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Featured America's Changing Religious Landscape

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Sep 7, 2017.

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  1. Christianity

    8 vote(s)
    42.1%
  2. Islam

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  3. Hindiusm

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Buddhism

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Judaism

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Pastafarianism

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Other (explain)

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  8. Unaffiliated

    7 vote(s)
    36.8%
  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    I found this article quite fascinating.

    America's Changing Religious Identity

    Christianity has sharply declined, especially among white Americans (dropping 38% since 1976), while Christianity among non-white Americans appears to be static.

    The religiously unaffiliated population appears to be on the rise. In 20 states, the unaffiliated outnumber any other single religious affiliation. One thing that surprised me was that atheists and agnostics make up the minority of the unaffiliated.

    Islam and Hinduism appear to have the greatest percentage of members aged 18-29, but still remain a relatively small percentage of the religiously affiliated population.

    This article has a lot of information regarding religious affiliation and trends in America if you're interested.

    So I'm interested in your opinions on the following:

    Why do you feel Christianity is dying off among white Americans?
    What group do you expect will become the most prevalent? Why?
    With the young group of Muslims and Hindus, do you expect these religions to become a majority as the young people age and older folk die off? Why or why not?
    Will the unaffiliated become the majority? Why or why not?
    Will Christianity ever rebound among white Americans in with its current values? If not, what values need to change?
     
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  2. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    In twenty years I would say Christianity would still be the largest but maybe not the majority.
     
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  3. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    Because a LOT of churches replace authentic spirituality with political activism and a perpetual victim complex. Many Protestant pastors preach about nothing but the end of the world and how everyone who isn't like them will burn in the fires of hell. Many Catholic parishes are about being anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-secularization and anti-euthanasia, with some Eucharistic Adoration, Rosary clubs and discussions of Mary's supposed messages at Fatima and Medjugorje sprinkled on top. Many Orthodox parishes (as embarrassed as I am to admit this) are more cultural clubs than actual Orthodox parishes--they focus more on being Greek, Russian, Romanian, whatever, as opposed to being ORTHODOX. I'm sorry, but when your family has been in this country for 3 generations and even the old people are fluent in English, it's time to switch the language of the Liturgy over to the language of the country you're in.

    People have seen the intolerance of the Religious Right and how vociferously it is defended by all major Christian groups. People have seen LGBT children ostracized from families. People have been abused by parents and families, where these same families go to church and sit in a pew on Sunday and think themselves righteous and justified in continuing to abuse their own children. People have seen the spiritual collapse of much of American Christianity into just another political camp with the veneer of the Gospel stretched and twisted overtop. People are leaving the churches in America because the churches in America aren't teaching and living what the Gospel says we should.

    Atheists and agnostics, for all the reasons you cited from your article. Even those who believe that there is a "god" of some sort will feel no need to seek an organized religion, for the reasons I cited above, but they'll simply take from whatever religious tradition gives them inspiration and come up with their own individualized brand of spirituality.

    I don't expect the Muslims to become a majority, unless we start letting in a whole lot more Muslim immigrants. Islam doesn't seem to spread too terribly far outside of the ethnic borders that it came here with, and any non-Muslim who converts probably has a video of their testimony on YouTube. The Muslims are like us Orthodox Christians: We're a cultural oddity, generally seen as too far removed from "Western" society for consideration by your average American. Cultural barriers are strong, even concerning religions which (theoretically) don't have them.

    I think they will be within the next 10 years. 20, tops. People are too fed up with organized religion as it chooses to exist now. That, and our current intellectual culture leaves no room for the spiritual. In an age where we explain literally everything through science, and anything unknown is simply something more for science to discover, belief in the spiritual or the divine is seen as just another silly superstition which will one day be disproven by science. (Even though science cannot disprove things not belonging to the observable universe, but whatever.)
    I think it can, but there needs to be a serious reorientation.

