MAJOR NEWS: According to the General Social Survey, for the first time in American history, the largest religious group in the United States is…atheists.
Over the past three decades, the portion of the citizenry with no religious belief has increased by 266%.
They now comprise 23.1% of the population — just a hair more than Catholics and Evangelicals.
The greatest loss has been suffered by mainline Protestant denominations: They’ve declined by 62.5% since 1982, today amounting to only 10.8% of the populace.
Some people would surely see this transformation as progress.
But it isn’t: Faith connects families and communities; it bestows a sense of purpose and responsibility in the world. It means, on a very profound level, that our actions and lives matter.
Unsurprisingly, current statistics reveal an overwhelming increase in social ills.
As noted by The Daily Wire, the most common mental illness in the U.S. is anxiety — almost one in five adults suffers from some form of it. One in six are on antidepressants — a leap of 65% from just 15 years ago. Among millennials, depression is up 47% compared to 2013. Among teens, it’s soared by 63%.
There is a cancer in our society. It’s one that permeates the nation’s faith, as well as its politics. And that disease is cynicism.
We’ve lost our embrace of innocence; of goodness; of kindness and charity. Online, words tear at the fabric of our communities. Between the Left and Right, a war is being fought in the ugliest terms possible. The family unit has dissipated. In film and on television, faith in God is mocked while licentiousness is glorified.
Our teens are lost. Our young people are directionless. They’re being told pronouns amount to violence; and they’re embracing such microscopic focus in lieu of a greater sense of their place in the world. Their desperate grasp at minutia is the manifestation of an otherwise nothing-matters world view, absence of greater stakes. They’re clutching for something — anything — to give them a feeling of purpose.
What is the answer to a culture eroded by vulgarity, cynicism, sarcasm, irreverence, and narcissism?
It seems to me a good start may be found here and here. Those are breadcrumbs to lead us back to the nation we once were — one in which we believed in the love of a Creator. One in which our faith was bolstered and expressed by our love for one another.
What are your answers?
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Author: Alex Parker