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Wed Mar 20, 2013, 10:10 AM

As religion declines in the U.S., Jesus freaks move to the third world and cause tremendous damage.

http://www.alternet.org/belief/you-wouldnt-believe-how-fast-americans-are-losing-their-religion-fundamentalists-have-plan?paging=off

AlterNet / By Adam Lee
You Wouldn't Believe How Fast Americans Are Losing Their Religion -- But the Fundamentalists Have a Plan
As their power declines in America, fundamentalists are moving to developing countries not as far along the secularization curve. And they're causing massive damage.

March 15, 2013 |
Sometime last year, the US quietly passed a milestone demographers had long been predicting: for the first time in its history, this country is no longer majority Protestant. Fewer than 50 percent of Americans now identify as Protestant Christians of any denomination.

This change has come on surprisingly recently, and from a historical perspective, with breathtaking speed. As recently as 1993, almost two-thirds of Americans identified as Protestants, a number that had remained stable for the several preceding decades. But sometime in the 1990s, the ground started to shift, and it's been sliding ever since. Whether it's the "mainline" Protestant denominations like Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans or Presbyterians, or the independent evangelical, charismatic and fundamentalist sects, the decline is happening across the board. The rise of so-called megachurches, like Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in California or Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill in Seattle, represents not growth, but consolidation.

...

But the footsoldiers of fundamentalism haven't been entirely idle these past few decades. As their power declines in America and Europe, they're increasingly moving abroad, to developing countries not as far along the secularization curve, where they often find a more receptive audience.

The first example is Uganda, where the most despicable kind of American culture warriors have run amok with horrifying results. Since 2009, the country's parliament has been debating an "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," which among other things would establish a crime of "aggravated homosexuality," punishable by life imprisonment or death.


As people become wise to the bullshit here in the U.S., the fundies are scrambling for a new base of people who are less educated and more desperate.

41 replies, 2459 views

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Reply As religion declines in the U.S., Jesus freaks move to the third world and cause tremendous damage. (Original post)
backscatter712 Mar 2013 OP
Agnosticsherbet Mar 2013 #1
leftyohiolib Mar 2013 #2
Agnosticsherbet Mar 2013 #3
leftyohiolib Mar 2013 #4
Agnosticsherbet Mar 2013 #12
Ikonoklast Mar 2013 #5
Initech Mar 2013 #6
sigmasix Mar 2013 #34
hfojvt Mar 2013 #7
liberal_at_heart Mar 2013 #9
snooper2 Mar 2013 #11
Luminous Animal Mar 2013 #22
hfojvt Mar 2013 #33
reformist2 Mar 2013 #8
backscatter712 Mar 2013 #10
RainDog Mar 2013 #13
liberal_at_heart Mar 2013 #14
siligut Mar 2013 #16
RainDog Mar 2013 #17
liberal_at_heart Mar 2013 #19
siligut Mar 2013 #21
idwiyo Mar 2013 #31
backscatter712 Mar 2013 #35
Arugula Latte Mar 2013 #15
liberal_at_heart Mar 2013 #18
Arugula Latte Mar 2013 #23
RainDog Mar 2013 #20
Deep13 Mar 2013 #28
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #40
Apophis Mar 2013 #24
Gravitycollapse Mar 2013 #25
defacto7 Mar 2013 #26
Deep13 Mar 2013 #27
idwiyo Mar 2013 #29
xfundy Mar 2013 #30
RainDog Mar 2013 #38
AndyTiedye Mar 2013 #32
Blue_Tires Mar 2013 #36
Dawson Leery Mar 2013 #37
RainDog Mar 2013 #39
Dawson Leery Mar 2013 #41

Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 10:15 AM

1. Jesus freaks out in the streets

Handing tickets out for god..."

Sir Elton John.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 11:10 AM

2. sir - ha !

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 11:52 AM

3. That's Sir Elton Hercules John...

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 11:59 AM

4. his middle name is hercules? so it's not sir Reginald Kenneth Dwight?

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 06:21 PM

12. The Good Knight changed his name.

to Elton Hercules John.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 12:21 PM

5. The fastest growth areas for the RCCC are in Africa and Asia.

They are losing Central and South America, they are in the decline in this country.

The only problem is, they need the money from the U.S. to survive.

No donations from U.S. Catholics, no funding for Rome to be selling Heaven to the un-churched in other parts of the world.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 12:39 PM

6. When some man comes along and claims a godly need, he'll clean you out...

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Response to Initech (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 04:19 AM

34. right through your teeth

"There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over"

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 01:02 PM

7. losing their religion?

I guess this milestone wouldn't have anything at all to do with a surge of Catholic immigrants?

pew survey on religion

Protestant - 51.3%
Catholic - 23.9%
mormon - 1.7%
jewish - 1.7%
muslim - 0.6%
religious unaffiliated - 5.8%

religions - 85% (not including buddhist, hindu or even unitarians (0.7%)

secular unaffiliated - 6.3%
agnostic (whatever the heck that means) - 2.4%
atheist - 1.6%

http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 01:15 PM

9. yeah, it's not that the country is losing its religion

It's that we are a truly diverse population now. There are a lot more non-religious people. My children are atheists. But many other people are religious, and there are still many protestant Christians. But there are many people of different faiths. We are a truly diverse culture now. It's a beautiful thing. Many religious Americans believe in their faith but are also scientifically minded. There are many protestant Christians like the evangelical Christians who are interested in going oversees. My father who is evangelical Christian mentions to me all the time that he thinks people from developing countries who still practice mystical religions are more open to receiving miracles than Americans.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 01:45 PM

11. Those stats are wrong,

And did you check the date on that by the way

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:59 PM

22. You are posting stats from 2007

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #22)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 03:46 AM

33. I noticed that (when another mentioned it)

unfortunately I had faith in google when I searched for "religious affiliation 2012" to take me to the latest results.

I note that there is, apparently NOT an increase in Catholics, which I had expected there to be.

But I also note that they say that many of the unaffiliated, who are growing, seem to be religious rather than atheist/agnostic

"However, a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted jointly with the PBS television program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, finds that many of the country’s 46 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way. Two-thirds of them say they believe in God (68%). More than half say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth (58%), while more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” (37%), and one-in-five (21%) say they pray every day. In addition, most religiously unaffiliated Americans think that churches and other religious institutions benefit society by strengthening community bonds and aiding the poor."

It just seems that many of them a) do not wish to give up a few hours every Sunday going to a boring church service and b) do not wish to give their money to a church.

But I guess also when it says they "believe in God" that does not mean "believe in the god of the Bible" and "feeling a deep connection with nature and the earth" is more like Native American religion or some new age religion than Christianity.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 01:07 PM

8. Keep this in mind: Atheists/agnostics have fewer children than religious.


You may think we're moving towards an non-religious society, but demography says that's an uphill battle.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 01:15 PM

10. And thus we move towards Idiocracy.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:12 PM

13. More people are moving to "no religious belief"

than are moving to a religious belief. This has been going on for quite some time and people looking at the data think it has to do with the identification of religion with right wing political groups. The churches have brought this upon themselves by attempting to force their views as national policy. This is cited as THE most important reason people have decided to leave a particular religion.

Just because someone claims no belief - that doesn't mean their children will do the same. But it doesn't matter, because those claiming no religious belief are coming from various religious beliefs.

From 2009 -

http://www.usnews.com/news/religion/articles/2009/03/13/leaving-religion-behind-a-portrait-of-nonreligious-america

According to a comprehensive national survey released this week by the Program on Public Values at Trinity College, those identifying with no religious tradition, or as atheists or agnostics, account for 15 percent of the population, up from about 8 percent in 1990. "No religion" Americans are the only religious demographic that's growing in every single state.

In the Northeast, those who are now claiming "no religion" has increased 300% in the last 20 years and is equal to a quarter of the population in the northeast. Previously the west and pacific coasts have been the strongholds of "no religion," but that is changing across the nation.

With as many Americans identifying as "no religion" as there are mainline Christians, Jews, and Mormons in the United States combined, the Trinity College survey has helped create a portrait of an exploding secular tradition that reveals commonalities beyond lack of belief.


This demographic includes Latino American immigrants. Children of immigrants who have been here for a generation are following the same trend as others in the age cohort and political identification (the majority of whom lean toward voting for Democrats by huge percentage over Republicans, but they consider themselves independents, politically.

This move away from religious identification is hurting the Republican Party - but they and their right wing religious friends who tried to claim they speak for god are to blame - the reason people are leaving religion is because of this political association.



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Response to RainDog (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:20 PM

14. I get a sense from some that this is the perfect opportunity for the righteous scientifically

minded atheists who is always right about everything to get revenge and oppress religious people. I certainly hope this is not the case. People, myself included, will resist atheist oppression just as much as we resisted conservative Christian oppression. I personally think it is a beautiful thing that we have a more diverse culture. We have all denominations of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu, Buddhism, agnostic, atheist and just about everything else you can think of. What we should be celebrating is that we are a truly diverse culture at long last.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:37 PM

16. Maybe this is a little bit defensive due to "Jesus freaks" in the OP subline

I do think that some religions are communicating that their people will be oppressed, but this tends to be cults who use the "others are out to get us" issue to keep control.

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Response to siligut (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:40 PM

17. you should read all the bullshit this person has been flinging

regarding this issue.

not worth the bother to acknowledge the attempt at scare tactics bullshit.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #17)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:45 PM

19. thank you for letting yourself be known. I will be sure to put you on ignore.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #17)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:47 PM

21. So you believe the post is calculated?

Not really a "concern", but trying to communicate that there should be one?

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 03:13 AM

31. What atheist oppression? Are you OK? I mean really, where did you get this nonsense from?

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 01:44 PM

35. Oh my stars and garters! Atheists are criticizing the priviledged majority religion!

Break out the fainting couches and pass the smelling salts!

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Response to RainDog (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:34 PM

15. These surveys are always quick to point out that most unaffiliated people still believe in a god,

but I can't help think that as the number of people not affiliated with churches rises, belief in deities will eventually fall, although there may be a lag time. The Internet is one factor that is increasing non-belief, in my opinion, because it provides a message board for others to note that they, too, fail to see clothing on the emperor.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:43 PM

18. hopefull what will fall is prejudice against belief and non-belief

Politicians should not be writing law based on religion. We have separation of church and state for that. But why do we have to force our belief or lack of belief on anybody? Why can't religious and non-religious people just learn to leave people alone and let them believe or not believe whatever the they want? I am proud of my two free thinking atheist children and my agnostic husband. I myself don't worry about whether there is a god or not. It is not important to how I live my life. But I am Buddhist. I love going to Chenrezig compassion for all meditation service. I find it very peaceful and calming. Are non religious people simply going to replace the conservative Christians and carry on the tradition of intolerance and bullying? I hope not. I can at least be grateful I know my children won't.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 01:06 AM

23. WTF?

I'm just stating a side observation. Who is forcing anything on anybody? Jeeez.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 20, 2013, 07:45 PM

20. I think this goes back to the damage religious institutions have inflicted upon themselves

we have been living through an era of fundamentalism in all the monotheisms and they're all reactionary movements everywhere they exist.

the reaction isn't divided along gender lines. Many women have routinely contributed their time, money and vote to continued oppression of women.

Religious females were behind the defeat of the ERA in the U.S.

The reason for this, it is postulated, is those females derive a benefit from their positions attached to a powerful male and define their power because of this male.

It's like white women in the south who pretended slavery wasn't a blight on America's very foundational documents because they were catered to and had exclusive rights by benefit of their marriages, etc. to rich slaveholders.

Some women did go against this - and there was a price to pay. There's always a price to pay for refusing to comply with the dominant oppression of the day.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 02:53 AM

28. We are moving toward a secular ruling class and what's left of the middle class...

...on the one hand and a rabidly religious lower class.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 03:42 PM

40. maybe a lot of them aren't inoculating and a bunch will die off?

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 01:35 AM

24. They ruin every country they come into contact with.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 01:42 AM

25. I've seen what Christianity has done to West Africa.

"Spread the peaceful gospel with a Maxim gun."

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 02:11 AM

26. Nothing's changed much

since the Spanish conquests of the Americas, or the missionaries to Hawaii and the South Pacific islands. What would make anyone think that the message, the dogma and the outcome would de any different in the end? New toys to indoctrinate?

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 02:52 AM

27. They're not "Jesus Freaks," they're right wing fundamentalists.

Jesus Freaks is a derogatory term for part of the religious left that grew out of the hippy counter-culture in the 1960s. To them, the hippy reaction against materialism resonated with Jesus's teachings. They were basically pacifists and not denominationally specific.

The religious right was a recent phenomenon and essentially a reaction to civil rights, the counter-culture, and feminism.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 03:03 AM

29. Despicable, disgusting arseholes. Regardless of the denomination they belong to.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 03:06 AM

30. Peoples who are not far from ancient beliefs

in voodoo or other myths are ripe for the picking. The fundies simply subjugate those beliefs and incorporate parts of them into xianity. It's always been this way.

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Response to xfundy (Reply #30)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 03:20 PM

38. How does someone determine which myths are correct?

The beliefs of indigenous people in Africa follow the same trajectory as the beliefs of religions in other parts of the world. "Traditional healers" in Africa (what they're called now, from someone I know from Tanzania) use a lot of plants that have healing properties that are part of that ancient tradition. Those healers also provide support for the leaders, ostracize others based upon that relationship, etc.

There is no more proof of one group's religious beliefs than there is for any other.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 03:46 AM

32. If Only

As their power declines in America


Their numbers may be declining, but not their power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fellowship_(Christian_organization)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opus_Dei

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 02:59 PM

36. This is nothing new...

Pat Robertson for instance has been balls deep in the African diamond trade for over 20 years...

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 03:07 PM

37. The Vatican chose a Pope from South America, as the region's populace

is leaving the church. It was a "hail Mary" effort to stop the bleeding.
Africa is where the church is growing (as well as the Evangelicals).
If American/European Catholics stopped giving money to this scam, the efforts to conquer Africa/Philippines in the name of Christ would come to a halt.

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #37)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 03:36 PM

39. Mexico is following the same trend as the U.S.

http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=390745&CategoryId=14091

More than 1,000 Mexicans left the Catholic Church every day over the last decade, adding up to some 4 million fallen-away Catholics between 2000 and 2010, sociologist and historian Roberto Blancarte told Efe.

Blancarte, one of the nation’s outstanding specialists on religious subjects, said that one of the main conclusions to be drawn from the 2010 census is that Mexico is no longer a predominantly Catholic country and has become a nation of religious pluralism.

According to figures from the census taken last year, out of a total 112 million Mexicans, 92.9 million are Catholics, 14.1 million belong to Protestant Christian denominations, and a lower number are devotees of Islam, Judaism and various oriental doctrines.

One of the principal novelties is that 5.2 million say they profess no religion – to the question about their religious beliefs, they answered “no religion.”


Obviously the majority of the population still identifies with a religion, but the numbers of those claiming no religion is growing all over the place, not just in the U.S., as you note.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #39)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 04:06 PM

41. Many of those who are still religious are NOT agreeing with everything

the clergy tells them. Dogma is fading.

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