Faith in Flux


The preamble of the United States Constitution reads: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union….

The Civil War had been fought at the outset, from the perspective of the North, over the concept of union. The soldiers of Lincoln were called Union soldiers.

On August 23, 2008 I wrote a piece suggesting that there was a real irony that despite the outcome of the Civil War, the South, the united South, had been deciding elections for more than last 40 years. In the era of television.

https://paperlessworld.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/welcome-week-at-the-electoral-college/

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life issued a report Monday that 22% of Americans say they never go to church, the highest ever recorded by the General Social Survey conducted last year. In a nation that is firmly 76.7% Christian of the adult population of 208 million. Where Protestants make up 49.8% of this adult population. But those Protestant numbers are falling.

What was the impact of religion on national identity? Or, specifically, what was the impact of religion on American identity? On politics? On elections? In the way of social security? On the idea of a welfare state? Or on foreign aid? On a more perfect union?

In Fort Wayne, Indiana, there is a concern about the identity of a near-by Catholic University. Within the Catholic Church too many people get caught up in a discussion about abortion as a holier-than-thou issue, attempting to universally resolve the deeply personal issue of pregnancy, without ever focusing on the practicality of life. Catholic bishops are rather well known for the opposition to abortion as public policy, but without addressing the repercussions in a world if Roe v. Wade is ever over-turned. Should women who have abortions be imprisoned? Should health care professionals be imprisoned? It is too easy to focus on theory, dogma, without addressing real people lives. And within the Catholic Church, too many Catholics look upon Catholic politicians as if they should be partisans to dogma, when the district that Catholic politicians represent is not restricted to only Catholics.

What was the impact of religion on American identity? In a land without one religion as part of its identity to pass on its tradition and all of its meaning, was there still an unrecognized burden to teach your kids something about your own religious heritage? In a speech given approximately 2 or 3 years ago at Boston College, a former prime minister of Ireland had said that the “idea of a Catholic University would seem very strange – I would even say unacceptable – to modern Irish society.” He acknowledged “the idea” of a Catholic university in a country like the U.S. where Catholics are in a minority, “may make” sense.

Was identity, national identity or religious identity, only an idea? Was a Catholic university only an idea? Where was the focus over what America was, how this identity developed in the past, and what was being done to foster ongoing growth of the same American identity? If it has not been the goal of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, it seemed a goal of merit.

In the way of identity, national identity or religious identity, what did these changing numbers mean about the future identity of the United States? How could there be union in a nation without a dimension of religion and a religious foundation?

So what was the impact of religion on American identity—in this so called age of diversity? What would the impact of more secular humanism be on American identity? Was it also a contributing factor why newspaper readership was dropping? What would the impact of less religious practice be on American identity, on a more perfect union, over time?

In the way of identity, national identity or religious identity, what did these changing numbers mean about the future identity of the United States? And what was the affect that 50 million abortions having, beyond dogma and political platforms, on population numbers, and on that goal to form a more perfect union?

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