Texas faith: What is the future of religion?

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Texas faith: What is the future of religion?
Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News
What is it that the institutions of religion are
not providing a growing number of people? And if this younger generation
remains unaffiliated as it ages, what’s the future of religion?
Texas Faith panel weighs in:
GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism

religious institutions had a monopoly in offering a sense of community, and a
sense of unity that made families feel safe and at home. Indeed they were
sanctuaries of peace, an affordable singular communal source of entertainment
to a majority of families.
people feel the same going to a place of worship now? I am afraid not, its
value as a place of solace is declining for a variety of reasons, and this is
happening across the religious spectrum whether it is a church, mosque,
synagogue or a temple.
humans we are driven to where there is harmony and conflictlessness, and the
religious institutions are failing to fulfill the very basic need that brought
families to these institutions in the first place.
Younger generation interacts with people of different faiths, cultures, races
and ethnicities with least to no prejudice, and they reject the notion of a
God, that showers his grace on a selected few and not their good friends at
work or at school. The exclusive claim from the pulpit does not appeal to the
young generation anymore, they may put up with it, but deep down, gradual
distancing is set in motion.
like Robert Tilton, Jim Baker and a host of others, and sex abuse scandals are
not helping keep the congregations either.
a 2011Pew survey, 72% of Americans did not believe theirs is the only way to
God, compared to 96% in a 1972 survey. The demographics have changed now, and
it is hard to fathom their preacher’s claims of exclusivity.
latest research from Barna Associates shows that only 32 percent of adults see
hell as, “an actual place of torment and suffering where people’s souls go
after death.” People have enough of it in their own lives to go listen to
another one.
of religious institutions depend on the needs of the congregants, those places
of worship that offer hope and solace with least conflicts will continue to
attract membership like Joel Osteen, the non-denominational, spiritual, and
meditation centers. Institutions where sermons focus on making enemies out of
others to give a false sense of good feeling will wane. Deep down people want
to feel good about themselves, and sermons of harmony and pluralism will give
hope and will save the institutions.
Texas faith is a
weekly column, where panelists from different traditions respond to the issues
of the day – for all the responses, please visit Dallas Morning News at 
Mike Ghouse is
committed to building a Cohesive America and
offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairsIslamIndiaIsrael, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent
guest onSean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national
radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly atHuffington post, Smirking Chimp and several other periodicals across the world. The blogwww.TheGhousediary.com is
updated daily and MikeGhouse.net indexes all his activities.

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