Perché stiamo perdendo Dio?

Risposta: perché stiamo perdendo la famiglia.

Questa la tesi di Mary Eberstadt espressa nel libro HOW THE WEST REALLY LOST GOD.

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Il problema della secolarizzazione è uno dei più intriganti per un sociologo…

… one of the most interesting questions in all the modern world. It is this: How and why has Christianity really come to decline in important parts of the West?…

Nell’ottocento alcuni filosofi sono stati preveggenti…

… erman philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose parable of the madman in the marketplace foretelling the death of God…

Per molti la scienza ha giocato un ruolo decisivo…

… How much did the Enlightenment and rationalism and scientific thinking have to do with this enormous transformation…

Ma forse il declino della famiglia ha pesato ancora di più…

… Its argument, in brief, is that the Western record suggests that family decline is not merely a consequence of religious decline, as conventional thinking has understood that relationship. It also is plausible—and, I will argue, appears to be true—that family decline in turn helps to power religious decline

Il timing di secolarizzazione e declino della famiglia è perfetto…

… consistent with the historical fact that family decline and Christian decline have gone hand in hand…

Il declino della famiglia ha messo in crisi anche il welfare state

… the decline of the family has also put more pressure on those same welfare states that are already stretched beyond their fiscal limits… The fact that sustaining these welfare states has in effect become a Ponzi scheme… older citizens, for example, have less incentive to repay debt

Ma anche qui i nessi di causalità sono un problema: welfare e famiglia sono istituti in competizione che si spiazzano a vicenda e si mettono in crisi a vicenda…

… the incentives to do the hard work of keeping a family together have increasingly elicited the tacit response, why bother? After all—or so it seemed for a while, at least, though we now know otherwise—the pension remains the same. In this way, one can argue, the expanded welfare state competes with the family as the dominant protector of the individual—in the process undercutting the power of the family itself…

Di certo si è messo in moto un circolo vizioso

… In other words, family change has been an engine fueling statism—and statism in turn has been an engine fueling family decline…. the chicken-or-egg question…

Anche il nesso tra religione e famiglia non è a senso unico: anche la famiglia contribuisce a rafforzare la religiosità…

… what the “Family Factor” means to signal is a new idea. It is that the causal relationship between family and religion—specifically, the religion of Christianity—is not just a one-way, but actually a two-way street…

La famiglia è una cinghia di trasmissione della religiosità…

… the process of secularization, I will argue, has not been properly understood because it has neglected to take into account this “Family Factor”—meaning the active effect that participation in the family itself appears to have on religious belief and practice…. family has been an important, indeed irreplaceable, transmission belt for religious belief…

Famiglia e fede sono intrecciate inesorabilmente…

… what this book means to impress is that family and faith are the invisible double helix of society—two spirals that when linked to one another can effectively reproduce, but whose strength and momentum depend on one another. That is one way of stating the thesis here….

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Ma la secolarizzazione esiste veramente? Molti studiosi lo hanno messo in dubbio…

… ccording to some theorists, the notion of decline is itself an illusion… Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart recently put it, “Secularization theory is currently experiencing the most sustained challenge in its long history”—an observation issuing not from critics of the theory, but from two of its leading representatives…

C’è chi nega l’evidenza empirica, o  la interpreta a suo modo…

… contrarians in this debate believe that other scholars and especially secular scholars have misread the empirical evidence

Si predica un “ritorno della religione”…

… since the jihadist attacks of 9 /11 especially, many have remarked upon religion’s unexpected resiliency in the world…

Capostipiti di questa tendenza sociologica…

… these observations are all footnotes to sociologist Peter Berger’s famous observation of 1990 that “the assumption we live in a secularized world is false”…

La lotta al comunismo ha visto in prima fila un Papa: i negazionisti del secolarismo hanno preso la palla al balzo per affermare che la religione è viva, vegeta e incide…

