May 2, 2009

FILLING THE HOLE:

Defecting to Faith (CHARLES M. BLOW, 5/03/09, NY Times)

“Most people are religious because they’re raised to be. They’re indoctrinated by their parents.”

So goes the rationale of my nonreligious friends.

Maybe, but a study entitled “Faith in Flux” issued this week by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life questioned nearly 3,000 people and found that most children raised unaffiliated with a religion later chose to join one. Indoctrination be damned. By contrast, only 4 percent of those raised Catholic and 7 percent of those raised Protestant later became unaffiliated.

(It should be noted that [only] about a quarter of the unaffiliated identified as atheist or agnostic, and the rest said that they had no particular religion.) [...]

Most said that they first joined a religion because their spiritual needs were not being met. And the most-cited reason for settling on their current religion was that they simply enjoyed the services and style of worship.

For these newly converted, the nonreligious shtick didn’t stick. There was still a void, and communities of the faithful helped fill it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 2, 2009 7:39 AM
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