Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Good Old (Religious?) Days?

The person giving the sermon this morning referred to a statistic that said that 25 percent of people in their 20's and 30's lack a religious affiliation.  She wondered how children would learn about the faith if that is the case.

The number would probably sound really high to people who look back at the good old days when America was supposedly a Christian nation----when the vast majority of people went to church.  I often hear this sort of sentiment in my Bible study group, as people say that things were so good and peaceful in the past, and that things really went downhill after religion was taken out of the public schools.  I usually don't say anything because, even if I disagree with their sociological analysis, who am I to question their experience?  They grew up in a time when many people went to church, and things were a lot more peaceful back then.  Crime was not as high, for example.  That's how they remember their younger years.

Was there ever truly a time, though, when the vast majority of Americans went to church?  I one time interviewed people for a class project on the Great Depression.  An elderly lady was saying that, when she was growing up, people talked about the Lord all the time, and things were so much better.  My great-grandmother, however, said the exact opposite: she related to me that there wasn't a great commitment to religion back then, and that there was actually more commitment to religion now (meaning the 1990's).

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