… to many observers, the demise of the Communist governments served as a proxy of sorts for the endurance of God…. Karol Wojtyla, aka Pope John Paul II, became so integral to the struggle against Communism that some historians would later give him great credit for the thing’s ultimate implosion…

Per molti la religione “resiste”…

… Robert Royal has put it, “Three centuries of debunking, skepticism, criticism, revolution, and scorn by some among us have not produced the expected demise of religion and are now contributing to its renewal.”…

E poi c’è la sempre ricorrente “anomalia americana”…

… Peter Berger: pointing in particular to American religiosity which is anomalous by the standards of Western Europe… to all this one might add that on the stage of the world—as opposed to just that of the European Continent—Christianity has lately spread to many more millions. In 1900 there were roughly ten million African Christians… John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge’s

C’è anche l’argomento  della “mitica età dell’oro”: il passato non è tutto rosa e fiori come sembra e nel confronto il presente si rivaluta…

… he West hasn’t really lost God, because the idea of secularization depends in turn on the idea of a prior ‘golden age’ of belief. In fact, though, people were no more believing or pious in the past than they are today. Therefore, there has been no religious decline.”… Chadwick observes, the sharp increase in illegitimate births in Toulouse, France, between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries… Hence, illegitimacy may arguably be used as one possible proxy for the influence of Christian belief on personal practice.…

Precisazioni del genere sembrano efficaci contro una teoria semplicistica della secolarizzazione ma…

… the specific argument against a Christian “golden age” goes only so far toward refuting the agnosticism and secularism of the present. The evidence accumulated by these critics, interesting and at times ingenious, does mitigate the more simpleminded paradigms of secularization; but it does not refute the claim that Christianity has declined measurably in some of its former Western strongholds… Steve Bruce, has sensibly pointed out, “Nothing in the secularization paradigm requires…a ‘golden Age of Faith.’ It merely requires that our ancestors be patently more religious than we are… “Can we really believe,” he asks, “that people whose lives were organized by the calendar of the Church, whose art, music and literature were almost entirely religious, who were taught the basic prayers, who regularly attended church services, and for whom the priest was the most powerful person after their temporal lord, were untouched by religious beliefs and values?.…

Rodney Stark è una figura di spicco nel dibattito…

… nother outstanding sociologist of religion, American Rodney Stark, exuberantly compiles several pages of empirical and historical evidence testifying to what he calls “the nonexistence of an Age of Faith in European history… to primary sources indicating that not only the mass of men and women, but also many of the clergy, were plumb ignorant of the rituals and even basic prayers of the church; and so on…

Ci si concentra sull’affluenza alle messe

… Stark also notes, as have others, that some empirical evidence about churchgoing in fact affirms rather the opposite point: namely, that later centuries of Christians were in fact more pious than previous ones…

Cosa si propone al posto della teoria della secolarizzazione? La teoria della “scelta razionale”…

… Roger Finke discuss a new paradigm to counter the secularization thesis: rational choice theory… That theory has in turn given rise to a great debate continuing into the present over the reasons why people might rationally choose religious belief.…..

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Ma sul peso della religione nella società in passato non sembrano esserci molti dubbi…

… Eamon Duffy’s The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England 1400–1580.23 This heavily documented study advances an account of the English Reformation that is profoundly subversive of received wisdom. Duffy argues that contrary to the widely accepted story line—according to which the Reformation breathed new life into what had become a decaying and discredited Catholic Church that had lost the support of the common people—the weight of evidence proves something very different: that “late medieval Catholicism exerted an enormously strong, diverse, and vigorous hold over the imagination and the loyalty of the people…

Lo stesso dicasi sulla perdita di terreno delle religioni oggi…

… one simple way of measuring religious loyalty: attendance… Raphaël Franck and Laurence R. Iannaccone: “the ISSP data unequivocally show that church attendance decreased in the West during the twentieth century” … the welfare state itself caused the decline in religiosity—…

Gli USA sono un’eccezione nella velocità del fenomeno ma non nel segno…

… Nor is the United States, for all its vaunted religiosity relative to Western Europe, exempt from the slide in attendance. Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell write in their important 2010 study of religion, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, “independent streams of evidence suggest that Americans have become somewhat less observant religiously over the last half century….

