Christianity Declining in USA

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Christianity Declining in USA

Postby Keep The Reason » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:14 pm

It's been said before but now the trend is pretty solid, which is great news. Our system of government really does rely on dollars and pandering more than anything else (as opposed to any claimed altruism of community service). So, if that's the case, then these blossoming demographics are going to ripple across the US political landscape as the Christians lose more and more power in the coming years.

Christianity's Decline

1. Millennials are growing even less affiliated with religion as they get older

The older generation of millennials (those who were born from 1981 to 1989) are becoming even less affiliated with religion than they were about a decade ago, the survey suggests. In 2007, when the Pew Research Center did their last Religious Landscape Survey and these adults were just entering adulthood, 25 percent of them did not affiliate with a religion, but this grew to 34 percent in the latest survey.

The trends among the aging millennials is especially significant, said Greg Smith, associate director of research at the Pew Research Center. In 2010, 13 percent of baby boomers were religiously unaffiliated as they were entering retirement, the same percentage in 1972.

“Some have asked, ‘Might they become more religiously affiliated as they get older?’ There’s nothing in this data to suggest that’s what’s happening,” he said. Millennials get married later than older generations, but they are not necessarily more likely to become religiously affiliated, he said.
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2. There are more religiously unaffiliated Americans than Catholic Americans or mainline Protestant Americans

The numbers of Catholics and Protestants have each shrunk between three and five percentage points since 2007. The evangelical share of the American population has dropped by one percentage point since 2007.

There are more religiously unaffiliated Americans (23 percent) than Catholics (21 percent) and mainline Protestants (15 percent). “That’s a striking and important note,” Smith said.

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The groups experience their losses through what’s called “religious switching,” when someone switches from one faith to another. Thirteen percent of Americans were raised Catholic but are no longer Catholic, compared with just 2 percent of Americans who are converts to Catholicism.

“That means that there are more than six former Catholics for every convert to Catholicism,” Smith said. “There’s no other group in the survey that has that ratio of loss due to religious switching.”

There are 3 million fewer Catholics today than there were in 2007. While the percentage of Catholics in the United States has remained relatively steady, Smith said we might be observing the beginning of the decline of the Catholic share of the population.

Pew estimates there are about 5 million fewer mainline Protestants than there were in 2007. About 10 percent of the U.S. population say they were raised in the mainline Protestant tradition, while 6 percent have converted to mainline Protestantism.

Evangelical Protestants have experienced less decline, due to their net positive retention rate. For every person who has left evangelical Protestantism after growing up, 1.2 have switched to join an evangelical denomination.

3. Those who are unaffiliated are becoming more secular

The “nones,” or religiously unaffiliated, include atheists, agnostics and those who say they believe in “nothing in particular.” Of those who are unaffiliated, 31 percent describe themselves as atheists or agnostics, up six points from 2007.

“What we’re seeing now is that the share of people who say religion is important to them is declining,” Smith said. “The religiously unaffiliated are not just growing, but as they grow, they are becoming more secular.”

And people in older generations are increasingly disavowing organized religion. Among baby boomers, 17 percent identify as a religious “none,” up from 14 percent in 2007.

“There’s a continuing religious disaffiliation among older cohorts. That is really striking,” Smith said. “I continue to be struck by the pace at which the unaffiliated are growing.”

White Americans (24 percent) are more likely to say they have no religion, compared with 20 percent of Hispanic Americans and 18 percent of black Americans. The retention rates of the “nones” who say they were raised as religiously affiliated has grown by seven points since 2007 to 53 percent.

The Pew survey was conducted between June and September of 2014.

I am very much invested in the Christians who have been dictating policy for the past 15-20 years to finally be shaken from their pillars of power. And I'm not talking about the middle of the road / liberal / Christian-effectively-in-name-only Christians, but rather the fundagelicals who have mounted an ongoing war against:

Women's rights
Gay Rights

and who fight ceaselessly for less government regulation on business, less assistance for the poor, brown-skinned, minority and female segments of our society, and more and more for a form of theocracy (Christianity need only apply). It's awesome and wonderful and a cause for celebration that these people are on the losing side of history and the direction the country is going in. Their children and their grandchildren are pretty much diametrically opposed to their values, which is great news.

But also, because of this fact, we're likely going to see a massive increase in backlash, particularly in an ongoing sense of hostility towards <Insert non-Christian label people here>, and almost certainly a major uptick in violence against them (and this will come from either side of the aisle-- Democrat or Republican.)

Hopefully we weather it without some major catastrophe, via nukes or some other stupid move by some swaggering leader (male or female). When I first got politically active thanks to 9/11, I was deeply discouraged by what I saw as a major juggernaut that would never topple. I think my worst and most despondent time was when this country actually reelected one of the most ill-informed, weak, emotionally and intellectually bereft commander in chief ever -- one G W Bush (what a legacy of nobility he continues to leave behind, eh?)

But so many changes since then! We elected a Constitutional scholar who was actually intelligent. While it shouldn't matter that he's 1/2 black, the fact that he is 1/2 black was a first. He's done a great job as president despite the Tea Party religious right radicals who got installed as his "congress". And we watched as ordinary citizens stood up to government tyranny by leaking the secrets they should not be permitted to keep (Eric Snowden).

But really the major turning point has to be gay marriage. That's extraordinary in the extreme. Who'd've thought this could happen so easily, so swiftly, and without the help of endless nightly news footage of people being beaten over it (even though that happens, it was more outlier as time went on). This should tell the religious right their time is really at an end. Nobody buys their product anymore. People are done, and in many ways I have no problem with the idea that Americans may be more Christlike in their actions, and certainly less Christian.

Politicians will soon be pandering to the "nones" because that's where their voter base will reside. And the value system of the "Nones" (who are not atheists, by the way) hone tightly towards progressive goals: helping less fortunate people, the environment, sexual freedom, reproductive rights, health care concerns, reasonably regulating business and free market dynamics, gay rights, civil rights, and on and on and on.

No, it won't be a utopia. But I for one would be happy to see these three issues effectively vanish from the political landscape:

Abortion / women's reproductive rights
Gay rights issues
Education Revisionism / Obfuscation

And to be fair, I'm truly hoping that the left leaning inclinations don't lead to this completely ridiculous degree of political/social correctness, where even a hint of criticism against something is taken as full blown offense and bigotry.
To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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