I don’t think this is good news. It’s from CNN’s Belief blog, on “How church shopping is polarizing the country.” To oversimplify: Trads go to church the most; their presence drives the moderns away; the divide between traditional church goers and all others is getting sharper. I suppose some will say that we’re attaining better clarity about who’s in and who’s out. I’d sure hate to see any of those in the In-crowd congratulate themselves for having gotten rid of the Out-crowd. They need each other. If the Eucharist drew them together, I think we’d all be better off. awr
In the ’60s, those showing up in church on Sunday might have represented a cross-section of American viewpoints; today, they are more likely to reflect traditionalist views, further driving modernists away from religion altogether – and intensifying what some have called the “devotional divide” in American politics.
The difference in viewpoints between traditionalists and modernists is profound – and has dramatic effects on today’s culture wars. David Campbell, a Notre Dame political scientist, explains that traditionalists believe in an eternal and transcendent authority that “tells us what is good, what is true, how we should live, and who we are.” Modernists, on the other hand, would redefine historic faiths according to the prevailing assumptions of contemporary life. They are less dogmatic, more tolerant, more open to change. …
In the era following World War II, both groups attended the same churches. … Today, we are more likely to shop for churches that express our individual values, and traditionalists – those searching for “an eternal and transcendent authority” – are much more likely to attend church at all.