• A chasm generally refers to a fissure, gap, space, separation, water, abyss, division, difference between two bodies of land. We use it as a simple metaphor for our current experience of similar descriptions of isolation of the secular from the sacred. [25F/W’13]
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  • Beyond the meaning of separation, the word chasm gives the connotation of extreme separation. Like the ever widening split between continental plates on earth that led to oceans separating continents, this process could result in a vast isolation in the future between secular and sacred. [26F/W’13]
  • There are a wide range of reports and data characterizing the chasm or separation between secular and sacred approaches to understanding our lives. Here are some: (i) the excesses of a particular religion moved the founding fathers of No. America to include “separation of church and state” or religion and politics from the initial days of the U.S. [27F/W’13] This has led to an interesting paradox. Religions claim that the U.S. was founded “under God” and is totally religious by definition (their religion, though not the others) while atheists and agnostics promote separation of government entities and any one religion (unless it is Christian). [115Sp’14] (ii) Polls indicate that the fastest growing sector of the American public are those describing themselves as “agnostics” or “atheists.”  [28F/W’13] (iii) In a recent Pew poll, 20% of Americans selected “none;” their preference was no religion. (iv) In that poll, nearly a third of young people selected no religion. Since the young are usually the larger part of the population pyramid, as they age a greater percentage of the population will be isolated from religion as one of the major representatives of the sacred. The chasm will grow.[116Sp’14] (v) Some polls show that there are 20 million Catholics who no longer practice their religion. [117Sp’14]

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