It has been written the time of our constitution, 1787, was the most secular period in U. S. history. Historian, Susan Jacoby, wrote the years following 1787, the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, was a time of enthusiastic secularism, though she had to dig to find the records of all that went on then. The dominant narrative about our entire history has been Christianity was the only game in town.
There is continuing evidence the public is withdrawing from “organized religion”, that is, Christian denominations. The link below outlines one historian’s explanation for this change.
In addition to the rise of secularism is the rise of what is called “spirituality”. This means a wider variety of religious beliefs.
In my understanding, the one-god world is a new and innovative concept. We know the ruler, Constantine, shoe horned various gods into one, the “Trinity”.
The more natural tendency of humans is to worship several gods. Around the time of the Jesus, pagans had lower level and higher level gods. Hindus have too many for me to count. Catholics have saints as what I would call stand-ins for the more natural many gods.
A common explanation for the “spiritual but not religious” trend is the culture has become increasingly self centered. The 1960’s hippie period was followed by Burger King’s “Have it your way” campaign and our hundreds of TV channels today.
In my view, it is not more self centeredness, but a return to the way things used to be.
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