La stessa tendenza lassista nella dottrina segna una crisi…

… he matter of attendance is also obviously connected to another point demonstrating decline: observance of church rules…. As is often pointed out, the church is nothing if not a collection of sinners. But are they sinners who fall short of the rules that they believe in—or people who don’t believe they are bound by those same rules at all?…

Le indagini sull’ Inghilterra sono state molto precise e inequivocabili…

… In his influential book called The Death of Christian Britain: Understanding Secularization 1800–2000, for example, British historian Callum G. Brown assembles a formidable barrage of statistical information to make just this point about the decline of Christianity there, ranging from the decline in church marriages and baptisms to changing attitudes toward all aspects of sexual behavior… if “secularization” is not the name for the replacement of a Christian ethos with an ethos that explicitly rejects Christian thinking, then what do we call that phenomenon?…

Di fronte alla mole di dati i “negazionisti” della secolarizzazione correggono le loro tesi…

… ” The West hasn’t really lost God, because human nature itself does not change; it remains theotropic, or leaning toward the transcendent, and it always will.”… Somewhat ironically perhaps, these key points made by Greeley and other thinkers who stress the theotropic nature of human beings have lately acquired increasing force from a quite opposite quarter fascinated by this same durability of religion: i.e., nonbelieving evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists… “The universal propensity toward religious beliefs,” echoes evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker, “is a genuine scientific puzzle.”… some sort of “God gene”

Ma il fatto che l’uomo sia naturalmente attratto da Dio e che quindi le società torneranno inevitabilmente a Dio non spiega la fase attuale

… Another, related problem with settling for the notion that “human beings are born theotropic, and therefore will turn to God eventually,” is this: if that is so, then certain societies in the world today that are notably nontheotropic loom as large question marks over the theory….

Lo stesso Papa parla di de-cristianizzazione dell’Europa…

… One final fact that points to secularization as a real phenomenon is that the leaders of Christian denominations themselves—from the Continent on across to the New World—see the diminishment of their flocks as an enormous problem. Both Pope benedict… Benedict has further spoken openly of the “de-Christianization of Europe…

Dire che la teoria della secolarizzazione ha dei problemi non significa negarla.

Sarebbe più sobrio adottare allora una via di mezzo

… As contrarian theorists rightly point out, modernity is not causing religion always and everywhere to collapse—but that is different from addressing the question of whether Christianity specifically has collapsed in parts of the West, and if so, why…

Un’ altra tesi vorrebbe che le religioni più rigorose siano più resistenti, in questo senso la diga cattolica tiene…

… “Secularization theory is mistaken, because what people call ‘secularization’ is really the death of Protestant Christianity; the Catholic Church isn’t in the same straits.”… Pentecostalism or evangelicalism, both of which are on the rise outside the West and retain healthy numbers of adherents within it… Dean M. Kelly, an American legal scholar and defender of religious freedom who was also an executive with the National Council of Churches. His influential book called Why Conservative Churches Are Growing remains the template for understanding which churches are prospering… Laurence R. Iannaccone, who deployed rational choice theory to demonstrate “Why Strict Churches Are Strong…

Sembra in via di estinzione la religione di massa ma non la religione rigorosa…

… Joseph Bottum has observed in an seminal essay summarizing the American Protestant religious scene: The death of the Mainline is the central historical fact of our time…

Ma per molti, anche in ambito cattolico, l’adesione è poco più che formale

… In Italy, among other countries, for example, most people when asked in surveys will identify themselves as Catholics. But how many are Catholic in anything but name only?… Attendance numbers suggest that a great many Italians (among other Catholics) either do not believe that threat, or fail to act on it if they do believe it… “They clearly go to church less, believe in God less, pray less, trust the Church less, identify themselves as Catholic less, and say that being Italian does not mean being Catholic….

