The Rise of the Non-Affiliated

Why does religious affiliation continue to drop?

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Comments (43)

(34) Anonymous, May 24, 2014 11:43 AM

Why i no Longer Attend Shul

My osteoarthritis prevented me from attending shul but before them I noticed no one with disabilities was attending on a regular basis. i had no family and was hoping I could meet friends here. The rabbis were wanting a younger,yuppie crowd with big money and had no place for old,childless people like me.
I got the hint so I don't go anymore. I miss it. It was very important to me.it is hard for my wheelchair to enter the shul.
no one calls and nobody checks on me or even send a letter. I am so incredibly lonely.

(33) chas, May 13, 2014 10:41 PM

My daughters have been driven away by the politicization of religious institutions. In classes I have seen (been subject to) harassment for having a different opinion. Sermons that are secular and even promote a political point of view. They still believe but don't feel the need for the organization.

(32) Remi, May 9, 2014 7:04 AM

working mothers

Is it possible that the sense of entitlement comes from working mothers and the social denigration of motherhood. "I am not fulfilled unless I earn."
This leads to children that
a. are taught by example that self-fulfilment is more important than selfless love;
b. are brought up by women who nevertheless feel guilty about their choice and so indulge their children to compensate. The others (the community) will eventually compete with their needs and desires. In a life where gratification is equivalent to being loved the unconscious question will arise: Why should I bother to put up with people who make my life less bearable. The French atheist philosopher famously said, "L'enfer c'est les autres." - Hell is other people.
c. are brought up in very small families, because more siblings compete with the career prospects of their mother and the financial commitments of the whole family. The inherent insularity of small families is not generally conducive to a wider community outlook.
But given the trend, religions can do better than to lament falling congregations. They need to be fruitful and multiply, to show that they have faith in Hashem, or even in life, and that this faith is worth having. Dosteovsky said that the world will be saved by beauty. It is for us to demonstrate that this is true. Ultimately, love of God and Man is much more fun than a computer screen. The battle is not lost, but it has to be fought.
While there are many, many women, who work out of necessity, or who do so and maintain a balanced and joyful relationship with their children, the lack of social status in home building relative to paid career, is I think a strong contributory factor in the problem Rabbi Yaakov describes. Who is responsible for that trend is another question.

(31) Gunnar Thulander, May 9, 2014 1:32 AM

give someone great distress and he or she will soon call out for the God they affirm not to believe in !!!!!! In other words the awareness of GOD is deeply rooted in us all ,this present world promote free will , free choice ,free what ever ,and we are bombarded with choices from all directions and so we filter out what we for the present time do not need ',,,,,,,,,

(30) Kerrie, May 8, 2014 9:57 PM

Non-affiliation is an indicactor of a greater problem

The points you raise are valid the world over. Young people these days grow up in a society that is self-serving and egocentric. It started mid 20th century and we are now reaping the results of this cultural change and attitude. Children initially reflect the attitudes that are instilled in them from adults in their life, which is then reinforced by peers and community. People will always gravitate towards what is easy and comfortable for them, and society is telling them that this is acceptable, and to be otherwise is stupid. The internet and other media, and the mobility that we enjoy (as mentioned above) has just enhanced this trend and made it an international phenomenon. I agree that the root of the problem is an attitude of perceived "entitlement". We are not making ourselves accountable to anyone other than ourselves and the government doesn't allow us to, intervening in acknowledging that there is indeed a G-d.. When we have a sense that we are not gods, and that there is a Creator that has ultimate control and has given us boundaries and guidelines to work within, we develop a better sense of obligation to Him, His creation and other people - based on gratitude, love and appreciation. Notice that these qualities are largely missing in our society today. Non-affiliation is just one marker of this issue. Until people start to take responsibility for their behaviour, thoughts, and care as much for the community as they do for themselves, and are held accountable for decisions that they make, there will be no change without Divine Intervention.

(29) marcsfl, May 8, 2014 7:46 PM

Mobility

I think it's largely due to mobility, and the transient nature of our society. Family's are no longer staying in one town for generations, and I can say that for reformed congregations in South Florida, for childless adults joining a Temple, attending services, participating in committee and board activities and social events still doesn't create much community. And I think community is one big reason people affiliate.

The fee structure is also too high. Average is over $2000 a year for a family of two non seniors to join a Temple in our area, and the return is just not worth the expense (to me). Most congregants stick around until the last child has a B-Mitzvah, and then leaves.

