OK, so the headline is not really about the article. I don’t think I’m losing my religion.
But Religion is one of the big topics of the Census next week. On one hand we have organisations marketing for people to tick “No Religion” on the Census when it comes around. We have people suggesting that if we tick “No Religion” then Islaam will become the dominant religion. On the other hand, we have Christian Lobby groups advocating to have you tick “Yes” to a religion – even if it’s the religion you were brought up in and you aren’t sure if you hold it (i.e. if there is even the remotest, slightest possibility you might hold it) any more.
I’m finding this whole conversational dynamic bizarre.
The Christian Church has for decades been struggling to break past the dynamic of religious nominalism. The good news about Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the hope for eternity that it provides often falls on deaf ears because people think that they know what being a Christian is all about. They assume that they have heard it all before because they were raised in a Christian home, or went to Sunday School 30 years ago. As Christian’s we privately quip about those who believe they know exactly what the Gospel is, but don’t seem to get it.
I guess there is some argument that Christian Churches want representation to argue for protection of religious freedom. Or they want protection so that they can lobby for a certain volume of support from Government. I’m assuming the argument is that claiming to represent more people helps them argue more effectively. Our politician’s aren’t always the smartest, but I’m pretty sure they understand that of the portion of Australia that describe themselves as Christian a substantial majority don’t attend church or hold any particularly overt Christian conviction.
And then we turn around and tell them to choose Christian as their religion on the Census, even if they don’t hold that as their personal religion any more.