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Thread: More and more decline of religion

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    Junior Member ralfy's Avatar
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    From what I know, Church attendance, etc., has been going down steadily since the 1960s, and more so in places where prosperity is growing. The catch is that prosperity is ultimately based on availability of energy and material resources, and that in turn is affected by limits to growth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralfy View Post
    From what I know, Church attendance, etc., has been going down steadily since the 1960s, and more so in places where prosperity is growing. The catch is that prosperity is ultimately based on availability of energy and material resources, and that in turn is affected by limits to growth.

    But, in my small city there are well over fifty churches, including 30 Baptist churches, several Methodist churches, one upscale Episcopal church, one Mormon church, one small Catholic Church, many churches of other Christian sects that I can't remember right now, well over 25 nondenominational churches, quite a few predominately black churches, one that advertises that it welcomes all races and nationalities, one Hispanic church, at least a dozen or more store front churches, etc. I'm guessing that while a lot of people here don't attend every week, somebody must be paying to keep those churches, big, small, mini and mega open.

    I've met a couple of church attending atheists and I'd be willing to be there are plenty more closeted atheists city in the pews on Sunday mornings. In parts of the south, churches provide the majority of social support and charity. I doubt this will change any time soon. Some of these churches are made up of very wealthy people, while the smallest ones are usually made up of poor members. I don't see how this has anything to do with prosperity It's more about the history of the influence of Christianity on southern culture. I think a lot of these Christians are more about culture than about beliefs. I'm not suggesting that these Christians don't believe in Christianity, but they don't knock on doors or stand on the corners preaching anymore, like they once did.

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    Junior Member ralfy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ralfy View Post
    From what I know, Church attendance, etc., has been going down steadily since the 1960s, and more so in places where prosperity is growing. The catch is that prosperity is ultimately based on availability of energy and material resources, and that in turn is affected by limits to growth.

    But, in my small city there are well over fifty churches, including 30 Baptist churches, several Methodist churches, one upscale Episcopal church, one Mormon church, one small Catholic Church, many churches of other Christian sects that I can't remember right now, well over 25 nondenominational churches, quite a few predominately black churches, one that advertises that it welcomes all races and nationalities, one Hispanic church, at least a dozen or more store front churches, etc. I'm guessing that while a lot of people here don't attend every week, somebody must be paying to keep those churches, big, small, mini and mega open.

    I've met a couple of church attending atheists and I'd be willing to be there are plenty more closeted atheists city in the pews on Sunday mornings. In parts of the south, churches provide the majority of social support and charity. I doubt this will change any time soon. Some of these churches are made up of very wealthy people, while the smallest ones are usually made up of poor members. I don't see how this has anything to do with prosperity It's more about the history of the influence of Christianity on southern culture. I think a lot of these Christians are more about culture than about beliefs. I'm not suggesting that these Christians don't believe in Christianity, but they don't knock on doors or stand on the corners preaching anymore, like they once did.
    I got the info from another forum, i.e., something like a 22-pct average in regular religious service attendance in industrialized countries and around 40 pct in developing ones, with declines starting during the early 1960s. I can't find the article that I read a few months back about mega churches, but I recall that it referred to significant numbers of members moving from church to church.

    Given these, the only conclusions that I could make is that secularism is what's leading to a decline in religion, specifically material prosperity. The catch is that that prosperity is also based on ready availability of material resources and energy, and we are now approaching limits for those given physical limitations, increasing population and consumption per capita, and environmental problems.

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    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, it's just hard to see it if you live in a place like I do. I really enjoy living here, oddly enough. I have an assortment of atheist and liberal Christian friends. It's just that most things here are influenced by Christian culture, and without something very positive to replace it, it's going to be here for the foreseeable future. My biggest concern is charity. The churches here provide food banks, free clinics etc. If the government provided more help, perhaps this type of charity wouldn't be needed. We do have a rather high rate of poverty in my small city, although we also have quite a number of very affluent neighborhoods.

    I have a lot of respect for black Christians as they are extremely supportive of each other. So, even poor black Christians tend to be happier and more secure than your average, non religious poor white person. I don't know what or how to replace what religion offers people here. I really don't.

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    Junior Member ralfy's Avatar
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    If prosperity cannot be maintained given limits to growth, then religion may return, but not in the way most imagine.

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    More on America’s Fading Faith | Adam Lee
    The steady, long-term decline in church attendance is confirmed in the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. Just 29% of Americans now say they attend religious services once a week or more often. That is down from 41% in 2000.

    At the same time, the share of Americans saying they never attend religious services has risen to 26%, almost double the 14% who said so back in 2000. The rise in churchlessness is most dramatic among young Americans. Among those aged 18 to 34, the rate saying they never attend religious services previously was no different from the national rate; now the share of these younger Americans who never attend religious services has more than doubled, to 36%.
    Then the Republican Party's alliance with the Religious Right. I note that it was accompanied by the decline into political irrelevance of the Religious Left. The result?

    Americans’ confidence in organized religion has sunk to 36%, an all-time low
    Confidence in organized religion topped confidence in all other institutions from 1973 to 1985, and, even after falling amid televangelist scandals in the 1980s, it registered at the majority level consistently until 2001. After the Boston Globe’s 2002 expose revealed Catholic church leaders were aware of and did not take strong action to stop serial sex abuse by priests, confidence in organized religion dropped sharply to 45%. It recovered slightly in the years after the scandal broke, hovering around the 50% mark. Between 2010 and 2017, it regularly registered in the 40s. Since then, in 2018 and 2019, Americans’ confidence in religion has been below the 40% mark
    It cannot just be the Catholic-priest pedophile scandals, horrible as those scandals are.
    The better explanation is that the public has noticed how America’s largest religious groups have embraced a narrow, exclusionary political agenda – cruelty to the poor and to immigrants, hatred of racial minorities, patriarchal attitudes toward women, and hypocritical worship of wealth and power – and millions of people have decided they want nothing to do with this.
    What Americans Know About Religion - the more one knows about about a religion's tenets, the more favorable one is to its followers -- except for evangelicals.
    The conservative author Peter Wehner, in an article about how evangelicals have become a Trumpist cult, is dreading what the next generation could bring:

    “We’re losing an entire generation. They’re just gone. It’s one of the worst things to happen to the Church.”
    Former churches with better missions | Freethought Today - converted to other uses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative author Peter Wehner

    “We’re losing an entire generation. They’re just gone. It’s one of the worst things to happen to the Church.”

    One of the worst? Seriously? Right up there with the Native American and aboriginal child-stealing and genocide? The inquisition? Pedophile protection? The Troubles? Conversion therapy? The KKK?

    Wow. That’s some hubris!

  8. Top | #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative author Peter Wehner

    “We’re losing an entire generation. They’re just gone. It’s one of the worst things to happen to the Church.”

    One of the worst? Seriously? Right up there with the Native American and aboriginal child-stealing and genocide? The inquisition? Pedophile protection? The Troubles? Conversion therapy? The KKK?

    Wow. That’s some hubris!
    But all those happened to people. Some of them in the Church.
    This lack of sustainable congregations is bad news for The Chuch its own self.
    Gotta keep focused on what matters.

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