Individualism Is Overtaking Religion

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Individualism Is Overtaking Religion


Individualism is overtaking religion

I am an avid reader of the Fence Post and I enjoy the fair-minded placement of divergent views in these columns. As a Catholic, I try to accept opinions opposite my own views also in a fair-minded way.

However that may be, I am saddened by a growing number of people who seem to have lost their faith in God. And it's more than the decline of attendance at church on Sunday. Any defense of biblical values accepted over the past 2,000 years are now under attack by supporters of an idealism which gives rein to a new sense of moral behavior. Individual choice is now a catchword of those in our society who take offense at any attempt to defend age-old traditions of faith. In 1997, Eugene Kennedy in his book "My Brother Joseph" quoted Cardinal Joseph Bernardin who had been invited to speak at the White House by President Nixon in December 1972. His words are as cogent today as they were then:

"The task is to eradicate that enervating individualism, based on selfish interests, that often works against the common good. That kind of individualism is illustrated in the demands for absolute rights for individuals without due concern for the rights of others, in the apathetic turning off politics because it is not immediately self-fulfilling, in a God-and-me theology that ignores the institution and the realities of social concern. The philosophy of this extreme individualism is directly counter to the spirit of biblical religion, which emphasizes our relationship to others, our responsibility to neighbors, which is the expression of our response to God. …

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