|Children Praying by Oscar Mota via Flickr with CC License|
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
–Henry Longfellow, 1864
Generation Y is the Generation (by broadest definition) born between 1982 and 2000. This video includes some shocking statistics.
On top of all of this, according to a new study about the generation gap and the 2012 election, younger generations are less likely than older ones to affiliate with a religious tradition. This trend began with Baby Boomers in the 1970s and for churches, has reached crisis proportion.
One of the grimmest things I have read in recent times is an article Reuters published last week. Here is the excerpt from The Religion Of An Increasingly Godless America.
“The more that religion can be pushed off into the realm of private practice and out of the public square, the better for public discourse, as we can dispense with the God talk and move on to reality-based discussions about what we want and how we can get it. The Millennials have the right idea when it comes to dismissing the belief that religion somehow improves politics. Now we just have to wait for the religious right to finish with their temper tantrum over this, and then we can move on to the future.”
The idea that we can compartmentalize our faith or our relationship with God is completely ridiculous. What is the moral foundation of our culture? From whence comes moral authority? I absolutely cannot stand the phrase “dispense with the God talk.”
Some days, I’m convinced God has completely abandoned all of us, and I understand why people don’t want to go to church. I don’t want to go half the time either. None of these feelings are original with me. They play out all throughout the Psalms. Still, I pray. Still, I feel the presence of God in my world, and I see His love around me, and I feel His love through me.
Yesterday, when Maria came to clean my house, I was all dressed up for work. As I was walking out the door, leaving her behind to clean our messes, all I could think about was the education that separates my opportunities from Maria’s. I felt love and compassion for her flowing through me. I felt humbled knowing that I had done nothing to ensure my birth into an American family that valued college education.
For a moment, I wondered why I cared about Maria. After all, if you listen to half the Religious Right everyone just makes their own way. But, I think it takes more than just personal responsibility to succeed. Sometimes, the opportunities are not there for people to seize because other people gobbled them up. And, what of the geography of our lives?
I felt pain flowing through me over Maria. I felt dread. What if all she ever gets to do to earn a living is clean pee off a toilet when she might have the ability or desire to become a great artist or inventor? Scientist or teacher?
There is something to be said for an honest day’s work. Somebody has to replace the sewer lines when they break, right? My point is, I believe in the teachings of Jesus, and if I do then I must recognize that there is no good in any of us – only the goodness and love of God flowing through us. As James wrote, everything good thing cometh down from the Father of Lights.
Every good thing.
The Apostle Paul wrote that all things work together for good for those who love God. Despite my own trials, and some have been worse than you can know, I have come to believe this though-and-through. What good can come to those who love God in an increasingly Godless America?
Finally, I am certain there is a substantial correlation between Amanda’s godless nation and all the statistics in the above video. We just don’t have the infographic to illustrate it yet, but eventually we will.