Personally, I think that Christian-Orthodoxy is waning, while spirituality/religiosity, in general, is waxing. ... [P]art of the potential trend toward a post-Christian America could be the result of "hybrid" religions: Buddhist-Christians, Taoist-Muslims, etc.... In the strictest sense, this does not jive with the orthodox claims of Jesus being the one true way, however, the positive aspects of Christianity and personal experiences amongst the populace indicate that mixing religious rituals and thoughts feels "right."I thought of J.Rat's comment as I was reading a NYT's opinion piece by Judith Warner. In it, she talks about growing up and observing Jewish Traditions. She went to an Episcopal school, and later in life, gravitated to the Unitarian tradition. Yet, she, her family, and her friend always come together to observe the Seder. Saith Warner:
I know there are a lot of people who view people like my friend and me as “confused.” And yet, I can tell you that she and I – and my somewhat striking number of other friends whose faiths are other than what they “ought” to be by virtue of their upbringing – don’t feel confused at all. Some of us just can’t find a home for ourselves in the categories of identity that make sense for other people. Some of us are defined by little bits and pieces of experience and belief that together form a mosaic that for us, at least, is coherent and whole.She concludes:
Having a very abstract sense of faith – or religion, or God, or whatever you want to call it – works perfectly for me.
Writing this ... I am thrilled at the prospect of later celebrating Passover with our motley Jewish-Catholic-Episcopalian crew, commemorating events we don’t believe in, confirming an identity that doesn’t quite fit, united in the love of one another.United in the love of one another. Like J.Rat. mused, it just feels "right."
While Warner's story is touching and warm, this hybridization or syncretization of religion is creating a smorgasbord-like effect, where what feels "right" is chosen - a choice informed by our experience - from the differing traditions. This, rightly or wrongly, is affecting our approach to singular traditions, as we freely disregard disagreable tenets. And when we individually choose the format of our faith, the strength of religious tradition supplicates to emerging spiritualism. Like it or not, J.Rat is correct that this is one contributing factor, among a cacophony of factors, contributing to a post-Christian nation. But, hopefully, Warner's story gives face to this phenomenon, and we can understand and relate to her story.