OK, so I didn’t want to make the title of this post too long, so I kept it to “religion.” It should be Christian/Catholic religion in the US, whose changes have also been mimicked in several other countries.
What has happened in the last 50 years? A commenter called Ann Olivier in a thread over at TAC perfectly captured it. (November 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm – The Ruin Of Catholic Schools by Rod Dreher)
Ann Olivier writes: I was in Catholic schools in the 30′s and 40′s. At that time as compared with now, the schools were very good in math, excellent in English and history, and not nearly as good in science. That was partly due to the sort of education that the nuns (women, of course) had received.
In the 60′s and 70′s (judging from what I know of the experiences of my friend’s kids and from some part-time volunteering in a Catholic grammar school) it became apparent that the Catholic schools were changing.
First, the nuns started to leave in the 60′s and were often replaced by less good teachers simply because the Catholic schools could not compete financially with the public schools. Also, religious instruction started to change — there was very little rote learning which led to forgetting some of what they had learned, and there was less emphasis on the facts of the faith.
Most important, the emphasis started to be on very general ethical principles like “Love everybody” which doesn’t provide much help for times when you honestly don’t know what ought to be done or not. And talk of sin and guilt became less common. In other words, it was the beginning of the age of happy-clappy religion.
Happy-clappy, loved it. It is the perfect term that clinches this new brand of religion that we have today.