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Loss of confidence, not of faith

June 22, 2017
Alex M. Saunders
San Carlos

One must agree with Father Rolheiser (“When does faith disappear,” June 8) that rejecting a set of theological propositions does not equal losing faith. What the “no religion”-labeled people have rejected is the superstructure of organized religion. It is not loss of faith but loss of confidence. Refusal of organized religion to recognize the difference will lead to continued downsizing.

It is a fair analogy that if 30 percent of customers lose confidence in the sales policies of a department store, it may as well close its doors. Leave theology alone. It would only take changes in a few church created rules to regain confidence and reverse the trend of losing faithful.

Words and icons mentioned by Father Rolheiser are the other challenge of belief that translates to attitude. We no longer bring lambs to temple for sacrifice. Why should a city girl try to imagine a lamb of God? What meaning do the words of most of our hymns portray to a child of 4? The child looks up at parents’ faces, hears the sung words, and thinks, “Mother speaks a language that I shall never learn. She has some strange inside knowledge.” The most curious child may later ask mother what the words of the song mean, only to discover that mother really does not know. Now the child has a new perception of why mother sits in that pew for an hour every week. Should the same child, 20 years later, admit to having religion on a survey?

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