Matters of religion resist easy generalizations. The truth is that most religious people bring individual expression to their faith and feel no conflict with those who have different religious belief systems, or no religious belief whatsoever.
Asking questions is the right thing to do, and listening to the answer without interrupting is the civil thing to do. If we jump around from question to question without answering one, we achieve nothing. That is precisely what happened to me on Sean Hannity's show yesterday,
Most Americans pick, mix and combine a variety of religious and cultural idioms to find what works for them in their everyday lives. This includes a majority of those categorized in recent polls as "nones."
I'm 23, recite the Creed without crossing my fingers, and think seriously and critically about my faith. Furthermore, not only am I in seminary to be an ordained minister, but -- GASP! -- I'm also doing so in a mainline denomination. How can this be? It defies all logic!
I've always felt we religiously unaffiliated "Nones" were a tiny minority. But here we are, surging in an America that's been steeped in religious dogma, where Republican politics has been overrun by zealots hellbent on controlling women's bodies and discriminating against gays.
OK, church folks. Fasten your seatbelts. But don't hunker down. There's a new study out that shows that one in five Americans has no religious affiliation. Not Baptist, not Catholic, not Lutheran, not Jewish, not Muslim.
It's a trend today to disdain religion as repressive and affirm spirituality as transformational or liberating. It's high time to revisit the question: what exactly does it mean to be spiritual or religious?