I often listen to WCTV, our local CBS affiliate, on the radio as I drive home from OTPS in the evenings. This evening, I tuned in, caught part of the local news, and then had to stop and grab some groceries. When I came out, I started listening to the CBS Evening News. They've been running a series this week entitled "The American Spirit", which is discussing the role of religion in America (or USAmerica as Leonard Sweet puts it).

Tonight's installment, "Mix-and-Match Religion", explores people taking parts of many religions and combining them into a new whole. The individual they interviewed, Deborah Steen Ross (they called her Reverend at one point, and one day I will discuss why I don't like that title, even when it's Reverend Wolfgang), was raised Christian Scientist, married to a Jewish rabbi, and works at an interfaith seminary. Mrs. Ross also attends a synagogue and meditates before various religious symbols each morning. CBS conducted a poll of 1150 respondents (with pretty graphs and some CBS commentary and documentation on how CBS does polls) which found that 64% of Americans found religion "extremely important" or "very important" and that 36% of Americans "bring the teachings or philosophies from more than one religion" into their "own personal religious or spiritual practices". Mrs. Ross is not alone in making this religion cocktail.

Mrs. Ross stated "I find that one, any one, religion is too –– it's too closed for me", and therefore, she meditates before the symbols of 13. Ross also claims "At the heart of every religion it's the same thing, it's love. So if they're all the same at the root, why would we not honor all of them?" Yes, there is love at the heart of Christianity, but Christianity is also about truth. Karen Armstrong, author and religion scholar, was quoted in the story as saying "It's part of a giant universal human quest for [the story's transcribers wrote or, but I heard her say for] meaning." If we're going to go for meaning, let's go for true meaning. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me." (John 14:6) While some claims this makes Christianity exclusive and arrogant, the fact is in order to have truth, something must be false. So let's spit out this religion cocktail of our own making, and start following the way and the truth. To do anything but means we think men are smarter than God, and that's just not so.

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