CNS STORY: ‘No religious affiliation’ now describes nearly fifth of US population

CNS STORY: ‘No religious affiliation’ now describes nearly fifth of US population.

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17 thoughts on “CNS STORY: ‘No religious affiliation’ now describes nearly fifth of US population

  1. I commented on this same article over at Rebecca Hamilton’s blog, Public Catholic. I’ll repeat that comment here, as I fully believe it illustrates a major problem in America today:

    “I think a great part of it is that we are a nation obsessed with entertainment. Yes, there is poverty, and homelessness, as there is in every time period, but largely, this is an opulent time for America. All too many of us are sluggish and apathetic and tend to be more interested in trying out the new XBOX game, or catching the new movie, or partying, than going to Church or having to live their faith.”

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    • My thoughts are that you have hit on an important element of it but that the problem is multifaceted. I think that the parents are poorly catechized and they are not as involved with their children or their schools as they should be. I think that the schools are a haven for agnostics, atheists and secularists of all stripes. I also think that our Church is not promoting holiness as much as it is social work: which makes us look like we are in league with the secular humanist movement, or worse, a quasi-socialist organization to help eradicate inequalities between peoples.

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      • The things you mention are strong factors in the watering down of the Church. The Protestant churches have been hit hard as well. I can say, based on my own experiences growing up in Southern Baptist churches along with a small handful of other Protestant and Pentecostal churches, that all too often, preaching the undiluted Word of God was all too often watered down and in some cases replaced outright with the preaching of material wealth as evidence of one’s holiness or rightstanding with God. All too often we were given stories of people who wanted new cars or some new gadget or something or other, and prayed for it and lo and behold they got it, as examples of answered prayer. Pastors preached from the ‘Social Status Gospel’, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.

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        • Yes, I too heard this “new gospel” of bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. I’m not sure when this take on the Gospel got legs but it seems that this is the gospel for those with “itching ears.” This makes folks think that they are holier the more material goods and better their health is and, of course, the opposite is true for those who have nothing. It is a good way to segregate people into a sort of caste system like India had and still has to some degree. The “untouchables” of this caste system, I suspect, started in the South and was aimed at the poor blacks of the day. It still survives in certain churches and it is abominable.

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      • Then there was the so-called “Hour of Power” with Robert Schuller, broadcast live from his Crystal Cathedral. My mother used to watch that show ‘religiously’ (pun intended). I couldn’t stand it. Even at the age of 10 I knew that Schuller preached a perversion of what the Bible taught, and I wondered how any Christian could listen to his words and think he was Biblically or doctrinally sound.

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        • “And who owns the Crystal Cathedral today, one might ask? Why it’s the Catholic Church of all things.”

          Indeed. And what have they done with it? Did they simply convert it to become a new Catholic parish church?

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          • Texas Bishop to Head Diocese of Orange
            Jane Yu Friday, September 21, 2012

            Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann has been named the new head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

            Vann will succeed Bishop Tod Brown, who plans to retire in December after 49 years as priest, the last 14 as bishop.

            The Diocese of Orange was founded in 1976, when it split from the Los Angeles Archdiocese. It now includes about 1.2 million Catholics here.

            Vann has led the Diocese of Fort Worth since 2005. The Texas diocese grew nearly 80% to 710,000 members during his tenure.

            He will arrive as the Diocese of Orange prepared to renovate the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove as its new cathedral.

            Brown oversaw the $57.5 million acquisition of the Crystal Cathedral campus through a bankruptcy sale earlier this year. The property will be renamed Christ Cathedral.

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    • Indeed so, though it looks more like a place to house liturgical dance with lots of vestal virgins swirling around in white gauze like dresses.

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      • Hmmm……as tempting as it might be to watch those dancing vestal virgins spinning around the church in their white dresses…..I believe I’ll stick with the standard liturgy and the Eucharist. Not even going to let my thoughts go there. Lord knows they might stay there if I gave them the chance.

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  2. I went and took a look at Joel Osteen’s website and then clicked on the tab What We Believe. At first glance, it seems to be okay till you get to the final bullet point, which proclaims “as children of God, we are overcomers and more than conquerors and God intends for each of us to experience the abundant life He has in store for us”. Yeah, looks like more of the wealth and prosperity pablum offered by so many today.

    It reminds me of a scene from Lord Of The Rings, where one of the hobbits is complaining about having to eat lembas again. Though tasty at first, after a while one realizes that it’s rather bland and gets old really fast. No real meat to sustain one for longer periods of time.

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