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Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
#1

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archiv...yptr=yahoo

...
But in the early 1990s, the historical tether between American identity and faith snapped. Religious non-affiliation in the U.S. started to rise—and rise, and rise. By the early 2000s, the share of Americans who said they didn’t associate with any established religion (also known as “nones”) had doubled. By the 2010s, this grab bag of atheists, agnostics, and spiritual dabblers had tripled in size.
...
The obvious question for anybody who spends at least two seconds looking at the graph above is: What the hell happened around 1990?

According to Christian Smith, a sociology and religion professor at the University of Notre Dame, America’s nonreligious lurch has mostly been the result of three historical events: the association of the Republican Party with the Christian right, the end of the Cold War, and 9/11.
...

-----

What?  Nothing about the internet and atheist presence there?

..
Religion has lost its halo effect in the past three decades, not because science drove God from the public square, but rather because politics did
...
Sitting in the club car of the hell bound train.

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#2

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
I was never religious and religion barely ever affected me in 68 years. America was getting along fine without religion long before anyone noticed that.
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#3

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
One can argue with this articles analysis but it is still an interesting read.

38% of the 18-29 YO cohort is unchurched.
16% of the 60-69 YO cohort is unchurched.

The Big three reasons offered.
1. End of the cold war and the campaign against Godless communism
2. 9/11. The rise of radical jihadism. Religion does great evil
3. Right winger evangelism entry into politics.

Also scandals. RCC pedophile priests, TV evangelist antics.
Rise of the internet.
Atheist best sellers. Dawkins, Dennet, Harris, Hitchens.
Christian anti-intellectualism probably plays a role here too. Creationism and climate change denial.

When a ditz like Paula White can be Trump's official "spiritual adviser" this is going to repel a lot of younger people if they notice.
Attacks on wome's health probably doesn't help. No to birth control? Come on!

Enjoy the Christian death march to oblivion.
Sitting in the club car of the hell bound train.

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#4

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
Quote:What the hell happened around 1990?

For whatever reason the stigma of not believing childish bullshit lessened.  

The growth of cable tv systems in the 80's may have had something to do with it.  People got to see George Carlin unedited!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#5

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
What happened in 1990?

The Eastern Bloc fell in 1989. That led many Americans to believe that the only threat was undone.
"What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?" -- Frank Herbert
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#6

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-26-2019, 10:36 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: What happened in 1990?

The Eastern Bloc fell in 1989. That led many Americans to believe that the only threat was undone.

And then Iraq.
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#7

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-26-2019, 08:24 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: I was never religious and religion barely ever affected me in 68 years. America was getting along fine without religion long before anyone noticed that.

 Gee, you must live in a very different America than the one I've aways thought of and have visited.

America was founded by a bunch of religious bigots who left England because it was too ungodly for them. They were not fleeing persecution, they simply wanted to do the persecuting .


As far as I'm aware ,the US will still not elect an openly atheist person as president .Nor an openly gay person to just about anything,. (this may be slowly changing) That bigotry is the direct result of religiosity .

Outsiders commonly still see the US as a puritanical society.

I'm glad religious affiliation is falling in the US . However, the religious right still  retains  a  ridiculous level of power and influence in US politics and daily  life. The religious right tends deny climate change . Not surprising, such people also tend to be anti science.  They don't trust scientist and don't understand or try to understand the  the science. 

In my opinion, it's possible ,even likely that the religious right in the US will become like the NRA;  continue to have power and influence far greater than it should relative to its numbers.

 I'll stick my neck out here and make the observation that [as an outside]   the influence of small social interest  groups and  vested business interest in the US is the direct result  of an egregiously corrupt lobbying system. 

In Australia, the  religious right is small but powerful. While our conservative party is in power, religiosity holds sway.    Our Current Prime Minister is a happy clapper who prays in a crisis. Also climate a denier/do nothing.   He responded to the recent youth climate change strike  and  the young spokeswomen with an appalling  response of patronage, dismissing them, and by extension their concerns, in about 3 
sentences. Our previous  PM was a practising Catholic who openly opposed gay marriage legislation.  

Our centre left party, Labor, tend to be atheist, and some are  openly gay,. 

Our vested interest corruption is most noticeable in the mining sector, especially  of  coal and natural gas. We have an abundance of both We use coal for most of our power plants and export squillions of tons.. 

The barrier reef  is dying.Much of the damage has been shown to be caused by mining in Queensland . My Government does nothing.
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#8

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
Yes, I think family dynamics changed because of several waves of events in the last 100 years but I disagree with 9/11 and religion in the republican party. 

Before WW I  few ordinary people traveled outside of the United States. World War I was the first time the average Joe got on a boat and went to foreign shores.  When the boys came back home many of them went back to the farm or dad's business but some struck out on their own.  After WW I families and extended families living in the same house was still not unusual.  However, WW II took more young men away from their homeland and returning to the farm or their dad's business was not appealing. The returning soldier wanted more out of life than farming or the family business and struck out on their own.  It was after WW II that several generations of families living under one roof was the exception and not the rule.  The growth of suburbs and single family homes became the American Dream and because of this the family nucleus changed drasticly.  The family religion didn't continue unbroken within one house.  The returning vet frequently moved  to another state far from their parents or grandparents and the religious belief they grew up with. 

I think there are thousands of reasons religion has waned.  Labor saving inventions is one.  It changed the social fabic of families.   The act of washing clothes, which used to be a female family social event, was replaced by the wonder of washing machines.  Women could do things other than scrub clothes on a scrub board.  They started to enjoy life a little and frequently it didn't involve religion.   You may not connect washing clothes by hand with belief in a god but when you spend 14 -20 hours a week washing clothes you start to pray for some relief!

The invention of cars and airplanes was instrumental to religion being left behind. Motion pictures, radio, record players, TV, the Internet, the discovery of DNA, penicillin, and tons of other things have cut into religious belief.  But before we do a happy dance, I do think that the majority "nones" are still "spiritual" or believe in some magical energy in the universe,  so hard corp atheism is still not playing a large part in those who call themselves "nones".    Just sayin. 

Anyway, that's my opinion.
                                                         T4618
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#9

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-26-2019, 10:47 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(09-26-2019, 10:36 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: What happened in 1990?

The Eastern Bloc fell in 1989. That led many Americans to believe that the only threat was undone.

And then Iraq.

Not really related to the Cold War, though.
"What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?" -- Frank Herbert
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#10

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
After the 90's? Bunch of johnny-come-latelys. Where were you in the 70's when I was holding my own?
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#11

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
I don't disagree with the article's analysis, but I think the meta analysis is just that humanity is growing up, and that's largely a function of the ease with which broad swaths of most societies now have access to the full range of human knowledge. Ignorance is dying. You could imagine from the political spectacle playing out in the US and the UK and some other places right now that it's not, but on an overall basis, the cat is out of the bag. What is known can't be un-known. A lot of what we are seeing with US Christian fundamentalism and Trumpism and xenophobia and white nationalism is the death throes of the knuckle-draggers. It's a vain attempt to circle the wagons and stop the bleeding. They're dangerous, cornered animals, but their ecosystem of intellectual ghettoes isn't sustainable.

The sad reality is that thanks in large part to the climate crisis, life as we know it may not survive their death-rattle. They may succeed in the old "if I can't have it no one can" gambit.

I should add that ignorance isn't the only issue. Greed is the other. Unbridled capitalism and corporatism thrives partly on ignorance and apathy, but when those are gone there is still avarice. That mentality, too, is unsustainable and seems to be going down with the knuckle-draggers. This is the "fantasy of endless growth" that Greta Thurnberg is talking about.
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#12

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-26-2019, 10:56 PM)grympy Wrote:
(09-26-2019, 08:24 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: I was never religious and religion barely ever affected me in 68 years. America was getting along fine without religion long before anyone noticed that.

 Gee, you must live in a very different America than the one I've aways thought of and have visited.
I grew up in small towns in Indiana, mostly. Never had to go to church, never had to say what my religion was, etc.
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#13

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
Most people here in Australia are like me—slack arsed—and can't really be fucked getting up early
every Sunday to go to church.  That's not to say that they wouldn't define themselves as Christian.
Most churches around where I live in the boonies practise what I'd call a very "relaxed" type of
religious services; a lot of them are more like a social services bureaux providing support for the
homeless or jobless,  or the frail elderly or displaced youth etc.

[Image: kisspng-christianity-in-australia-religi...962375.png]

CLEANPNG©2019



I'd be interested in seeing an infographic for the US.  Would the figures be the same, or similar?

     Huh
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#14

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
To add to my previous post, I don't think the US has lost much of it's religion. It's just changed. A lot of people don't go to church but that doesn't mean they aren't religious or "spiritual".   

I was telling someone that I was an atheist and she asked me in a pleading manner, "Well, are you spiritual?"  It was as if she needed me to be something.  I couldn't possibly be nothing.  So spirituality is the last holdout.  The land of zero belief in anything is too scary for a lot of people.  Sadly, people respect you only if you believe in something supernatural.
                                                         T4618
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#15

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-27-2019, 03:06 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: To add to my previous post, I don't think the US has lost much of it's religion. It's just changed. A lot of people don't go to church but that doesn't mean they aren't religious or "spiritual".   

I was telling someone that I was an atheist and she asked me in a pleading manner, "Well, are you spiritual?"  It was as if she needed me to be something.  I couldn't possibly be nothing.  So spirituality is the last holdout.  The land of zero belief in anything is too scary for a lot of people.  Sadly, people respect you only if you believe in something supernatural.

I never understood why we needed spirituality.
The incomprehensibly massive Universe we inhabit isn't fascinating? The fact that a mindless process led to all the life we see currently, and consciousness, isn't fascinating? You could spend an entire lifetime learning about just those things.
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#16

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-26-2019, 08:22 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archiv...yptr=yahoo

...
But in the early 1990s, the historical tether between American identity and faith snapped. Religious non-affiliation in the U.S. started to rise—and rise, and rise. By the early 2000s, the share of Americans who said they didn’t associate with any established religion (also known as “nones”) had doubled. By the 2010s, this grab bag of atheists, agnostics, and spiritual dabblers had tripled in size.
...
The obvious question for anybody who spends at least two seconds looking at the graph above is: What the hell happened around 1990?

According to Christian Smith, a sociology and religion professor at the University of Notre Dame, America’s nonreligious lurch has mostly been the result of three historical events: the association of the Republican Party with the Christian right, the end of the Cold War, and 9/11.
...

-----

What?  Nothing about the internet and atheist presence there?

..
Religion has lost its halo effect in the past three decades, not because science drove God from the public square, but rather because politics did
...

didn't you last attempt fail because the US census showed that there was a sharp decline in 1990, the numbers remain the same otherwise?

Plus did you read how the general society survey gets it's numbers? Their surveys where not even made available to spanish speaking people till just a few years ago. let lone sample a cross section truly representative of the country. It sounds like it is geared to and made available for collage aged and going people. You know the same minority who thought they won the last election by a land slide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Social_Survey

If you read the wiki article it does say the survey is popular (surveys that tell people what they want to hear generally are popular) but the page also points out the census is the ultimate standard.

And like our last discussion on this topic the census as of 9/19 shows very little growth between 1990 and the last polling in 2010 in the 'unaffiliated' category. Again we need the official data point provided by the census who sources this data from ASARB http://www.usreligioncensus.org/ for 2020 to make a determination.

Yes we discussed the census since 1951 does not ask about religion but in 1951 the Government set up the ASARB to ask that question for them every 10 years.

(It is the loop hole the government created to get around the decision to not ask about religion on the official census form.

And again those "unaffiliated" numbers show little to no growth since 1990. (the last 19 years) nothing outside the margin of error. we need the 2020 data point to provide a truthful answer. The rest is feeling and speculation.
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#17

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
What happened in 1990? the matrix of leadership was passed from the greatest generation to the baby boomers. meaning the vast majority of the WWII generation who lead this country through it's more prominent god fearing flag waving years all but retired and passed the torch to the boomers, IE the hippie love in dirt foot non bathing flag burning god hating nastos. Their leadership pushed anyone on the fence over the edge. From the choices they made in advertisement tv programming, editorials and the biggest change what was and what was no longer moral. The boomers took the few evils of the previous generation (An evel the majority did not share) and used it to abolish and cast off all the morals of the previous soceity. the boomers like all spoiled children rebelled and when they came into power they destroyed the values and morals of the previous generation.

Even at this.. the loss was minimal.
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#18

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-27-2019, 03:06 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: To add to my previous post, I don't think the US has lost much of it's religion. It's just changed. A lot of people don't go to church but that doesn't mean they aren't religious or "spiritual". 
I think most Americans give the replies they are expected to give regarding religion. Since the '80s the shopping mall parking lots have more cars than church lots on Sunday morning.
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#19

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-27-2019, 04:09 PM)Drich Wrote: ...Again we need the official data point provided by the census who sources this data from ASARB http://www.usreligioncensus.org/ for 2020 to make a determination.

LOL... don't you just love it when someone cites "statistics" about religion from a religious organisation?  And
who could dare to accuse the ASARB of bias, selective polling, or skewing the results?  Oh... not me m'lud!

Quote:The Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) "was founded in 1935 to:

   •  Bring together professionals in denominations and other religious bodies who gather and publish statistics on their groups,
   •  Furnish a forum for the exchange of ideas, problems, and methods,
   •  Seek greater standardization in religious statistical data."


Quote:And again those "unaffiliated" numbers show little to no growth since 1990. (the last 19 years) nothing outside the margin of error. we need the 2020 data point to provide a truthful answer. The rest is feeling and speculation.

Nope.  The 'unaffiliated' or 'nones' have been increasing markedly in the last 40 years.  You might like to
check out my link below to confirm this in Australia—which demographically is very similar to the US, although
somewhat less religion-orientated.  In our 2016 Census, there were more responses for “no religion” than any
actual religion, at 33.3% of the population, versus 25% Catholic and 14.7% Anglican.

How no religion became the most common "religion" in Australia

Your claim that the religiously 'unaffiliated' percentage of the population is not increasing is either fatuous,
misinterpretation, disingenuous, or a blatant lie.  Take your pick.  See the graph below, and note in particular
the "No religion" numbers (in mid-green) which have shown a regular increase since 1971.

[Image: 1280px-AustralianReligiousAffiliation_2.svg.png]

I'm actually not sure why you periodically raise your head above the religious ramparts here, and repeatedly
misquote actual statistics in order to deny the reality.  

Are you a masochist maybe?     Chuckle

PS:  I'm not sure what you mean by "little to no growth since 1990. (the last 19 years)".
Do you mean 2000 or the last 29 years?  Can't be both.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#20

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
Just a riff on SYZ's Aussie figures and their remark upon the age of the members of churches getting older over time.

One should not assume that this means they're just going to die out within a generation.

It just means they're appealing to older people. Another possible outcome is that as the oldest of them die, younger people "age into" the faith. There are a lot of things that seem to appeal more to older people because of acquired or mature taste or changes related to aging or simply acquiring later in life the financial means to pursue something that's relatively expensive (owning a big house, or having a pricey hobby).

One of the changes related to aging is greater desire for community to counter higher levels of loneliness and vulnerability due to the empty nest, being widowed, your friends and family dying off around you, your health failing, etc. My wife and I have actually considered pursuing some activities with the local UU congregation for exactly those reasons, to develop relationships and plug into a helping network. We're also more open to involvement with civic organizations and charity work for the same reason.

That minor caveat aside, I do think it's clear that the across-the-board hegemony of the church has faded and they are getting by on slimmer pickings. IF they are to prolong their survival, they will have to alter their sales pitch and provide some real value. Some denominations are better able to flex with the times than others. Overall, I think they are all doomed, over the long run (many generations).
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#21

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-26-2019, 11:09 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Yes, I think family dynamics changed because of several waves of events in the last 100 years but I disagree with 9/11 and religion in the republican party. 

Before WW I  few ordinary people traveled outside of the United States. World War I was the first time the average Joe got on a boat and went to foreign shores.  When the boys came back home many of them went back to the farm or dad's business but some struck out on their own.  After WW I families and extended families living in the same house was still not unusual.  However, WW II took more young men away from their homeland and returning to the farm or their dad's business was not appealing. The returning soldier wanted more out of life than farming or the family business and struck out on their own.  It was after WW II that several generations of families living under one roof was the exception and not the rule.  The growth of suburbs and single family homes became the American Dream and because of this the family nucleus changed drasticly.  The family religion didn't continue unbroken within one house.  The returning vet frequently moved  to another state far from their parents or grandparents and the religious belief they grew up with. 

I think there are thousands of reasons religion has waned.  Labor saving inventions is one.  It changed the social fabic of families.   The act of washing clothes, which used to be a female family social event, was replaced by the wonder of washing machines.  Women could do things other than scrub clothes on a scrub board.  They started to enjoy life a little and frequently it didn't involve religion.   You may not connect washing clothes by hand with belief in a god but when you spend 14 -20 hours a week washing clothes you start to pray for some relief!


The invention of cars and airplanes was instrumental to religion being left behind. Motion pictures, radio, record players, TV, the Internet, the discovery of DNA, penicillin, and tons of other things have cut into religious belief.  But before we do a happy dance, I do think that the majority "nones" are still "spiritual" or believe in some magical energy in the universe,  so hard corp atheism is still not playing a large part in those who call themselves "nones".    Just sayin. 

Anyway, that's my opinion.

All true enough, but  America remains relatively insular, with only about 50% of Americans holding a passport. Plus from what I've read, many Americans seem stunningly ignorant of their country's geography an history..

My dad was in the Australian Air Force from 1939 to 1945. He went from a very working class  suburb (outside toilet wood stove, no fridge etc) first to North Africa and then to India. His experience did not broaden his horizons, nor those of most Aussies who served, from what I can gather.

Dad's generation  returned from WW2 shattered , but no wiser, or tolerant or adventurous.   The same racism and bigotry remained in OZ. The white Australia policy was not abolished until about 1975.

