't make sense; our reasoning isn't constrained by tradition; and we have the integrity to not participate in what we don't believe.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous wrote, "...but you should give other people the same latitude when they make the choice to change religions or to not have one at all."

I do. Do you see me dragging people to church?

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "...unless you have evidence that there is heaven then your quote is useless."

I have plenty of proof, thank you. My quote is most useful. I only need look at Creation to know there is a God; that none of what we see happened of itself. The odds, as you love to point out, are too heavily stacked against it.

For those whose self-absorption, whose egotism prevents them from believing there is anything else in the universe more omnipotent that they are, they need only peruse the wealth of literature on persons who have had NDEs (near-death-experiences).

There is life after death. And since there is life after death there is a place where we, the faithful, will reside. People who have been declared clinically (that scientific enough, cold-fact enough for you?) dead have watched events unfold from outside their bodies, have heard and seen things that would have been impossible to hear and see if they were merely "unconcious" (for example, happenings that were physically quite far removed from where they died) and returned to "life" to tell of it. They have seen "a great, warm light," experienced the welcome of loved ones who had preceded them in "death."

Those who argue that these are the delusions of a dying brain have no explanation as to why everyone experiences a common theme in NDEs, or how a dying brain can hear and see things from places far removed from where they are at the time.

God reaches out to those who refuse to believe and gives us even more proof of His eternal love for us. Some people, though, are too self-absorbed to listen.

pornstudent said...

Danbo,

It seems to me that an egotist would want to believe in life after death and in a God that cares about him.

An easy "explanation as to why everyone experiences a common theme in NDEs" is that everyone's brain has a common physiology.

Danbo59 said...

nstudent said, "An easy "explanation as to why everyone experiences a common theme in NDEs" is that everyone's brain has a common physiology."

Hey , that is an easy explanation. It's also wrong. How come this common physiology doesn't make us all behave the same way while we are living? Or think the same way?

Sorry to tip your boat.

pornstudent said...

An explanation for why we have common NDEs doesn't explain everything about human behavior. Why would you expect it to?

See The Neurobiology Behind Out-of-Body Experiences.

Nick said...

Are they really losing religion? I'm not speaking from the view of a Calvinist, but did they have a real religion to begin with?

Most of our churches are shallow and teaching fluff. Left Behind and Purpose-Driven Life far outsell serious books on theology. You can bet more people will read the tabloids than will ever pick up Plato or Aristotle or even learn anything about their thought.

The faith most often walked away from is a Sunday School faith that centers on what Jesus can do for the person rather than what they can do for him. Most sermons are simply "feel-good" messages with no meat.

I recall, for instance, being in a Sunday School study on Joshua and hearing the point was that we should obey God. Now I think we should, but think about this.

Joshua wrote a whole book just to get that one message? Why fill it in with historical details? Could it be he was telling about the covenant promises being fulfilled?

The #1 draw that brings people to church is good preaching. It needs to be more than just application. Application is rooted in truth. Every sermon should have some application, but only after the foundation is set.

So are some losing religion? Probably only a shallow religion and if it gets them searching for truth, it might be a good thing. However, I think too many today do not care about truth and only want the satisfaction of their own desires.

Danbo59 said...

pornstudent said, " See The Neurobiology Behind Out-of-Body Experiences."

Wow. Looks like a high school kid wrote it. That sure changes my mind. Not!

pornstudent said...

Danbo,
The website was written for kids by Dr. Eric Chudler, a neuroscientist.

Anonymous said...

Why is it "egotistical" to thoughtfully, sincerely determine that insufficient evidence exists for me to reasonably conclude that a god or gods exist and/or that any such god(s) have made themselves known through a particular book? Isn't that what Christians have done with respect to all of the other religions/myths/legends?

pornstudent said...

Jesus said, according to Matthew 22:14, "For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 7:14 says, "For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those that find it."

The survey says 78.4% of Americans are Christian. That isn't a few. Even the 26.6% of Americans who are members of Evangelical churches is more than a few. Maybe Nick is right and most of those who call themselves Christian aren't really.

pornstudent said...