Si tratta di una tendenza che investe di tutta la Chiesa Cattolica.

Un altro indicatore è la fertilità: il crollo coinvolge anche i paesi cattolici. La diga tiene ben poco…

… one final reason to believe that the decline of Christianity involves the decline of Catholicism and not just Protestantism, is this: fertility rates

Anche qui possiamo dire: i protestanti hanno inaugurato una tendenza che sembra comunque coinvolgere anche i cattolici.

Altra tesi anti-secolarizzazione: non stiamo perdendo Dio ma lo stiamo moltiplicando e diversificando…

… “Secularization theory is mistaken, because the world is not really growing less religious; it is diversifying spiritually instead.”… It is an idea closely associated with professor of philosophy Charles Taylor, whose previously mentioned opus A Secular Age…

Si sostiene che la politica sia una specie di religione, quindi…

… there is also the wider fact that politics more generally operates for some people as a secular religion—especially politics dictated by a worldview professing to cover all aspects of life, such as Marxism…. Grace Davie, who has coined the phrase “believing without belonging… churches continue to perform vital public functions, even as their numbers shrink; that Europeans, including in Scandinavia, pay taxes to keep their churches going…

Ma uguagliare religiosità e generico spiritualismo è problematico

… Eric Kaufmann points out in his fascinating 2011 book, Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century, there are problems with equating spiritual diversity with traditional religion….People drawn to what are now considered to be “alternative” forms of spirituality are “inspired by earthly desires for health, meaning and wellbeing rather than a connection to the supernatural…. problems with using New Age beliefs as evidence of religious revival…

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I critici della secolarizzazione non convincono ma segnalano che l’ortodossia non è soddisfacente e andrebbe adeguata…

… he critics of secularization theory have drawn attention to the same problem at the heart of this book—the felt need for a “theory of variation,” as Stark has put it. What has gone missing, again, is a persuasive explanation of why Christianity has thrived in some places and times and not others…

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Ma a che serve la religione?

Per Marx era un oppio.

Per Freud

… “religion derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires… Christianity is rooted in fear and superstition. Its purpose is to serve as a giant pacifier against the hunger pains of mortality

Per Dawkins e i suoi amici…

… In sum, for the new atheists—as for others standing outside the tent of belief, and wondering how it ever got put there—the most common answer to the question of “why religion?” seems to be that there is something about that tent that is comforting to those inside it. It is something that people have somehow devised to make themselves feel better… ..new atheists prefer to designate themselves as “Brights”—a word plainly implying that believers are by contrast either “Dims” or “Dulls

Ma se non abbiamo una teoria sulle funzioni della religione come possiamo avere una teoria sul declino della religione?

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Per molti a spiazzare la religione è stata la ragione e l’illuminismo

… the late Christopher Hitchens, for example, closes his 2007 manifesto God Is Not Great: How Religion Spoils Everything, with a chapter calling for “The Need for a New Enlightenment… Charles Alan Kors argues that the changes ushered in by Enlightenment science ultimately transformed not only science, but the entire theological world as well…

Ma Hugh McLeod individua almeno tre problemi in questo approccio. Primo…

… he observes, the masses were not part of the Enlightenment…

Secondo…

… eighteenth-century elites were actually more likely to be rational Christians than they were atheists or freethinkers….

Terzo…

… he notes, “those who seek to trace a continuous line from Voltaire to twenty-first-century atheists also tend to overlook the fact that the first half of the nineteenth century saw a revival of more conservative forms of Christianity both among intellectuals and among the aristocracy and bourgeoisie more widely…

Ma possiamo andare oltre: in molti casi la religione è stata più diffusa nella classe più istruita, anche questo collide con la competizione religione/razionalità…

… if the theory from enlightenment were true, we would also expect from the theory that the better-off people are, the less likely they are to practice religion… but… Christian religiosity, in at least some significant places and times, has in fact been more concentrated in the upper classes than in the lower, and more likely among the educated than among those who are less so….

