Nearly six-in-ten Americans define religion in this way. Not spirituality, but they define religion as something that is very important to them according to a previous survey of the Pew Forum of Religion and Public Life. Six out of ten people in this country find religion to be important. Very important.
This statistic seems to be shattered in the survey released today on the United States Religious Knowledge. There may be six out of ten Americans that define religion as important in their lives — but this survey seems to expose them. I mean it. Really. How can religion be important to you if you don’t choose to learn anything about it?
There are some basic tenets that you should know — and I would hope that you choose to learn those things that make your faith different from the other expressions of faith that make our nation (and world) so diverse. I’m going to try to be nice about this. I’ll try to be kind, but seriously. Pick up your Bible. Read it. Explore it with others. Try to understand what it says and why it has any relevance whatsoever to the way that you choose to live your life. Because that’s what all those agnostics and atheists have done. They’ve done their homework. They know that these words don’t fit them which is fine, but how will you ever know that until you start to explore these words that are the center of your faith as Christians?
In an unrelated news story, President Obama is in New Mexico. He’s still struggling with these weird accusations about his faith — and the incredibly misguided and naive statement that he is a Muslim. So, voters are asking him this question. They want to know about President Obama’s faith. And so, he told them. He told them why his faith mattered to him:
“I’m a Christian by choice… My family, frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew but she didn’t raise me in the church, so I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead. Being my brothers and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me, and I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes and we achieve salvation through the grace of God.”
My dear Americans, if this is so important to who we are, then why aren’t we all able to witness to our faith as President Obama has done?