I have a few ideas on why most people who call themselves Christian aren't really.

They are too nice. They can't really believe people are going to Hell.

They aren't nice enough. They can't bring themselves to sell all they have and give the money to the poor.

And, of course, there's the matter of sex. They like it too much to cut off their hands and pluck out their eyes.

Chris said...

In my opinion, it takes a lot of courage to be an Atheist. We're a minority and a good portion of America doesn't accept us (how many would vote for an Atheist candidate running for President?). It takes a lot more fortitude to get up in morning and face life knowing that you've only got one shot.

To say that we don't believe because of ego or whatever is wrong. For me, anyway, it was just looking at what was presented as evidence and just logically coming to a conclusion that this stuff didn't make sense. For something so important, I wanted to do due diligence before I literally centered my whole life around it.

I just wanted to clarify that. I thought that was a bit unfair.

Anonymous said...

"I have plenty of proof, thank you. My quote is most useful. I only need look at Creation to know there is a God; that none of what we see happened of itself. The odds, as you love to point out, are too heavily stacked against it."

Odds of creation AND odds of creator are even smaller. So if creation is highly unlikely creator is even less likely. Simple math.

"For those whose self-absorption, whose egotism prevents them from believing there is anything else in the universe more omnipotent that they are"

There is a huge step from this towards attributing that there is a creator. Most of us would agree that there is a possibility that "more omnipotent" beings then us exist somewhere in the Universe. But that doesn't mean that they are any form of gods.

"There is life after death. And since there is life after death there is a place where we, the faithful, will reside."

Again, no proof of life after death really exists. NDE is just that. NDE not PDE.

Now "we, the faithful, will reside"... hmm.. talking about self-absorption now!

"God reaches out to those who refuse to believe and gives us even more proof of His eternal love for us."

Again, your God seems to be a POOR communicator. There are plenty of signs he could show us that he really exists but we haven't heard from him lately. Except through all the tsunamis and Katrinas of the world. So much for love. Thanks but no thanks.

Our world looks just as we would expect if there would be no creator so there is no need to invent one.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Anonymous said...

Grinch08 writes:

To be, or not to be (an atheist).
Why, Jane asks, are Americans losing their religion.

Let us make the simple answer: television and radio, to a lesser extent.

Almost every man has a god, or for Danbo God.

Previous to television and radio, men were limited to church and newspapers concerning mass information opportunities. The printed page, being still, offers nothing compared to a sermon, a live voice, and a once a week sermon cannot compare to the daily 3 hours of viewing television brings into the home. It is overpowering and it sells consumerism.

This is the new god. Keep up with the Joneses. Every commercial, even the shows themselves, are aimed at convincing people they are not 'good enough' unless they have the right stuff - material things.

God, of whatever choice, offers things more etheral in nature. You can't touch it, you can't wear it, it's not even something people ask about anymore.

So too have many people seen churches as a social club, and find other ways to spend their leisure time. Sports teams have a fanatic following. The same fervor is seldom seen in a Catholic or Christian, yet we fault it in practicers of Islam.

There are also the remnants and repercussions of the 'I'm ok, you're ok' physchotherapy school of thought. So many were taught that the restrictions imposed on them by moral beliefs, such as religion, were wrong, that anything was ok. From that it becomes easy to believe the requirements of religion to act a certain way are infringing on one's lifestyle. How would it be possible then to belong to a church?

Then there is science, and the scientific method. Which led me to Atheism.

In all it is a sad state of affairs as man, most men, need a moral compass they can follow, which is outside of themselves.

Danbo59 said...

How wonderful is our God, that he loves even those who deny His very existence? I ask that the faithful on this board pray that lost sheep are reunited with their Good Shepherd.

God bless us all.

Anonymous said...

"How wonderful is our God, that he loves even those who deny His very existence?"

If you choose your God is responsible for all the good then you must admit he is also responsible for all the bad in this world (either by causing it or allowing it). Esp. when it comes to natural disasters like tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes etc.

