Saturday, May 02, 2009

"Defecting TO Faith:" Fun Facts to Know & Tell From Today's NYTimes

So I'm in Philadelphia at a lovely B&B in the historic district getting ready for the Equality Forum events of the next couple of days.

Over breakfast (a delightful three-cheese strada with some excellent coffee and orange juice directly from an orange -- yum, yum!) conversation at the table I shared with two women on a mother/daughter spring vacation turned to "what brings you to Philadelphia?" -- and I started with it was a work related trip with the chance to see some old friends thrown in ... and before long we were on to the economy, equality and how excited they were that there were people of faith standing up and speaking out on issues of equality (they didn't get that so much where they were from in Florida.)

By the time we were done and they went off for their jog to the Italian Market, we had exchanged contact info -- mom is going to email; daughter is going to "Facebook" -- and they left saying "Wish we could find a church like yours near us!"

Having failed at the low-profile breakfast I retired to the sitting room to check out the news ... and found this most interesting piece on the Op-ed page of the NYTimes ... a piece I see from my inbox that any number of folks have been emailing about:

Defecting to Faith by Charles Blow.

If you like your data in graphs, click here for the info that informed Blow's conclusions formed from a study called “Faith in Flux” -- issued this week by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life which found that most children raised unaffiliated with a religion later chose to join one.

"Why?" Blow asks-- and answers.

Did God appear in a bush? Did the grass look greener on the other side of the cross? Or was it a response to the social pressure of being nonreligious in a very Christian country?

None of those reasons topped the list. 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 ... We are more than cells, synapses and sex drives. We are amazing, mysterious creatures forever in search of something greater than ourselves.

And let the people say, AMEN!

And let the churches get busy filling that void by finding ways to invite people like my new friends from Florida IN rather than fighting and arguing about how to keep folks like me and the others who will gather for this Equality Forum 2009 OUT.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

A hearty 'Amen' from this person of faith.

The word verification is "stshic" - close enough to "shtick" to make me giggle.

Jim said...


Another piece of bad news for Dicky Dorky Dawkins.