    1: Focus on the Gospel. Everybody loves Jesus. Be more like Jesus. Do what He tells you to. Gandhi once said "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. You Christians are so unlike your Christ." We should focus on making that sentiment a forgotten memory.
    2: Give up the stupid culture war. Christianity lost. Get over it. We're back to where we were vis-a-vis society in the 1st through early 4th centuries AD--a sideculture/subculture (which is incidentally where we grew the most, the fastest).
    3: Give up on trying to play politics. Church and state were separated for a reason. Originally, this was intended for the good of the Church. Acknowledge this and move on. You can inform your churchgoers about good, Christian morals, but don't endorse political candidates or parties. Inform the people and let them decide which foot they want to shoot themselves in. No party is perfect according to Christian morals. If there was a perfect party, that would mean that it's a Christian party, and somebody should tell them that Jesus' kingdom is not of this world, and it's not our job to make it be of this world.
    4: Get some community service going. Start up recycling programs. Start up food banks, host workshops open to the public for things like life skills and staying safe, start day cares, litter removal, disaster relief, visit the shut-ins, visit retirement homes, help out Habitat for Humanity, host blood drives, visit hospitals...
    5: Figure out how to share your faith without being annoying about it. Campus preachers and their ilk only serve to make Christianity look like a hateful freakshow circus. When it comes to the Church, not all publicity is good publicity.
    6: Teach your faith to your children yourself. So many people walk away from Christianity without hardly knowing any of what any of it was actually about. Catholics who go through years and years of religious ed don't know answers to basic questions about their faith. God knows a lot of Evangelicals only know about who the Antichrist is and what Pastor Joe said the Book of Revelation means. Religious ed can only do so much. So, it's the job of the parents to be informed about their own faith, and to answer the questions that their kids have, and to be models of what being a good Christian looks like for your children. Which brings me to my next point...
    7: Live your faith outside of going to church on Sunday. I think a lot of people walk away from Christianity because they see it doesn't make any real impact on the lives of those who supposedly believe in and practice it. Parents should teach their faith to their children, not just rely on a Sunday school teacher to do everything for them. Read the Bible at home. Pray every day. Do some of that community service I talked about. Practice what Jesus did and preached. For God's sake, at least try to be a halfway-decent Christian every day of the week.
    8: This guy hits the rest of it pretty well I think.
     
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  4. SabahTheLoner

    SabahTheLoner Master of the Art of Couch Potato Cuddles

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    I think many people are turning away from religion in general because they either dislike the dogma or find more convincing answers in science, or both.
     
  5. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Don't they make up about 2% of the population or something?

    In any time frame where prediction is even remotely meaningful there is a 0% chance of them becoming the majority.
     
  6. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    When you say majority, are you speaking in terms of total population or population belonging to an affiliated religion?
     
  7. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Either
     
  8. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    I will agree with you on the former given projections I've researched. But let's take a closer look at the latter. What religion do you predict to be the majority in 20 years? 50 years? 100 years? Why?
     
  9. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    20 Christianity because of the numbers at present
    50-100 predictions are not really meaningful (Christianity or not affiliated are most probable, but still too much water to pass under the bridge to be anything other than guesswork)
     
  10. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    We'll set aside the 'not affiliated' for the moment, as my previous question to you specifically addressed affiliated religions. Pew research projects that by 2050, Christianity and Islam will have nearly an equal share of the world's population.

    The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050

    While the ratio would likely favor Christianity at this point in time in the US, I find it plausible that Islam could overtake Christianity in this century given the rate of Christianity's decline.
     
  11. idav

    idav Being
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    The article isn't specifying if Christianity is going down, it is saying white Christians are being replaced by Christians of various diversities other than white.
     
  12. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    The non-white Christian population has grown due to immigration to the US from Latin America and the fact that a greater percentage of Hispanic Catholics are of child bearing years than white American Catholics.

    While the article does say that there is a growth of non-white Christians, it does not state that they are being replaced by a ratio of 1:1. External sources indicate that the Christian population as a whole in the US is indeed on the decline.
     
  13. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    For all the reasons people have posted in this thread and for other reasons, religion as we've known it is dying world-wide. So I answered 'other' because I believe traditional religion is on the way out especially in the West for now but eventually the whole world.

    There will I believe still be a sense of the sacred but more focused on helping others and caring for the Earth than on particular dogma. In other words, "spiritual but not religious".
     
  14. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    The link wouldn't load for me, but based on demographics work I've seen done by groups like PEW, there is little reason to believe that Christianity will stop being the self-identified majority group with a short time frame like 20 years.

    That said, I think we need to be cautious about reading much into superficial ways of identifying ourselves. We do these studies because it's easier and more straightforward than plumbing the depths beneath the label. Near as I can tell, America will maintain a cultural atmosphere that oozes Christian theology and Christian-style religious assumptions in general. It's much too ingrained and will take generations for that to erode, if it ever erodes at all. America may not be a "Christian nation" in sense of being a theocracy, but it certainly is in terms of cultural norms/legacy.
     
