1. David Livesay says

    Mmmmmangoes! If only they grew in the temperate zone. I would never need donuts or cookies or candy or any of that other unhealthy junk again!

  2. kate says

    Sorry to threadjack, [and if this is inappropriate, I’ll understand if it gets deleted], but there was an interesting article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald about religious belief among young Australians, which I assume many of you missed, not living in Australia, but which I imagine the readers of this site would find quite interesting nonetheless.

    you can find it here: [it’s the cover story].

    It’s actually called keeping the faith, and the sub-heading talks about how “rumours of the death of religion among young people have been grossly exaggerated”, but in fact, the only evidence for that is some comments from young religious believers saying, ‘yes there are young people who are religious, and i think my particular church is growing/thriving’. Also, the fact that lots of young people will visit sydney to see the Pope come for some youth catholic thing next year.

    Almost all the statistics used in the article actually support the idea that young people are rejecting religion (or at least organised religion) in pretty large numbers.

    This was confirmed by one of the studies they cite, which was done by Australian Catholic University & Monash Uni, on young people and religion, called “the spirit of generation y”.

    One of the findings from that study, which wasn’t quoted in the article, but which is interesting, was the statistic that less than half of young Australians believe in god, a third were unsure, and 20% didn’t believe in god. With regards to specific religions, “The study also identified three main strands of spirituality among Generation Y’s — Christian (44 per cent), humanist (31 per cent) and eclectic (17 per cent). Eclectic spirituality included New Age, esoteric or Eastern beliefs.” [that last quote I found at Monash Uni’s website [just google the spirit of generation y”].

    So the humanists are catching up to the christians in australia’s youth- and Aussie christians are pretty tame compared to the American ones- not nearly as many fundies over here- all the young christians I know personally would be considered pretty liberal by American standards. And while the number of young people who are into vague ‘spirituality’ (included in the esoteric categoriy) is kinda disappointing, I’d much prefer a bunch of people with some vague conception of god and spirituality, who aren’t going to try to mess with how I want to live my life, versus the ‘I won’t be happy until everyone is living by god’s law as laid down in book x’ type from organised religions’.

    And, my favorite bit of the article:

    “In the late 1990s, Macquarie University published a detailed manual on how to spot and fend off high-pressure religious groups on campus. Its aim was to help vulnerable youngsters decide whether they wanted to “belong”.

    Co-ordinating chaplain Geoff Folland says the on-campus pressure has abated in recent years but the manual remains online and the original advice – “make an informed, free choice” – still stands.”

    can you imagine the response if a big american university did that? campus crusades for christ would be spitting chips, and fox would be all over it.

    It makes me pretty happy to be living in Australia, although we are partly responsible for those Answers in Genesis folk.