Another poll sheds light on this paradox of increased religiosity and decreased
morality. According to sociologist Robert Bellah, 81 percent of the American people also
say they agree that "an individual should arrive at his or her own religious belief
independent of any church or synagogue." Thus the key to the paradox is the fact that
those who claim to be Christians are arriving at faith on their own terms -- terms that
make no demands on behavior. A woman named Sheila, interviewed for Bellah's Habits of the
Heart, embodies this attitude. "I believe in God," she said. "I can't
remember the last time I went to church. But my faith has carried me a long way. It's
'Sheila-ism.' Just my own little voice."
Charles Colson, Against the Night, p. 98.
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