Published: Wednesday, March 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
First, who writes your headlines? "Raises a bunch of questions." Seriously?Second, the rise of the "Nones" is easily
understandable as the natural consequence of living in the Information Age. The
more you know about organized religion, the harder it s to justify participating
in one.Information is a powerful disinfectant for the mind.
Proclamations made by religious leaders are now examined with the aid of Google,
and frequently don't fare well.What is good about religion is
not unique to religion, but what is unique to religion is not good.
Necessity is the mother of invention. When your in the fox hole you will start
talking to God. No one changes any thing about themselves until it's
You touched on some of the reasons for the 'nones' it seems.One of the biggest reasons for the increase is the obvious hypocrisy of the
leaders of organized religions who claim to be 'Christian' and then
act so un-Christian in their daily lives. Then, they live in fantastic
mansions, fly on private jets, own several fancy sports cars, etc. Is that how
Christ told his disciples to live?Then, you have them constantly
trying to force their particular set of rules on EVERYBODY else (abortion, gay
rights, women's rights, etc.). Sorry, but that isn't the "golden
rule", it's tyranny.And then you have the outright nuts (I
don't think I need to go into details or name names).Religion
is a personal, spiritual issue and all these religions are out to make it a
public matter. Believe as you will, but realize that others don't always
believe as you do and shouldn't be required to do so.
The fact that so many church ministers have falsely predicted the end of the
world so many times hasn't helped. Why not just enjoy life and be a good
I agree the Information Age is putting a great deal of pressure on organized
religion. Many people can go to church and be edified spiritually, and that is
a good thing, in and of itself.But others are prone to examine the
details, claims, stories, and assertions of truth, and under the powerful
magnifying glass of information, historic claims of churches to be authentic
pipelines to the Almighty have taken a beating.We see it here in
Utah with the predominant religion and the most recent proclamation, minor
changes providing more explanation about the priesthood ban. Essentially, the
explanation about why the ban arose is "we don't know". (This is a
far cry from past authoritative statements, even as recently as 1949, when it
was declared not a policy, but a direct commandment from God.)The
LDS faith is far from being the only religion under the microscope of widely
available information. The Catholic and others have been rocked by innumerable
scandals, and the historic treatment of Galileo does not portray religion
kindly.The "Nones" who believe in God have simply fallen
back to simpler beliefs that are less fragile.
Education and knowledge are the foes of religion. As knowledge of the world
expands and releases the minds of people from the fear of the unknown, the
imaginary hope of the religions become unnecessary and irrelevant. It has
worked that way since the beginning.
Blue,"....the rise of the "Nones" is easily
understandable as the natural consequence of living in the Information
Age...."______________________________How true. Religion
has lost the power it once had to insulate its members from views that counter
its dogmas. After all, religion is not about getting people to think. It's
about getting them to believe.
I'm glad Gerson highlighted the interplay between religion becoming a
political tool. From the very beginning of this trend I knew it would do much
harm to religion and politics as well.
It's called "Puritianism", and it is a form of
"extremeism".The same intolerant, uber-conservatives who
have trashed the Republican Party by running out anyone who is not lock-step
in-line with their precise, narrow-minded view of the world, use the
same intolerant tactics at Church.If not for my own deep personal
Testimony of Mormonism, the "Saints" would cause me to be a
"none" as well.Re-read the article.It's not so
much the doctrine taught in Religion, but the followers who turn people
off to attending a church.Mahatma Gandhi said it best:"I
like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike
It's not indifference. It's the bully pulpit, the political
interference, and the hypocrisy of religion that are making so called
'nones' out of us. Maybe we're just growing up a bit. The only
question is why we it didn't happen sooner.
Blue, 10CC, and Ultra BobIf “education and knowledge are the
foes of religion” why do Christian religions spend so much time, money and
effort educating their followers?The rise of Protestantism and the
Restoration movement are both results of more information (via the printing
press at first).The issues with organized religion have much more to
do with when it becomes married to government. Otherwise, there are many good
things that though they might (in theory) be applied without religion rarely do
in its absence (and are therefore unique to it).RanchHand,The “constantly trying to force their particular set of rules on
EVERYBODY else” bit goes both ways and is hardly unique to religion. If a
religion is to have a morality other than “do whatever you want”,
there will be inevitable conflicts with the larger society. And
religion has no corner on the ”outright nuts”.Cjb,I like Newton’s timeline best.Craig ClarkOh please. My entire entry into the church was to think and rethink
everything. To “ponder” and to have my own spiritual experiences
and specifically not to rely on those of others.
From our own Deseret news: 'Boy, 15, reprimanded for backing
traditional family in school paper' - By Joshua Bolding, Deseret News -
01/27/12'He (Wegner) also quoted scriptures like Leviticus
20:13: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of
them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to DEATH...'
