June 27, 2007
June 29, 2007

June 28, 2007

FALLING FAITH DOWN UNDER

In the U.S., the so-called region of the "nones" is the Pacific Northwest, because when people there are asked for their religious affiliation, many of them say, "none." Something similar seems to be happening in Australia, reports say. About one in five Australians say they have no religion. So the response of those Australians to folks in Oregon and Washington would be, well, "moi Aussie"?

* * *

EDUCATED AND RELIGIOUS, TOO

If you had to guess, would you say that college graduates tend to be less or more religious than people with less education?

College

Frankly, that would be my guess. But a new study suggests I'm wrong. At least it suggests that people with college educations are less likely to lose their religion than others.

I've certainly read reports that suggest campus life is much less hostile to people of strong faith than it once was. And perhaps students aren't facing the faith-threatening questions that any thorough liberal arts education is bound to raise as often as in the past. (My belief is that one has to face such questions head on if one's faith is to be strong and authentic.)

I really don't know all the reasons for this kind of outcome. And maybe it's just an anomoly -- one more study that comes up with a surprising but meaningless answer.

What's your experience with this question. Do you have any insights that might explain the study?

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.

Comments

Joe Barone

My own son and his wife (both college educated) continue to be faithful, but they are independent in their thinking. They attend a church different from the churches either of them grew up in.

Dolores Lear

Being educated can change people's religions.
With the High Tech Science Knowledge Education of Colonization and High Tech Reproduction in the lab, will Humans accept this happened on Earth in Genesis. Life did not evolve on Earth. Religion, Myth, and High Tech Science Knowledge are all about the Life on Planet Earth.

We have been in a High Tech Science Knowledge explosion for the past 100 years, that brought new versions of the supernatural events, in religion and myth in the past, and many different religious, and non-religious faiths. Evolution and Supernatural Creation, have been the main faiths.
Have we 'evolved' on Earth up to our present High Tech Knowledge, or, was Life on Earth Created on Earth by Gods and Angels, that looked like Humans? Are Humans today still 'in the image of God'?

Now we have the High Tech Knowledge Education of the High Tech Colonization of a Planet, and the High Tech Reproduction and Cloning Knowledge in the Lab.
This Knowledge is also recorded in the Christian Bible in Genesis.
The Man Gods and Angels, that looked like Humans, rode in fiery chariots out into space/heaven, and sat on thrones up in the air. They did reproduce Adam 'super'naturally, and made Eve a female Clone of Adam, in the Lab in the Garden of Eden. High Tech is 'super'natural.
These Man Gods and Angels were Our High Tech Human Ancestors, not Gods.

Today, we use High Tech Knowledge for our power and glory, to ride in fiery chariots out into space, and sit on thrones up in the air. We are not Gods, anymore than the Humans in the Past were, who were protrayed the best they could without High Tech Knowledge.

I am not interested in the Hereafter Life anymore. It is not Physical Life, and I do not know how any Physical Human can say what happens after Physical Death.
With our High Tech Knowledge today, we know we are made of atoms and the electro-magnetic Force, of Life as we know it, and at physical death, our Body elements return to the elements on Earth.

I do know that with High Tech Physical Reproduction, and High Tech 'regeneration', Humans can Live Forever in Physical Bodies, on Home Planets and in Spaceships. The same Equal Sharing and 'No Killing' Lifestyle for Spaceships, should be the same Equal Sharing and 'No Killing' Lifestyle for Spaceship Earth Homes, like the Lifestyle of our High Tech Human Ancestors from Space that do have Eternal Pure-bred Physical Life After Birth.

United in High Tech Science Knowledge we Live - Divided by Body Birth we Die.

Jenkins

If I hadn't gone to college, then I wouldn't have become involved at the Catholic campus center (often referred to as Newman Centers). And if that hadn't happened, then I might not have any faith at all, because that was the route I was traveling when I was 18. My embrace with Catholicism in college had a lot to do with the intellectual stimulation it offered, but there was also a profound spiritual awakening that I attribute to grace. Most importantly, I began frequenting the sacrament of Reconciliation. It transformed my life, and I'm confident that my experience was not unique.

On my college's campus, not only was the Catholic Center very active, but there were many well-organized faith groups. They were very competent at recruiting and visibility. I don't think the classrooms were as hostile as in years past. Especially with younger professors or graduate teaching assistants. Even if many of them were athiests or liberals, they had an appreciation for open discussion and honest investigation as part of the learning process. Perhaps that is a major difference from years past, but I can't know for sure.

I think if you take both into account, more active ministry and less hostile educators, you get results like in the study above. And that's not even taking into account the state of young people today. I think it is safe to say that many are disillusioned with their parent's generation and its ideals and are looking for something much more meaningful.

Rich B

I work with our church's campus outreach. I find that what many conservatives fear actually helps the growth of faith: relativism and tolerance. Since campuses emphasize more and more tolerance and diversity of lifestyles, the growth of Christian communities occurs right alongside GLBT clubs and college Republicans.

When we request funds to sponsor a guest speaker for our campus group, we have to show that it will contribute to campus diversity. New viewpoints are always encouraged.

The downside is that with such diversity of "lifestyles" and an attitude to let everyone do what they want, few people really care about anything. You can't be so passionate as to push your view on anyone else, so you have to be pretty quiet if you have any point of view. Discussion and debate are shrugged off. These aspects make a lot of college Christianity very "nice," but not always so substantial.

Nevertheless, the space given to Christianity and other religions offers passionate people like Jenkins opportunities to grow in faith. In my experience, the university offers nothing to ignite passion, but plenty to those who are already passionate.

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