Twenty-One Percent?

A while back I wrote a bit about the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey that found a remarkable amount of religious switching among Americans. The results of another part of the survey was released today. The highlights

Seventy percent of religious adherents in the United States believe multiple religions can lead a person to salvation, while 68 percent say there is more than one way to interpret the teachings of their religion.
{josquote}Part of the way this happens, though, is through the dilution of beliefs.{/josquote}

The vast majority of Americans believe in God - 92% to be exact (including, bizarrely enough, 21% of people who self-identify as atheists). Most don't think their way is the only one. For me these kinds of things are mixed bags. I think it's great that people are so open to the religions of others and are increasingly less likely to think God won't punish people with differing beliefs. Part of the way this happens, though, is through the dilution of beliefs. For me this all points to the really difficult problem of how to maintain religious integrity in a way that, at the same time, allows for a growing religious inclusiveness.

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