Altri autori che respingono la tesi…

… Robert D. Putnam’s and David E. Campbell’s American Grace, mentioned earlier, similarly refutes the notion that religiosity in the United States is a lower-class thing… Charles Murray Coming Apart: …. The upper 20 percent of the American population, he summarizes using data from the General Social Survey, are considerably more likely than the lower 30 percent to believe in God and to go to church… Wilcox has documented the “faith gap” between the better-educated and the people who are less so… Americans with college degrees are more likely than those with high school diplomas alone to attend church on Sunday.

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Altri hanno sostenuto che le guerre mondiali hanno dato un colpo all’idea di Dio…

… he horrors of the Holocaust alone, the deliberate murder of six million Jews, including by people who also called themselves Christians, would seem to more than justify despair about the incorrigible darkness of the human heart…

Un’indagine sui soldati

… an an intriguing essay alluded to earlier, for example, reviewing the role of religion during that war in the British, American, and Canadian armies, historian Michael Snape concludes that the soldiers of all three nations “were exposed to an institutional process of rechristianisation during the Second World War…

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Altri danno la colpa al progresso materiale e alla ricchezza.

Questa ipotesi sembrerebbe caldeggiata anche dalle gerarchie ecclesiastiche

… it is also a thought that pops up frequently in the pastoral literature created by contemporary religious leaders… Arthur Simon, evangelical pastor and founder of the charity Bread for the World, is also author of a book called How Much Is Enough? Hungering for God in an Affluent Culture… Pope Benedict XVI has vigorously and repeatedly condemned what he calls the “idol” of consumerism…

Chi è nel bisogno, in effetti, sembrerebbe più propenso a credere…

… Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart. They have explored in fine detail the connections between privation and religious belief. According to their model, the poorer and less secure people are, the more they “need” religion…

Ma molti dati non quadrano…

… one would expect religiosity to decline as one climbs the social ladder in the advanced West—and instead, as we have seen, the opposite appears to be the case,… Christianity has coexisted comfortably, even exuberantly, in materially comfortable surroundings … from ancient Rome to Renaissance Florence to the gated communities and megachurches of the United States today… there are too many exceptions to be explained…

E gli USA?…

… Why is the United States of America, by any measure, more religious than the economically comparable nations of Europe—a problem known in the specialized literature as “American exceptionalism”? Why are women more religiously observant than men? Why is 1960 such a pivotal year for religious observance and practice, as nearly all observers agree; what is it that makes Christianity seem to go off a cliff after that point? Current theories of Christianity’s decline cannot answer these questions—meaning that the truths of each going version of the theory are partial, and not complete….

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Le difficoltà a tracciare una teoria credibile della secolarizzazione è alla base di molte frustrazioni…

… the constantly expressed frustration on the part of nonbelievers and anti-believers at Christianity’s apparently unfathomable persistence in the modern world…. Sam Harris seems similarly to believe that most other people are inferior to atheists in understanding… Michel Onfray, for example, seems to blame the plodding majority of humanity for just not getting it… the new atheists are markedly inferior to the great thinkers of modernity, whose understanding of the impulse toward religiosity was immeasurably more nuanced and empathetic… Emile Durkheim, to make a long story ridiculously short, believed that religion contained deep truths… Sigmund Freud, for his part, argued similarly in Civilization and Its Discontents that society requires sacrifice on the part of individuals and repression as the price for civilization.44 Thus, though he was also a signatory of sorts to what has been dubbed the “comfort theory” of the origins of religion… Max Weber… believed in the original variant of the “Protestantism” explanation for secularization visited earlier…

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Famiglia e fede vanno a braccetto. Ma cosa viene prima?

Perché chi è sposato con figli ha molte più probabilità di frequentare la Messa? Vediamo tre ragioni…

… Bradford Wilcox. He has suggested three reasons for why churchgoing is so tightly bound to being married with children: because they find other couples like them… ecause children “drive parents to church” in the sense of encouraging them to transmit a moral/religious compass… and because men are much more likely than women to fall away from church on their own…

Anche fertilità e fede sono legate: le persone religiose fanno più figli. La fertilità USA è più alta di quella europea. E il divieto di utilizzare gli anticoncezionali spiega poco…

… if the prohibition against birth control is supposed to be the exclusive reason or even the main reason why religious people have larger families, then we can make no sense of this fact: evangelical Christians, most of whom do not similarly have theological injunctions against birth control as such, have a higher fertility rate than do secular people…. Orthodox Jews in America, as well as in Israel, have far more children than secular Jews—even though orthodox Judaism also allows contraception within marriage for certain, quite broad purpose…

Forse il nesso non va dalla religione alla famiglia (e alla fertilità) ma in senso inverso…

… if secularization theory and the conventional way of understanding faith’s relationship to family were correct, then we would not expect to see religious people continuing to have larger numbers of children than do nonreligious people, even when their religion allows them the option of contraception….

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Declino della famiglia e declino della religione sembrano fortemente connessi.

Un fatto…

… Over time, many people stopped having babies AND they stopped getting married AND they stopped going to church…

Una teoria…

… in his classic book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Robert D. Putnam examines minutely the decline in American “social capital,” or the weakening of various bonds of association during the past few decades in particular.16 He identifies several independent forces contributing to that decline, among them individualism, commuting, and the change in women’s roles…

Una catena causale: urbanizzazione, meno figli, meno religiosità

… the one thing that all scholars will attest is that as a general demographic rule, urbanization leads to falling birthrates… The conclusion, therefore, is that urbanization has been responsible for fertility decline in the developed countries.… people did not stop believing in God just because they moved to cities. The missing piece would appear to be that moving to cities made them less likely to have and live in strong natural families…

Anche la geografia della secolarizzazione conferma il nesso…

… ff the Family Factor were part of the explanation for secularization, we would expect the most irreligious parts of the West to have the smallest/weakest/fewest natural families—and vice versa. This too we see… Phillip Longman published a much-discussed book called The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity And What To Do About… In 2011, as mentioned earlier, Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? by Eric Kaufmann argued persuasively and at length that the demographics of the secular West would be overtaken in the long run by those of religious fundamentalists… Conversely, if family decline was in fact helping to cause religious decline, we would also expect to see, for example, family boomlets accompanied by religious boomlets. This we also see… What happened was a religious boomlet—in conjunction with a much better known demographic phenomenon, the baby boom. Thus, for example, Callum G. Brown gives the following years as dates of postwar Christian revival…

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Il fattore famiglia spiega l’ “anomalia americana”…

… introducing the Family Factor, we can shed new light on the largest problem that has bedeviled the theory all along: i.e., the difference in religiosity between two of the most advanced areas on earth, Western Europe on one hand and the United States on the other…

In America la famiglia tradizionale è più diffusa ancora oggi…

… here are more families following the traditional model in America, even today, than in Europe. There are more marriages in the United States, even today, and more children per woman—both of which seem reasonable proxies for the relative strength of the natural family…. Murray summarizes, “American marriages were different from European ones (or so both Americans and foreign observers seemed to agree) in the solemnity of the marital bond…

Il fattore famiglia spiega anche il gender gap religioso

… from yesteryear’s caricature of the “Church Lady” on the television series Saturday Night Live to the realities of running bingo games, school fund-raisers, and soup kitchens out of church basements, the stereotype holds true: it is women, and not men, who are the everyday backbone of the Christian churches… Putnam. “Women believe more fervently in God. They aver that religion is more important in their daily lives, they pray more often, they read scripture more often and interpret it more literally, they talk about religion more often—in short, by virtually every measure they are more religious… it is less than persuasive to argue, for example, that women are more prone to belief because they are mentally inferior