I think we'd have to move back towards life in the village for Judaism to work in this country again. When Grandma is in Miami, Dad is in New England, and the kids are in Chicago, the family glue is held together by Facebook, not by the Temple.

(28) Marvin Karp, May 8, 2014 7:18 PM

Dissolution of structure and the rise of NONS

Two opposing phenomena are happening simultaneously: the globalization of humanity by way of information---unbridled, and in many cases not met with critical thinking---and tribalism---that is the breaking down of larger units---from family units to sovereign countries---to smaller affiliations. That breaking away continues in many cases until it reaches the level of the individual, and that individual becomes isolated and disconnected from the human emotional stream, but connected in superficial self-absorbed ways, i.e. the continuous displaying of personal information (selfless, etc.) as if a whole universe radiates from the individual. The larger context---the global connection---is theoretical/abstract, but the isolated individual is a concrete element that has divorced itself from any larger context---religion notwithstanding.

(27) theo musikanth, May 8, 2014 7:08 PM

losing our ability to be awe struck

It is so sad that as the generations pass the little contact that there was with a priceless heritage is being totally lost
Our sages of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were such luminaries Why does this generation not take the trouble to be entranced by a Chofetz Chaim and so many others who enlightened the world they lived in and whose message is for all time
Who would not be moved by the Kotzker Only God is truth Nothing else has any permanence ! Nothing or no one else can be relied on when the chips are down Certainly not the
mighty dollar
Back to the Chofetz Chaim : where will you be in 100 years?
Answer With God ! And in 500 years ? Same answer : With God
If that does not make one think surely nothing will
We all have to realize we are not the centre of the universe We are only bit actors on a vast stage
When we realize our minute worlds compared to the vastness of Creation we should be filled with awe Yes awe! Where there is no awe of God there cannot be love of God
These thoughts should move us to draw close to our heritage and not to the opposite

(26) David S. Levine, May 8, 2014 5:43 PM

Started BEFORE The Internet

The movement away from religious affiliation began before the rise of the internet and that rise, as Rabbi Solomon asserts, had nothing to do with it. It had more to do with the sexual revolution of tghe 1960s and the end to constraints on individual behavior that was the catalist, in my view. If you were a more than willing participant in that "revolution" you certainly didn't want to hear anyone or any force say that your behavior was "wrong" ot any degree. Further, the generation that participated in the sexual revolution but attempted to bring their children up with a religious component couldn't do it because their children sensed that they did not really accept what religion stood for.

So, this confluence of forces came together and the rise of the "NONs" began.

(25) shlomoh, May 8, 2014 4:57 PM

Because we now have choice

In times past, people had no choice but to belong to the religious group into which they were born. Later, in mid-20 centruy America, belonging showed you to be a good, loyal American. The 1960s changed that. As free-thinking Americans opted out of what they considered a tedious loyalty
to their family's sect, Conservative Americans began to try to shove religion down the throats of America in general,invading the political area. Science has nothing to do with it. Science does not persuade people to leave religion. Religion persuades people to leave religion. Unlike Xtianity and Islam, Judaism is a NATIONAL religion and maybe that will keep Jews hanging on

(24) Richard, May 8, 2014 4:07 PM

Great Topic with hard answers to find

I agree for the most part with Tracey (#18) above. I would also like to add that there is too much peer pressure within the orthodox societies. (Its my way-or-the-highway type or pressure). Nobody bullies you, but if you disagree (I am not talking about core disagreements in Halacha), but say, in political views for example, the opposing party will ostrasize you ,as almost you being an appicorus or belonging to the goyishe outer space society. There seems to be very little diversity in points of view within the core orthodox societies. (I mean points of view that have nothing to do with Torah). Moreover, an overwhelming majority of shulls do not offer meaningful prayer services as the observer above also noted. I like to study the wisdom of Torah, but hate doing things with no Halahic relevance by rote, including prayers.

(23) Anonymous, May 8, 2014 3:56 PM

after 20 yrs of affliation I am not now

my former synagogue voted out a longtime rabbi, installed a much more liberal rabbi (wanting it to be akin to a country club rather than a shul); it was offputting and none of my family has found an good fit for who we are as Jews close by; I found over the years that many Jews prefer the JCC to shul as its social but not "religious" per se.....just an observation in my community.

(22) Jim J Dukes, May 8, 2014 3:55 PM

Mainstream religion has left the people behind

Our religious groups in America, Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant have become less representative of the Word of G-d and more representative of the engulfing culture and society. Whether synagogue or church, the religious groups are becoming more and more liberal, I.e., Politically Correct. They have no center or foundation, thus they stand for nothing. In their attempt to attract worship ears with rock music, programs, and tolerance they have left G-d's Word behind & are so much like the surrounding secular society that they present no compelling reason to attend. They can get the same thing from Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Ellen. Why attend synagogue or church?

Anonymous, May 8, 2014 9:58 PM

agree

Interestingly, my husband and I had to leave our congregation after last election as it was more of a campaign headquarters than a place of worship.

(21) nachum, May 8, 2014 3:48 PM

Connected but Unaffiliated

In Israel, I feel God's hand in my relatively insignificant life. He even bothers himself about me when I'm not nice or worthy. Lately, I'm trying to get over a recent, large expense---you might call it "once in a lifetime"---I feel that He will help me discreetly, or perhaps has done so already!

(20) Anonymous, May 8, 2014 3:07 PM

they need to be exposed to it

Could be because they haven't been exposed to it in a way that reaches their pintele yid. That's why it's so important for the affiliated to reach out. The unafilliated shouldn't be made to feel that they are unimportant or that they are less in any way. They need the affiliated to draw them in and invite them.

(19) Suzanne, May 8, 2014 2:58 PM

This is a fascinating topic ...

Besides the "entitlement" that you speak of, rabbi, and you are correct - we are now in that mindset for a generation or two - with each generation getting worse. I think there are a few other things going on here, too, however. Some ideas I have are the following. Catholicism used to be one of the major religions in America (it probably still is), however, the pedophilia scandals and how they were handled have had a HUGE influence on Catholics leaving the church. I also think that feminism (no matter what affiliation) has something to do with it. For instance, it takes a lot of hard WORK, usually done by women to have a decent Jewish home. Sadly, this kind of work has been de-valued in our society. If a woman has a job, you need to ask for A LOT of time off in order to be observant. Each shabbat is probably the equivalent of a day or two of work in that it takes a lot of time to shop, cook and put on a decent shabbat meal for Friday nights and then on Saturday have all your children dressed properly and go the shul. Afterwards, you can't drive and there are two more Shabbat meals afterwards. Today, most people are just not willing to take that kind of time - especially when they have jobs as they need the weekends to catch up. Another thing, too, and this is sort of morbid, but the lack of tragic death in our societies I believe is a factor. It wasn't that long ago when people were confronted with it all the time. Kids died all the time - you were lucky if you reached adulthood. When this is your reality and life is just plain hard - one is often reminded about the fragility of life and what it all means etc. - so they turn to G_d. Not at all happy about the lack of religion in our society, either, Rabbi. However this is what I think.

(18) Tracey S, May 8, 2014 2:42 PM

Reasons

Many people don't have an affiliation with a specific institution because it costs quite a lot to be a member of a synagogue. Also, even if you are a member, there is nothing relevant at the synagogue. Gathering for prayers is not enough. I'm in a Torah study class which is feeding my interest in learning more about Judaism, but it does not compel me to attend a synagogue. When I do attend, I get pretty much nothing out of it. I'm proud to be Jewish, but I find nothing meaningful in the service, except an occasional sermon. But to sit through three-four hours for a 15-minute message? A recent study of Latino Catholics on Long Island show that many are left the Catholic church in favor of evangelical ones. However, now that there is a Latino Pope, some are returning. Could it be that it's now more relevant to them? For religion, regardless of which, to click with people it really has to have meaning in their lives.

(17) Anonymous, May 8, 2014 2:37 PM

I question the morality of society as dependent on religion

In 1933 Germany had almost 100% religious population. They bought the Nazis to power and 50 million deaths
In Russia 1917 we had almost 100% religious population. They bought Stalinism to power.
I do not believe religiousness of the population or its affiliation matters for the society. Its education and prosperity is what matters. Poor and uneducated can easily be manipulated into a band of amoral criminals

craig shere, May 8, 2014 8:22 PM

I question the morality of society as dependent on religion?

Understand these arguments. But suggesting the Bolshevik and later Stalinist movements were religiously oriented is a bit off base. Given how the Nazis treated anyone with a religious connection/conscience that didn't fit with party marching orders leaves one to question the connection there as well (but no doubt, most Nazis thought they were "good" Christians, just as did Southern U.S. slaveholders). But to logically evaluate the argument, that religion promotes human misery, one would need to discern if societies in history that were/are arguably G-dless (perhaps Ghengis Kahn or North Korea today - where it's punishable by death to have a bible) were/are somehow superior in terms of human interactions. Upon deeper analysis, think you'll find religion is not the problem,

(16) chava, May 8, 2014 2:36 PM

In order to want to affiliate, there have to be places that "speak" to you.

I'm not sure what you mean by "religious affiliation". If affiliation means being a member of a synagogue, church, or whatever, or at least attending regularly, I can understand why a third of young people aren't affiliated. I'm an observant Jew, but I find that if I attend a mainstream shul, I feel I don't belong there at all. There are shuls where I do feel I belong, but not so many. Perhaps these unaffiliated haven't found a place they feel comfortable, and they assume that such a place doesn't exist. Perhaps it's not important enough to them to search some more or try to begin their own place.

(15) Anonymous, May 7, 2014 8:17 PM

THE REASON IS WITHOUT A DOUBT SCIENCE

SCIENCE AND RELIGION DONT MIX. PERIOD.

Craig Shere, May 8, 2014 3:29 PM

Science & Religion Don't Mix?

Fully respect and appreciate this view given how religion has been practiced for hundreds of years (if not much longer). But in Reality, there is but one G-d, who made one creation, with one Purpose, and the physical means by which that creation operates (what we'd call "science") and the manifestation of the Purpose (what we'd call "religion") are but two sides of the same coin. They are, in fact, in complete harmony. Judaism does a good job at helping to reconcile this, but the Baha'i faith makes this point a core teaching.

Richard, May 8, 2014 4:11 PM

I respectfully disagree

Science and religion overlap in multiple areas. In addition, many scientists are religious (e.g., Penzias from AT&T laboratories who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation from the big bang). There are many other examples as well.

(14) Anonymous, May 7, 2014 3:36 PM

NON is a misconception

Today children live at home longer than they have in the past. Today 30 year olds are just starting out in life. They have just got out from under their parents roofs, perhaps they are just getting married, and just embarking on their careers. They do not yet consider themselves responsible for their affiliation, they attend synagogue under their parents' membership. Give them a few years until they are better established and on their own feet.

(13) Walter, May 7, 2014 1:00 AM

The data are probably mostly about gentiles

Concerning the Jews the situation is different from that of the Gentiles and it surely is of interest why they would not be affiliated,but since according to the study 20-30% of the population are not affiliated, Jews can only be a very small part, since they make up only a small percentage of the US population (2-3% maximum?)

So I think it is fair to say that most of the non-affiliated people are Gentiles/non-Jews.

It's a very interesting study.

(12) Walter, May 7, 2014 12:55 AM

Maybe it's the precursor to the Noahide belief, maybe the phenomenon has to seen seperately for Jews and Gentiles

There seem to be many people who believe in God (monotheistically) but they don't really have a religion. Gentiles have told me they believe in God but not in Jesus. I have heard of disillusionment of Gentiles with the christian churches, and I've also heard of Gentiles who were brought up as christians who became disillusioned with the religion they were brought up with.
A roman catholic theologian my family knows expressed a view of god that was actually not so far from Judaism but very far from and in contradiction to christianity. I would think that if this person had not been brought up with roman catholicism he might be a Noahide.

Another point: From what I understand, when people are asked how the universe came to be there are two main theories, one is the 'Big Bang' Theory and the other is that God created the world.

I think that nonjewish people actually are interested in God and also even have a Torah-like perception (or at least close to the Torah view), they however don't have a religion or know about a religion that simply worships the creator of the universe. I think that this may actually be a good thing, in the sense that people return to Hashem who is actually the God of all people, Jews and Gentiles alike (and it is from my understanding much better for a person to have Hashem as a God and not follow any church).

I'm also surprised at the success of the Noahide/righteous Gentiles movement, which has not been around for that long, I think.

Overall, I do take serious that a 'direction' is important and that religious affilliation contributes to the functioning of society, however the question is if this is not simply a change that is taking place, from christianity to the believe in God according to the Torah.

(11) David Naas, May 6, 2014 3:52 PM

Perspective

This article gives some perspective on the situation.

http://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2014/05/the-death-of-jewish-culture/

(10) solomon, May 6, 2014 2:43 PM

agree with Scott

One of the biggest issues in the reduction in affiliation is alienation. When a person identifies as Jewish - this is enough for me. I want to recognise that not everybody is in the same place in their observance. Just as some members of my famly became more observant and educated, so can others. Why do the orthodox shut the door on other Jews? Instead open your home, your Shabbat table, your study, and classrooms to the "less than perfectly affliated"... and walk them to shul once in a while, talking as a fellow Jew in wonder and learning. You would be surprised how many will become learners and attend more frequently.

(9) scott, May 6, 2014 9:27 AM

My Idea

When I look at Judiasm in the states I see two main forces driving religious life. The liberal Jews who reject everything they don't like or understand and the fundamentalist who reject anything and anyone who does not see things as they were 400 years ago. One side says decide for yourself what matters and the other says no one else matters. The majority-unaffiliated Jews- use this mutual lack of respect and constant bickering as a good excuse to proclaim a plague on both their houses during their Saturday afternoon crawfish boil. And their son takes a liking to the methodist girl next door and a generation is lost.

The hardest spot is reserved for the conservative movement which is not fundamentalist or liberal so there's absolutely nothing to hold onto. They're dying a slow death as well.

I was talking to a guy I met when attending a reform shul. Like me he was making an effort to be observant but only the reform shul was wakling distance. We went to a friday night after-services mixer at the shul and he told me that the entire purpose of the reform movement is to keep the kids from intermarrying in hopes that the would one day rejoin the world of religious observance. At least these kids wouldn't marry a unitarian. And that was a start.

I think the reform movement in the diaspora needs to be taken seriously and treated with some sort of respect by the fundamentalists.The reform movement and the JCC movement need to be embraced by the orthodox and looked upon as fertile ground for education and recruitment.

It will require the orthodox to be nice. It will require the orthodox to use a strategy of attraction, not hatefulness. To take a risk and love their fellow Jew here and now.


(8) David Naas, May 5, 2014 6:05 PM

Is There Anything New Under The sun?

All this has happened before. Looking at history, there have been ages seeped in religion, and ages of distain for religion. The only difference on this part of the cycle is that our obsession for science makes us quantify everything. The statistics sound bad for religion in general, but we have no comparison with the past, because no polling data available.
Also, please to remember that the shape of the question, as well as the bias and attitude of the questioner determines the answer in many cases. "Opinion" surveys are notoriously skewed.
In sum, forget the numbers, concentrate on doing what YOU know you ought to do, and have patience.

(7) Anonymous, May 5, 2014 2:47 PM

Wisdom of a Rabbi

I don't recall his name, but I do recall people shunning a certain Rabbi who kept denouncing the internet, cell phones, etc. I doubt that people were listening closely to that wise man.
And, now, we have a study which suggests that there is a correlation, not causation, between drop in religious affiliation and the internet. (We should not forget the other study which showed that internet is making us less intelligent. Refer to Atlantic monthly article, among many others.)
Is there an underlying issue? The authors of the study took into account quite a few factors and they found that only two other areas could account for it: education and religious upbringing. But, it still could not account for the drop.
How does one explain internet use in other countries and increase in religious affiliation?
I don't know the answer, but to answer the question posed in the video, I suggest it has something to do with our individualistic society. It is a society of self-esteem, where ego is of prime importance, the god. Self- esteem without mastery. Who can take the dictates of any organization which represents a power contrary to the wishes of one's self-esteem, making oneself feel good?
It is the penultimate step before atheism. As Aldous Huxley said when questioned about his religious status, "Yes, I am an atheist for one reason: morality. Believing in God would mean that I would have to obey the dictates of His moral code. Thus, in order to be authentic, I must opt out and be an atheist."
Those not affiliated are a step closer to Huxley.

Anonymous, May 8, 2014 4:22 PM

Just like Aldous Huxley Hitler hated morals and thus went out to kill the Jews, now can we understand the need for religion?

(6) Anonymous, May 5, 2014 7:49 AM

Great opportunity

I think if we see the big picture, it's a great opportunity. The same way it's easier to adquire new habits than to change old ones, it's easier to learn new ideas when you're not very invested in the old ones.
For religious people is difficult to change their belives (but no impossible). But for people like them, who belive in G-d, but in no religion, it'd be easier to learn about the Seven Laws, Noahism and the wisdom of the Torah through the Jewish people.
But maybe I only see it that way because I was one of them. I knew G-d existed, but I really couldn't belive in the religion I was raised with. It wasn't until G-d guided me towards Noahism that I could start to learn what He is expecting from me.

(5) Anonymous, May 5, 2014 3:09 AM

Religious Affiliation

Preoccupation with materialism is supplanting religion for a growing segment of the population.

(4) Craig Shere, May 5, 2014 2:52 AM

Reasons for religious unaffilation?

I'm 48 yrs old. I'm Jewish, my wife is not, but agreed to raise Jewish kids (w/me taking lead). Judaism was always dear to me, helping me get maybe 85% or 90% of the answers I sought, but never all the way. Out of curiosity and desire to bridge that 10-15% gap, I'd always been open to other faiths (having looked at Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and others over decades). What I found was a disconnect between the love and oneness taught be faiths and their practice (both in religious structure/observance as well as daily life of "believers"). I've met some amazing people and clerics, and some presenting less than a good example. The gnawing idea (shared by many) was that even along a bell curve, the average adherent (or at least cleric) of the "right" faith ought to be better than the rest of humanity in ethical day-to-day behavior and selfless focus. But frankly, I'd not even seen this consistently in Judaism (including Orthodox Judaism). Of course, there are bastions of remarkable community development, but in terms of a globally interconnected Faith making strides towards tikkun olam, this was nowhere to be found. Four years ago, after 3 years of vetting/study, I converted to the Baha'i Faith. In this process, I learned many of the older generation in my own family are infact atheist (or at least agnostic), despite a deep commitment to Judaism (my brother's family became Orthodox). In speaking with people from a variety of faiths, the sense seemed to be that religion has failed humanity, not the other way around. That religion must be held to objective evaluation just like any scientific theory. And the way religion is most often understood and practiced has left many questioning its very purpose. Personally, I've bridged that 10%-15% gap and my doubts, questions and discomfort are replaced by certainty and desire to serve G-d's plan. But I do not see in the unaffiliated an abdication, I see a painful, rudderless search.

Aviel, May 5, 2014 10:01 AM

Judaism not just a religion

You seem to be a serious person. I agree that there are people who just put on the uniform and are no more truly religious than one at a costume party is in reality the person that they are pretending to be. In Judaism it's a chilul Hashem[desecration of G-ds name ]and a serious mistake/sin since it often turns others away from G-d. If you found a spiritual home in the Behai faith know that you will always be Jewish as well since that was your mother's religion. Judaism is being part of a people /family that is not dependent on belief.Your brother is your brother no matter what,so should you wish to find a Rabbi on this site or elsewhere to learn with you it will be their pleasure as it's your heritage/birthright.

Anonymous, May 8, 2014 4:17 PM

I think you got the "science" of religion wrong

Religion is no science, if you truly believe in GOD and not nature=God then you must realize that the imposters who play religious adherents or clerics are fakes! If a Jew does a mistake, it is chilul Hashem (and we see it from your post), but that is not God or Judaism because we believe in free will.

(3) Anonymous, May 5, 2014 12:42 AM

The Beauty of Religion?

It's because religious people haven't presented religion in a loving manner. Some present religion as superiority or even hate and that causes younger people to say they want no part of it.

Avi, May 8, 2014 4:09 PM

But don't lie...

Tell me, how is Judaism not superiority? Besides, we are not trying to sell God,he doesn't need that, to be a Jew you have to face the hard truths of Judaism, covering them up is equal to Apikorssut

(2) Vivian Corey, May 4, 2014 3:26 PM

Glorification of victimhood

I think victimhood has become the new idol.The other side of the coin to entitlement. I don't have to tolerate discomfort,it's not my fault and I shouldn't have to put up with it. Everyone has rights but no one talks about responsibility.I find it amusing and shameful at the same time that everyone is always offended and insulted,but the issues we really need to be offended about are shoved in your face and no one dares to speak up about;if you are brave enough to speak out, you lose your job and are subjected to vile hate speech. This is all about creating a convenient society so that no one actually has to be accountable.This is how fascism is allowed to take root. Technology has allowed people to become passive zombies. When we use the internet to spread the light of Torah then we are using it the way it was meant to be used. G-d help us we really need Moshiach to light the way in this very dark world

Anonymous, May 8, 2014 10:04 PM

Agree

A society of entitlement breeds lack of responsibility which turns into victim status when thing go awry. Such a society wishes its members to answer only to them (government). Such an environment encourages people the freedom to choose "nothing."

(1) Nancy, May 4, 2014 2:45 PM

IMO the problem is not entitlement. The issue here is assimilation, which leads to smugness and complacency. When we Jews feel threatened, we close ranks and do everything we can to keep our Judaism alive. Conversely, when we feel accepted we have "nothing to worry about." This complacency is what I believe has led to the high intermarriage rate among those who were born after 1980.

 

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