Thursday, December 10, 2009

Changing My Religion

I'm allowed to riff off an R.E.M. song given I live in Athens, home of the band and where you occasionally see the guys downtown, but the point is a new Pew Center study that outlines how religious beliefs in the U.S. are changing.  Becoming less "dogmatic," according to the report, with people mixing a little of this, a little of that, not unlike a Youtube mashup. 

According to the report:
Many also blend Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects. And sizeable minorities of all major U.S. religious groups say they have experienced supernatural phenomena, such as being in touch with the dead or with ghosts.

Ever had a mystic experience?  If so, you're not alone.  Can some of this be blamed on the lousy economy?  Probably not.  The trend line is fairly consistent prior to our latest economic meltdown.  The full report is available here.  My favorite question is belief in the "evil eye," which my grandmother can still do.  The older you are, the less likely you believe in it.  No explanation on that one.  Whites believe in it significantly less than Hispanics and blacks. 

The full study is full of cool stuff on what people think or believe or know about religion and mysticism, material I can mine for the next few days if I'm careful and can avoid being too caught up in the library stacks.

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