L’avversione al rischio è più marcato nelle donne che sono quindi più propense verso la polizza religiosa

… Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, whose book cited earlier, Sacred and Secular, is a meticulous attempt to revise the secularization thesis to take account of what they call “existential security.” According to their model, the poorer and less secure people are, the more they “need” religion… Raphaël Franck and Laurence R. Iannaccone, cited earlier, maintain that the Western welfare state has eroded religiosity “because churches offered welfare services which were not provided by the State.”14 More welfare, as their data show, means less God. Insofar as the welfare state usurps the family’s historical tasks of seeing to the well-being of its members, their explanation of how the West lost God is consistent with this theory….

Da sempre il 1960 è stato un anno chiave per la secolarizzazione. Il fattore famiglia spiega perché. La rivoluzione sessuale è stata anche una rivoluzione religiosa…

… George Gilder argued that the sexual revolution was driving men away from women and families… In another prescient book published in 1999 called The Decline of Males, secular sociologist Lionel Tiger argued similarly that in giving women complete control over reproduction, the Pill essentially rendered men obsolete.23 The result, he observed, was that men existed in an ever-more attenuated relationship to women… Sociologist Robert Wuthnow of Princeton has laid out the connection between the Pill and the decline in traditional religiosity in his 1998 book After Heaven: Spirituality in America Since the 1950s…

Il periodo tra la Cresima e la genitorialità è il più insidioso per la fede. Questo tempo è raddoppiato…

… the time between confirmation and parenthood has always been one in which young people could drop out of established religion and turn their attention to other things, the doubling of this period was of enormous religious significance… More Pill equals less time in a family. More time in a family equals more time in church. Therefore more Pill equals less God

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La Chiesa si sente sotto assedio e fa concessioni. Queste concessioni potrebbero aver minato ulteriormente i legami familiari.

In parte è così ma il nesso principale va nel senso opposto: è il declino della famiglia a minare la spiritualità…

… In research published in 2005 in Christian Century, three sociologists (Andrew Greeley, Michael Hout, and Melissa Wilde) argued that “simple demographics” between 1900 and 1975 explained around three-quarters of the decline in mainline churches (Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist…

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Ma perché la religione cristiana dipende tanto dalla famiglia?

Primo

… the experience of the natural family itself drives some people to religion….

Pensate al miracolo della nascita di un bimbo…

…Just consider what the experience of childbirth itself does to almost every mother and father… This fact of epiphany hardly means that pregnancy and birth ipso facto convert participants into religious zealots. But the sequence of events culminating in birth is nearly universally interpreted as a moment of communion with something larger than oneself,… That most primal of human connections echoes throughout the masterpieces of human history. It is why King Lear is nearly universally recognized as Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, whereas, say, Romeo and Juliet for all its pathos is not—because the predeceasing by Lear of his daughter Cordelia is the perfect symbol of the worst tragedy life… Michelangelo’s Pietà (whose primary focus, suggestively enough, is Mary, not Jesus)… What is it about the predeceasing of parents by children that has so captured the imaginations of the West’s (though not only the West’s) greatest artists across millennia and languages and cultures? The answer can only be that this theme resonates most deeply with the human heart…

Molto spesso sono i bimbi che “portano” i genitori a Messa.

