The April 13, 2015 issue of Maclean’s magazine features a cover story that is both thought-provoking and brave. Entitled “Jesus Saves!” the article written by Brian Bethune puts forward the theory that religious faith may ultimately prove to be the key to happiness. Since my own feelings on organized religion have undergone a major change in the last few years, I approached the article with a degree of skepticism.

Research by Lisa Miller, Director of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University in New York has shown a direct connection between the presence of religious belief or spiritual values in individuals and the lowered incidence of depression and risky behaviours, particularly in teenagers. While the article goes into detail about the definition of religion and spirituality, the ultimate conclusion is worth considering.

Church attendance and Sunday school were part of regular life for millions of Boomers growing up in the fifties and sixties.
Church attendance and Sunday school were part of regular life for millions of Boomers growing up in the fifties and sixties.

As Boomers growing up in the fifties and sixties, most of us went to church, synagogue, Sunday school or whatever our family’s religious background dictated. I clearly remember our Sunday school being packed with children every week and after I reached a certain age I became a Sunday school teacher. That’s just the way it was. Today, churches are being torn down or converted into condos due to a lack of attendance and I’ve often wondered whether this phenomenon is related in any way to the breakdown in family life, the increasing incidences of bullying, drug abuse and other social problems.

A spiritual life does not have to mean adhering to religious dogma and attending church.
A spiritual life does not have to mean adhering to religious dogma and attending church.

The Maclean’s article clearly addresses the many short-comings and hypocrisies of organized religion and Miller’s research confirms that a spiritual life does not necessarily include regular church attendance or literally adhering to religious dogma. A positive spiritual life can be as simple as meditating or practising positive values in everyday life. There are even atheist churches that support this philosophy.

Being a teenager is never easy but perhaps there’s merit in exposing young people to a value system that helps guide them through the difficult years. This sets the foundation for becoming a strong adult capable of making better lifestyle choices. Many Boomers have chosen to reject formalized religion as adults but we retain the inherent understanding of right and wrong, the value of community and the ability to explore our own minds for strength.

charityHowever we practise it, humanity is better served by each of us having a positive value system to guide us through life. It may involve organized religion but that’s not a requirement. Maybe those atheist churches have the right idea. Whatever path we choose, the work begins at a young age and it’s incumbent upon Boomers and other adults to ensure that young people receive whatever guidance and support they need to become better human beings whether it’s within organized religion, or not. We have the freedom to choose how to make this old world a better place for all of us.


Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Although my mother taught me never to talk politics or religion outside the home, I love this blog. I’ve always enjoyed the parallel expression ‘just because you take your car to a garage doesn’t’ make you a mechanic’. I have met people who regularly attend church but just don’t have good values. For example, our neighbor, who would crawl over broken glass to ensure she didn’t miss attendance at church and considers herself a good Christian. Then one day we were talking about the devastation to New Orleans when it was hit by a hurricane and the loss of so many lives. Her response was “well, maybe that’s God way of getting rid of poor black people”. I was stunned…… how could she attend all those services and be so inhumane. Good values do make good people but good spiritual belief goes beyond this and provides a strength like no other.

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