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post #1 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Young Americans Losing Their Religion


New Research Finds Number Who Claim No Church Has Risen Sharply

By DAN HARRIS
May 6, 2009

New research shows young Americans are dramatically less likely to go to church -- or to participate in any form of organized religion -- than their parents and grandparents.

"It's a huge change," says Harvard University professor Robert Putnam, who conducted the research.

Historically, the percentage of Americans who said they had no religious affiliation (pollsters refer to this group as the "nones") has been very small -- hovering between 5 percent and 10 percent. However, Putnam says the percentage of "nones" has now skyrocketed to between 30 percent and 40 percent among younger Americans.

Putnam calls this a "stunning development." He gave reporters a first glimpse of his data Tuesday at a conference on religion organized by the Pew Forum on Faith in Public Life.

The research will be included in a forthcoming book, called "American Grace."

This trend started in the 1990s and continues through today. It includes people in both Generation X and Y.

While these young "nones" may not belong to a church, they are not necessarily atheists.

"Many of them are people who would otherwise be in church," Putnam said. "They have the same attitidues and values as people who are in church, but they grew up in a period in which being religious meant being politically conservative, especially on social issues."

Putnam says that in the past two decades, many young people began to view organized religion as a source of "intolerance and rigidity and doctrinaire political views," and therefore stopped going to church.

This movement away from organized religion, says Putnam, may have enormous consequences for American culture and politics for years to come.

"That is the future of America," he says. "Their views and their habits religiously are going to persist and have a huge effect on the future."

This data is likely to reinvigorate an already heated debate about whether America is, or will continue to be, a "Christian nation." A recent Newsweek cover article, entitled "The End of Christian America" provoked responses from religious thinkers all over the spectrum.

Research Finds Churchgoers More Likely to Vote

Putnam, author of the book "Bowling Alone," which tracked the decline in civic and community engagement in America (exemplified by the diminution of bowling leagues), fears the reduction in religiosity could have widespread negative impacts.

His research shows that people who go to church are much more likely to vote, volunteer and give to charity.

However, he says, it's possible that the current spike in young people opting out of organized religion could also prove to be an opportunity for some.

"America historically has been a very inventive and even entrepreneurial place in terms of religion," he says. "We're all the time inventing new religions and reinventing religions that we have. It's partly because we have a free market in religion. That is, we don't have a state church."

Given that today's young "nones" probably would be in church if they didn't associate religion with far-right political views, he says, new faith groups may evolve to serve them.

"Jesus said, 'Be fishers of men,'" says Putnam, "and there's this pool with a lot of fish in it and no fishermen right now."

In the end, he says, this "stunning" trend of young people becoming less religious could lead to America's next great burst of religious innovation.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7513343&page=1
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post #2 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 09:52 PM
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many young people began to view organized religion as a source of "intolerance and rigidity and doctrinaire political views
yep

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post #3 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 10:03 PM
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I highly doubt it's all about politics as Mr. Putnam suggests, though I certainly think it's a factor. There are plenty of "liberal" churches around here in the midwest.

An old friend of mine is now big into Mars Hill Church (youth-focused megachurch in Seattle), he watches their sermons online and sometimes posts them on facebook. Let's just say I hope they don't go mainstream.
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post #4 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 03:21 AM
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I honestly think the problem is the leadership. Just lame in every way. And if every problem in the universe is caused by gay marriage why did we have these same problems before gay marriage? The obsession with this issue is bizarre.
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post #5 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 04:56 AM
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Hm... frankly I would rather religion die out than for their to be a "sudden burst of religion".. sounds a bit corny / creepy.

But the report is right about one thing, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY MAKES THE CHURCH LOOK BAD !

Seriously do you know how oxymoron-ish it feels to be a black man with "conservative values" --> whilst the so-called "conservative party" is so riddled with subtle and not-so-subtle racists !

I really am getting fed up those "conservatives" making themselves "the righteous voice of the church"

When the politicians get off their high horse of pretending to be church-men; THEN people will start be more religious again.

The head of the republican congress isn't the POPE ! The Pope is in the Vatican !
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post #6 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 05:45 AM
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This report is likely slanted, too.

With religion comes morals - something we seem to lack. Yes, it's true. Think of the Ten Commandments and how we don't follow them - OMG, they're God's rules! We can't mention G-D. The Golden Rule has fallen by the wayside.

What did God ever do to warrant this kind of response? Be a parent? Many of us certainly don't know how to do that anymore!

