I've lived in the U.S. South my whole life and, while I can definitely say that it's in no danger of dying out anytime soon, there's definitely signs that things are not looking good for the old guard. Church membership is WAY down from when I was a youngster in High Point, NC. To combat this, it seems that once-moderate churches are having to either get a lot more liberal or a lot more conservative in order to keep interest up. Has anyone else noticed this trend? I'm curious about others' thoughts on it. I know it's a popular "New Age" conception that the "Age of Pisces" is passing and "The Age of Aquarius" is upon us--I think that there's probably something to it.

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"I must say when I was made to attend Catholic Church as a toddler through my late teenage years.."

That explains a lot!
In a related note, I saw on yahoo news today that there's a midwestern minister that's trying to discourage Christians from practicing yoga. There's definitely a lot of psychos out there.
As a note to Heidi, I can sympathize with your predicament somewhat. I was raised in a fundamentist Baptist household, back in the 50's. The fundamentalists weren't involved in politics then, so that aspect wasn't around. But by age 12 I was questioning about everything, but was dragged off to church each Sunday, though my Dad hardly ever attended.

The upshot is, later as an adult, to keep in somewhat good graces with my Mother and other family members, I began attending a "Science of Mind" oriented Church. I still endorse pretty much their approach, especially their open-mindedness. In my situation, it seemed to help keep some semblance of peace in the family without sacrificing any principles. Later, after my Father died, my mother joined a somewhat liberal Methodist Church and opened up her religious views more.

My suggestion, Heidi, is perhaps to hunt out a Science of Mind Church, such as "Unity" or "Church of Religious Science" or a Unitarian Church, if there are any in your area. The Internet would have locations of these near you. I know you won't be "physically sick" after attending any of their services and it may modify your family. Or, many Methodist Churches are moderate Christians, and don't emphasize the "hell and damnation" that the fundamentalists do.

Well, just a suggestion. It may not be viable in your situation. Best of everything to you.
Good Morning Michael,

I very much enjoyed reading about your experience and opinion--Thank you.

I would be interesting to get a detailed and accurate count (which would be hard to do) to see what percentage of people endure internal religious conflict regarding their family and immediate society. After all, religion is the "separator" and "discriminator" of the peoples, that keeps universal brotherhood from blooming.

Someday... If we all work hard to create thoughts of universal brotherhood, that helps.

Love to all
religion is the "separator" and "discriminator" of the peoples, that keeps universal brotherhood from blooming.

I see what you're getting at and to me it spells the great need for conferences like the World Parliament of Religions that meets regularly now and on a local level for interfaith councils to help people appreciate each others religion and emphasis what they all have in common.
That makes me very sad...
Yes that's an AP release and it also heh heh states the follwoing:

Yoga fans say their numbers have been growing in the U.S. A 2008 study by the Yoga Journal put the number at 15.8 million, or nearly 7 percent of adults. About 6.7 percent of American adults are Southern Baptists, according to a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center Forum on Religion & Public Life.
What's there to say about this article except it shows a very misguided man, Albert Mohler, speaking of matters he's misinformed about. But, I'm afraid his fundamentalist Christian mindset has him blinded to anything outside of his narrow vision. Arguing or even discussion will not change him or his ilk. They just have to evolve to a higher state of consciousness over time.

As for Yoga, it's very healthy and beneficial to mind, body and spirit. It need not be attached to any Hindu rituals or references at all to benefit from its practice.
There's a lot of common misconceptions regarding Yoga. Physical Hatha Yoga is a very small part of it. From what I understand, though the physical exercises are a form of meditation in themselves, the practice was developed primarily as a way to prepare the body for long periods of meditation. Though there is a connection between Yoga and Hinduism, Yoga is not a religion.

As relates to the discussion, here is a clear example of what I'm talking about--there's actually some Christian Yoga practices (presumably almost entirely physical exercise groups) and then there's fundamentalists, like this Mohler guy. It's fear. Fear that people will open their minds to the idea that Christianity doesn't hold a monopoly on spirituality. Fear that the old ways will die. Fear that Unitarians will take over Christianity. I just hope that young people living in today's world, with so much information available at their fingertips will leave behind this nonsense. But I guess the idea behing those "Jesus camps" is to prevent that from happening.

Speaking of which, have any of you seen that movie? It's pretty intense.
Yeah I saw the movie.. I have to say though it represents a fairly small sad little group and so I don't think it represents much in itself.. It had some notoriety because it was unusual .. but maybe some of the groups to worry about are those that combine religion, racism and something like Neo-Nazism. Armed groups that could say rob banks, assassinate officials or their perceived "enemies".


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