Wednesday, December 14, 2011

God in the NY Times

Some interesting articles from last weekend in the NY Times.

Americans: Undecided About God? By ERIC WEINER
THE holidays are upon us again — it sounds vaguely aggressive, as if the holidays were some sort of mugger, or overly enthusiastic lover — and so it’s time to stick a thermometer deep in our souls and take our spiritual temperature (between trips to the mall, of course).

For some of us, the season affords an opportunity to reconnect with our religious heritage. For others, myself included, it’s a time to shake our heads over the sad state of our national conversation about God, and wish there were another way.

For a nation of talkers and self-confessors, we are terrible when it comes to talking about God. The discourse has been co-opted by the True Believers, on one hand, and Angry Atheists on the other. What about the rest of us?

The rest of us, it turns out, constitute the nation’s fastest-growing religious demographic. We are the Nones, the roughly 12 percent of people who say they have no religious affiliation at all. The percentage is even higher among young people; at least a quarter are Nones.

Apparently, a growing number of Americans are running from organized religion, but by no means running from God. On average 93 percent of those surveyed say they believe in God or a higher power; this holds true for most Nones — just 7 percent of whom describe themselves as atheists, according to a survey by Trinity College.
Read the whole article.  His comment, We believe that G. K. Chesterton got it right when he said: “It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” makes me think he hasn't been in an Episcopal Church lately.  We take our religion seriously but can joke about it too!

When a Catholic Terrified the Heartland By ROBERT A. SLAYTON
WITH Mitt Romney, a member of the Mormon church, quite possibly heading toward the Republican nomination, Americans may be faced with a presidential aspirant whose faith many find strange and troublesome. It would not be the first time that has happened, and during a previous campaign the response was pretty nasty.
The article reminds us we have been down this road before.  Have we learned from it yet?

And finally, we can't forget Tim Tebow.

Tim Tebow’s Gospel of Optimism By FRANK BRUNI
CAN God take credit for the victories of a thick-set N.F.L. quarterback who scrambles in a weirdly jittery fashion, throws one of the ugliest balls in the game, completes fewer than half of his passes and has somehow won six of his team’s last seven games?

That’s a question that actually hovers over the miraculous success of the Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, and at this blessed juncture it’s a silly one, because the answer is unequivocal: Yes. Tebow is powered by conviction and operating on faith, and so are the teammates he’s leading. And you needn’t be an evangelical Christian (as he is), a seriously religious person or even a football fan to be transfixed and enlightened by his example. I speak as a football fan only when I say the following, which I never expected to: The mile-high messiah has a gospel for us all.
Read the whole article.  I agree with him that we are losing the extraordinary response of the Broncos to his (Tebow's) leadership in this debate about his faith.

No comments: