Newsweek’s Lisa Miller, one of my favorite religion writers, takes a different look this week at the 2008 Pew Forum survey data that confirmed America’s status as a “Christian nation” is on the decline. Perhaps, she speculates, America is becoming a Hindu nation?
Well, not really. But she notes, against the backdrop of sacred words from Hinduism’s Rig Veda, that America’s collective spiritual philosophies are quickly coming around.
● Sixty-five percent of Americans believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life,” including 37 percent of white evangelicals,
● Twenty-four percent of Americans believe in reincarnation (from a Harris poll in 2008), and
● More than one-third of Americans choose cremation, up from 6 percent in 1975
If it’s yoga or kirtan, Jesus or Parshvanath, or Catholic Mass versus a Buddhist retreat, it’s all the Truth in America, which is the way it should be.
Sure, the Founding Fathers were probably only thinking about different denominations of Christianity when they penned the opening sentence of the Bill of Rights — or maybe all Abrahamic religions at best — but the intent was that America would be free of both religious persecution and a sanctioned state religion. Funny how we’ve strayed from that in these last 20 years…
“That which is the One Truth, the seers teach in many different ways” (Rigveda I:164.46)