Skip to comments.Losing Your Religion
Posted on 06/22/2013 3:36:12 AM PDT by Kaslin
It was interesting to watch the state of Texas recently pass a law that allows anyone to say the greeting "Merry Christmas" in the state's public schools and buildings. Gov. Rick Perry signed the law saying he wished it wasn't necessary, but, in his opinion, protecting the words "Merry Christmas" has to be done because they are under fire from the freedom-from-religion crew.
America has been heading down the secular road for decades, and a new Gallup poll reinforces that. When asked whether religion is losing its influence on American life, 77 percent said yes. Just 20 percent disagreed.
But another question in the same poll was more instructive: "If more Americans were religious, would that be a positive or a negative for American society?" An astounding 75 percent said it would be positive. Only 17 percent believe it would be negative. Eight percent don't know.
Here's what I know. It is not easy to be religious in a culture that encourages individualism and materialism at the same time. Little children are by nature selfish; they want what they want. They must be taught to be generous and to think about the needs of others.
But many parents do not do that. They don't have time. They are too busy getting stuff for themselves. Thus, the urchins grow up to be selfish and insensitive.
More than 80 percent of Americans describe themselves as "Christian," a philosophy that demands self-sacrifice and loving others as yourself. But that message largely has been lost because it's not a moneymaker, and there is no charismatic Christian leader in sight.
I mean, when was the last time you saw an American religious leader capture the attention of the American public? Billy Graham was the last Christian preacher to have a national following.
My own religion, Roman Catholicism, is in steep decline in this country. Many churches are half-empty on Sundays, especially in the big cities. The priest scandals seriously damaged the moral authority of the church, but for the faithful, the problem goes far beyond that.
Last Sunday, I took my two children to mass, and we had a priest from Nigeria. He's a nice man, but you can't understand him unless you're from Nigeria, which my family is not. So we sat there for almost 20 minutes while the priest spoke about Jesus from the pulpit. I did recognize the name Jesus but little else. My kids slipped into comas.
Religious leaders have an obligation to spread the good word. How many of them are doing that effectively?
If you believe the Gallup poll, Americans want a religious nation because they know a strong moral foundation brings much more freedom than a free-fire zone of self-absorbed behavior. Once upon a time, most Americans did not have to lock their doors or watch their children every second of the day. Now, drug addiction and other destructive behaviors have driven crime and degeneracy into almost every American neighborhood. Religion opposes self-destruction and criminal activity. It is sinful. It does not lead to prosperity in this world or the next.
Communicated in the right way, Judeo-Christian philosophy and the religions that uphold it bind a citizenry together in pursuit of a just and generous society. That is the spirit that most Americans admire and want to reignite. But we need some leaders to light up the pathway.
Where are they?
In Tulsa, we had priests from Nigeria, Tanzania, India, and Sri Lanka. They spoke English I could understand. The Church has always been international.
If you have a difficulty with a foreign-born priest, Bill, what are you doing to promote vocations to the priesthood from your parish/diocese?
There’s a militant liberal woman in my car club. If anybody calls it “the Christmas” party she gets upset and lectures us that it’s “the holiday” party. Virtually everybody else calls it the Christmas party unless she’s around. It simply isn’t worth the political correctness lecture. (As far as I can see nobody likes this woman but there really isn’t any way to exclude her.)
At the two huge defense companies I’ve worked at in the last three years Merry Christmas was actually forbidden as “potentially offensive.” Anybody who is going to say it looked around to ensure nobody overheard. I know it sounds ridiculous. But I was lectured by the senior VP regarding a conversation the HR lady had overheard in the cafeteria on concealed carry. Apparently, the HR lady thought it was “potentially offensive.” This company had one of the most socially sterile environments I’ve ever experienced. It reminded me of something written by a German who had been in the Hitler Youth. “Every conversation was the same, ‘my, what a wonderful time we’re having here at camp.’ We were terrified of saying something that would get us in trouble.”
Ugh, I hate this nonsense. Especially coming from folks who should know better.
If “giving offense” is the HR gold standard then the majority being silenced needs to band together quietly and agree to be quite vocally offended, simultaneously. The good of the many and all that, lol.
