Tuesday, February 26, 2008

North America undergoing religious revolution? No way!

Touted changes in the American religious landscape seem more
apparent than real, at least to me. According to an Associated Press story, reported by Eric Gorski in the Kansas City Star, a Pew Foundation study of 35, 000 American adults found that

- mainline churches are declining. (Well, of course they are. They have entirely forgotten what they are supposed to be doing.)

- many people change religious denominations. (Especially people fleeing mainline denominations, I expect. You only need to listen to one sermon about why you shouldn't care whether or not you have a soul ... And if you are not gone already, you are a fool. Go now, go now. )

Only four percent of Americans are agnostics or atheists, according to Pew. That sounds abut right.

Here's a demographic fact worth noting: You always get a much higher proportion of people saying "I have no use for organized religion" than people saying "I am an atheist."

That's easy to explain. People who have no use for organized religion include a large number who just want to be left alone. Period. They don't want to join an atheist league, wear buttons, prosecute court cases, wave picket signs ....

They really do just want to be left alone. And I can but hope they will be.

The worst aspect of some forms of atheism is to replicate all the problems of a church without any of the benefits.

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