  15. Jose Fly

    Jose Fly Fisker of men

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    The data shows that the losses are mostly among the young, which means if we want to answer your question, we should look to data on why young people are leaving Christianity.

    https://www.barna.com/research/six-reasons-young-christians-leave-church/

    Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective.
    Reason #2 – Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.
    Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science.
    Reason #4 – Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental.
    Reason #5 – They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity.
    Reason #6 – The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.

    Personally, I also think the internet plays a significant role. Kids are much more exposed to anti-Christian arguments than before.

    The unaffiliated, because that's where the trend line is headed.

    Not sure what "the young group of Muslims and Hindus" is.

    See above.

    Doubtful. IMO, the genie is out of the bottle. Christianity is losing political power and has lost control of much of the public narrative in the US, and as it slides into being little more than "just one of many beliefs" fewer people will feel compelled to follow it.
     
  16. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Since this country operates as a free religious marketplace (cafeteria worship) then people pick what they want.
    From a melting pot this country has turned itself into a religious toss salad.
    There used to be BIG billboard saying to go the church of ' your ' choice, when it would seem more logical to say to go to the church of ' God's ' choice.

    The religious landscape changes with religious immigration ( even different forms of Catholic emerges due to the Latino game changer ). So, even if affiliated with religion, people develop feeling more spiritual than religious.

    Christendom ( so-called Christian but mostly in name only ) has taught church traditions, or church customs as being Scripture but Not really found in Scripture. People can easily poke holes in those teachings thinking they are poking holes in Scripture when they are really seeing or exposing false clergy teachings.

    The values that need to change are summed up in Jesus' New commandment found at John 13:34-35 to have the same self-sacrificing love for others as Jesus has. The humble figurative ' sheep ' of Matthew 25:31-33,37 have righteous qualities, whereas the figurative haughty ' goats ' are classed with the wicked who will be destroyed forever as per Psalms 92:7. The executional words from Jesus' mouth will rid the Earth of the wicked (Isaiah 11:3-4; Rev. 19:14-16). Then, under Jesus' 1,000-year governmental rule over Earth only righteous people (of all colors everywhere) can be part of the humble meek who will inherit the Earth as Jesus promised.
     
  17. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Are the young leaving Christianity or leaving Christendom. There is a difference.
    I find, that after the death of the apostles an apostasy set in according to Acts of the Apostles 20:29-30.
    False clergy over the centuries (dressed in sheep's clothing) have been fleecing the flock of God.

    Just as the literal waters of ancient Babylon were dried up before its fall ( Revelation 16:12 ), so the spiritual waters (meaning people as per Rev. 17:1, 15 ) are drying up spiritually.

    Christendom (Not Christianity) today corresponds to un-faithful Jerusalem of the year 70 before the Roman armies attacked Jerusalem.
    So, the time is now ripe for the political realm to turn on un-faithful Christendom.
    With a bad economy perhaps the wealth the churches (Not Christianity) have amassed could look easy for the political taking.
    For when ' they ' (powers that be) are saying, "Peace and Security " (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3) that is just the precursor to the coming great tribulation of Revelation 7:14 before Jesus, as Prince of Peace, ushers in global Peace on Earth among people of goodwill.
     
  18. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Caring for the Earth to me sounds more like Earth-Day worship.
    Besides environmental issues and health concern issues there are also other issues that are just too BIG to solve.
    Mankind's history has proven that man can't solve man's problems. Pick up any newspaper and read about the ' bad ' news of men's kingdoms or governments. Pick up the Bible are read about the ' good ' news about God's kingdom (Daniel 2:44) that Jesus, as King of God's kingdom, is the one who will bring healing to earth and earth's nations as mentioned at Revelation 22:2. Mankind will see the return of the Genesis ' tree of life ' for the healing of earth's nations and Earth will be beautifully transformed as described at Isaiah 35.
     
  19. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Except I find that we are nearing the soon coming ' time of separation ' on Earth of Matthew 25:31-33,37.
    It is more like the decline of Christendom, and Not the Christianity that Jesus taught in the first century.
    Even modern technology has helped make possible the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14; Acts 1:8 that the good news message about God's kingdom (Daniel 2:44) will be proclaimed on an international or global scale before the end comes of all badness on Earth. Modern technology has made rapid Bible translation possible so that people now living even in remote areas of Earth can have Scripture in their own mother tongue or native language.
    So, it is Christendom that is declining or drying up spiritually, and Not biblical Christianity.
     
  20. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    How did you arrive at this conclusion?

    On what are you basing this? Do you have a source that counters the article's poll in the OP?
     
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