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Idol Chatter

I’ve posted (ranted?) before in this space about the ridiculous stuff that passes for “news” and/or “features” reported in and about our culture. I saw another wasted news item this week regarding Paris Hilton and her drug arrest. Really, who cares? And why does what happens to her matter to anybody?
So I was absolutely thrilled when I saw cnn.com reporting about something that really matters. It’s a new book by Kenda Creasy Dean, who states that most of our young people are following a “mutant” form of Christianity. Further, she says the parents are probably responsible!
Now whether you agree with her premise or not, what a delightfully relevant topic! If she’s correct, then we’ve got work to do. If she’s not, then what a great cultural conversation we’ll have in order to reaffirm matters of faith in our families and society.
Her book is called “Almost Christian,” which essentially says that today’s adults are passing on a watered-down, self-serving faith which has reduced God to a “divine therapist.” The professor at Princeton Theological Seminary describes this “imposter” faith as something that not only is inadequate and inappropriate but what is causing young people to abandon churches who propagate it.
Her authority? Well, aside from her own training and work she conducted a study of 3300 American teenagers between 13 and 17. Her respondents came from a wide variety of faith traditions.
Now this is the kind of person and topic that I’d like to see on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “Larry King Live.” The interview itself would be worth it and would shine a light on one of the missing links in our pop culture discussions–the impact it has upon young people. Her perspective is that parents are the most important force in a young person’s faith development. I believe culture is tied for first if not number two in that process.
Let’s talk about it more. Our young people are worth it. And, truly, Paris Hilton’s plot doesn’t interest them.

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