The start of each year brings with it a flurry of reflections from the previous 12 months. Those reflections cover everything from sports to politics to entertainment—and certainly religion. Cathy Lynn Grossman at Religion News Service put together some religious highlights from 2014 that flew a bit under the radar. (http://www.religionnews.com/2014/12/30/faith-values-2014-10-telling-numbers/).
Do Americans want their clergy and civil marriages intertwined? Not so much, at least according to Grossman. One in three wants clergy and civil marriages to be separated. That raises a slew of additional theological and practical issues, and it will be something to watch in the years ahead.
Years ago when Americans began to find more spirituality online, some surmised that many of us would someday soon worship in front of our computers—watching an online religious service. While that hasn’t happened at the rate some suspected, American are definitely finding spirituality online. Nearly half of adults witnessed a person sharing “something about their faith” in an online setting during the previous week, according to Grossman.
Is the issue of climate change important to Americans? Depends. Just five percent of Americans list it as their top issue, according to Grossman, who wrote: “White evangelical Protestants were the least likely to believe that climate change is a fact and that human activity is among the causes.”
While issues like the rise of the “nones” and faith and politics tend to get more media play, it’s important to pay attention to the smaller, less publicized issues related to religion. So in 2015, let’s actively look for ways religion is positively impacting culture and changing lives.