And yes, I do realize that “offense” is a loaded word running down a one-way street, always away from the core pariah group of white, heterosexual Christian males as well as anyone or anything remotely associated with or sympathetic to that group.
It just lays the matter bare, regarding “offense.”
He could at least check Wikipedia for the statistics. Catholic identification is NOT in decline, although those with time on their hands can spend it arguing over who is “really” Catholic. Churches are half-empty in places suffering population loss (Democrat places) and in places with long-tenured rotten Bishops (usually the same). In places where people live, churches are huge and packed to the rafters.
That reminds me, a couple of weeks ago when we were in Myrtle Beach, we went to Mass at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday with all 10 of our children. As we herded them all into a pew, carefully breaking up feuding pairs, the lady of a 60-ish couple behind us said, “Oh, look ... children! We hardly ever see children!”
Your Post is good for describing my attitude.
If she got on me about “Merry Christmas” I would go out of my way to mention the “Merry Christmas” party to her every chance I got. I would ride her on it so hard she would leave, or shut up.
“If giving offense is the HR gold standard then the majority being silenced needs to band together quietly and agree to be quite vocally offended, simultaneously. The good of the many and all that, lol.”
The decision on what thought control to impose is taking place at a remote headquarters. They create a policy, codify it and implement it. The HR at your local facility follows policy. There really is no way to fight these policies. If an employee complains then that employee may find himself in the worst jobs, with the worst hours until he quits. It’s a huge bureaucratic tyranny. The average worker is there because they need the job. The company can pretty much impose anything they want as jobs are hard to come by. All little drones simply comply as the alternative is not being employed.
Bill O gets something right this time. Brilliantly so. Our nation is becoming more secular, selfish and supine by the day.
Bill gets the big picture right on God and man. But why does he refuse to defend traditional marriage?
Merry Christmas! * grins!
Ah, so now they have to pass laws telling us what we are allowed to say, not what we cannot.
“If she got on me about Merry Christmas I would go out of my way to mention the Merry Christmas party to her every chance I got. I would ride her on it so hard she would leave, or shut up.”
That would make club meetings rather like attending a family function where the family is having a family argument. Very unpleasant. Believe me, this woman would get irate and, quite simply, the rest of the members would leave the club. We decided it wasn’t worth the potential impact so everybody lives with it. You have to pick your battles and we agreed this one wasn’t worth it. So, a little bit of tradition dies, I know. We’re all the poorer for it.
Frankly, I grew up in a family that fought 24/7. I hated every minute of it. I simply can’t engage at her level as I have to watch my blood pressure.
That’s a good picture of George Beverly Shea, who won a Lifetime Grammy Award; died 4-16-2013 at 104 yrs. However Billy Graham is mentioned in the O’Reilly article.
You see you take her too seriously.
I would consider it great fun to harass her.
“You see you take her too seriously. I would consider it great fun to harass her.”
Yes, but others would not feel the same and it would drive away members. BTW, she has a PhD in psychology and a huge number of consulting contracts with the state. Her specialty is creating politically correct policies. (That’s not the title, but that is certainly what she’s paid handsomely to do.) She is one of the most bitter, unhappy people I have ever spoken to. It’s all hidden behind an incredible smile which never changes, so it’s an expression she’s cultivated. It does not extend to her eyes, which I find creepy. She feels that anybody who does not have a PhD is a lower life form.
Fortunately, with Obama in office, she has been too busy for the last two years to attend many meetings. (She appears to be working on federal money grants.)
Have an honest discussion with the wart, and tell her that behind her back, everyone calls it a Christmas party; that no one likes her; and she is painfully unaware of even the weather outside. Don’t surround yourself with toxic people. Someday you will wonder why you did.
Theres a militant liberal woman in my car club. If anybody calls it the Christmas party she gets upset and lectures us that its the holiday party.”
You can win the war without saying a word:
This site goes to worthy causes.
I thought we already had one:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Oooops; my bad. It says CONGRESS.
Truly, the more I come to know God, the less religious I become. In fact, “religion” today is completely unimportant to me. God, however, influences every area of my life. Well, those areas that I (a sinner) allow him to rule.
