We need a church for the nones, or Americans who say they don’t belong to a particular religion. That’s what The Washington Post’s Perry Bacon calls for in a much-ballyhooed column last month. “Start the service with songs with positive messages. … Reserve time when church members can tell the congregation about their highs and lows from the previous week. Listen as the pastor gives a sermon on tolerance or some other universal value, while briefly touching on whatever issues are in the news,” Bacon suggests. Sunday services would be supplemented by volunteer, community-service activities, he adds.
Bacon, who grew up evangelical, communicates a yearning felt by many Americans in this atomized age. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, in a recent advisory titled “Our Epidemic