… [T]he core underlying ideas constituting American religious individualism: that each individual is uniquely distinct from all others and deserves a faith that hits his or her singular self… that the individual is the authority over religion and not vice versa… insofar as what matters is not the integrity of a belief system but the comfortability of the individual holding specific religious beliefs.

– Christian Smith, sociologist, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (2005)

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