Where was God in Auschwitz? Where, after all, was God in the Gulag? Where was God when the Khmer Rouge slaughtered 1.7 million Cambodians? Where was God during the Armenian holocaust? Where was God in Rwanda? Where is God in Darfur?

For that matter, where is God when even one innocent victim is being murdered or raped or abused?

It is interesting to notice that people like you pray to God to do small things (change their lives, help with their recovery or recovery of people they know) and claim God answers their prayers. But I am convinced that many more people pray for victims in Darfur and catastrophe is still going on. People are more concerned to pray for those who don't believe in God then for those who really need help (such as people in Darfur). And what do we see? Only humans are the ones who stepped up to the plate and are helping in Darfur. (Doctors Without Borders is one of those groups that are most active.)

So Danbo, perhaps you should tell people in Darfur that God loves them and that is why they are in the position where they are.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "So Danbo, perhaps you should tell people in Darfur that God loves them and that is why they are in the position where they are."

There is a reason why God permits evil to exist. The full reason is beyond us. But, God allowed his own Son to be tortured and crucified so that you and I might have access to eternal life. Just as you'd step in front of a bullet meant for your wife or children, God's own Son stepped in front of a Cross for our eternal Salvation.

God did not force his Son to do His will. Jesus laid down His lfe -- it was not taken from Him. Jesus freely gave His life for yours and for mine.

If God would allow the evil that resulted in the promise of Salvation of all mankind, it is logical to accept that God would allow other forms of evil to befall mankind.

Just as God extracted good from the evil which resulted in the death of His own Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, we -- the faithful -- (and no, that's not self-absorption) know that there is some good -- most times unbeknownst to us -- that God extracts from every act of evil.

To the people of Darfur I'd say, "God loves you." I cannot tell them that their condition is caused by God.

You, Iztok, remain in my daily prayers. May God bless you. May He grant you a long and healthy life in His service.

Anonymous said...

"There is a reason why God permits evil to exist."

Sure, but there is much simpler explanation. God doesn't exist. Whole "evil" looks just as if loving, omnipotent, omniscient God wouldn't exist. So why would one need to invent one? There is no logical need for it.

I see you didn't explain how creation seems to be too improbable for you yet creator of creation is acceptable despite the fact that improbability of creation and creator together is even less probable.

Let me give you an example.

Let's say that probability of creation is 0.01 (making up numbers here because it is easier to calculate with bigger numbers) and probability of creator is 0.99 (I am very generous here since we can't prove it.)

Probability of creation and creator is 0.01 x 0.99 = 0.0099. For you 0.01 is not good enough, yet you accept 0.0099 as OK (despite the fact that it is less then what you are not accepting at the first place)? It doesn't make any mathematical sense.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "I see you didn't explain how creation seems to be too improbable for you yet creator of creation is acceptable despite the fact that improbability of creation and creator together is even less probable."

What I find most improbable is that you actually believe what you write.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Danbo,

I don't have to believe. You can calculate compound probability by yourself and see it for yourself.

I gave you a good example to go from. It is FACT that compound probability (x AND y) is smaller then x or y alone. Simple math. Sorry you can't grasp it.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "It is FACT that compound probability (x AND y) is smaller then x or y alone. Simple math. Sorry you can't grasp it."

You mean like the odds of drawing an ace or a deuce out of a standard deck of fifty-two playing cards is 0.076923 (1 in 13), but drawing an ace and a deuce, sequentially, out of a standard deck of fifty-two playing cards is 0.00060331 (1 in 165.75)?

You're right, I don't understand.

As to your "point," it is quite obvious.

Henceforth you can argue yourself to death (i.e., the day you pray to God for mercy -- hopefully He hears your prayer).

God bless you, always.

Anonymous said...

Danbo, so how can you with straight face say that probability of universe being in existence by itself is too small but you can accept existence of universe AND God as acceptable probability despite the fact it is smaller value?

Unless you require more evidence for one then for the other (being biased).

