Extraordinary Claims > Religion General Discussion

US religious membership falls below 50%

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Hydra009:



--- Quote ---In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.
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--- Quote ---The decline in church membership is primarily a function of the increasing number of Americans who express no religious preference. Over the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion has grown from 8% in 1998-2000 to 13% in 2008-2010 and 21% over the past three years.
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--- Quote ---Church membership is strongly correlated with age, as 66% of traditionalists -- U.S. adults born before 1946 -- belong to a church, compared with 58% of baby boomers, 50% of those in Generation X and 36% of millennials.
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Still, population replacement doesn't fully explain the decline in church membership, as adults in the older generations have shown roughly double-digit decreases from two decades ago.
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Over the past two decades, declines in church membership have been greater among Eastern residents and Democrats. Still, political independents have lower rates of church membership than Democrats do.  The smaller declines seen among conservatives and other subgroups are largely attributable to more modest change among older generations within those groups.
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Liberals are, unsurprisingly, least likely to attend religious services and conservatives most likely, with moderates splitting the diff.

Both coasts are much lower than their Southern and Midwestern counterparts, though all four regions dropped significantly.

Interestingly, people who aren't college graduates are slightly less likely to attend than college grads.  That's certainly a reversal of expectation.  Maybe it's related to either age or income.


--- Quote ---The U.S. remains a religious nation, with more than seven in 10 affiliating with some type of organized religion. However, far fewer, now less than half, have a formal membership with a specific house of worship. While it is possible that part of the decline seen in 2020 was temporary and related to the coronavirus pandemic, continued decline in future decades seems inevitable, given the much lower levels of religiosity and church membership among younger versus older generations of adults.
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So covid might've skewed these numbers somewhat - with people avoiding large religious gatherings like the...well, you know.  But the overall trend is a significant decline in religious affiliation/attendance.

Gawdzilla Sama:
Satan's havin' his way with this here country!

SGOS:
They don't mention that the drop off might be due to more people expecting supernatural claims to be backed up by actual evidence.  Also, I'd be interested in knowing how much the bigotry, dogma, and immorality in churches turns people off.  Could it be that more people are thinking for themselves as the country slides toward anarchy.  I would think such issues as these have some affect on people's disassociation with churches.  But the polls don't seem to address such 'why' questions.  I'd also be interested in the Pope's explanations, and even Pat Robertson's. I'd be more interested in the explanation than the raw data.

Or maybe I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Hydra009:

--- Quote from: SGOS on March 30, 2021, 04:18:55 AM ---They don't mention that the drop off might be due to more people expecting supernatural claims to be backed up by actual evidence.
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Do people go to church expecting supernatural claims to be backed up by evidence more than in the past?


--- Quote ---Also, I'd be interested in knowing how much the bigotry, dogma, and immorality in churches turns people off.  Could it be that more people are thinking for themselves as the country slides toward anarchy.  I would think such issues as these have some affect on people's disassociation with churches.  But the polls don't seem to address such 'why' questions.
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Right, because it is much much harder to find out why than what.  It's like the difference between reporting that covid cases have gone up and why they've gone up.  The latter requires a lot more knowledge.

I can tell you my experience, which I'd imagine is a typical millennial experience.  Dragged to church, wasn't super religious, but accepted this stuff at face value.  Eventually read fiction (and later, pro-skeptic books) critical of religion.  Meanwhile, the methodist church I was going to was looking less and less appealing - the Pastor was old and unwell and his female subordinate led services for a while.  Caused quite a stir, though I didn't understsnd why at the time.  Later on, some "guests," started distributing all-Republican "voter guides" at services and there was some big stink about whether or not gay people can be pastors with the brass voting no.  The politization and values dissonance really bothered me.  At the same time, the pro-skeptic community got much larger and vocal, and made increasingly more sense.  Long story short, I came to the realization than I'm an atheist and utterly irreligious.

Nowdays, that old church has gotten kinda megachurchy in temperment without getting physically bigger - if that makes sense - and has a decidedly old congregation.  Last I heard of the "United" Methodists, they were contemplating a schism.  I would say that I got out at the right time, but the right time was the very beginning.


--- Quote ---Or maybe I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.
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No, you absolutely should ask questions.  Knowing why is much more important than knowing what.  Just understand that no one really knows the why completely.

PickelledEggs:
We did it. We finally fucking did it

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