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Friday, June 03, 2011

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David K. Monroe

Atheism is faddish. Many of the younger people who responded that they did not believe in God will probably modify their positions as they mature. The trend toward non-identification with a particular institution or religion will probably continue, however.

This may sound unnecessarily offensive, but I suspect that we may see a spike in atheism in older people as the Boomers start to make elderly status, find their bodies and/or their circumstances breaking down, and realize that they cannot maintain youthful status indefinitely. I say this because I truly do believe that many in my age group have irrovecably put their hopes into this present world and don't really know how to hope in the next world. When their comfort goes, they will be bitter.

Claire

What about the new springtime?

Carl E. Olson

David: Good observations. Thanks!

"Claire": What about Matthew 16:18?

David K. Monroe

Carl, along the same lines I notice a weird phenomenon regarding the recent death of Dr. Kervorkian. On another (not religion related) board I post to, there's an "RIP Dr. Kervorkian" thread, and to read it, you'd think he was a canonized saint. It's all accolades about his "life well-lived" and "compassion" and "forward thinking" and how he's set us on the right path to end suffering. And the worst part of it is, I cannot even answer it in language that these people will understand, because the ideas that physical life is not the only life and that comitting suicide puts your eternal soul in danger are concepts that have absolutely no resonance for them. Kervorkian helped hurting people stop hurting, therefore he was the best of men. Secularism creates a kind of tone-deafness, not just to morality but to humanity itself.

Charles E Flynn

What is the secular equivalent of "santo subito"? There are dozens of commenters at the three-page New York Times obituary for this egomaniacal violator of the Hippocratic Oath would apparently would like to know, so they can start chanting.

Claire

What about it?

Francis

Yes, the errors of Russia - atheism and communism - continue to spread. And they'll continue as long as the popes fail to do as Our Lady of Fatima demanded: to consecrate Russia.

LJ

Loved that post you linked to on the Faith Forward blog, Carl. With any luck their wish may come true! Seriously, just an understanding of simple physics as a comparative principle and an understanding of human nature and it is not difficult to see how a movement based on fragmentation would eventually fragment right down to its smallest constituent parts, in this case the individual "Christian."

And haven't we seen the rise of the "Jesus and me" spirituality also among those who still talk about Christ as the head of their church, unlike that blog post that failed to mention Christ even once in discussing the future of non-Catholic Christian denominations.

A connectivist church allows each member, congregation, house church, ministry and chaplaincy to be a node in a distributed network of mutuality.

Is that not a wonderful statement? If you can plow through the mush it seems that this "connectivist" church envisioned by the author is the ultimate in religious subjectivism and doctrinal relativism, with a slight nod to those who think like you do. Church shopping on the internet! What an amazing idea! You could even do doctrinal shopping; you know, cut right to the chase and find those who can't accept the same part of God's Law that you can't accept.

Having dabbled a little in the New Age spiritualities it appears to me that once decomposed to its individual subjectivist parts, into a spiritually relativist soup, this new church could have very little barrier to any of the many New Age spiritualities, and could easily blend with such thinking as well.

Have you ever wondered, Carl, about the anti-Christ and how it could be that he would be able to fool a very large portion of the world into thinking he actually is the Christ? (I think that is what prophecy indicates to us.) Well perhaps this is how it happens. In such an environment as the blogger describes, a man who could do miracles and astonish the world, a world ripe to be plucked, could very well collect a multitude of such spiritual drifters, by then longing for a leader, someone they could believe in. Just a thought.

Charles E Flynn

LJ,

I hope that while you were dabbling in New Age spiritualities you did not receive, as did a good friend of mine, an alarming late night telephone call from a dabbling friend informing you of this emergency: "A rock needs healing." My friend is once again Anglican, and is the only person I know who has purchased a kneeler for home use.

Howard

"Atheism is faddish." Very much so; it is a part of human nature to pray. The children of atheists are Wiccans, and the children of Wiccans will be Muslim if we don't do a better job with evangelization. That will require us to accept the scandal of particularity and the scandal of the Cross; we'll have to convince our neighbors and children of much more than an airy, generalized, whatever-you-imagine-Him-to-be God.

LJ

Charles E Flynn,

I was spared the pleasure of New Age house calls having wisely focused my attention on the philosophical, concentrating on the theology department, in a manner of speaking, with less focus on the pastoral. I had in mind the most expeditious advance through the stage of "bard" as possible, finding any sojourn there somewhat offensive to the poetic sensibilities.

That however, raises an unresolved question. When does one-word-per-line poetry become a grocery list? I confess I have never been able to discover the answer. It has not shaken my Catholic faith however, as I am sure you will be relieved to know.

Anne

I think all this post-denominational and non-denominational formation is nonsense. In and of itself, that very formation is a denomination with the very structures and governing practices of any other structured religion. It is just another Protestant church disguised as a new hip hop modern culture. The very nature of protestant philosophy is To branch off and form new practices based on the current popular fad of thinking at the time. The Catholic church has nothing to worry about. It has stood the test of time through every other reformation and it will do so again.

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