Sincerely,
Iztok

David McKnight said...

Here's hoping the Charlotte Observer isn't losing its religion too.

Peter only denied Jesus three times, which of course was three too many, but The Observer has been known to deny its readers hundreds of times.

"Two can put ten thousand to flight," but try getting The Observer to be one of those two.

And once again, the annual Limerick contest is another opportunity for way-out liberals and conservatives to launch fits of invective against mainstream Protestants without giving those under critical attack a proper chance to respond in some other form of verse.

So friends, put in a prayer for The Observer in case the newspaper isn't praying for its own (darned) self.

"To thine own self be true," for while fairness and balance in journalism can certainly help strengthen a newspaper, ultimately, "The truth shall set you free."

JayCee said...

David McKinight said:

"...the annual Limerick contest is another opportunity for way-out liberals and conservatives to launch fits of invective against mainstream Protestants without giving those under critical attack a proper chance to respond in some other form of verse."

This is for us, David:

"Some limericks lean toward the left.

They allege there’s no “Rock of Ages” cleft.

Their authors should atone

for casting the first stone.

Lest their sin leave them grievously bereft."

Anonymous said...

I wonder what would you guys say about this story:

Complaining About God in School Can Have Dire Consequences

Laura said...

I don't think a religion that hails from a Monarchy fares well in a Democratic society. However, as we become more capitalistic, I can see why those at the top of the pyramid would want to keep fundamentalism alive and well. It scares people into an us-them mentality so they can justify taking advantage of the 'thems.' And for the freethinkers, religion's supernatural beings just don't make any sense. Why go to all the trouble of suspending the laws of nature when you can just perform the miracle of making people get along? I'm no god, but even I can see that it's is more efficient and a lot less painful. I know, I know, God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform...

JayCee said...

I’m no atheist, but I agree that public schools, which are financed by taxpayers of all religions (and non-religions), are not supposed to be in the religion business. If kids want to meet as a group at the flagpole to pray, or pray quietly and unobtrusively as individuals, or have a religion club – that’s permitted. But having the school administration or teachers require or lead prayers is stepping over the church-state separation line.

If you want to make a kid point at the sky and sing a religious song, please have the sense to do so in a private school setting.

No one ticks me off quicker than those who foist their religious views on someone else, even if it’s done “innocently”. One of my evangelical relatives always insists that everyone hold hands and pray before we eat at a restaurant. Well, if they want to pray on their lonesome at that table, that’s fine with me. But my religious tradition doesn’t call for it.

I’ve thought about volunteering to lead the prayer, and asking all to stand. Then I’d loudly intone for the whole place to hear: “Oh Lucifer! Mighty Beelzebub! Hear our prayers.” That might put an end to their pushiness.

One the problem with prayers at public group settings is which God are we actually praying to? My liberal God? Your conservative God? A Christian God? A Hindu God? Or something in between? And why should we be praying to your version of God and not mine?

I’m amazed that Charlotte City Council has a prayer before their public meetings. So, Mayor Pat, if you get to lead a prayer to your God, why shouldn’t I be allowed to lead one to mine? And then why can’t Danbo stand up and offer one to his, and Anonymous, Iztok and Pornstudent be allowed to present their viewpoints as well? Seems like a lot of wasted taxpayer time doing something that even Jesus said should be done privately without making a big show of it.

Anonymous said...

The link that was posted few posts above is not just about things that happened in school. It is just terrible what happened to the family afterward. They were evicted twice, had to change school, tried to home school, their yard was trashed, threatening phone calls etc... just terrible thing that happened to them.

Sincerely,
Iztok

Anonymous said...

The OLD CHURCHES religion is going out the door; The ISLAM religion is the fastest growing now because the Christian church has been caught up in scandal, money theft, sexual encounters. The ISLAM religion gives grants to poor peopl in their church to start Business ; The ISLAM church pays off temple goers credit cards for them and then rips them up , smart move.
The ISLAM religion is coming on strong because they believe putting money in the bank kills the economy. Thats why regular Houses of worship are being vacated.

