Survey: Americans losing their religion

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Prinnctopher's Belt, Jun 8, 2011.

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  1. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent of The Times

    The days of America's Protestant "moral majority" could be drawing to a close, according to a new survey into the religious beliefs of the US public.

    More than a quarter of US adults have left the faith in which they were brought up, with some choosing another religion but many embracing secularism, the survey found. Barely half of all Americans, 51 per cent, describe themselves as members of Protestant denominations while more than 16 per cent say they are atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular."

    Significantly for those concerned to understand the future of religious belief in the US, the biggest growth in secularism is among the young. One quarter of those aged 18 to 29 say they are not affiliated with any religion.

    The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a research organisation based in Washington, interviewed 35,000 adults aged 18 and over for the US Religious Landscape Survey. They found that the US remained strongly religious, but that the landscape is "diverse" and "fluid" with the US on the verge of becoming a minority Protestant country.

    Researchers found that, if change from one Protestant group to another is included, 44 per cent of adults have switched religious affiliation.

    The trends have surprised commentators in the US, which has traditionally been regarded as a God-fearing country, one of the most devout in the world since before the days of the 18th century Founding Fathers. Of the 204 who signed the Declaration of Independence and other key documents of that time, just three were Roman Catholic. Most were Episcopalian, with the next highest number being Presbyterian.

    The survey found that the biggest losses due to fall-out were in the Catholic church, but these were largely offset by immigration from Latin America. One in ten Americans now describes themself as a former Catholic. The biggest families were those of Mormons and Muslims, respectively making up 1.7 per cent and 0.6 per cent of the adult population.

    The report makes it clear that the US is not yet close to matching Europe's embrace of secularism. It concludes that the US "remains highly religious in its beliefs and practices."

    But those who are losing their religion outnumber those finding a new faith by three-to-one.

    The survey, carried out last year, found that 78.4 percent of the population identify themselves as Christian, including 51.3 per cent Protestant, 23.9 per cent Catholic, 1.7 per cent Mormon, 0.7 per cent Jehovah's Witness and less than 0.3 per cent Greek or Russian Orthodox. This compares with seven out of ten who described themselves as Christian in the 2001 census in the UK.

    "The biggest gains due to changes in religious affiliation have been among those who say they are not affiliated with any particular religious group or tradition," the survey found.

    Overall 7.3 per cent of the adult population say they were unaffiliated with any particular religion as a child.

    Today, 16.1 per cent of adults say they are unaffiliated. "Sizeable numbers of those raised in all religions -- from Catholicism to Protestantism to Judaism -- are currently unaffiliated with any particular religion," the survey says
  2. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Mostly likely for the better, in my opinion. Religious rhetoric has been a troubling source of stagnation in this country (although far from the only one of course). I've read a lot of other sources discussing this trend, so it's certainly attracting much attention. No doubt the Evangelicals and the rest of the religious right will behave increasingly more reactionary in response.
  3. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    This has been happening for over 50 years. The 1960s was when prayer was removed from the public schools.
  4. nolonger

    nolonger Well-Known Member

    im not surprised considering the amount of negative shit that mainstream religion creates.
  5. Mr. Goldstein

    Mr. Goldstein Well-Known Member

    Religious people are cool: they never get depressed, for magical entities are always by their sides. They are never lonely, for a magical entity is always their friend and loves them and is always by their side, but just in an invisible form.
  6. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Well, don't worry. As far as I recall, prayer is still allowed in public school so long as it is not officially dictated by the school or it's faculty and staff.
  7. peacelovingguy

    peacelovingguy Well-Known Member

    Losing religion means putting all your faith in people - which generally means an elite class of people who become Godlike by mere virtue of controlling the fate of much the people on this planet.

    They shape your mind - your thoughts and values.

    Were religious laws are the only ones left which make life itself sacred - we will replace those with other laws which do not hold life as sacred. This in turn destroys centuries or millennia of a tradition of seeing life as sacred. It turns life itself into nothing but a profit margin.

    We see this now with the Middle East embroiled in a battle which has as its goal the destruction of Islam. Just as Christianity was and is weakened, so too will Islam face the same process, bit by bit.

    Bear in mind Christianity once outlawed Usury - the process whereby bankers can charge excessive interest. Today the West is free of Christianity making any laws but is taxed to its eyeballs at every turn - VAT at 20%, council taxes up to a few thousand. Those who cheered the loss of Christianity have to admit that if we once again put anyone charging excessive interest rates to death - we'd not be in the mess we are now.

    With no God - mankind can make up its own rules. If the bankers want to break you then the law will help them to do so. You can argue about Justice but Justice in man's eyes are the laws that govern our lives. He who has the money makes the laws.

    These laws are written by the very rich - the big businesses and minorities. You want to put your faith in the law as it stands?

    Right now - Muslims happen to sit on most of the worlds oil supplies. They also do not play ball with the International bankers of the West and are showing an increasing desire to trade with Russia and China and to pay for the oil in Russian and/or Chinese currency, along with the Euro of course. Nobody needs the American dollar - its use has outlived itself.

    So, although I have plenty of criticism of Islam I would put forward that we are being brainwashed into hating Islam and hating Muslims which is common practice in the period leading up to great conflicts.

    Islam outlaws usury and so that hinders the bankers who thrive on it.

    PS - Bear in mind that Stalin was not religious - and the Communists actually opposed to all religion. The blood spilt in that particular ideologies name is the 20th centuries record of all time.
  8. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    You're assuming faith is at all necessary.

    I don't see the logic between your previous statement and this one.

    I'm not sure why this is here. Literally anything around you can influence those things; peer pressure, familial pressure, etc.


    Where have you been? Millennia of seeing life as sacred? The crusades come to mind, Salem witch trials, Roman decimation, the long history of the death penalty for things from treason to being a vagrant, Spanish Inquisition and similar heretic 'removal', etc. We probably live in some of the least bloody countries to ever exist.

    lolwut? There's a few battles in the middle east right now; you got NATO on Libya because Gadhaffi has pissed a few too many people off, you have the US on Iraq for no good reason, you've got the US and a few others in Afghanistan looking for Al Qaeda and also no good reason, Tunisia, Egypt and Qatar have anti-government affairs in the mix.

    We can only hope.

    True. Fortunately for my Canadian self and my friends in Europe the 'mess we're in' isn't close to as bad as it was for the US. Why? We did have reasonable restriction on banks! Why did we have a bad dip at all? Our economy suffered because of the US dip!

    People, with or without God, have always made their own rules. As Shakespeare said: "The devil can cite scripture for his purpose." People have used the Bible to justify and condemn just about everything including the crusades, slavery, the death penalty and the Holocaust. (Remember that Hitler was a Catholic.)

    Sure, all governments get some corporate invasion. The US has it worse then Canada, though, and both are more coporatized then the EU.

    On the whole I find Canadian courts pretty fair. There's problems everywhere though.

    I'm no economist but I know enough to realize that economics is far more complex then who has some oil.

    FYI: The US actually gets most of its oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada.

    The Middle East isn't exactly an area that can put up a 'great conflict' against the US military. Look at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan vs Vietnam and WWII. The US military is engaged in a play date comparatively.

    So does my country right North of yours. You don't need anything but a half-way decent government to clear out usury.

    Keep in mind some stirring words from MEIN KAMPF.

    Also keep in mind that Canada and Australia are more secular then the US but somehow our cities are on top of this chart by the Economist that ranks cities by liveability. The US is nowhere to be found on the top ten.
  9. nolonger

    nolonger Well-Known Member

    if minorities weren't protected you'd have mentally incompetent majorities trying to 'wipe them out'. Look at what happened in the state of Tasmania in Australia. When Aus was first colonised, every single aboriginal was killed on the island by white settlers.

    EDIT: and yea, Canada is probly one of the fairest places you can be(besides a few places in Europe I guess). Their government actually tries to make things fair for everyone. Unlike some countries where they try to make it seem as though it's fair.
  10. Raven

    Raven Guest

  11. ThornThatNeverHeals

    ThornThatNeverHeals Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with being an atheist. If there was a god he sure as hell dont deserve worship for doing this to us (the whole reason we are all here on a SUICIDE FORUM), and i sure as hell dont want an afterlife, one is enough for me, i dont even want that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2011
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