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Patriot Act

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Many young adults don't want their youth pastor or Bible fellowship teacher influencing what they think or preaching to them, so they rebel. Jon Meacham, NEWSWEEK editor and Pulitzer Prize winner, found research that says "the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990" (1). This is due to the rise in more "spiritual" young adults and those who are rebelling from it as well. "My parents would see kids walking down the street who were Boy Scouts three years earlier suddenly looking like hippies, and they were scared," is an example of rebellion and a dislike towards all authority, not just those associated with the church (qtd. in Meacham 5). It goes back to the insecurities and developing of the ego identity from Erickson's theories; young adults aren't secure and haven't figured out their self and those in authority seem to be restricting them from doing this. Some dabble in drugs and alcohol even become dependent on it for their spiritual practices, but laws and authority figures can get in the way of that.

Authorities always seem to cause problems with youth of all ages, for one reason or another. Authority figures may even be the cause of the definitional baggage for the word "religion." Webster's defines religion as "an organized system of beliefs and rituals centering on a supernatural being or beings," and spirituality as "sensitivity or attachment to religious values." Those definitions don't imply any harm or negative connotation to those words yet somehow religion seems constraining but spirituality freeing. Sandra M. Schneiders, professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology in the Graduate Theological Union, has defined spirituality in her work as "the experience of conscious involvement in the project of life-integration through self-transcendence toward the ultimate value one perceives" (166). Personally, "the quest for attaining an optimal relationship between what one truly is and everything that is" flows off the tongue easier and sounds better (Schneiders 166).

Perhaps the negative connotation associated with religion is due to it being man made. God never set into place religions. God wasn't a Christian, and didn't say that you had to be a Christian to receive salvation. In fact, God isn't even concerned with religion. "It is a mistake to think that God is chiefly or even largely concerned with religion. "I hate the sound of your solemn assemblies," the Lord says in Amos. Religion is not about worshipping your God but about doing godly things," (Meacham 6).

Perhaps young adults misunderstood that verse from Amos. True, God is not concerned with religions in the least. However, it does say in Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return



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