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Ear to the Ground

Americans Picking and Choosing From Religious Grab Bag

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Posted on Dec 10, 2009
religious American flag
Composite: Wikimedia Commons / Rursus / Oren neu dag

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, Americans are getting more creative with their choice of religion—or choices, as the case may be. They’re picking and choosing from various world religions and using the Internet to learn about different faiths.  —KA

Los Angeles Times:

About a quarter of those surveyed expressed beliefs in New Age or Eastern religious principles such as reincarnation and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects.

“People have talked about many Americans in the mainstream seeing themselves as being on a spiritual journey,” said Paul Lichterman, a professor of sociology and religion at USC.

He said that over a lifetime, more Americans will try out different religions than will stay true to one faith.

The number of Americans who said they had interacted with a ghost had doubled over the last 13 years, from 9% to 18%, the survey found.

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digitalproductions's avatar

By digitalproductions, December 13, 2009 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Having been raised in the Mennonite sect by choice and ending up an atheist by studying the bible for 35 yrs. along with intensive research on my part, one truth stands out throught it all. Truth and reality are an individuals’ responsibility. Relying on someone else’s word for whatever reason will put you in a compromising position. Think for yourself, learn from your own mistakes, and to hell what the crowds think or say.

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By Jim Foley, December 12, 2009 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gotta luv it.  Consumrism America when its back is against the wall shops for faith to avoid the stark truth.

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By richard, December 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
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ChaoticGood, I love your wit!

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By NsearchofReason, December 11, 2009 at 11:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ChaoticGood…I’m encouraged to see posts like yours that give me a sense others out there like me are now or are becoming aware of the negative effects of religion and its stranglehold on common sense, logic and reason. If only all those folks who consider themselves both religious(or spiritual) and intelligent understood the inherent dichotomy and contradiction therein, perhaps the road to recovery could be as simple as taking out the trash!
The struggle continues…we must persist!

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 11, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Calling it a trash bag is not very nice, though one could call it many things?  Grab bag is more polite. 

My religion of choice which everyone should be interested in, is The Force, yes thanks to Star Wars the Movie there are several thousand registered believers or at least people who in Britain who say their religion of choice is The Force.

May the Force Be With You!

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By johannes, December 11, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

people with a bad conscience need a God,

the conscienceless will crèate them One.

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By grousefeather, December 11, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
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Just because humans evolved from apes doesn’t mean we’re not “spiritual.” I saw a chimp making the sign-of-the-cross once.

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By Gil Gaudia, December 11, 2009 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
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You are correct Chaoticgood, most of what we would describe as “behaving morally” is based on two things—being fair and doing no harm.  It is hard for me to imagine any person who is trying to be fair to another and who is trying to avoid doing harm, committing an immoral act. Religion is just a bunch of rules to placate the power elite.

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By bright93, December 11, 2009 at 7:49 am Link to this comment
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I like the religious chaos we live in—it must be close to that experienced in
Hellenistic and Roman times, which were generally good. I can’t imagine anyone
would prefer to live in medieval Europe or the Middle East once Christianity and
Islam destroyed all other choices. One Hellenistic attitude towards religion is
similar to the concept of insurance or an investment that if you pray or sacrifice to
enough gods and goddesses then surely one will ‘pay off.’ Childish, perhaps—
but maybe this is an age of children.

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By jhm, December 11, 2009 at 5:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amen, ChaoticGood.  Can we imagine the headline: Americans
begin embracing the search for rational explanations before
they believe things, (especially impossible, supernatural things)
not whining about the inviolability of their faith when confronted
with contradictory evidence?

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By ChaoticGood, December 11, 2009 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

Don’t you mean “trashbag”.  So mix some Christianity with some Buddism and throw in a bit of Islam and Voodoo. Then “channel” some long-dead Guru to listen to your rants.  Is that any worse than climbing into a box with a priest and promising to be a good little boy or girl.  I guess not.  Sigh…

You don’t have to “believe” in anything to be happy in life.  You don’t need invisible men in the sky or spirits to tell you what is right and wrong.

Morality stems from man, not God.  Man invented God…

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