No church? Then I’ve got a corporation (or political party) for you!

You may have seen this graph:

“Church Membership Among U.S. Adults Now Below 50%” Graphic courtesy Gallup

Gallup: Fewer than half of Americans belong to a church or other house of worship (religionnews.com)

I doubt I’m the first to ask whether a decrease in organized religion is related to other trends, such as greater commitment to political party, greater demands on corporations to adhere to social and moral goals, and the rise in populism. I think it’s a common desire to be connected to something larger. We want to better the world, to help the next generation live better lives, to improve the conditions around us. For generations, organized religion was a major means to accomplish these goals.

With over half of Americans no longer attached to a church, perhaps they are searching for other organizations to work through. The easiest way to accomplish big things is to use big organizations. Two alternatives are big government and big corporations.

This leads to several questions: Do we need big organizations to accomplish big things? If we do, does transferring our moral and spiritual commitments into business and governmental organizations work? Or did the separation of those things into separate spheres benefit our society?

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