In Major Poll, U.S. Religious Identity Appears Very Slippery

An article published on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 (Page A01) by Michelle Boorstein and Jacqueline L. Salmon both Washington Post Staff Writers states that a major survey released yesterday has shown that more than 40 percent of respondents told pollsters that they had changed their religious affiliation since childhood.

Tom Smith, director of a major sociological survey at the University of Chicago explains that "Some trends show there is less support for organized religion but either a steady or, by some measures, rising support for personal religious beliefs.”

It appears that many do not find their spiritual satisfaction in these organized religions of the west. Instead many are looking for alternatives such as Buddhist or even the Islam. However the group that has grown the most is made up of those who are unaffiliated, including people who call themselves atheist and agnostic.

Some contribute this disinterest in God to the current ever growing feeling of hopelessness and dissatisfaction with their lives.

As Anh Khochareun, a teacher's assistant from Manassas explains, "she was raised as a Buddhist in Vietnam, but she converted to Catholicism as a teenager after immigrating to this country. Now, she said, she and her husband don't identify with any denomination, and she is no longer sure that she believes in a God. We make our own faith," she said, "within what we can do for ourselves in our own lives right now."

In light of such research shouldn't we ask ourselves, what is the cause of this new trend?

Where is this new trend leading us?

Does this new trend possibly explain the motivation behind the suicidal actions of some radical Islamic groups who fear that the western influence will lead to a destruction of their faith?

A fear that is supported by an ever growing a moral emptiness and greed?

Maybe we all should take a long look at our own live, to determine what role does wealth and fame play in our life?

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