There’s an interesting study out today that indicates that American women are leaving “religion.” But when you dig even a tiny bit, it turns out that the study is actually about American women leaving Christianity, not “religion”. Which, you know, is not the “only” religion. I am just saying.
The study shows that women, who have been the mainstay of most Christian churches in America, are now less likely to, you know, show up, keep the church going, read the Bible, etc.
When I was growing up Catholic in America, my mom and the other women of the “Ladies’ Sodality” (I swear that I am not making this up) were the ones who showed up day after day to change the flowers on the altar, launder the priests’ robes, pray at morning Mass, “man” the booths at the St. Anthony’s Day fund raiser, teach the CCD classes, hand out old clothes to the poor, pray the rosary, etc. Yeah, there were a few old guys from the Knights of Columbus Society who did some stuff, but Monseigneur ran the parish and the women did his bidding to make it work.
Now, it turns out: Not So Much.
Sadly, the study doesn’t provide much in the way of understanding why this is so.
And, so, of course, I can ascribe the decline to a generation of Christian dogma based upon the premise that women should not be able to control their own bodies. I can stand up and cheer: Hail the End of Patriarchy!
But that’s just my prejudices giving support to my best guesses. Because the study doesn’t go deep enough.
Are American women just too busy working three part-time jobs to make ends meet? Are American women fed up with hearing about how abortion is bad, but never hearing about the sins of the Plutocrats? Are American women too busy haunting the malls for bargains or watching Dancing with the Stars? Are American women leaving Christian churches for Wiccan Circles or New Age study groups?
The study doesn’t answer these questions. All that I can say is: “Come Over to the Dark Side. We Have Cookies.”
Picture found here.