Beliefnet
Deepak Chopra and Intent

On Monday the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a study
in which they chronicled the state of faith and organized religion in
America. The news is not good if you are a God lover, worst of all of
you are a Jesus lover. Cutting to the chase, the sharpest drop in
members amongst organized faiths is amongst Catholics. That is to say
that amongst those polled, the largest number of people who said
they had chosen to abandon the faith they had grown up with was
Catholics. The largest growth was amongst those who now claimed to be
“Unaffiliated.” The study went out of its way to assure readers that
“unaffiliated” does not indicate agnostics or atheists, just those
who, ya’know, believed in God and all but just not when it was
organized” (I’m paraphrasing).


Okay, enough of the paraphrasing – you can track down the study
yourself and dig into all the fascinating data – onto the analysis
and interpretation. Frankly, the Pew data does not surprise me. A lot
of people I know like to say that they are “spiritual but not
religious.” Others will even be so bold and admit to being
“religious, but do not believe in organized religion.”
Semantics I say! Listen, now is a particular tough time to believe in
religion. The Catholic Church and Islam in particular have really poor PR.
From deviant Priests to nutty Jihadis, the perverts and extremists
in their respective groups tend to drown out the rest. And then
there’s that prickly science that keeps pushing evolution and
disputing long held beliefs that the various scriptures cite as
irrefutable law. In fact, modern cosmology makes it really really
difficult for individuals “believe” all the wacky theories that
diehards hold to be gospel (pun intended). In any other setting aside
from the indemnity provided by religion, anyone grounding their views
because an old white man sitting in the clouds says it’s so, would be
remanded to an asylum. In short, I’m not surprised that God is dying
at such a rapid rate.
Of course, I used to be one of those people who said that “I didn’t
believe in organized religion.” It was hip in college but now it just
feels lame and cliched. The notion of saying “I belong to the Church
of Unaffiliated” is a lot more attractive and cool sounding. Of
course, given a few years, the Church of Unaffiliated will likely
come up with all sorts of strange rules and decrees, laws and
interpretations. Political candidates will pander to us and go out of
their way to insure that they appeal to moderates in our group. There
will be “unaffiliated fundamentalists,” the most articulate of which
will appear on Larry King any time some haughty organization like Pew
releases some study. I guess that’s just the nature of the game. My
dad likes to say that “God created Religion and then the Devil came
and organized it.” It’s a rather witty one-liner but now that the Pew
Forum is backing it up in some strange way, it just doesn’t feel so
cool. In short, I think the “unaffiliated” is just a fad. But at
least we’re not Scientologists.

Previous Posts
Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus