Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New book claims that White Christian America is dying.

Courtesy of the Washington Post:  

Robert P. Jones is the founding CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). His new book, “The End of White Christian America,” has been called “quite possibly the most illuminating text for this election year.”

Like an archaeological excavation, the chart sorts Americans by religious affiliation and race, stratified by age. It shows the decline of white Christians among each successive generation. 

Today, young adults ages 18 to 29 are less than half as likely to be white Christians as seniors age 65 and older. Nearly 7 in 10 American seniors (67 percent) are white Christians, compared to fewer than 3 in 10 (29 percent) young adults. 

Although the declining proportion of white Christians is due in part to large-scale demographic shifts — including immigration patterns and differential birth rates — this chart also highlights the other major cause: young adults’ rejection of organized religion. Young adults are three times as likely as seniors to claim no religious affiliation (34 percent versus 11 percent, respectively). 

This subject is of course one of my all time favorites, and I have covered the demise of religion around the world for many years now.

In fact when I started The Immoral Minority I always hoped that I would someday have the opportunity to write the obituary for American Christianity.

I seriously doubt I will hang in there long enough to see that day, but at least I can document our shifting away from religion and toward enlightenment, and that's good too.

However a troubling bit of data in this book is the following: 

The rising number of religiously unaffiliated Americans has more to do with people being less likely to claim a formal connection with organized religion than it does with widespread doubts about the existence of God. While there has been an uptick in the number of Americans who identify as atheist or agnostic, this has not been the main driver of growth of the religiously unaffiliated.

Many unaffiliated Americans, for example, still believe in God, even as they are happily unconnected to any church and show little interest in seeking out institutionalized religion.

I find that somewhat less than satisfying as I would of course prefer that the religiously unaffiliated to be made up more from those who reject the idea of a supreme being altogether rather than to be made up of those who no longer find organized religion palatable.

Don't get me wrong, I am still pleased that fewer Americans will find themselves manipulated by men standing behind the pulpit, however continuing to have blind faith in superstitious nonsense still leaves people vulnerable.

Oh well, as I always say, baby steps.


  1. Anonymous4:09 AM

    Yeah! Ding dong the nuts are gone ... Which old nuts? The nuts that believe in hocus pocus, magic and myths!! Take your sorry fairy tales with you to the back of the bus and let's start taxing churches heavily.

  2. "Many unaffiliated Americans, for example, still believe in God, even as they are happily unconnected to any church and show little interest in seeking out institutionalized religion." That's me. However, my father saw ghosts, my niece sees ghosts and plenty of other people see them. Some of these ghosts interact with the physical world. So, no, I could never be a true atheist.

    1. Anonymous5:22 AM

      Why can't there be ghosts without a God? I am not saying it is so, but we have connected the idea of afterlife with a supreme being because that is what we have been taught. The supreme being could just be an electrical force of some kind.

    2. Anonymous7:40 AM

      "The supreme being could just be an electrical force of some kind"

      And that is all we are.

    3. Anonymous8:48 AM

      I don't have a belief in the afterlife, but dang if there is one I certainly hope that it doesn't just consist of floating around unable to communicate with the rest of the world! That would suck.

    4. Anonymous9:52 AM

      Or your father and niece are just mentally ill.

    5. Anonymous11:23 AM

      @9:52, I am an agnostic and comments like yours do not do your cause any favors. Certainly you must know that. Or maybe not.

    6. Anonymous12:13 PM

      My cause? Thinking mentally ill people who see or hear things that aren't there get treatment? Or those around them see they get treatment?

    7. Anonymous2:45 PM

      I knew a couple of people who claimed to see ghosts also... they functioned more or less ok in the world, but I wouldn't consider them to be the most stable of persons either. Lot of drama and belief in various forms of spiritual things to begin with.

      I've seen plenty of things in poor lighting or the like that have scared the crap out of me for a second or two, only to discover it was an inanimate object viewed at just the right angle in just the right light, combined with a bit of unwanted mind trickery.

  3. Connie4:29 AM

    Ah the death of the priest class. I've waited for this moment for a long time. In my research into the religions of the world I found several constants; the most odious being the priest class. Bunch of puffed up men (usually) who get off telling other people what to do, not holy people who live their beliefs. Those folks would be monks or brothers (again usually).

    I know you prefer the idea of no 'gods' Gryphen, but the Universe is 95% Dark Matter. For us humans to say we know there is nothing of the spirit is the height of hubris in my way of thinking.

    1. Anonymous7:09 AM

      Love your last paragraph. Gryphen is the most obnoxious atheist that I'm aware of, just as smug and certain as a Southern Baptist preacher on a Sunday morning.

    2. Anonymous7:41 AM

      Wow, hear 7:09, Uncle G? Either you're the only atheist they'v ever heard of, or they really think you're bigger and badder than Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, etc.

  4. Anonymous5:14 AM

    I have been unaffiliated with any religion for a LONG time. The problem is that if you dig down deep enough almost all religions are about two things - money and power. There are FEW exceptions to that. They can lay all the icing they want on top but that is what is baked into the cake. No thanks.

    1. Maple7:49 AM

      YES! And I think that is the main reason why young people are turning off organized religion. They see the shysters hawking "prosperity religion" on TV only to feather their own nests; they see through the Benny Hinns of the world, faking miracle recoveries; they see the Catholic Church not taking responsibility for their priest pedophiles, for over-population in 3rd world Catholic countries and forbidding birth control and abortion. Young people are some of the first to see hypocrisy in all its nasty forms.

    2. Anonymous8:18 AM

      This actually>
      SEX, BULLYing and $$$Money! in that order.

    3. Anonymous10:48 AM

      To paraphrase a movie quote: In short, it's a big sh*t sandwich and the religious all have to take a bite.

      See: post-TET Offensive comment in Full Metal Jacket (1987).
      I mean come on, even Cronkite thinks religion is now untenable.
      I did it again. hehe

  5. Anonymous5:17 AM

    I think that fewer people being connected to a religion is a great start. When people quit buying the organized religion bullshit, it's only a matter of time before all those superstitions crumble. The key is education.

  6. As a neophyte atheist, forgive me if this question is ignorant, but in freeing one's self of belief in an invisible and unprovable deity, should and does suspicion then follow to other revered notions such as patriotism and romantic love? Aren't each founded in the same kind of faith and hope?

    1. Anonymous7:45 AM

      Great question, dvlaries! I always love your comments, btw!

    2. Great question?

      I don't think that comparing the existence of a feeling to faith in the existence of an incredibly powerful entity responsible for the creation of all things qualifies as a great question.

      Feelings are subjective, the existence of God is objective.

      Things do not exist and actually take up space in the universe simply because we have faith that they do.

    3. Anonymous8:45 AM

      Patriotism is driven by groupthink; individuals seeking acceptance by adopting the beliefs of the collective with whom they identify with. Patriotism is also driven by a person's need to adhere to what he considers a social and moral standard.

      Love? What is love? Lust is often called love. The need to protect and nurture is also often called love, but is there a broad definition for love?

      I personally don't think so, I think it is very subjective.

      Scientific studies have show that the the love that a mother feels for an infant is chemically generated in order to motivate the mother to protect and care for that child. Same with our love of animals, it is generated from a need to protect but also compound by our desire for companionship and relationships, even with non-humans. In human relationships lust is often the catalyst that brings two people together and if the relationship grows past the stage of lust then often those feelings are referred to as love, in that case love being a construct based on familiarity and living a life in common.

      I personally don't believe in "romantic love" and feel it is a human emotional construct that does not exist organically, but that's just me.

    4. Anonymous1:53 PM

      I disagree somewhat from Gryphen when he says the existence of God is objective. I think it can have a subjective component. For example, my cat thinks that she is God, so that is her truth. My dog thinks that I am God and loves me unconditionally, so that is her truth. As for myself, alk I know is that Will Rogers expressed it the best when he said, "if dogs don't go to heaven when they die, I want to go wherever it is that they go."

    5. Anonymous2:53 PM

      Romantic love is a myth - it's hormones and pheromones.

  7. Randall7:18 AM

    What I find most amazing about the whole organized religion deal is that people not only continue to attend, but they continue to give money to The Church even after it is found out that members of the clergy have been fucking their children.

    1. Anonymous8:55 AM

      Not only that, but in my case, they still gave while the big Kahuna was fucking his secretary and his wife.(Episcopal)
      All knew, no one spoke.

  8. Anonymous8:15 AM

    "Sworn statements by Meyer and others who participated in the battle indicate that he didn’t save the lives of 13 U.S. service members, leave his vehicle to scoop up 24 Afghans on his first two rescue runs or lead the final push to retrieve the four dead Americans. Moreover, it’s unclear from the documents whether Meyer disobeyed orders when he entered the Ganjgal Valley on Sept. 8, 2009."
    "A recipient is responsible for writing his narrative?" WTF?
    "acknowledged that portions of the narrative were changed from the account Williams submitted. They said that the changes occurred between July, when Obama approved Meyer’s medal nomination, and the September White House ceremony. Inaccuracies were written into the citation and the narrative of Meyer’s deeds, although the narrative contained far more errors and exaggerations."
    "West, who frequently embeds with troops and has testified before Congress on military strategy, spoke with Meyer a few days after the battle. The pair recently signed a contract with West’s publisher, Random House, to co-write Meyer’s memoir, due out next July. They received an advance that a well-informed publishing industry executive, who asked not to be identified because he wasn't authorized to disclose the information, described as being in the “mid-six figures.” $$$,$$$.cc
    "The battle also prompted the two 15-6 investigations that resulted in career-killing reprimands for dereliction of duty for two officers with the 10th Mountain Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1-32 Infantry, the Army unit responsible for the area. The officers were cited for denying repeated requests from the ambushed Americans for air and artillery support and refusing to send in troops to rescue them."
    Serpent's Heart has the MOA Story<<<< Dakota LIES!

    1. Anonymous8:49 AM

      Old news.

    2. Anonymous1:40 PM

      Why is it so hard for some of you to stay on topic, did you miss your dose of Ritalin? Or is that you SPHASH, trying to get clicks on your site.

    3. Anonymous2:59 PM

      lol. zactly 1:40.

    4. Anonymous3:03 PM

      Best comment of the day goes to 1:40pm! SPHASH is soooo pathetic.

  9. Anonymous8:31 AM

    So much energy spent by Gryph hating on the old white Christians.... Not sure I've ever heard him say a word about Islam or Muslims. They get a pass? Maybe you should focus some energy towards their modern day practices, their treatment of women, homosexuals, non-believers. It is a hell of a lot scarier than anything the Christians are up to these days buddy.

    If you didn't know it already, the Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion in the world. Possibly being larger than Christianity by the end of the century. You prepared to choose sides if you have to? There might come a day whether you like it or not.

    1. Anonymous10:00 AM

      Nah, Trump's gonna take care of all 'em.


    2. Anonymous1:51 PM

      Gryphen is the equivalent of the Heritage foundation just on a lot smaller scale thank goodness. His atheism rants reek of hate and disdain just as the religious fanatics.

    3. Anonymous2:55 PM

      Do you have a problem staying on topic 8:31. the fall of Christianity, in America. Now try again.

    4. Anonymous2:55 PM

      Yeah, Gryphen also didn't talk about Judaism and Israel's oppression of the Palestinians. Your point?

    5. Anonymous3:37 PM

      Do you have a problem understanding the larger, and far more dangerous and pertinent looming topic of the rise of Islam worldwide and in the US 2:55?

      How do you feel about throwing homosexuals off buildings? Drowning people in cages, or dropping them in vats of burning oil (these are fellow Muslims mind you)? How about honor killings of sisters and daughters? How about extremely limited rights for women, and covering from head to toe?

      2:55, the Israel-Palestinian problem is theirs to solve. We aren't going to solve it for them. BTW you don't see all the regional Muslim/Arab countries truly giving a shit about the Palestinians plight either, it is all talk... why is that?

    6. Anonymous4:25 PM

      2:55 actually, if you knew how to read, the book title and quotes refer to white Christians, not all Christians.

      Did you know there is a higher percentage of Christians in the black community than in the white? Now when are Gryphen and all you liberals going to start chastising those poor dumb black Christians?

  10. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Doesn't seem very "christian" to me that religious people break themselves up into white or non white christians. But then I had a Delta customer care agent tell me this morning that she will be praying I get my lost bag, of course I told her I was hoping I could count on competent employees instead( she got upset with me).
    Another Atheist

  11. Anonymous9:50 AM

    Good trend. The kids are smart, must have eaten from 'the tree of knowledge", eh?

    Spirituality and a personal connection to the universe is very different from the following of a religious organization with it's tons of dogma.

    I have found those who are most attached to their christian church are often oblivious to the needs of those around them - spirituality lacking. Example, a friend needs to get to hospital for medical tests and cannot drive - a reception for a pastor takes precedence over helping the friend. "Get a cab".

  12. Anonymous11:51 AM

    OUTSTANDING !!! Idiocy my be cureabl...

  13. I'm not surprised by this. There's been a steady falling off of those adhering to various organized religions over the last 20 years or so.

    I'm not an atheist, I'm not even sure that I fall into the agnostic camp. But one fact I am completely clear, what I believe is personal and not something I aspire to push on others.

    I don't think for a moment laws meant to govern all of us should be painted by a few with specific views infringing up on the rights of others. Which is what the Christian right wing tries to do and in fact does here in Texas.

    My rights end where your nose begins. I hold that to be an ultimate truth in all things.

    Oddly enough in I was raised in the church, I'm well versed in bible literature and at one time heeded the missionary call. That experience convinced me organized religion is less about bring compassion and understanding to those in need and more about making a few bucks while running a personal tally of how many souls one brings to the church.

    I have no idea at this point where I come down solidly on this subject. Right now there is no ultimate deity, just oneness of some definition. Still part of the journey.

    1. Anonymous2:57 PM

      Of course you were inculturated, which is why you likely still feel that there "must" be a deity.

  14. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Baby steps - exactly. Unaffiliated people don't immerse their kids from birth in religious rituals which indoctrinate them into religion. They don't send them to religious schools for more indoctrination. which is why we need to fight vouchers.


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