New York Times columnist Ross Douthat laments the substitution of "spiritualities" for orthodox Christianity.
When New York Times columnist Ross Douthat surveys the American cultural landscape, he sees a country whose growing detachment from traditional forms of Christianity hasn’t made its people stronger, happier, wiser, or more moral. Not by a long shot.
Instead, he argues in Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, the migration toward quasi-Christian spiritualities has left millions of Americans adrift in a sea of feel-good beliefs. “A choose-your-own Jesus mentality ... encourages spiritual seekers to screen out discomfiting parts of the New Testament and focus only on whichever Christ they find most congenial,” Douthat writes. “And our religious culture is now dominated by figures who flatter this impulse, in all its myriad forms.”
“Bad Religion” represents Douthat’s sweeping attempt to explain the sea change that has washed over American religious culture since the 1950s and to assess what’s been lost and gained. He delivers a penetrating intellectual history.