Monday, February 25, 2013

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

I just learned that there is a term for the wishy-washy religion of the average American, "moralistic therapeutic deism." The term was coined in 2005 by sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton, who interviewed 3,000 teenagers about their beliefs. According to them the tenants of MTD are:
  1. A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth. 
  2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions. 
  3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself. 
  4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem. 
  5. Good people go to heaven when they die.
I think this is a much better description of what Americans believe than "Christianity."

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