Anonymous said...

Id like to see Traditional Churches really helping People in their community and not just saying it. Id like to see a Church call People up t the alter and pay off Peoples credit cards of 10,000 or less and make them cut the card up and free them of SATANS bounds. The ISLAMIC religion gives People small no interest loans and granst to get them out of Poverty.

Anonymous said...

The ISLAMIC , JEWISH and CHRISTIAN faith all are connected; If you hear in English all three masses they all sound alike. All three of these Religions are based from a long ago source. MUSLIMS and JEWS dont eat HAM and have a STAR in their religion ; Old CATHOLIC masses celebrate the same way Judaism. And I saw a Cleric do a kneel down prayer session in English and it was like being in a CATHOLIC church when they did LATIN MASSES. All the Religions are almost the same really. I wish we could keep GOVERNMENT out of Religion to keep Religion pure. Even ISLAM mentions CHRIST and Remember " GIVE TO CEASAR WHAT IS CEASARS" .What is the U.S, PAPER money , its property of the Federal Government.

Anonymous said...

We must all pray that the HEAD of BIN LADEN is put on display in MUSEUMS across the Country to show the WORLD the face of evil. We must all pray that BIN LADEN is brought to JUSTICE. We must crucify BIN LADEN in the streets of WASHINGTON and then HANG him on the Cross on the NATIONAL MALL. This kind of Religious activity would neer be tolerated by the ROMANS. They would have fed him to the LIONS.

Anonymous said...

CHRIST said" dont trust Religion trust in God" So I wonder about MASON groups and Eastern Star wen MINISTERS talk about People in these groups attending Church and then returning to their LODGE. Many Ministers are sayinf Groups like this are worshiping false idols; I really dont believe this; I think all Churches are having size envy , for instance Many Churches have to have more parishioners to generate growth for the next step a building; Some Churchs are sending in Good looking women that are size fours skirts and provocative; They go in and flirt with married men and 'VOILA' People leave the church and go to a suggested by another member who is also working for that other Church. When I heard this from a MINISTER I was floored.

Anonymous said...
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Danbo59 said...

In response to the last six (6) posts by "Anonymous" I say, "Huh?"

i hate jesus freaks said...

Good! Maybe now we can all finally live in peace...

Just like the John Lennon song...

"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace"

Anonymous said...

There is much more to life than Jesus and religion. It does more harm than good. It breeds intolerance and shuns people out. Screw religion! When will all you freaks realize that? You can believe in God without all the other crap.

Danbo59 said...

John Lennon was a pervert -- plain and simple. He couldn't manage his own life, let alone imagine a world without "religion" and without "borders" living in total peace.

He was a socialist -- a Lenin for our times. What a role model!

pornstudent said...

Most wars are fought over countries and religion. I'm probably as much a pervert as Lennon was; yet, I like imagining everyone living life in peace. Those who believe billions are going to Hell can't imagine and would resist that possibility. Interesting - perverts such as Lennon imagine everyone living in peace and Christians like Danbo imagine people going to Hell.

Anonymous said...

How was Lennon a pervert?

He was very much a capitatlist. Look at all the freakin money he made, and disputes he was involved in when he felt he was being cheated.

pornstudent said...

I like the 1b definition of pervert: to cause to turn aside or away from what is generally done or accepted.

As a noun, pervert is usually used to describe one given to some form of sexual perversion; definition 1 of perversion takes us back to perverting, which has the same definition as pervert: to cause to turn aside or away from what is generally done or accepted.

The Pharisees and Sadducees would have called Jesus a pervert. If Danbo wants to call Lennon a pervert, fine - it helps distinguish those who dare to be different from the copycats.

Larry said...

I'm infinitely happier as an atheist than I ever was in the christian church. No behaviorial changes, just a freedom to think on my own.

Iztok said...

I wonder if you agree with this way of kid's upbringing?

Am I raising 'atheist children'?

Why do you agree?

Why do you disagree?

Would you consider doing the same or not? (And why?)