A friend sent me a link to this very good article by religion scholar Phil Zuckerman.
Why America’s record godlessness is a good thing (LA Times)
“The secularization of U.S. society–the waning of religious faith, practice and affiliation–is continuing at a dramatic and historically unprecedented pace. While many may consider such a development as cause for concern, such a worry is not warranted. This increasing godlessness in America is actually a good thing, to be welcomed and embraced.”
He presents a positive picture of secularity. I appreciate his emphasis on the fact that a secular society at its best protects religious rights as well as all human rights.
I would only add that it’s clear many who leave “religion” still believe in a god or the supernatural and simply don’t choose to associate or identify with any particular religious group.
Worth the read.
i agree with Mr. Zuckerman. My largest concern/complaint about organization spokesmen/reverends etc , is their propensity for personal interpretations and gain etc etc.
Yes, and many aren’t in these organizations for gain any more than people in other vocations, and aren’t necessarily stuck on their own interpretations.
the claim of leaving “religion” is just feeding into the nonsense that so many Christians try to spread about their religion not being a religion. They have to deny they have a religion since they want to pretend that they are extra special, and they know that since they’ve shat all over that term, it isn’t very flattering anymore.
if you still believe in a vicious petty entity that has no problem in killing kids, you are still a jackass, religion or not.
Agreed, there is nonsense in much of the “spiritual but not religious” crowd, yet there are many who are more interested in “following Jesus” (or other “spiritual teacher”) to gain insight or be more engaged in social engagement. I can’t fault them for that, though I don’t share their beliefs.
“if you still believe in a vicious petty entity that has no problem in killing kids, you are still a jackass, religion or not.” Yet, many don’t believe in that kind of god. Maybe they don’t base their beliefs on the biblical god at all, or, like many progressive believers they don’t take ancient myths literally or seriously.
yep, I know that many Christians don’t bleieve in the god that their bible says exists. Funny how they take the resurrection seriously but not the other stuff. Awfully convenient.
Here again, important to remember “the bible says” nothing. Many interpretations, many scholars and believers with various viewpoints. If atheists continue to read the bible selectively, without modern scholarship (which informs many progressive believers) they will continue to miss any meaningful dialogue with Christians who aren’t fundamentalists or evangelicals. I’ve been all of those.
“Here again, important to remember “the bible says” nothing. Many interpretations, many scholars and believers with various viewpoints. If atheists continue to read the bible selectively, without modern scholarship (which informs many progressive believers) they will continue to miss any meaningful dialogue with Christians who aren’t fundamentalists or evangelicals. I’ve been all of those.”
Amazing, so the bible says nothing. Hmmm, best tell Christians that then.
You are appealing to the silliness of “sophisticated theology” again, Chris. Your modern scholarship is no different than the modern scholarship of fundamentalists or evangelicals. You have invented your god in your image, just like they do.
I’ve read the bible, and not selectively but as the words on the page. No one told me what to think or how this “really” should be interpreted. Indeed, I should be able to do this without relying on humans, which Christians love to claim are fallible when they find something hard to explain in their religion. I’ve read both progressive scholars and conservatives ones. None of you have evidence that your opinion is the right one.
Do tell how I can tell whose scholarship is the “right” one. Because it agrees with you?
“Best tell Christians.” Which ones? Just like atheists, there are many kinds.
btw, one of the “rules” you have on your website is not allowing the slinging of insults.
With some of these comments, you seem intent on doing that here, Vel.
(“You have invented your god in your image.” “Your modern scholarship. . .” “None of you have evidence. . .”–apparently you are not aware I’m a secular person?).
I’m happy to engage reasonable conversation here, but you may want to save the atheist apologetics for your own blog.
yep, there are many types of Christians. Which are the real ones who can heal per Mark 16, do miracles and get any prayer answered like John 14 and heal in James 5?
You appeal to the nonsense of “sophisticated theology” Chris. that atheists can’t have a correct discussion with Chrstians without knowing their many many different versions. Why would you claim that since their versions are all nonsense?
Sorry, if I mistook you for a Christian. Do note that I said “baseless insults”.