Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Religious faith growing in workplace?

I always enjoy Mary Garrigan's excellent articles, but the headline on this one in the RCJ is a little misleading. Sounds like Bob Fischer wrote the headline to try to push a point of view that people are becoming more religious, which actually is quite false--if you believe the polling data. For example, the Pew Research Center is recently released a poll of 18-25s ("Gen Next") that said:
One-in-five members of Generation Next say they have no religious affiliation or are atheist or agnostic, nearly double the proportion of young people who said that in the late 1980s. (emphasis mine)
I believe that as these people get older, God will seek them out, but it's unlikely that She will find them through churches or people that judge and condemn. Personally, I think this is a great opening for churches that preach love and acceptance instead of preaching the difference between "us" and "them."

The report also says:
About half of Gen Nexters say the growing number of immigrants to the U.S. strengthens the country ­ more than any generation. And they also lead the way in their support for gay marriage and acceptance of interracial dating.
Pretty encouraging stuff.

One more thing: as I carefully read the RCJ article I saw an aspect of the subject that Mary didn't have space (or editorial support?) to get into: there is a huge difference between quietly wearing the hijab or cross or religion friendly leave policies, and posting religious slogans on the wall, asking your clients to pray with you, or telling gays you don't want their business (as many local "Christian" businesses have).

Moral of the story: when you share your religious values in the workplace, they are there for everyone to see, for better or worse.

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