– article Is it any wonder this is happening?
'Confidence in organized religion hit's an all-time low in Gallup
poll' – By Jason White – Msnbc – 07/12/12
'Americans' confidence in religious institutions has hit an all-time
low, with only 44 percent expressing a "great deal" of confidence in
organized religion, according to a new Gallup survey. This follows a
downward trend since the 1970s, when 68 percent of Americans had a high degree
of confidence. Gallup cites two big blows to confidence in organized
religion: 1980s scandals involving televangelists like Jim Bakker and the
Catholic sex abuse scandal in the 2000s.' - Article
Twin Lights,Ever heard of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum" It
was the Roman Catholic Church's official list of books that were prohibited
reading for Catholics. It included books by scientists, philosophers, and
intellectuals including Voltaire and Charles Darwin. It was issued in the 1500s
and wasn't abolished until 1966.In the LDS Church, we quote
Joseph Smith's famous dictum, "the glory of God is intelligence."
We give eloquent lip service to it but some independent minded LDS writers have
faced church disciplinary action for publishing works that critique Church
teachings and history.
Craig ClarkBoulder, COTwin Lights,In the LDS Church, we
quote Joseph Smith's famous dictum, "the glory of God is
intelligence." We give eloquent lip service to it but some independent
minded LDS writers have faced church disciplinary action for publishing works
that critique Church teachings and history.11:16 a.m. March 27,
2013============== Agreed.Try mentioning
Global Warming at Church.The GOP Mormons will publically skin you
alive.Some of the "Brethren" have crossed the political
lines dealing with issues such as "evolution", 'abortion",
"War", "Women's Rights", and even recently being born
"Gay".It seems the Brethern, being mortal, sometimes
struggle with the same fuzzy gray lines in life that political Parties have
created into entrenched and vast chasms for political reasons.FYI -
God is not a Republican, or member of any political party for that matter.
It's interesting to read about "Catholic Agnostics" and
"Protestant Agnostics" as a thing of the past. It seems that the
movement evolved to the present non-affiliated demographic, since agnostics
don't pass a strong tradition down to their kids. The LDS
church, which is locally prominent, is even now seeing the same development,
although it is perhaps a generation or two behind the larger denominations. We
now have a large underground of disaffected Mormons who maintain their
affiliation with the church culturally but have parted ways in terms of belief.
I predict that within another generation, the LDS church will also experience a
significant rate of attrition.The remedy isn't to appeal to
individuals, but to bring "Church" more fully into the local sphere. All
worthwhile religion is overwhelmingly local. The more it is administered from
the top down--with standardization and other hallmarks of mass-production
kitsch--the less it appeals to a people disillusioned with religion as
commodity. What compelling religion doesn't need are distant leaders,
business-like infrastructure, and marketing media of kinds. The medium really is
the message, and organized religion has become more hype than substance.
"...It is easy to imagine some of the unaffiliated looking at the movement
led by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and concluding: "If this is religion,
I want no part in it."...".Exactly.Judge
much?Probably...However...As Opened Minded
Mormon reported to us..."...Mahatma Gandhi said it best:"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so
unlike your Christ."...".Exactly.
The answer to all of this. Seperating the "Wheat from the Tares".
Twin Lights:It's clear that organized religion has done
enormous amounts to further the cause of education. The Catholic Church in the
United States alone has established almost 250 colleges and universities, a
figure I find extraordinarily impressive. The new Pope is a Jesuit, an order
within the Catholic Church widely known for their emphasis on education. Many
other churches have the same type of emphasis, and it is impressive, and
essential.However, education sponsored by religious schools and
knowledge of church history and doctrine are two different things, and the
eruption of knowledge once more tightly held by church authorities, or at the
minimum more difficult to find, is now at everyone's finger tips, and it is
putting a great deal of pressure on many organized religions.
10CC,Agreed reference education. Do you honestly believe that those
offering this had no idea it would cause some to think and wonder? In the LDS
culture, there is a positive correlation between education and activity.Airnaut,I happen to defend global warming quite often on
these boards. NEVER have I been asked about my politics in any interview.
Abortion and homosexuality are considered moral issues, hence the attention.
Although I tend to vote Republican, I could not agree more that God is not a
member of my (or any) party.Craig Clark,Yes. Which is
why my specific examples were from the Protestant reformation and the
Restoration movement. These would not have taken place without the explosion of
information from literacy and printing.Many of the disciplined
critics that I am aware of (and I do not claim to be aware of them all) were
pushing an agenda well beyond open analysis of history.
What's wrong with Sweden? How many people who demonize Sweden have
actually been there or know any Swedes? Seems pretty lame to me.
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