15 August 2012

Atheism among America's Youth

Sub tuum.

Commentary on a recent news article regarding the trend of atheism among America's youth stated that "This is going to continue as long as such emphasis is placed on random cherry pickings of Leviticus. It doesn't make any sense to a large chunk of the youth and severely damages the credibility of the rest of the text." It is unfortunate that an alarming number of the youth of today choose to be anti-religious simply because they do not understand certain parts of the Christian faith. That having been said, the "cherry picking of Leviticus" mentioned in the comment on the article above also underscores a problem of Protestantism, and that is the general trend of cherry picking of the Bible.

Also stated in the commentary on the article was the notion that "...giving the youth some breathing room on the things they find important (equality, womens' health issues, etc.)..." is a good idea. This points out the unfortunate trend in many denominations and faith communities to attempt to modify the religion to fit the desires of today's youth. It is no wonder that such modification causes confusion in the minds of young people. How can they be expected to make something a guiding force for their life when it appears to change so easily before their eyes?

Indeed it seems that the sin Pope Leo XIII terms "Americanism" is alive and well. Religion, even Christianity, today is widely privatized, i.e., each individual's personal beliefs are held to be inherent to that individual and hence intrinsically equal to the private beliefs of each and every other person. Individuals now begin with a generic notion that there is a God and Jesus Christ exists, and then mold their own version of the faith to suit their own personal views and desires. Such a view is incompatible with the universal truth of the Christian Faith. Such a view mocks the teaching authority of the universal Church, for if each individual Christian is permitted to invent his own version of the Faith, how then can they acknowledge the authority of the Church?

It certainly seems inconceivable to the devout Christian that anyone could claim individual authority based on the Bible to invent one's own version of the Faith, for the Bible itself prohibits this. Yet, this is what many people do today. It is a dangerous school of thought and a slippery, slippery slope. The faith once handed down by Jesus to the Apostles and carried on to this day through unbroken succession through the Bishops is the only hope of salvation for our youth.

+ Rutherford Cardinal Johnson