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Is it our own fault?

Is it our own fault?

Almost half of the respondent in a recent poll by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life say that the declining influence of religion in Americans’ lives is bad for the country, but more quite 40 percent say it doesn’t matter.


Michael O’Malley of the Cleveland Plain Dealer asked a few clergy in his area what they made of these numbers.

“This is the fault of organized religion,” said the Rev. Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland. “We have no one to blame but ourselves. We need to wake up and ask ourselves some very hard questions about why people are moving away from organized religion and what value do we offer American society.”

Do you agree that religious organizations are losing influence in American life? If you agree, why do you think this is happening?

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Margaret Trezevant

I think every business could be shut up tight and those who aren't coming would still not come. We need to take a close look at why these people just don't find us relevant. I think we could do a much better job of being a place where people can explore their spiritual questions instead of a place that tends to give pat answers to those deep longings. Too often we are arrogant, thinking we have all the answers for others, when a little (a lot) humility is needed in order to plumb the depths of our very rich tradition in community.

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Carole May

I agree. I think much of it has to do with the fact that Sunday is just another day now. When I was growing up, stores were not open on Sunday. In my town, the only store that was allowed to be open was the drugstore. And I'm talking a local, family owned drugstore. We had three of them in various parts of the town, and on Sunday only one of them was allowed to open. They alternated so that if you needed medicine, you could get it. That is all they were allowed to sell.

Now all the stores are open, people have to work as they have no choice. Many are working two jobs to make ends meet, and if they do get Sunday off, they are exhausted. I think churches should think about having a Sunday evening service with potluck dinner every week. People could sleep in, come to church at 5:00pm, and have dinner. What a welcome change that would be.

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