I'd assumed it was due to declining education standards but now am wondering if Neil Postman didn't nail it with his 1984 book "Amusing Ourselves to Death". Television was the cause; he provocatively stated that he thought "Sixty Minutes" was far more dangerous to the republic than "The A-Team". It's not superficiality on television that is the problem, it's actually news shows. Will quote eventually...
The individualist may think that God loves us collectively and that our value to Him is primarily what we can contribute to others. But that is a false distinction because Reality is that we are a single body. Paul wrote that through Adam we all sinned, through Christ we were all redeemed. The doctrine of Original Sin well emphasizes our mutuality. I say let's graciously accept the benefits of Christ given the burdens we've acquired from Adam.
As far as our value being what we can contribute, if we injured our right foot, would we protest that the left foot is shouldering more of the burden of walking? Would we resent the brain (or heart's) decision in that regard? No! If we were blind, would we resent that our other senses will be exercised more acutely? Not at all. It's only when we see ourselves as rugged individualists that we think of God in utilitarian terms.
Very interesting post from Kevin Jones. I just got something from our bishop that said "engagement", a term familiar to me lately in the corporate world.