Friday, May 15, 2009

Americans not losing their religion, but changing it often

Again i ask christians why the holy spirit doesn't guide many christians, and i never get a response.

(CNN) -- Ingrid Case was a devoted church-goer as a child, not only attending Sunday school, but also serving as an acolyte at her Episcopalian church in Greeley, Colorado.

More than half of American adults have changed religion in their lives, according to a new survey.

"Basically, it's the priest's assistant," she explained. "You carry a cross in front of them, get the things they need to perform the service, scurrying around doing what they need."
But after college, Case drifted away. She didn't feel like she fit in socially at the Episcopalian church in Princeton, New Jersey, and found herself uncomfortable with some of its theology.
"I began to see there were some things I wasn't able to get on board with fully. I don't like the traditional Episcopalian focus on the afterlife," she said.

Some factors that might be expected to drive people away from religion -- such as sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, or a belief that science "disproves" religion -- actually play a very small role, the study suggests.

Case left the Episcopal Church at a time of huge turmoil within the denomination over whether women could be priests, she remembered, but that wasn't a factor in her decision.
"There was a gradual sense of, 'Hey, that pair of shoes fits better,' " she said.
The number of people who have changed religion is much higher than previously thought, the new report suggests. A Pew Forum study released last year concluded that just over one in four Americans had switched.
Even that lower number was considered "striking," the Pew Forum said, and the latest research suggests it was a serious underestimate.
More than four in 10 American adults are no longer members of the religion they were brought up in, while about one in 10 changed religion, then went back to the one they left, the study found. Just under five in 10 -- 47 percent -- have never changed faith.

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