Sunday, January 11, 2015

Religion is Dying

Perhaps 50 million adult Americans now say their religion is "none" or "don't know."  This number has climbed dramatically since the 1990s.
About 20 million U.S. Catholics have left that church - so one-tenth of American adults now are ex-Catholics.
Two-thirds of American Christians in their 20s drop out of church before age 30, one report estimates.
Once-prestigious mainline Protestant faiths with seminary-educated clergy have disintegrated so severely since 1960 that one analyst refers to "Flatline Protestantism."
An estimated 4,000 American churches close each year.
From every direction, evidence is snowballing that America, known for devout religion, is following the secular path of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan and other modern democracies, where churchgoing has retreated to a fringe.
The trend can be seen in cultural changes such as the rapid social acceptance of gays. The Bible commands that homosexuals "shall surely be put to death," and fundamentalist churches have ranted against them for centuries - yet most Americans now feel that they deserve human rights and equality. Religion has lost its power to dictate America's morality.
The Barna religion polling service says secularism has ballooned so much that "about 156 million U.S. adults and children are churchless." That's half of the population.
Only 18 percent of Americans actually attend church on a typical Sunday, researcher David Olson says - and he expects the ratio to slip below 15 percent by 2020.
This book chronicles the slow, relentless demise of supernatural religion in educated societies.

Religion is Dying: Soaring Secularism in America and the West
By James A. Haught

Author's Web site

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