Sunday, April 3, 2011

Choosing Their Religion - PluggedIn.com

If you have five or ten minutes to spare, please read this thought-provoking article from Plugged In.



"Today’s teens can program their iPods to play only the songs they like, bypassing record-company executives and radio programmers. With TiVo they are in control of what they watch and when, no longer at the mercy of TV executives and advertisers. Meanwhile, they’re getting their news from Internet blogs that tell them basically what they want to hear, no longer relying on traditional news channels layered with editors. 

It’s hardly a surprise, then, that many teens are forming their religious worldviews with the same mentality—by picking and choosing among things they like and leaving the "hard" stuff behind, largely without the benefit of traditional gatekeepers such as teachers and pastors.

That is one of the disturbing results uncovered by sociologist Christian Smith of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who headed 2004’s National Study of Youth and Religion, which surveyed more than 3,300 13- to 17-year-olds throughout the country. 

I Consume, Therefore I Am
Smith, who also co-authored Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, said that a primary driver of teens’ pick-and-choose religious beliefs is a society that sees people as little more than consumers. It’s a culture in which personal choice is supreme and what’s right for you is right, period. While it’s one thing to buy corn flakes that way, such thinking has dire implications when framing theology."

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