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    INDIVIDUALISM

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    Research & Statistics

    A poll sheds light on a paradox of increased religiosity and decreased morality, according to sociologist Robert Bellah. His conclusion: 81 percent of the American people say an individual should arrive at his or her own religious belief independent of any church or synagogue." Thus the key to the paradox is that those who claim to be Christians are arriving at faith on their own terms -- terms that make no demands on behavior. A woman named Sheila, interviewed for Bellah's Habits of the Heart, embodies this attitude: "I believe in God," she said. "I can't remember the last time I went to church. But my faith has carried me a long way. It's 'Sheila-ism.' Just my own little voice."

    Charles Colson, Against the Night, p. 98