The Decline of Organized Religion in Today’s Society
-Organized Religion in the West/ Iraq
In recent years organized religion in the western civilizations have begun a rather interesting trend, one of decline. This occurrence is not only isolated to a certain region/country but branched out, and setting this trend is the “Millennials” or Generation Y. Many factors come into play towards the decline of organized religion in modern day society. A country such as Canada with its huge immigration population has seen a drop in Christianity just because immigrants bring an influx of different beliefs (Ross Douthat, July 14, 2012), or the constant use of religion as a recruitment tool for war in Bagdad Iraq has created a young generation of Iraqi men who wish to separate themselves from their religious ties. Though it can be argued the situation in Iraq was due to the stress caused by war religion has often and effectively been used as a call to arms. Many blame organized religion for being too rigid in its beliefs (specifically towards gay marriage recently) and that religion no longer provided social relevance to people’s lives. It is easy to forget sometimes that religion is what helped form our modern day world, faith binding people and countries together, and even our laws reflect it as such (thou shall not kill is an example) but just as society has evolved and changed our views on the world so must religion. Christianity in certain areas of the world is a strong example of an organized religion in decline, in America many young people have begun viewing organized religion as a source of intolerance and rigidity with doctrinaire political views. In fact even though organized religion is waning spiritualism isn’t; the majority of people who decided to leave the church still believed that god existed but had trouble with how the church was expressing its views and its message. When religion, a dimension of culture, is not only a social force that shapes society but one that is also responsive to it (Religion: Ritual, Myth and Cosmos, 29th September 2013) we realize that in today’s world Christianity’s message has become old and its guide lines flawed and dogmatic. An example in France not only is the average church goers age rising so are the church officials’ with the average age of a priest in France is now 75, modern France is becoming a secular society as young people fail to see the connection between their lives and church (Barry Duke, August 28 2013). Many Christians argue that certain changes need to be made for the church to survive and revive its flock, first of all a more open view towards gay marriage, use of contraception, and separation of church and state. Recent statements from the pope signal perhaps a closer step in connecting the digital native with the church, Pope Francis called for a softer attitude towards homosexuality while the church had a right to express its opinions on it they had no right to interfere spiritually with the lives of gays and lesbians, he also called for women to play a larger role in the church a reflection on how a society with equal rights as one of its core values is permitting even religion. A counter argument proposed is that religions such as Christianity is not dying out but merely changing. While attendance at churches might be in decline and less people identify themselves as Christians, people who claim to be of no religion still retain certain religious views and more general “spirituality” and that the boundaries of Christianity being a main stream religion in certain countries have been blurring.
More than anything else organized religion did not seem to make people better on a whole, hypocrisy was common and people who experienced had powerful lasting effects on them. While it can be argued that spotted hypocrisies might not affect the decline in religion as much as other social forces most people who answered on a census (average age of 48) detailed...
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Crockett, A., & Voas, D. (2006). Generations Of Decline: Religious Change In 20th-Century Britain. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 45(4), 567-584.
Markoe, L. (2012, April 19). On Faith.Washington Post. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-04-19/national/35452484_1_young-adults-religious-group-millennials
Tavernise, S. (n.d.). Young Iraqis are losing their faith in religion. The New York Times. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/world/africa/03iht-5youth.4.10662930.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
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