La stessa storia cristiana si legge con le lenti della famiglia…

… The Christian story itself is a story told through the prism of the family. Take away the prism, and the story makes less sense… like it or not, the Judeo-Christian tradition has anthropomorphized the Deity in one particular way: by analogy to a wise, protective, loving, ever-present male parent…

Chi non sa cos’è una famiglia non capisce nemmeno bene cosa sia la religione…

family illiteracy breeds religious illiteracy…

Altro motivo: la fede si trasmette perché ci fidiamo di chi ci amato

… People do not like to be told they are wrong, or that those whom they love have done wrong… In an age where nontraditional and antitraditional families and even nonfamilies abound, there are more and more people who are bound to take offense at certain teachings in the Judeo-Christian heritage. It is in this way that broken and frayed homes not only interrupt the transmission of the Christian message: in some cases, they provide the emotional material for a whole new barrier wall to Christian belief… What we might call (to riff on Peter Berger) the furious irreligiosity of today’s anti-Christian sentiment is a deep mystery, and one that should be meditated upon at length…

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Il futuro della religione?…

… Fewer people are getting married…  Fewer people are having children… Fewer people who are having children are sustaining intact two-parent homes for them to grow up in…

Ma le calamità possono essere foriere di riscatto…

… Calamities,” Sorokin observed, “generate two opposite movements in different sections of the population. One is a trend toward unreligiousness and demoralization; the other is a trend toward extreme religious, spiritual, and moral exaltation.”1 Reviewing large chunks of religious and other history, including some from beyond the West and Christianity alone, Sorokin believed that he spied a general rule: that “the principal steps in the progress of mankind toward a spiritual religion and a noble code of ethics have been taken primarily under the impact of great catastrophes

Le crisi fiscali e di bilancio dei paesi avanzati potrebbero rilanciare inaspettatamente la famiglia…

… The incontinent spending of many European governments, which awarded whole populations unearned benefits at the expense of generations to come, has…produced a crisis not merely economic but social, political, and even civilizational.”…

Pensiamo allo sconquasso familiare del sistema pensionistico. Forse, uno sconquasso nel sistema pensionistico rilancerà la famiglia…

Consider Social Security. The young have always contributed to the support of the old. Earlier, the young helped their own parents out of a sense of love and duty. They now contribute to the support of someone else’s parents out of compulsion and fear. The voluntary transfers strengthened the bonds of the family; the compulsory transfers weaken those bonds.”…

Il bene del cristianesimo dovrebbe interessare anche i non-credenti. Il cristianesimo, infatti, è ancora nelle nostre società una forza benefica…

… Believers give more to charity. Believers live longer and are healthier. Believers are more likely to be happy. Believers are less likely to commit crime. Believers contribute to “social capital.”…

Per questo motivo merita un incoraggiamento anche la famiglia naturale

Ma i detrattori della famiglia sono molti: da Platone a Marx

… family is the enemy of society, progress, or the state—or all of the above. Da platone a marx… altri detrattori… Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Philip Roth, J. D. Salinger, and more…

Si arriva fino al femminismo contemporaneo

… The women…who grow up wanting to be ‘just a housewife’ are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own deaths in the concentration camps,” as Betty Friedan rather infamously put it in The Feminine Mystique

Ma quando uno guarda ai fatti le cose non stanno in altri termini…

… the family is the partner of society, progress, or the state—or all of the above…

Quasi tutte le patologie sociali discendono dal malfunzionamento della famiglia. James Q. Wilson

… Children in one-parent families, compared to those in two-parent ones, are twice as likely to drop out of school. Boys in one-parent families are much more likely than those in two-parent ones to be both out of school and out of work. Girls in one-parent families are twice as likely as those in two-parent ones to have an out-of-wedlock birth Children in one-parent families are much worse off than those in two-parent families even when both families have the same earnings children of an unmarried woman were much more likely than those in a two-parent family to become a delinquent, even after controlling for income…

Niente incide sulle questioni sociali come il fattore familiare e niente è più trascurato dalla politica che la famiglia…

… to quote Charles Murray once more, “I know of no other set of important findings that are as broadly accepted by social scientists who follow the technical literature, liberal as well as conservative, and yet are so resolutely ignored by network news programs, editorial writers for the major newspapers, and politicians of both major political partie… First, the family—if it is competent—reduces the need for state intervention… Second, the family—again if it is competent—acts as the original safety net, lowering the risks to its members of adverse outcomes and raising the likelihood that its members will contribute to society in turn…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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