I have to admit that a part of me just cant take the tone of this ad which aired during last week's Superbowl. I didn't watch it on TV, unfortunately American football is completely lost on me, but I did see the ad a number of times online and was aware of the broad responses that pinged around the web, positive and negative, regarding the 'diversity' of America, which was too much for some people apparently. The co-mingling of America the Beautiful with lyrics praising coke was, well, sappy as far as I am concerned, but again, the level of patriotism and nationalism surrounding major sporting events is something that I still marvel at, but I was not surprised that they took this approach with the music. The very simple payoff for the ad was that a diverse America finds unity around coca-cola, probably more likely to find it around that than around other things like religion. Consider this image which came via the Public religion Research Institute, which notes the disparity of attitudes and practices around religion between generations. It's quite a stunning image really, no matter where you might place yourself on the grid, the writing is there on the wall--things need to change, if there is much chance of connecting organized religion with younger demographics. These figures do not reflect the more subtle issues and nuances that are also part of generational theories, because there are always anomalies, but nevertheless, there are some strong signs here that should not be ignored.
The growing trend towards non-affiliation is quite a thing when viewed in comparison. I have a conversation about stuff like this on a nearly daily basis, or at least it feels that way, with people for whom these realities are something they don't choose to face with much semblance of desire to do anything at all about it, and I doubt seriously if this image or these statistics will put much of a dent in the resistance, but you never know, perhaps this time it will.