The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 07, 1979, Image 9

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THE BATTALION WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 1979 Page 9 he big four get competition e Man, isememj 11 °ffcam| Jleligion fills spiritual and social needs in B-CS | By COLIN CROMBIE " Special to the Battalion ^ ava Forty-two percent of American orr lults went to church in a typical luftl during the bicentennial in 76, RHA ' rdinu to the latest obtainable olluD poll of church attendance. 111 S 1 Nationally in 1972 more than 62 1 0 °2, Icent were church members but ’ illbe May about 36 P ercent of the -yan-t 'ollege Station population NON e church members. Sixty-eight of the 94 Bryan- jlege Station churches and reli- "'^~ r oups were contacted in a re- •m. mf jus groups were ... .. nt survey of church membership, ill meetl e ther with an estimated 100- ember average for each small ISC B that cou,d n0t be contacted ’ m, „X show a combined membership s," 11 about 36,000 for the 100,000 ' yanfCollege Station population at 7:3 0|icluding Texas A&M University). 502, R As inembership can be higher Begular attendance the differ- (M 11 nice between local and national av- les ^ ( age!weekly attendance may be Tow, eater than the 14 percent between Move figures. p 1In the other pew is the possibility Bby the Rev. Bob E. Waters of 7:30] JhA A &M United Methodist )rma!i hurch. He suggests that because of ; e area’s transient population many Rollie churchgoers may not be mem- ;rs. 1 t l ,e s And also, out taking their sab- ith, may be the local “un art wariurched.” s sentbt|H0nanist Edward L. Ericson, in -riddenliflosten’s “Religious America,” , MSC lites “The ‘unchurched’ are those Hs of Americans ... who de- ine to join a church out of convic- m,|not those who are “merely in- fferent or inactive. ” be "For the unchurched,” Ericson mtinues, “religion is a personal s are avfl wnsectarian matter rather than i9 -] question of church affiliation or ; is curreB ritual - “One might say that humanity is „ Mlffl'eligion and the great, wide world is their temple.” However, no local organization or spokesman for the unchurched could be found. For local churchgoers there are more than 25 denominations to choose from among the 94 religious groups. Most of them represent some form of mainstream Chris tianity, such as Catholic, Presbyte rian, Baptist and Methodist faiths. Other denominations include the Baha i Faith, Seventh Day Adven tists, Jehova’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Thirty to 40 clergymen meet once a month as the Bryan-College Sta tion Pastor’s Association. The as sociation represents about a dozen mainstream denominations, and is open to any local qualified cleric. “The association is dominantly Christian,’’ says Waters, president of the association, “but we would not be unhappy with the presence of others.” But the local denominations are only parts of the whole that is reli gion. Religion can be broader in its scope. Be he member, attendant, un churched or indifferent, religion in American society affects almost everyone at some time in his life, besides fulfilling certain social and psychological needs. Religion, says Dr. Jon Alston, a Texas A&M sociology professor who has specialized in religion, offers a sense of community and answers the ultimate questions — questions in cluding those about the meaning of life, evil and unfairness, immortality and “why I am here.” “It gives a general purpose in life,” he says. As society progresses and be comes more complicated, Alston explains, an evolutionary process of religion brings a change from pantheism to the concept of a su preme being. Eventually, the idea is that modern societies would not need religion. In 1970, a Gallup poll showed 75 percent of American adults to think religion as a whole was losing its in fluence on American life. Their main reason was that “people are was losing its influence whereas 69 percent said its influence was in creasing. However, by 1975 the censer ap peared to be swinging back, as 31 percent said religion was increasing its influence. Also, a Gallup poll in 1971 showed that Canada and the United i 11! 1!! 11'.'!!!!'! IIH i!’ i|i|! J 1 ill!! |!! I lll'M HU II'I/I Mil/I |!!!! fl \iy. A Dominant Cult’s Sacrifice ^2x/g Cfrnj 11(! MlllUiMilUlillU n 111 ' ,,,,ni11 changing — religion isn’t important any more.” Fourteen percent said religion was increasing its influence. Thirteen years before, in 1957, the figures were almost opposite. Fourteen percent then said religion States topped a list comparing chur chgoing in seven countries. The closest was Holland and Greece, Australia, England and Uruguay trailed the leaders. Waters takes a more theological view of religion, stressing that his is S: Fred I ineeringl ration ma ealth center fee increase o be considered by senate be a Ci “ower. er Tow r 'K By DILLARD STONE rf-yearB Battalion Staff ir T Several bills are expected to be :30 p itBted on at tonight’s meeting of the Texas A&M University student se- eak on ip"frile several others have been RoomJ^B or tabled in committee. In addition to the regular reports on HI officers > senators will also hear report by Jeb Hensarling, presi- entofthe American Student Fed- rt l:30p|ation, on that organization’s AIA\vO ess ; One bill to be considered calls for implementation of a compulsory :al service fee to supplement lurrent $15 compulsory group ital fee used to finance the Be- Bfealth Center that all students If P^yne Morrison, vice