Why is America losing its faith?

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  • Mexican Ute mexico, 00
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:33 p.m.

    LDS Liberal:

    I am probably on the opposite of the political spectrum as you are, nevertheless, I do agree with many of the things that you posted here.

    We are to be good stewards of the earth and whenever possible help the poor.

    However the government cannot force us to do these things. These desires must come out of the heart and after teaching your posterity and those around you the things that you know to be true.

    Honestly though, about the political parties, I think they are two sides of the same coin and both are leading us into ruin. Salvation will not be found in any political party, but in obeying the will of God as shown through His scriptures and prophets.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    All the analyses in the world, of demographics, percentages, etc., won't answer the title's question. Because at heart, faith is a matter of *individuals*, not of "segments of the population."

    Each individual has his/her own experience of God or no-God. Group sing-alongs of whatever persuasion will never account for real faith, or the lack of it. That can only reside in an individual, and it's an ongoing journey for each of us. It's only when we join one of those group sing-alongs and *never* sound a discordant note that our journey is aborted. (And this, too, says something about our faith.)

    Perhaps that's why, while religious people and atheists (all so often mediagenic) duke it out with each other, more and more people are softly calling themselves "spiritual but not religious."

    Spirit is everywhere--how could it be otherwise? But I highly recommend putting all these studies aside and discovering where your own spirit would lead you. If you'd allow it to.

  • Big 'D' San Mateo, CA
    Feb. 13, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal:

    "I acknowledge Science as Truth"

    Science is not Truth. Science is a METHOD, intended to arrive at Truth. The process is fraught with and confounded by assumptions, unknowns, and biases both intellectual and political. It is estimated that more than two-thirds of published research studies are not reproducible. This is a big conversation among scientists and statisticians right now, in the highest caliber of scientific journals.

    So please, don't be too accepting of scientific research publications as Truth. They are groping for Truth.

    I love being a scientist. (It's my day job.) At the same time, I keenly understand that science has limitations and should be kept in its proper perspective.

    Of course, I regard all the research articles I have published as Truth. ;) lol

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    To: BeSmart

    I disagree. I think that 30% sounds about right. Maybe 30% are not atheists but I believe about 30% are non-religious. If you count up all the agnostics, atheists, non-believers, and non-religious then I think the number is close to 30%.

    Remember the LDS church claims to have 14 million people but only 3-4 million of those people have been to church in the last year or two. The other 10-11 million are counted on the roll but should they be?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 13, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    "Did we first give up on God and so become calm and rich? Or did we become calm and rich, and so give up on God?"

    Interesting: Would I have been more inclined to clutch the Church if life had been economically and physically tougher? I don't know. I think it would depend on whether the economic or physical deprivation would have affected the way my brain works. I had a hard time believing religion from an early age. It all seemed so transparently...HUMAN. I would have been able to come up with a much more consistent, powerful, and mature god if someone had asked me.

    I've actually experienced far more amazement and wonder learning about nature and the cosmos than I ever did in a religious context. What is behind it all, if anything? I don't know and I'm not sure it's even relevant to me. I get to experience it, it's filled with wonders, and I - the particles that make up this body of mine - will be apart of it whether I'm alive or dead. I think that's pretty darn cool.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Feb. 13, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    This title is way way off.
    30 percent of people don't consider themselves religious.
    studies have shown that atheist make up .7 to 2 percent of the population.
    This title really needs to be fixed wow.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Feb. 13, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    When families and their children are excluded in a neighborhood, but constantly encouraged to attend the prominent Utah church, what does that say?
    We will be your friend, and let your children associate with our children, if you attend our church.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    I go to Church, only to bristle and be offened each and every week.

    I am a Mormon, and a Disciple of Jesus Christ --
    as such,
    I see serving the poor, the sick and the needy -- as key to our own Salvation,
    I seek to tend and take care of this Earth,
    I acknowledge Science as Truth,
    I invite ALL to come to Church, especially the sinner.

    there are those who will always place Republican vs. Democrat over God, Country, and Faith.

    Personally loosing Faith? hardly.
    Finding Answers and Peace at Church? That's where it fails us.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 5:22 p.m.

    Maybe it is caused by the extreme ways that religious fanatics make them feel. There is so much condemnation done by people in religion!

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 12, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    @Scott H – “I suppose excellence is in the eye of the beholder.”

    Keep in mind the article was a book review and not an essay (i.e., so it was not going to follow the standard thesis-body-conclusion format).

    Aside from that what was it about the content you didn’t like?

  • Scott H Ogden, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    I suppose excellence is in the eye of the beholder. Mr. Gopnik's article includes some interesting items, but I'm afraid I found it horridly tedious. Does he ever really make a point that renders the article worth reading?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 12, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    My one complaint with the otherwise excellent (linked) New Yorker article is the author’s failure to recognize the political motivations for the rise of “New Atheism” – namely, the rise and disproportionate political influence of the Religious Right in this country, and of course 9-11 (which woke us all up to the sobering reality that Islam is more than just a “religion of peace”).

    That said, the author makes a number of poignant observation, my two favorite are first this quote:

    “The plausible opposite of “permanent scientific explanation” is “singular poetic description,” not “miraculous magical intercession.”

    And 2nd, that our differences (both religious & political) are largely ones of temperament.

    A good read… thanks DN.

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    I don't believe we have lost our faith in God, I think we have lost our hope for the country. I think more people don't go to church, and therefore the children never get exposed to religion. If people don't have choices, they will pick the easiest.