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by Estee in

Yesterday when I left church after worship I tuned into NPR and caught the middle of an interview with an author named Chuck Strand. At the time I tuned in, Strand was advocating what he believes is the future of religion in America, an idea that he called "iReligion." He described Religion in terms of iTunes. The iTunes phenomenon has allowed us to pick and choose what songs we want to buy from a particular album. We no longer have to purchase an entire CD just to hear the song we like - now we can just buy that song and do without the rest. Strand thinks that this is the best way for religion to move forward. He believes that people can create their own "iReligion" by picking and choosing those beliefs and practices from different religions that are "most useful to them."

He actually said this - that we should make up our own religion by choosing whatever is most useful to us.

I have been so bothered ever since I heard this interview. It makes me wonder if most people believe that religion should be useful to them. I'm not a religious scholar, so I can't speak to the "usefulness" of Judaism or Buddhism or Islam, but I know that in my life and the lives of many I know, Christianity is far from "useful." The religion I practice calls me out of my comfort zone, demands that I think beyond myself and my selfishness - it is anything but "useful."

I am fearful if this is where we are headed - down a path where religion is all about me and my needs and has nothing to do with my neighbor.


Jason said...

Is this not the same mentality most of us have with different classes in school? I recall not wanting to take classes in college because I did not see how they would fit into my life as 'useful.'

It seems to me this is not just a 'religious' issue but an American culture issue.

David Mosser said...

Utility is the name of the American game. If somethng is not useful to me then it is not worthy of my time or attention--like hunger or world peace, you get the idea.

Health care is only important to me if I do not have it!

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