The Apple Of God's Eye

December 12, 2009

Denominational Flavour Of The Day: Cafeteria Religionists!

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal of December 11, 2009, titled “A Hint of This, a Pinch of That” pointed to a very interesting survey survey released by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. It found that the U.S. is a “nation of religious drifters,” gravitating toward religious monogamy, pledging fidelity, say, to Methodism in our youth, Catholicism in middle age and Episcopalianism in our dotage.

Americans seem to have no problem flirting with religious beliefs and practices other than their own without officially changing their religious affiliation. “Cafeteria Religionists” are picking and choosing beliefs and practices they choose to uphold at a whim. This is what Boston University’s John Berthrong has referred to as the “divine deli.”

The article says, “Not counting travel, or special events such as weddings and funerals, more than one-third of Americans attend worship services at more than one place, and nearly a quarter attend services held by another religion. Much of this religious infidelity happens in the family, or within the extended family—Lutherans attending Baptist services or Baptists attending Catholic Mass. …

Religion in North America seems to be heading down a slippery slope, under the guise of religious tolerance. Today, it’s not even so much about doctrines as it is between the blurred lines of the actual religions themselves. Traditions have been tossed to the wayside in favour of filling the shopping cart with the religious flavour of the day.

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