March 09, 2009
USA Today: Most Religious Groups in USA have Lost Ground, Survey Finds
When it comes to religion, the USA is now land of the freelancers.The USA Today link above has a nifty interactive chart on this.
The percentage. of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more than 11% in a generation. The faithful have scattered out of their traditional bases: The Bible Belt is less Baptist. The Rust Belt is less Catholic. And everywhere, more people are exploring spiritual frontiers — or falling off the faith map completely.These dramatic shifts in just 18 years are detailed in the new American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), to be released today. It finds that, despite growth and immigration that has added nearly 50 million adults to the U.S. population, almost all religious denominations have lost ground since the first ARIS survey in 1990.
Even though religion is one of those things that is difficult to measure and subject to abuse of statistics, I take this as good news.
Robin Meade is asking viewers to write in with their explanation of why this could be. I prefer to think that people are realizing that faith is one of the most singularly destructive things a person can do in their brain, but if I were in a worse mood I'd say that it's probably because people are becoming apathetic about religion and not faith itself.
Religion offers little to people and I think they're waking up to that. We're always hearing how religious leaders are out hiring prostitutes, embezzling money, doing drugs, sexually abusing children, and doing all kinds of hypocritical things. Plus so many religions rely heavily on guilt to keep people coming and I think many Americans are bucking faith to live without that extra pain.
I found this graph interesting also.
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