Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

February 5, 2013

RANDOM THOUGHTS: What about the ‘nones’?

CROSSVILLE — It was not a surprise when I saw that both Knoxville and Chattanooga were named one and three in being the most Bible-minded of ten cities in the United States listed by the American Bible Society.

The Barna Group conducted a study over a seven-year period which ended in late 2012. Online and television interviews were held with nation-wide random samples of 42,855 adults during that time. These interviews were held to learn if the respondents were regular Bible readers and if they believed in the accuracy of the Bible.

I was heartened by the results of this study because just a week earlier I felt despair when I read of what is happening in many states. The long article appeared in Boston Magazine and was written by a concerned mother. It all began when her 9-year-old son watched a religious parade and then asked her, “What are we?” She realized her only answer had to be, “We’re nothing.” That was the time to ask how much her children were missing by not having some religion in their lives.

We have all taken surveys about our lives. Often churches are listed with the question of which is attended. That answer is rapidly becoming none of the above. It has become almost standard and as such those who answer that way are known as the “nones.”

Twenty percent of American adults believe in nothing in particular when speaking of religious matters. Forty-six million adults identify themselves as unaffiliated with any religion. Eighty-eight percent have no interest in joining a religious institution. These are the adult nones. But what of their children? 

That is the question this “none” mother pondered because she, as many other parents, had early teaching in the Bible and only as they became adults chose to put it aside.

Recently Dr. Carol E. Lytch, president of Lancaster Theological Seminary, visited Pleasant Hill, TN. While there she spoke to a large gathering on the subject of  “Opportunities and Challenges of the Mainline Protestant Witness in These Times.”

She too found that in the United States about 83 percent profess to have a religious affiliation, but only 40 percent actually attend weekly services. That figure has been going down since 1972. Lytch said Americans often turn from the denomination they were born into. Members of mainline Protestant religions are having fewer children and don’t attend church as often as before.

Speaking of the “nones” she said they turn to the spiritual and caring for the poor and hungry through organized religious communities. Churches that are growing today are 39 percent conservative and 35 percent liberal.

The mother who wrote the article “Losing Our Religion” felt concern about the kids left with nothing. She consulted with many experts on the subject and gave their opinions. In concluding the article she decided that as parents they had taught their children a good work ethic, how to get along and love each other, and to see the good in giving to those in need. To her that took away the guilt she had felt because religion was not being taught.

I discussed these thoughts with a younger woman and she asked a simple question. When that child faces a troubling situation if they know nothing of prayer or talking to God, where do they turn?

• • •

Dorothy Copus Brush is a Fairfield Glade resident and Crossville Chronicle staffwriter whose column is published each Wednesday. She may be reached at dcb1@frontiernet.net.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014