Reason’s Nick Gillespie has penned an article that points to his “latest column up at Time“. That’s the magazine that was going bankrupt without any offers from the hoped-for buyers until another leftist millionaire saved it for *one*, that’s right, one, dollar.
The first paragraph he quotes at www.reason.com:
These days, God is dead everywhere except at movie theaters. But rest easy, America, that doesn’t mean we’re spiraling into an amoral abyss or a lawless society. Indeed, by most indicators of anti-social behavior, things have never been better.
Hey, Nick, did you really think about that? The biggest organization in the United States that has the most guns and big firepower in the country just went through an episode in which they threatened to shoot down the peaceful demonstrators. After Waco, do you doubt they would have done it, if not for the cameras watching them? And just maybe, some people who had come to support the victim and who were ready to shoot back?
The entire flying public in the land is groped, molested and radiated by the biggest armed gang in the country, the federal government, 2 million!, that’s millions, every single day, in an act that violates the supreme law of the land, and this is not a lawless society on the abyss? Or do you think this aggression is peaceful and lawful simply because the public accepts it?
Reason’s web site itself reports on the growing problem of abuse rained upon the subjects of our new national fiefdom by the enforcers of the law.
The national culture has also grown in the easier acceptance of the taking of human life, too. Four states already have legislation permitting physician-assisted suicide. There are babies newly born alive across the land that have a sign above their crib in hospitals that read “N.B.O.”: “Nothing by mouth”. They would never call it “IBS”, would they? (“Infanticide By Starvation”).
Is not partial birth abortion a brutal procedure more reminiscent of a society that accepts aggression against its most helpless neighbors? Call it legalized lawlessness, what it is.
And it’s incredible that with a wave of a hand you think you can dismiss what you said in your second quoted paragraph?
Even as polls and church-attendance records show the U.S. is becoming a more secular, less pious country, current films such as Heaven is for Real (based on a best-selling account of a four-year-old boy’s supposed trip to the afterlife) and Noah (based on the Old Testament’s account of the Great Flood) have done boffo business.
Noah is closing in on $100 million, the line that separates mere hits from blockbusters, and Heaven is for Real easily bested Johnny Depp’s poorly reviewed meditation on computer-enabled immortality, Transcendence. God’s Not Dead, a drama about a college freshman challenging his professor’s atheism, is also performing strongly, and so is Son of God, the latest cinematic version of the life of Jesus.
Expect to see more Christian and religiously themed movies as a result…. Yet there’s no reason to think that such movies will do anything to stanch the broad and ongoing decline in religiosity. And there’s even less reason to worry about the trend toward a less godly country….
Your question at the end for comment, in my opinion, may even show a suspicion in your own mind that you are missing something.
It’s certain that people are “less religious” than before, and they are, according to the generalized statistics. But here again we have a very disparate collection of groups in such surveys, all incorporated into totals that treat them all as one blob.
What you missed is the movement OUT of the churches and out of the traditionally recognized churches that go into the official counts and are used for the surveys, but the ones who have the strongest faith are not quitting Christ or Christianity.
Instead, Christians are finding fellowship and Bible study in the form of volunteer service in soup kitchens, old homes, schools and elsewhere, and of course in home fellowships.
You also missed something else. Part of why Christianity is in decline is the way itwas enticed into joining government registration systems, a result associated with Senator LyndonBaynes Johnson’s insertion of “religious organizations” into the IRS tax legislation. The influence of Bush’s “faith-based initiative” is an example of Montesquieu insight that the best way to diminish Christian faith by giving them benefits.
So of course government-sponsored and government-blessed religiosity is in decline. The false shepherds and the ones who seek easy benefit will abandon the institutions when it gets difficult.
In general, it may still decline. But let me take a stab at a guess. I’ll bet that with Ron Paul’s campaign you were surprised, even startled, at the great numbers of people you discovered that rushed to support him and came out of the censorship-enforced woodwork to blast out messages proclaiming how Christianity’s strongest doctrine of the love of God and the love of others directly means obeisance to the non-aggression principle.
Christians are already hated in many places. But do not think that atheism offers a transcendent basic morality to support the non-aggression principle. Christianity’s Golden Rule does. I hope you know what it says. I’ve been told there are many who don’t know that the “Golden Rule” is, except for the stupid joke you hear sometimes.