The world has changed more in the past fifty years than in all the years of mankind’s existence before. The world is a much smaller place, with every corner explored. We communicate with each other from hemisphere to hemisphere in a split second, and information is only a click away. In our new world, knowledge abounds, and with it, our ignorance ceases. We are more tolerant of others—of other races, other sexual orientations, other cultures.
But still, we do not understand other religions, and therefore, we do not respect the traditions and customs of other religions. Perhaps the religious gap is the last gap for modern society to cross.
In our time, many Americans are questioning this gap and their choice of religion. While spirituality and belief in God remain strong, recent Gallup polls indicate many are claiming to be “spiritual” rather than affiliated with a specific religion. In 1955, 96% of Americans believed in God; in 1976, 94%; and in 2011, 91%. However, in 50 years, the percentage of Americans with no religious identity, other than a claim of spirituality, has increased from 2% to 16%. (Source: The Future of Religion in America. “God Is Alive and Well.” Gallup Press, 2012.)
We need a new understanding of spirituality—one that unites us, rather than divides us.