For those of us who remember Time Magazine, about 50 years ago the magazine asked in a major headline, “IS GOD DEAD?” It caught everyone’s attention. The magazine article wondered whether religion was relevant to modern life in the post-atomic age when communism was spreading and science was explaining more about our natural world than ever before. For those religions which interpret the Bible literally, it was extremely upsetting.
Today many are asking the same question. But the response is not limited to a simple answer. Much of our population born after that article was printed may respond today with another question, “GOD WHO?” In Western Europe and North America, it is estimated that 11% of Americans born after 1970 were raised in secular homes.
Today it is easy to go on line to the internet and find atheist and agnostic discussion groups. In many of our larger cities you may find secular Sunday Assembly, or meetings for humanists, atheists, agnostics or skeptics. Here in the United States many of the major non Catholic as well as Catholic Churches are seeing a drop in Sunday attendance. It is true here in Springfield.
There were predictions in the 1970s that religion would fade from the societies as the world modernizes, but all the recent surveys are finding that it is happening startlingly fast. France will have a majority secular population soon, followed by the Netherlands and New Zealand. The United Kingdom and Australia will soon lose Christian majorities. Religion is rapidly becoming less important than it has ever been. In comparison, in the Middle East, parts of Africa, areas where communism has collapsed, even in communist China, religion is on the rise.
Here in the United States as the secular millennials grow up and raise their children the only Sunday traditions they may being passing down are where are we going for brunch and what time is your sports practice or what game are we going to watch today.