Friday, May 22, 2009

Americans 'shopping for religion'

William Lobdell has followed four different religions. Now he's an atheist.

Raised Episcopalian, the 48-year-old Orange County, Calif. man switched to a non-denominational parish and then a Presbyterian one. After going through a year of Catholic conversion classes he eventually realized that he is “a reluctant atheist.”

“I wish I believed,” said the former Los Angeles Times reporter and author of the memoir “Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America – And Found Unexpected Peace.” “I’d like to believe that someone is watching over me and protecting me, but I just don’t believe that.”

He may be an extreme example, but approximately half of Americans change religions at least once in their lives, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The forum recently released a report, "The U.S. Religious Landscape: Exploring Religion in America," based on surveys of 35,000 people.

Pew found that Catholicism has seen the sharpest decrease in membership among all religions in the U.S. About 10 percent of all Americans are former Catholics, according to the survey. The Archdiocese of Chicago declined to interview for this article.

The Rest is here-

No comments: