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Record Number of Americans Have No Religious Affiliation


Phantom309
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I'm 37 and have lived in the Bible belt as a lifelong agnostic. I'm fairly sure my dad was, also, and he would've been 70 this year. I'm not 'old' per se, despite how I feel some mornings, but I still remember when you kept that kind of thing quiet in some circles. Attitudes have come a very long way, atleast around here in my lifetime

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Of all the sources of chaos today, I have trouble thinking this poll is indicative of things improving.  

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Besides the first part being vomit inducing political. I guess people are tired of fire and brimstone.

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Good, we need people making decisions on logic and sound reasoning, not "I'm pretty sure Jesus wants me to blow up sodomites and brown people"

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6 minutes ago, Autochthon1990 said:

Good, we need people making decisions on logic and sound reasoning, not "I'm pretty sure Jesus wants me to blow up sodomites and brown people"

Allan's Snackbar. 

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I think with modern education and exposure we are now in the think for ourselves age.

I’d probably get counted as ‘unaffiliated’. And many of those ‘affiliated’ have weak affiliation.

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This is the report itself, without the political or ideological spin:

https://www.pewforum.org/2021/12/14/about-three-in-ten-u-s-adults-are-now-religiously-unaffiliated/

It will be interesting when the pandemic is behind us, to find out whether

(a) churches can reliably offer an experience more typical of the good old days, and thereby recoup some recent losses, or

(b) Americans having discovered that it's not only healthy but fun to sleep in Sunday mornings (or Saturdays or Fridays, depending on the brew), continue to do so, and so the losses to organized religion persist, ...

 

 

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The problem with polls is they're an estimate. 

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5 hours ago, and then said:

Of all the sources of chaos today, I have trouble thinking this poll is indicative of things improving.  

It will take a while before we notice it improving.  Second image is a couple of years old.

31gsll.jpg

5ce2d1c224000068077f13fe.png.cf.jpg

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From the article:

Quote

I feel like that chart doesn’t do justice to what’s actually happening because “Christian” is used as a catch-all term. Catholics, white evangelicals, and other Protestants may be united under Jesus, but there’s really no reason people should lump them together. In fact, as Pew also found, most of the ground we’re gaining — and they’re losing — is the result of Protestantsditching the label.

:lol::lol::lol:  No reason at all :lol:  And silly me, I would lump all the judaic religions into one group.   (which includes the original jewish religion, christians of all flavors and muslims, and a lot of so called new agers)

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I know a lot of people like to crap on Christianity (hell I used too), but when was the last beheading in Christ name done? Was there even one? There are worst religions out there. 

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19 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

I know a lot of people like to crap on Christianity (hell I used too), but when was the last beheading in Christ name done? Was there even one? There are worst religions out there. 

The Pope's warrior priests did some worse things than beheadings as they traipsed across the North and South America in the name of their religion.  And what about the inquisitions, the witch burnings etc.  Maybe now you can pretend like there are worse out there since those things happened a while back.

Edited by Desertrat56
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1 minute ago, Desertrat56 said:

The Pope's warrior priests did some worse things than beheadings as they traipsed across the North and South America in the name of their religion.  And what about the inquisitions, the witch burnings etc.  Maybe now you can pretend like there are worse out there since those things happened a while back.

Yeah, there are still worse religions out there. Some that never changed. 

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A person can have a strong spiritual life without being affiliated with a church or religion.  People I know left their churches because they had strong spiritual connections and principles  and felt their church  had lost them.  The survey does not indicate humans are abandoning all those beliefs for logic, just organized religion..

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10 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

A person can have a strong spiritual life without being affiliated with a church or religion.  People I know left their churches because they had strong spiritual connections and principles  and felt their church  had lost them.  The survey does not indicate humans are abandoning all those beliefs for logic, just organized religion..

That’s very true Tate, the reason I think it appears that people are abandoning their faith is because of the religious organizations experiencing a drop in membership. This is occurring because people have lost faith in the religious leadership of many of these organizations. In many organized religions the leadership has put their hand out to many times and people are tired of giving or they can no longer afford to.

In some religious organizations people are made Deacons not because of good deeds, but because of large donations to the Church. It’s very sad, but the other parishioners know what’s happening and they lose faith, not in their beliefs but in the organizations themselves. So I agree with you Tate more and more people are are not losing their spirituality only their faith in the leadership they once followed!:tu:

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46 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

The Pope's warrior priests did some worse things than beheadings as they traipsed across the North and South America in the name of their religion.  And what about the inquisitions, the witch burnings etc.  Maybe now you can pretend like there are worse out there since those things happened a while back.

Don’t forget the White Supremest's, according to them they are a mission from God also! They are still committing crimes in the name of god, yet in reality they are are nothing but criminals hiding behind their crosses!  

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Guest Br Cornelius

This is a generational things and demographics mean that christian affiliation will fall off a cliff in the next few decades. The churches in America have seen this coming for a long time and it is at least partly why they have affiliated with Republicanism in an attempt to codify they position into law before they lose any ability to influence national agendas.

Its doomed to fail of course and America will move to the same status as Europe - christian in name alone. Needless to say I consider this significant progress towards a better humanist world.

 

Br Cornelius

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2 hours ago, Br Cornelius said:

This is a generational things and demographics mean that christian affiliation will fall off a cliff in the next few decades. The churches in America have seen this coming for a long time and it is at least partly why they have affiliated with Republicanism in an attempt to codify they position into law before they lose any ability to influence national agendas.

Its doomed to fail of course and America will move to the same status as Europe - christian in name alone. Needless to say I consider this significant progress towards a better humanist world.

