April 23, 2012

Why America Is Changing

The Washington Post has an interesting story about the declining role of religion in America as reflected in the growing numbers of young people who no longer list a church affiliation.
WASHINGTON — A growing tide of young Americans is drifting away from the religions of their childhood — and most of them are ending up in no religion at all.

One in four young adults choose “unaffiliated” when asked about their religion, according to a new report from the Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs.

But most within this unaffiliated group — 55 percent — identified with a religious group when they were younger.

“These younger unaffiliated adults are very nonreligious,” said Daniel Cox, PRRI’s research director. “They demonstrate much lower levels of religiosity than we see in the general population,” including participation in religious rituals or worship services.

Some of them will return to their faiths as they age, “but there’s not a lot of evidence that most will come back,” added Cox, who said the trend away from organized religion dates back to the early 1990s.

The study of 2,013 Americans ages 18-24 focused on the younger end of the cohort commonly known as the “Millennials” or “Generation Y,” which generally includes young adults as old as 29. Interviews were conducted between March 7 and 20.

Across denominations, the net losses were uneven, with Catholics losing the highest proportion of childhood adherents — nearly 8 percent — followed by white mainline Protestant traditions, which lost 5 percent.
We are now in a post-Christian America. No longer are people familar with bible stories or scripture. So many young people are completely "unchurched" and have no concept of apologetics or why sin is sin. God is a myth and all religions are equal in that all religions are inconsequential. And we wonder why the youth of our nation lack a moral compass. As does our President.

H/T to Wintery Knight

Total church membership reported in the National Council of Churches 2011 Yearbook is 145,838,339 members, down 1.05 percent over 2010.
The top 25 churches reported in the 2011 Yearbook are in order of size:

1. The Catholic Church, 68,503,456 members, up .57 percent.
2. Southern Baptist Convention, 16,160,088 members, down .42 percent.
3. The United Methodist Church, 7,774,931 members, down 1.01 percent.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6,058,907 members, up 1.42 percent.
5. The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members, no membership updates reported.
6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc, 5,000,000 members, no membership updates reported.
7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,542,868 members, down 1.96 percent.
8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., 3,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
9. Assemblies of God, 2,914,669 members, up .52 percent.
10. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 2,770,730 members, down 2.61 percent.
11. African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
12. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, 2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
13. The Lutheran Church-- Missouri Synod (LCMS), 2,312,111 members, down 1.08 percent.
14. The Episcopal Church, 2,006,343 members, down 2.48 percent.
15. Churches of Christ, 1,639,495 members, no membership updates reported.
16. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
17. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
18. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 1,400,000 members, members, no membership updates reported.
19. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., 1,310,505 members, down 1.55 percent.
20. Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1,162,686 members, up 4.37 percent.
21. United Church of Christ, 1,080,199 members, down 2.83 percent.
22. Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), 1,076,254 members, up .38 percent.
23. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, 1,071,616 members, no membership updates reported.
24. Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 1,043,606 members, up 4.31 percent.
25. Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. 1,010,000 members, down 59.60 percent (due in part to a new methodology of counting members).


Doom said...

I've got to say... I'm not actually seeing a trend. I am seeing msm and academia grasping at straws in a weak attempt to miss the point. One in four young adults unaffiliated. Re-he-heally? No!?!@!1! hehe It took me decades to finally decide.

Further, as the young explore, and find the emptiness of other 'faiths and truths', some, many, most?, will come back. Some, in the churches, will leave. So it has always been. I'm just not at all convinced that it is as bad as they are suggesting. I don't even see it in their numbers (those have been up and down all through time, the 60's and 70's were probably worse?). Europe? Sure. America? Not so much.

Even with the full on press from msm, "education", and other social and political factors, that weakening is rather anemic. How about we call it O's summer of religious decline? Heh.

sig94 said...

Doom - it is. Trust me. Our pastor is going through a series of sermons on this very subject and how imperative it to reverse the trend. Churches are closing their doors on a regular basis; some are bought and turned into mosques. The missionary field is particularly hurting.

Anonymous said...

Ronald Reagan said it best

Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under
God is acknowledged.
Ronald Reagan

If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Ronald Reagan

They Say/We Say said...

Many of the young do not answer a affiliation- from peer pressure and trying to be Politically Correct.
So, the numbers are a bit skewed.
But, yes it is sure and noted that the Church House attendance is down; for the reasons sited above.
And it is a growing peer pressure to not have a strong belief system.
As the article states- some will return to a faith base when life experiences and the brain growth-of being more aware of their surroundings kicks in. Which I've heard is around 30yrs. of age.
And, there is the problem in Britten and now here (it has been here for a while, but not in these numbers as of late), the popularity of WITCH CRAFT!
Ina few years there will be a growing popularity of the return of King Arthur!
William has been led to believe he is the next King Arthur, Dianna told him she is his Lady of the Lake, since he was a young un.
There is an other guy who has changed his name to King Arthur in the 1980's, and has a childhood friend who also changed his name to Merlin.
These to will compete for the Title for King Arthur in the coming events-as soon as William is Crowned; or the Legally Named current King Arthur will challenge William for the Crown- stay tuned.
Why I am I writing about this- the Old Ways of the Druids are in the mix. We ain't seen nothing yet, as far as declining Church House attendance with the doubling of the glorifying of Merlin and King Arthur-Starring Druid and Witch Craft.

Fradgan said...

I blame Festivus.

sig94 said...

Rick - Amen to that.

sig94 said...

TSWS - the armed forces now have Wiccan chaplains. Soliders who belong to that form of worship can now be buried with a Wiccan inscription on the grave maker.

sig94 said...

Fradgan - Festivus for the rest of us. I blame Seinfeld.

It belongs in the same category as Juneteenth and Kwanzaa - make believe holidays for the celebratory impaired.