Daily Archives: June 20, 2008

Church attendance dwindling

Despite vocal Christians’ protests to the contrary, churches all over the country and across denominational lines are losing their congregations by increments.

As I remarked in an earlier post, I don’t believe this has anything to do with faith. It is, in short, big religion’s inability to change and grow. Religion is, by definition, constrained to specific dogma contained in their holy books. That dogma, which may have been perfectly acceptable and applicable when written, no longer applies to our society, and will only serve to become more anachronistic with time.

AJ Jacobs notwithstanding, most people are hard pressed to both live in ways approved by the laws and rules set forth in the bible and still conduct themselves in a way that fits with our modern society. Most Christians become de facto “Cafeteria Christians,” deciding which rules and laws best apply to their normal everyday lives.

Nor is it any longer necessary for people to gather at church to socialize, get their “faith fix,” or even receive religious instruction. A computer and a dial up connection, seemingly, are all that are required in order to obtain all of that and more.

Additionally, the median age of church goers is higher, suggesting long term retention of parishoners will not be replenished by the younger generation.

Does this all spell a new movement toward secularism? I am hopeful that it does. If nothing else, at least the eyesores that are megachurches will eventually be a thing of the past.

Teenage pregnancy pact

My daughter and I were watching the news this morning while I got ready for work, which we usually do. A story came up about a group of girls in Massachusetts who entered into a pact to all get pregnant and have their babies together so they could raise them together.

Consider my ghast flabbered. I can’t begin to imagine the reasoning behind this. It takes group think to a level that’s frightening. Most of these girls have absolutely no idea how to care for another human being, and now they’re committing to be responsible for one for the rest of their lives to people they probably won’t even be friends with in ten years.

We live in a society that is currently discouraging any kind of sexual education for young people beyond “don’t do it.” How anyone could expect such a position to work when it’s fairly well established that adolescent humans are basically hormones with feet is beyond me. They don’t need haranguing or threats or scare tactics. They need information and they need it now. Parenthood is not the cakewalk these young girls think it is. It is not easy, it is not glamorous, it is not a fun group activity. It is late nights, early mornings, doctors appointments, and never ending worry (that I would not trade for anything on this earth).

This is a hot button issue for me, so please forgive my soap box. However. We cannot expect our children to act responsibly if we don’t give them the information they need to do so. We must get over our fear of our teenagers having sex long enough to talk to them about it. Whether we want them to or not…at some point, they are going to have sex. Don’t you want them to be safe? To not catch a disease? To see some of their dreams fulfilled before they are irrevocably tied into parenthood? Whether you talk with them or not…they are going to have sex. Help them. Make them as prepared as you possibly can.

I work in reproductive health. I see teenagers with all manner of misconceptions about pregnancy and sex. They get those misconceptions from their peers…because their parents aren’t talking.

This issue goes beyond simple lack of education.