“Just curious - is this car club for any particular make or model? “
Mustangs. Originally, all the members had pre-’70’s. But now there are only a handful of us old timers and most members have exotic (400 plus HP) post 2007 models.
Ironically, I never drive my gas car as I am unemployed and it cost 12-15 dollars to drive it into town and back. I have a Jetta TDI as my daily driver. Forty miles equals $3.75.
Frankly, I’m only keeping the gas car because Obama will eventually leave office and the price will probably drop.
I thought maybe it was a Prius club or something. Enjoy your Mustang!
Don’t cave. Be polite, but NEVER give an inch on your Christian beliefs. And don’t give a millimeter to those advocating secularism.
“I thought maybe it was a Prius club or something. Enjoy your Mustang!”
How ironic. This lady has a Prius and a Ford (something) electric. She sold her classic Mustang convertible as it wasn’t green. She’s still a club member, so I don’ know if she has bought a new Mustang. Money is not an issue and she can afford any amount of toys. The new Mustangs get good mileage in comparison to cars of yesteryear with comparable acceleration.
Exactly. Religion can be kept on the shelf. I'll keep my relationship with Ha-Mashiach Yeshua, which translated is Jesus Christ.
I see that even where I am up. I invited a very nice Catholic girl out for dinner two weeks ago.
I get an email back today saying she has work and whatnot that she has to do and that she wants to meet again as friends.
I’m not looking for a friend. I’m looking for a wife. There’s precious few young women at my parish, and from what I can see, I’m the only single man there. :(
I remember seeing a billboard, once that said “freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion”.
IMO, that’s wrong. Freedom of religion most definitely does mean freedom from religion - meaning that every free individual right has as much right to choose to not have a religion as to choose the religion of his choice.
But freedom from religion means you may not be forced to be a member of a religion, or to engage in any religious practice. What it does not mean is freedom from exposure to the sight of other people freely exercising their own religions.
You have a right to not engage in religious activities. You do not have a right to forbid others from engaging in religious activities in your presence.
Agree entirely. Ravi Zacharias has said that when the man in the pulpit fails the message the church dies. It is easy to discern what a pastor believes by what he is saying. It is much more difficult to discern what he REALLY believes by what he is NOT saying. When there isn’t room for the truth in the pulpit the entire effort is a waste of time. For everybody.
Jump in and find out.
We DO have the usual contingent of Ford vs Chevy guys; but they are harmless for the most part.
We used to have some very vocal Checker owners; but when they found out their cars were bits and pieces of other makes, an awful lot of them decided to walk when they found their cars resale value was a bit on the low side.
And take BACK the ground given up to FALSE religions!
And cookies; too!
I *am* on the dark side.
So after he made that remark, I turned to him and said slaughter? don't you think that term is better used for what we have done for the last 40 years to the tune of 50 million babies? America "slaughters" her babies, Oregonians "harvest" their trees!
Needless to say we got in our separate cars and never spoke to nor saw each other again. I gave up a paycheck and it felt really good!!
“This lady has a Prius and a Ford (something) electric. She sold her classic Mustang convertible”
She is just there then to be a PITA. Tell her if she dosen’t like Christmas she can to go F herself.
Good for you!
Should be only minor differences in the pronunciation of Latin from one African and Asian country to the next :<).
Hadn't spoken to you about this previously, other than in general about Hispanic neighbors and religious affiliations, but it turns out the girl with whom our kids have been playing belongs to a denomination called Iglesia De Dios Israelita. Most interesting the little I have found to read about it. Seems to be somewhat of a Jewish-Christian hybrid, although they think of themselves as C not J. Very orthodox, I guess, and seem to strictly observe Old Testament food rules and such. I read that the individuals in Mexico sort of slant one way or the other depending on whether they are rural or city, the country ones being more to the Christian side in choice of hymns and so forth. Oh, and the family has both a bunny rabbit and a parakeet, and I spent a couple hours this weekend procuring proper cages for each. We told them they can come over any time (I mean the people -- the pets, too).
Well, buenas noches in Hebrew, I guess.
I read Latin with a Mexican accent. I expect a Nigerian or Jamaican would sound quite different!
Interesing info about your neighbors. We knew people in San Antonio who attended Messianic Jewish congregations.