Apparently, religion is no longer a very important part of people’s lives. I’ve written before about religion, and how it doesn’t play a major role in people’s lives any longer. I’ve written about changes I’ve seen personally, and changes in general. I’ve written about secularism invading religion. But the chasm grows ever wider, separating those who feel it is important in their lives and those who couldn’t give a lesser crap about religion, provided they’re still getting their paycheck. This mind-set even moreso affects clergy, who (some) get paid a hefty salary, even though they’re not doing the job for which they’re getting paid.

I continue to dream that one day religion becomes more important to people than it has been. We see the same problems in all aspects of religion: attendance at services dwindling, numbers dwindling in religious orders, churches closing down and being sold, etc. I’ve even recently been told that in the Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia, Bishop Charles Bennison holds the record for the most parishes closed down in the diocese. Religion and faith are no longer important to people in their everyday lives, even though they say they have a strong faith.

I can understand “separation of Church and State” – the State should not rule the Church; nor should the Church rule the State – but this country has taken it to the ultimate extreme to rip the one’s existence from the other. Man cannot straddle that fence and live on both sides equally. And as the two sides move farther and farther away from each other, and the chasm grows ever wider, man’s psyche will lean to one side or the other, favoring that which is easier and more readily acceptable (e.g., secularism). The Church has tried desperately to water down the stringencies of “religion” to make it more palatable to the average man, but what inevitably ended up happening was the destruction of what was held dearly; and rather than lifting man up to God, churches now bring God down to man to be stuffed into a little box and opened for an hour (or two, if He’s lucky) on Sundays.

No wonder faith and religion mean nothing to people today.

The Roman Catholic Church (and others who have followed suit since the 1970’s changes) has told them as much by offering the Sunday Mass on Saturday night “in anticipation of the Sunday;” by transferring days of obligation to the following Sunday, or simply removing them altogether from the calendar; by moving the Reserved Sacrament from Its rightful place in the center of the high altar to a miniature side altar; and by turning the altars (now, “communion tables”) around so the clergy can face the people like a theatre in the round. All the old traditions have been tossed out to simplify man’s experience of God, and to make it easier to fit into his fast-paced lifestyle. From a time when clergy and religious life was steeped in prayer, to a time when they’re just holding a job like everyone else.

It becomes more important for us to stick to our guns in what we believe, and sort out our reasons for why we believe the way we do. It’s no longer acceptable to believe something just because someone else tells us so. We profess to be “enlightened” beings, yet still allow ourselves to be pulled around by the nose. “No its not!” and “Because I said so!” are not legitimate arguments or answers when we raise a question. Perhaps its time we start taking control of our spiritual lives – just like we’ve done with our secular lives over the years – and stand up for what we believe.

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