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Showing posts from June, 2008

When It Comes to Religion, It Seems to Be a Toss-Up

This month the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a 268 page report entitled, The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. It is not surprising that the trends it reports reflect a continuing shift in the views of Americans relative to matters of religious beliefs and faith.

The response to one question is particularly revealing regarding the blurring of distinctions among the various “faiths” held by Americans. The question asked was:

“Now, as I read a pair of statements, tell me whether the FIRST statement or the SECOND statement comes closer to your own views even if neither is exactly right.

(a) My religion is the one true faith leading to eternal life, OR Many religions can lead to eternal life.

(b) There is only ONE true way to interpret the teachings of my religion, OR There is MORE than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.”

In an age when brand loyalty is marketed and emphasized, one might think that Americans would be particularly loyal to their own faith of…

One Nation Under Who…or, Should We Say, What

Over the years, the Gallup Poll has conducted a number of polls regarding religious trends in the US. One question they have asked annually for several decades is: “How important is religion in your own life?”

In 2007, an all-time low of only 56% of respondents stated religion is “very important”. While this is not a dramatic decrease from recent years (the percentage who gave this response has hovered in the upper 50s to lower 60s since the 1990’s), contrast it with the 1950s when those responding “very important” was consistently in the upper 70 percentages.

Another question polled annually has been: “At the present time, do you think religion as a whole is increasing its influence on American life, or losing its influence?”

Again, in a 2007 poll, those responding, “losing its influence” was 62%, the highest percentage since the early 1990s when this number reached 68%.

These are interesting numbers when considering a poll taken last month by Gallup found 78% of those polled said they b…

Three Little Pigs and a Barbque Sandwich

Do you remember as a child reading the story of the three little pigs? Recently, I was driving to a meeting and I began thinking about this story. Actually, I was driving past a barbeque restaurant and thinking about how great it would be to stop and get a pork sandwich – inside chopped, oozing with sauce, a side of potato salad and baked beans and....you get the picture; barbeque pork naturally leads one to think about pigs which leads to reminiscing about those most famous of pigs – the three pigs (or, perhaps, Porky the Pig for some).

But, I digress. Anyway, you know the story, the three pigs each build a house to protect them from the big bad wolf – one of straw, one of sticks, and one of brick. The ones of straw and sticks were quickly disposed of by the strong winds blown by said wolf; but, the one of brick withstood the winds and protected the little pig that constructed it. The moral, of course, is to build with strong materials that will withstand the attack and protect you fr…