Religion Support and Education

As it stands, we are the transition stage. We have no structure, there
is no black and white, we live in a clouded time. All questions are being
answered again, because the past is no longer the present. No person knows if
our corrections are correct, but they do know it is what the majority wants.
The question which is rarely looked at, and that will be looked at in this paper,
is the effects which this transition is having on society. This paper is going
to attempt to reveal the results, of the removal of religious education and
support. The literature involved is going to display the direct, and indirect
effects, of not being brought up to believe a certain religion, but to choose
your own, no matter what it is.
The past beliefs on religious support and education are displayed in the
words of Aristotle;
"Moral virtues come from habit... The habits we form from childhood make
no small difference, but rather they make all the difference." 1 Our society has
decided that the habits referred to by Aristotle, do not matter, when involving
religion. Statistics tend to show a different result than what our present
society feels. This paper is dealing with several different valid sources,
which mesh together to make a collective statement. This statement is that the
lack of religious support is one of the main reasons why society and its morals
are decreasing.
World Vision of Canada has published as of November 1993 statistics
dealing with the attendance of church and youth, which states; Canada's church
attendance, in all denominations has decreased by twenty-five percent in adults
and fifteen percent in youth. In Britain Adult attendance is down ten percent
and youth attendance is down nine percent. In France the adult attendance is
down thirteen percent, statistics for youth where not available. Australia's
adult attendance has decreased twenty-seven percent, and the youth attendance
was not available. The most considerable changes have occurred in the United
States were fourty-one percent of the adult attendance has decreased, and
thirty-five percent of the youth attendance has decreased. 2
These statistics display the implications of the removal of religious
education and support, on church attendance. Although this decline in church
attendance is a direct result of the removal of religious support and education.
It is not one of the more revealing consequences.
A poll done by the Angus Reid Group shows that eighty-three percent of
Canadians, find that their greatest joy in life was their family. 3 The
distressing information found was, sixty-three percent of the people who stated
family was their greatest joy, also felt Canadian families are in great distress.
They pointed to the rate of divorce and instability of the family unit;
financial difficulties; lack of values in society; violence and crime; and
unemployment, as their feeling this way. 4 There are over 28 million people in
Canada, and close to seven and one-half million families. However, there is no
longer one typical family in Canada. The face and structure of the family unit
has changed dramatically over the past number of years and the Traditional
Nuclear Family is no longer the predominant family unit. Canada is now made up
of what one writer has called, The Pluralistic Family. The stress being brought
to bear on families and marriages today from all sides is horrendous. 5
It is not an overstatement to say that the survival of any society rests
with the family. We are born into families. We are nurtured, protected and
comforted by families. The design of God is for lifelong, committed marriage
between a husband and wife. His intention is that children be born into the
secure, loving environment of godly homes to be trained in His ways. 6
If the survival of society rests with the family, and the majority of
families are not a typical one but many combinations, there are going to be
direct visible results. One of these results is that the suicide rate of
teenagers between the ages of fifteen to nineteen tripled between nineteen
fifty-four, and nineteen seventy-two. From nineteen seventy-two until nineteen
eighty-six the suicide rose one third. The one theme that runs through the
accounts of suicide written by youth today, is the isolation from family and
friends - from anyone who could serve as an anchor to reality, or simply listen
well. 7
Not only is there a higher percentage, of teenagers taking their lives,
society has also engaged, in an astonishing amount of abortions. The Family
Research Council findings state that between sixty-seven to seventy-two
abortions, are linked to illegitimacy.