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View Diary: A look at faith in the USA (poll) (65 comments)

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  •  there is a rebirth of the liberal mainline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grada3784

    protestant churches across America

    •  Um.... (5+ / 0-)

      No, there isn't.

      The percentage of Christians in America, which declined in the 1990s from 86.2 percent to 76.7 percent, has now edged down to 76 percent. Ninety percent of the decline comes from the non-Catholic segment of the Christian population, largely from the mainline denominations, including Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians/Anglicans, and the United Church of Christ. These groups, whose proportion of the American population shrank from 18.7 percent in 1990 to 17.2 percent in 2001, all experienced sharp numerical declines this decade and now constitute just 12.9 percent.

      Most of the growth in the Christian population occurred among those who would identify only as "Christian," "Evangelical/Born Again," or "non-denominational Christian." The last of these, associated with the growth of megachurches, has increased from less than 200,000 in 1990 to 2.5 million in 2001 to over 8 million today. These groups grew from 5 percent of the population in 1990 to 8.5 percent in 2001 to 11.8 percent in 2008. Significantly, 38.6 percent of mainline Protestants now also identify themselves as evangelical or born again.

      "It looks like the two-party system of American Protestantism--mainline versus evangelical--is collapsing," said Mark Silk, director of the Public Values Program. "A generic form of evangelicalism is emerging as the normative form of non-Catholic Christianity in the United State s."

      Or by "rebirth" do you mean "steep decline in adherents"? I guess one could read those to be congruent....

      •  Look at Where the Growth in Christians Is... (5+ / 0-)

        And you'll see the most frightening bunch of intolerant nutjobs threatening the US today.

        I drove past a "Christian" church last night and saw the following posted on their sign:

        This Sunday: THE TYRANNY OF TOLERACE (sic)

        The non-denominational Christians and the fundamentalists/born-agains are proudly agents of hatred and intolerance, and judging from the people that worship in these congregations, the leaders prey upon the vast herds of ignorant and/or incurious and/or plain stupid people who distrust education, educated people, Teh Gay and colored people. To hear these pious people rail under their breath against "those damn foreigners who won't learn proper English" when they see a family chatting in, say, Tagalog-- it's sickening.

        And of course-- their hypocrisy doesn't register for one millisecond with their reptilian brains.

        I am beginning to lose hope for this country. These yahoos are the fruit of the Republicans' war against the US. I repeat-- sickening.

        Until we are all equal, no one is equal. Pass ENDA NOW!! MARRIAGE EQUALITY NOW!!

        by CajunBoyLgb on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 02:42:28 PM PDT

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        •  You should hear 'em talk (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grada3784

          when I speak Esperanto.

        •  Aw! (4+ / 0-)

          I am beginning to lose hope for this country. These yahoos are the fruit of the Republicans' war against the US. I repeat-- sickening.

          Hey--c'mon! Read those survey results again. Christianity, and indeed organized religion as a whole, are shrinking in the United States. The wacko fundies aren't seizing power; they're just grabbing more deck chairs away from their liberal cohorts on the promenade of the Titanic-esque U.S.S. Religion, while that boat continues sinking fast. It's we "Nones" who are growing by leaps and bounds!

          Take heart: a bunch of the offspring of the "yahoos" you fear will end up as "Nones" themselves!

          It seems to me that this survey is clearly very good news for seculars, not bad.

          •  You got it right... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grada3784

            There will continue to be a decline in faith in God. There will be an increase in humanism. Eventually, the humanist will insist that the believers in any religion is the reason for the wars and rumors of wars. Therefore a believer in any religion will be deemed to be an enemy of the world. Stop believing in God and all our problems will go away.  

            Anyway, that's what God says will happen. But it's against the law to believe in God, so that can't be right, right?

            •  Hm. (0+ / 0-)

              Eventually, the humanist will insist that the believers in any religion is the reason for the wars and rumors of wars. Therefore a believer in any religion will be deemed to be an enemy of the world.

              I'm sorry--you seem to have mistaken my comment for a delusional fantasy about nonexistent oppression of religious people. Nothing of the kind is going to happen, nor would the overwhelming majority of the atheists in the United States be interested in seeing such events come to pass.


              But it's against the law to believe in God....

              No, it isn't--and it never will be, so long as we freethinkers have anything to say about it.

              There is no need to ban, or to place other punitive legal consequences upon, religious belief. The U.S.S. Religion is going down for the same reason that her sister ship, the European Religion, sank decades ago: even when religion is overwhelmingly favored by society, rising levels of education and social security inevitably destroy religion.

              We're never going to ban your beliefs; we have no desire to do so. Your children and grandchildren are just going to deconvert, even though we'll take few-to-zero intentional steps to achieve that. That, and not some kind of absurd atheist pogrom that will never take place, is the (extremely probable) future you should be worried about.

    •  Not exactly. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, grada3784, MsMadrigal, mama jo

      The opposite is happening.  Mainline "high" churches (Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterian, etc., are in freefall, while the nondenominational megachurch is ascendant.  Tragic, really...

      No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

      by jarhead5536 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 02:46:48 PM PDT

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      •  the nondenom churches are a little scary to me (5+ / 0-)

        for several reasons, but mainly this one:  the pastor doesn't necessarily have to have graduated from any kind of seminary or course of study.
        so someone who may be a good and/or dynamic preacher could have some seriously strange theological views to pass on to his congregation.

        •  From an earlier comment I made (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grada3784, CajunBoyLgb, mama jo

          This is the biggest criticism of all regarding the megachurch movement.  Following Jesus is hard, people.  A real church makes enormous demands of us, and requires that we live up to a near impossible ideal of social service and unconditional love for all humanity.  Churches like Osteens simply tell people that they don't have to think about anything, do anything, or change anything

          No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

          by jarhead5536 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:01:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Quite frankly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mama jo

            If the mega-churches were telling their congregations they don't have to do or change anything I'd be ok with the small percentage of people in those churches doing their celebrate the Lord thing.

            But that isn't what a lot of these mega-churches are preaching.

            They're telling their congregations to go out and make a pain in the ass of themselves evangelicalizing all the rest of us.

            They're also telling their congregations they need to do things like stand outside family-planning clinics screaming at women seeking medical care.

            The list of "changes" they're telling their congregation to work for is pretty odious.

            That is the biggest criticism of the mega-churches I have - that they don't keep their crazy to themselves.

            "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

            by Edgewater on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:46:24 PM PDT

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            •  By change (0+ / 0-)

              I meant themselves.  They are not charged with any self-examination or work on their own character...

              No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

              by jarhead5536 on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:39:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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