 

Br Cornelius

I wish that were true, but we still have mega churches across the street from each other in Dallas.  Maybe Texas will be the last refuge of christianity as it does contain the dark crusty backside of the bible belt and the bright shiny buckle of the bible belt.    But even in places like Albuquerque there are churches every 2 or 3 blocks, small, large, medium and mega.   How are they supporting themselves if they are on the way out?   There are still too many people who want someone to tell them how and what to think.    And the replacement of religion with something else turns ugly really fast.  Once you are betrayed by your religion and you continue to search for a replacement you will be constantly betrayed, it is why so many just continue with what they know.  Too hard to actually look around and find something within yourself to believe in.  So, religions like christianity will continue.  I have seen a lot of new agers leave their religion, only to recreate it with a few minor changes and start their own church or join someone else's new age church that has done that for them.    

And the non-religiousness is not a generational thing.   I started being dissatisfied with the answers to my questions about religion when I was a kid in the 60's.   It is a thinking position, that has nothing to do with generations.

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Guest Br Cornelius
Quote

And the non-religiousness is not a generational thing.   I started being dissatisfied with the answers to my questions about religion when I was a kid in the 60's.   It is a thinking position, that has nothing to do with generations.

Though I agree with most of what you said this bit I disagree with. It is a generational thing and it comes when children are no longer compelled to attend church. Religion is first and formost a habit and if the habit doesn't form it never grows. Almost none of the under 40's in Europe now attend a church for anything other than weddings and funerals. They may express vague spiritual ideals but it is not religion as such and it will never form into religion because it simply never became a habit.

Church in Europe has largely degenerated into preying on the lost, lonely and broken - its in its death throws. I personally think a vague sense of spirituality is an improvement.

 

Br Cornelius

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6 minutes ago, Br Cornelius said:

Though I agree with most of what you said this bit I disagree with. It is a generational thing and it comes when children are no longer compelled to attend church. Religion is first and formost a habit and if the habit doesn't form it never grows. Almost none of the under 40's in Europe now attend a church for anything other than weddings and funerals. They may express vague spiritual ideals but it is not religion as such and it will never form into religion because it simply never became a habit.

Church in Europe has largely degenerated into preying on the lost, lonely and broken - its in its death throws. I personally think a vague sense of spirituality is an improvement.

 

Br Cornelius

Well, in the U.S. that is not the case, as for death throes, but it has always preyed on the lost, lonely and broken, as well as those who want someone to tell them what to think.   It is still going strong here.   In some ways the U.S. is backward thinking compared to Europe.   (not just about religion, but about pollution, education, etc)

Edited by Desertrat56
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Guest Br Cornelius

I think you will see that decline happen before you realize it.

I like to point out that Europe has the good sense to banish all their religious fanatics to America.

Br Cornelius

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1 hour ago, Desertrat56 said:

But even in places like Albuquerque there are churches every 2 or 3 blocks

Up here in northern New England, which consistently polls as among the most secular regions of the USA, we've got churches galore. No mega's, though, because the population density just isn't here. But for the population we do have, there're seats a plenty.

I hesitate to get into politics, given the level of civility that prevails on the political forums on the site, but just an impressionistic observation for @Br Cornelius (good to see you around, BTW). I speculate that the political orientation of the churches in an area correlates with the political orientation of the surrounding service area. Plenty of churches in Boston-Cambridge are way left of center politically, just as Boston and Cambridge in general are. Bible belt? No suprises there: the region is politically right of center, both in many of its churches and in general.

Finally, I'd be cautious about mapping the European experience too much onto the United States. We just don't have that heritage of government-issue religion that Europe has had. Even wayyy baack when we did have state-level established churches, they were often Congregational - every church making its own rules locally. That is, an organization plan that looks a lot like another outfit whose secular golden arches grace the landscape far and wide.

In America, the people who bring you Jesus aren't so different from the people who bring you streaming music and movies. Or hamburgers. I think it's too early to count the God Squad of America out, even if their numbers don't look great just now.

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2 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Up here in northern New England, which consistently polls as among the most secular regions of the USA, we've got churches galore. No mega's, though, because the population density just isn't here. But for the population we do have, there're seats a plenty.

I hesitate to get into politics, given the level of civility that prevails on the political forums on the site, but just an impressionistic observation for @Br Cornelius (good to see you around, BTW). I speculate that the political orientation of the churches in an area correlates with the political orientation of the surrounding service area. Plenty of churches in Boston-Cambridge are way left of center politically, just as Boston and Cambridge in general are. Bible belt? No suprises there: the region is politically right of center, both in many of its churches and in general.

Finally, I'd be cautious about mapping the European experience too much onto the United States. We just don't have that heritage of government-issue religion that Europe has had. Even wayyy baack when we did have state-level established churches, they were often Congregational - every church making its own rules locally. That is, an organization plan that looks a lot like another outfit whose secular golden arches grace the landscape far and wide.

In America, the people who bring you Jesus aren't so different from the people who bring you streaming music and movies. Or hamburgers. I think it's too early to count the God Squad of America out, even if their numbers don't look great just now.

An example of how the churches reflect the political ideology of the area, I lived in Midland, Texas in the 80's when Phillis Schafley's organization tried two law suits to set a precedent for allowing prayer groups to meet on public school property.  Midland and a town in the midwest were chosen as they expected to be able to get a slam dunk in both those towns, legal precedent they could take anywhere in the country.   They did not count on the Catholic church, the Unitarian church and the Jewish community in each town banding together to get the word out and explain to anyone who would listen why that was wrong.   They lost in both towns, the plethora of protestant christians did not stand a chance even though they outnumbered the other 3 communities as they could not band together, for one thing.   

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5 hours ago, Br Cornelius said:

I think you will see that decline happen before you realize it.

I like to point out that Europe has the good sense to banish all their religious fanatics to America.

Br Cornelius

And bravo if this meme is accurate: 

Churches converting to bars.jpg

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