Now as to what I learned from these materials I’ve been discussing about religous faith. African Americans are still a lot more religious as a group than whites, and the gap is growing in all age groups. But teenagers as a whole have abandoned religion almost completely.
Among the rapidly shrinking minority of teens who see themselves as religous, what they actually believe is not any existing religion but, rather, MTD (Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.) This is a system of belief which posits that if you are a good person (and everybody considers oneself to be one), then you deserve for good things to happen to you. MTDers don’t accept any limits on their behavior because they are good people and good people deserve to do exactly what they want to do. This is a worldview that offers no guidance and posits no meaning to life other than satisfying every fleeting whim. Consumerism is the real object of faith here.
This is why the folks who still believe that religious fundamentalists or fanatics or whatever still represent a threat in this country need to wake up and check their calendars. It’s all gone, dead, completely outdated. And the politicians who try to rile us up against the utterly insignificant Knights of Columbus and Co are dirty, dishonest hacks who are lying to us as part of their con.