tremonius (tremonius) wrote,

Bubbles in the Missed

Once there was a panel in an R Crumb comic of the early seventies which has remained with me when so much of that era hasn't. The story was a satire on the Cuckoo's Nest novel or movie, set in an asylum, and in the foreground of one sequence sits a nervous individual grasping his knees, shuddering, and proclaiming in some angst and woe, "I don't understand any of this."

The great Norman Zumwalt said of that forlorn critter, he is probably the most honest character in all literature.

I thought of that panel when I saw in Time a chart from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which has produced what Time calls maybe the truest snapshot yet of our standing in the Happy Hunting Ground.
Faith Bubble

One startling bubble in the mist is the number for "unaffiliated," - 16%, which is remarkable in a god-riddled land.The compulsion to proclaim Faith is overpowering in the US.

But then - The author of Bowling Alone was puzzled by an anomaly in his numbers: while every other band or group, from bowling to Girl Scouts, was shrinking, church membership was still going strong. For a high percentage on every survey that touches on the topic has reported a thriving church-going public. However, a review of church records told a different story, more in keeping with the general trend the author had discovered. The conclusion was, many of the church-goers somehow never arrived at the church.In other words, they were bearing false witness.

But one segment of the Faith bubbles from Pew was even more striking.

Bubble inset

You will see a larger share of us, larger than Muslims, Orthodox, Buddhists, even those irritating Jehovah's Witnesses that used to plague us so, in fact many more than the Newage ninnies, are in the "I don't know" camp.

Now, this is not the Agnostic or Atheist portion of the forest, for those are counted among the "unaffiliated." These are those who, though assumedly the traditional indoctrination and social pressures and lecturing and hectoring was applied to them as the rest of us, simply have no idea about any god or their connection with such.

They simply do not understand any of this. I think they deserve a voice, if not for their sheer numbers, then for their honesty.

So I do.
Tags: groups, honesty, r crumb, religion

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