president rfinance, said the bill was to be jnsidered in that form because J|b center fees must be raised to intain the level of health services. A&M currently charges the lum $15 for group health in- ®ce, hut state law allows in- utions to charge additional med- [ ^jervice fees. Be medical service fee, charged JP students, would be the most J|able way of generating Btional funds for the health cen- l r > Morrison said. ■Pother bill recommends that the ■'ersity not increase the penalty ^>n-campus parking tickets. In- Jo. the bill recommends a Jiated penalty, with the first two costing $5, and third and lessive violations costing $10. tc senate will also consider bills ake recommendations to the Eddie Dominguez '66 , Joe Arciniega ’74 state Legislature for the inclusion of graduate students in the teacher re tirement system, for the establish ment of a Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Program, and against abolition of the Permanent University Fund. Killed in committee were bills to change the honors system to a percentage of each class in each col lege, and one that would have made programming fees in programmed dormitories optional. THE BATT DOES IT DAILY "Monday through Friday “one man’s perspective,” and not representative of his Methodist de nomination. “The function of religion,” he says, “Is to tell man of his insepara ble, inalienable relationship to whatever name you call God. It is not merely to save the self, but to save the community.” More specifically, Waters says “the church is a symbol of the com monalities we all have. It tells us that the final form of humanity is in community. “We go there for nurture, for es sence.” And for Waters, religion does more than fulfill man’s needs — it is a basic human need. “All humanity is in one room, in essence, and religion is the founda tion on which it all stands.” Pastor Hugh Beck of the Uluthe- ran Chapel says religion is a way to perceive the whole of reality and how everything interweaves to make the whole. He also takes a theological stand when religion is specified as Chris tianity. “The interweaving,” Beck says, “Finds its center in Christ. A person in knowing Christ can understand it better. “The mystery of Christ is God’s way of allowing man to focus, to cen ter on the whole of reality.” The whole of religion, however, goes beyond Christianity and all of its denominations and sects. Nor does the remainder just comprise the other world religions such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. There are also the cults. But what is a cult? A cult is a group of people with a strong, charismatic and authorita rian leader. The leader is necessary for a cult to arise. His followers may be lonely or depressed when per suaded to join. We should not let the Jonestown, Guyana massacre make us think all are “of borderline intelligence, mis fits, castoffs or problem-stricken minorities,” points out David Lee of the Houston Chronicle. And, according to Time, only one third are “psychologically distres sed” when they join. The cult does not need to live with the leader, but often it is iso lated from regular society, thus causing the members to be out of touch with reality and have a narrow viewpoint. The cult offers a sense of fellow ship and community. But it requires total commitment to a very strict discipline, although it provides psychological and intellectual secu rity. “You are given all the answers,” says Alston. In America, Newsweek estimates that 3 million “espouse the teach ings of 3,000 religious and non religious cults.” And furthermore, the theological definition of a cult varies: whether it is outside of mainstream Chris tianity or outside of the major world religions. And by either definition there could be some cults in Bryan- College Station. r ALTERATIONS 1 IN THE GRAINS iRADITION OF OLD TEXAS WHERE MOTHER TAUGHT DAUGHTER THE FINE ART OF SEWING — SO HELEN MARIE TAUGHT EDITH MARIE THE SECRETS OF SEWING AND 'LTERATIONS. “DON'T G/VE UP — WE’LL \\ MAKE IT FIT!” X - AT WELCH'S CLEANERS, WE NOT ONLY SERVE AS AN EXCEL LENT DRY CLEANERS BUT WE SPECIALIZE IN ALTERING HARD TO FIT EVENING DRESSES, .TAPERED, SHIRTS, JEAN HEMS, WATCH POCKETS. ETC (WE RE JUST A FEW BLOCKS NORTH OF FED MART.) WELCH’S CLEANERS 3819 E. 29th (TOWN & COUNTRY SHOPPING CENTER) LEVI’S BASIC DENIMS & CORDUROYS $J450 TOP DRAWER 1705 TEXAS AVE. S./CULPEPPER PLAZA 3733 E. 29TH ST./TOWN & COUNTRY CENTER OF V BOOKSTORE PROFITS WORKSHOP Wednesday, March 21, 1979 3:30 & 5:15 p.m. Room 212 Memorial Student Center All student organizations planning to request funding from Bookstore Profits for the 1979-80 academic year must plan to send a representative to one of these work shops. This representative should be the individual who will make the actual re quest. Please plan to attend this important workshop; several new procedures for this year’s requests will be explained. The deadline for all requests is 4 p.m. March 30, 1979. No request will be accepted after this date. Entire Stock of WARM UPS y 2 price ^BROOKS r Special group 12 88 Long Sleeve T-Shirts 2" Long Sleeve Sport Shirts 10 88 Nike Waffle Trainer 22 90 Brooks Villanova 16 88 BANKAMfRICAIIO J Locker Room “Sportshoes Unlimited” 800 Villa Maria (across from Manor Eas . • Open Mon.-Sat. 9:30-6 eC0#uw,„ tther ea, Er ,ro «n or »*lr ‘ ca H H ’■kan Food irem e •> !“ location- BEST PIZZA IN COLLEGE STATION GREAT HOURS!! SUN. 11 A.M.-12 MIDNIGHT MON.-THURS. 4 P.M.-1 A.M. FRI. 4 P.M.-2 A.M. SAT. 11 A.M.-2 A.M. 301 PATRICIA ST. M SERVICE DELIVERY 846-3768