The Jim Crow laws and blatant US racism in the Us did not start to change until the Civil Rights Movement  in the 1960's.  Even today, there are elements of race in most major issues in the US. 

Major changes in my society seem to have  BEGUN with the baby boomers, and continues . I don't know what to call the generation  of kids who have become climate change activists, except perhaps terrific.

Re changes to the extended family: The end of the extended family was due to the oral contraceptive pill more than any other factor, imo.. The effects of the pill cannot be overstated. With women in charge of their fertility came the two income family and the growth of consumerism .That pretty much ended the extended family. There was no one to care for frail elderly parents. Today, baby boomers are the largest demographic in Australia, I think also the US, Uk and Europe. We have begun ageing .In Oz, aged care has become a billion dollar industry. ------and of course my generation has been bunging elderly family members into care for the last 20 odd years .
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#22

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
(09-27-2019, 09:40 AM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(09-26-2019, 10:56 PM)grympy Wrote:
(09-26-2019, 08:24 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: I was never religious and religion barely ever affected me in 68 years. America was getting along fine without religion long before anyone noticed that.

 Gee, you must live in a very different America than the one I've aways thought of and have visited.
I grew up in small towns in Indiana, mostly. Never had to go to church, never had to say what my religion was, etc.

Where I mostly grew up, Virginia, it seemed like everybody went to church.  My church had several hundred people every Sunday morning, more than a hundred Sunday night, and probably about the same for Wednesday night prayer meeting.  And while I didn’t know the exact churches of my high school classmates, except for the ones from my church, i knew—everyone knew—the one person who was Catholic and the one person who was Jewish in my 400-person class.  You didn’t have to say what your religion was because some kind of Protestant denim was the default assumption.  Had to chant the Lord’s Prayer before every high school band performance.  This was in the 70s.  

I sure hope things are different now down there, but there was a lot of religion poisoning the air there previously.
god, ugh
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#23

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
There's a lot of religiosity here in Central Texas, but it is definitely stronger in older folk, and weaker in younger folk.
"What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?" -- Frank Herbert
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#24

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
I lived through the 60's, the Vietnam War protests and that tore a lot of churches apart. Politics entered into the churches in a big way. This may have well started the slide towards dropping out of churches for a lot of people. "Don't trust anybody over 30!" Yeah, including the pro-war preacher still clinging to the cold war godless communism cant. Once out of church, their sons and daughters grew up without church or need for religious identity.

Then we had The Big Cult scares. Religious cults taking our children! Oh Noes! But then we had the cult like religious kooks. Jimmy Swaggert, Oral Roberts of 900 foot tall Jesus fame, the ghastly Crouch's and Jim and Tammy. With the Crouches Christian Broadcast Network, and Pat Robertson's 700 club, the clowns took over Christian media and it was repulsive. Plus the rise of charismatic pentacostalism with its speaking in tongues and other bizarre antics.

Oh yes, and the recrudescence of creationism due to Dr. Henry Morris. Anti-intellectualism rampant.

There was a cultural sea change in Religion and how it was perceived by many over a few short years.

Religion lost it's innocence. No longer the church down the block with it's merely mildly befuddle pastor. Or the boring but mainly harmless upper crust religions like the Episcopalians. Christianity looked like a gauche and tawdry clown circus to many.
Sitting in the club car of the hell bound train.

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#25

Atlantic - Why Did America Lose It's Religion?
Here in Australia we now have American televangelist Jimmy Swaggart on a 24/7 TV network.
I don't know why, or who funds it, or why our telecommunications authority granted the owners
a Federal broadcast license.  I've watched it, purely out of interest a few times, and I can only say
this bloke, and his psychopathic son Donnie, are malevolence personified.  Just as disturbing are
their audiences, who seem to be either drugged, drunk or mentally unstable.  

Whatever, I find the entire show extremely disconcerting, particularly as it's being broadcast in a
nominally secular country Like Australia.  It doesn't carry any local advertising here, so I'd be very
interested in finding out who funds it—which seems impossible—but I do know there was some
secret subsidising for Swaggart to avoid paying the normal network licensing fees in 2017—when
he infiltrated Australia.  I'm guessing this could be because more than 40% of our Federal pollies
are admitted practising Christians.  

Our Prime Minister is a zealous member of the Horizon Church, which is a Pentecostal Christian
church affiliated with the US Assemblies of God (AG) evangelical church.  Frighteningly, the
69,992,330 members of the AG churches hold the Bible as divinely inspired and the infallible,
authoritative rule of God, faith and conduct.  AGs practice speaking in tongues "as the Spirit gives
utterance" according to Acts 2:4, and also believe in the current use of other spiritual gifts such
as divine healing.     Fuck me.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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