Written by Sherry
Monday, 09 March 2009 11:46
The USA Today article on the decline in American faith is going to have a lot of people talking this week.
It is a long, rich article pulling from many sources and worth a careful read. Points that stood out when I read it:
The "Nones" are both growing and migrating. New England has actually overtaken the Pacific Northwest as the center of "None" land. 34% of Vermonters claim no religious affiliation when asked.
"Kosmin concluded from the 1990 data that many saw God as a "personal hobby," and that the USA is "a greenhouse for spiritual sprouts."
Today, he says, "religion has become more like a fashion statement, not a deep personal commitment for many."
And this telling vignette:
"Ex-Catholic Dylan Rossi, 21, a philosophy student in Boston and a Massachusetts native, is part of the sharp fall in the state's percentage of Catholics — from 54% to 39% in his lifetime.
Rossi says he's typical among his friends: "If religion comes up, everyone at the table will start mocking it. I don't know anyone religious and hardly anyone 'spiritual.' "
We cannot simply try to resurrect old style early 20th century American cultural Catholicism in the 21st century. The cultural bridges to that world have been swept away by forces far beyond the Second Vatican Council. The vast majority of Catholics under the age of 65 are deeply post-modern in their understanding of life. We can't recreate the past. We can't get there from here.
We have to start again from the beginning, as the Church has done very effectively many times before, and ask "What does Gospel of Jesus Christ, how does the Catholic faith, speak to this generation, to this culture, to this person before me?
If this kind of thing peaks your interest, consider coming to Making Disciples in Colorado Springs this July 26 - 30 where we'll spend 4 days together wrestling with just one thing: How to proclaim Christ to 21st century post-modern Catholics.