The gay marriage thing is a sign of the breakup of the family - parents not doing their job, parents getting married for the wrong reason/seflishness, children trying to find love where parents are failing, peer abuse/bullying, children with behavioral problems (many attributed to family problems), which can lead to drug use/promiscuity/alcoholism. Do we see the misery? NOPE! Live and let live, right? As long as it is not me, I will pursue my rights - to heck with everybody else. *That's the way our country has gone and it's sad.

Part of the problem is that women and men don't know their roles anymore - the Bible, which everybody hates, defines it! Yet, the atheists have turned it into an evil book - don't want to live my life that way, no sirree.

We were warned about this very thing - good is considered evil, and evil good. Christians being persecuted and killed just for trying to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, the entire country is punished for the actions of a few. That's Biblical, too.

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With religion comes morals - something we seem to lack. Yes, it's true. Think of the Ten Commandments and how we don't follow them - OMG, they're God's rules! We can't mention G-D. The Golden Rule has fallen by the wayside.
the ten commandemts originated from exodus 20:2–17 right? doesnt it say you shall not covet your neighbors slaves? so its morally ok to have slaves?

isnt jealousy a sin? and doesnt exodus 20:2-17 say that god is a jealous god? wouldnt that make him a flawed god?

and dont they teach christians at church to be understanding of other religions? heres what exodus 34:11-27 says about other religions:
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11 Observe what I command you today. See, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
12 Take care not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you are going, or it will become a snare among you.

13 You shall tear down their altars, break their pillars, and cut down their sacred poles

14 (for you shall worship no other god, because the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God).

15 You shall not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to their gods, someone among them will invite you, and you will eat of the sacrifice.

16 And you will take wives from among their daughters for your sons, and their daughters who prostitute themselves to their gods will make your sons also prostitute themselves to their gods.
and im not quite sure what this means but it sounds like god is for isreal only
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23 Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel.
a lot of that stuff doesnt fit in with my morals. you can find a lot of decadent stuff in the bible

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post #8 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 08:53 AM
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With religion comes morals - something we seem to lack. Yes, it's true. Think of the Ten Commandments and how we don't follow them - OMG, they're God's rules! We can't mention G-D. The Golden Rule has fallen by the wayside.
I really don't need a top 10 list of things not to do from some supernatural being to tell me that killing (without valid cause -- such as in self-defense) is something to be avoided. Are atheists running about killing at random because they don't refer to that list and don't believe in the being that allegedly wrote it?

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Part of the problem is that women and men don't know their roles anymore - the Bible, which everybody hates, defines it!
What exactly is the proper role of women? And can you state it without being torn to ribbons?

You statement that "everybody hates" the bible is totally false. Is there any book in the history of the world that has sold more copies?
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post #9 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 09:01 AM
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This report is likely slanted, too.

With religion comes morals - something we seem to lack. Yes, it's true. Think of the Ten Commandments and how we don't follow them - OMG, they're God's rules! We can't mention G-D. The Golden Rule has fallen by the wayside.

What did God ever do to warrant this kind of response? Be a parent? Many of us certainly don't know how to do that anymore!

The gay marriage thing is a sign of the breakup of the family - parents not doing their job, parents getting married for the wrong reason/seflishness, children trying to find love where parents are failing, peer abuse/bullying, children with behavioral problems (many attributed to family problems), which can lead to drug use/promiscuity/alcoholism. Do we see the misery? NOPE! Live and let live, right? As long as it is not me, I will pursue my rights - to heck with everybody else. *That's the way our country has gone and it's sad.

Part of the problem is that women and men don't know their roles anymore - the Bible, which everybody hates, defines it! Yet, the atheists have turned it into an evil book - don't want to live my life that way, no sirree.

We were warned about this very thing - good is considered evil, and evil good. Christians being persecuted and killed just for trying to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, the entire country is punished for the actions of a few. That's Biblical, too.
Jesus H. Christ.
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post #10 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 09:32 AM
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Religion can serve as a vehicle for kinds of morality, but religion is not needed for the task. A simple philosophy without supernatural elements would do just fine. We do not need all that supernatural mumbo jumbo to motivate people to be nice rather than naughty.

Religion got a few things right and a whole lot of **** wrong. I say we scrap most of it, keep the few good parts, and combine them with other good things from other religions and/or philosophies, and create a decent secular philosophy. You know, something like humanism.
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post #11 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 09:39 AM
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People commit sins - everybody does. We are each responsible for our actions, but there is a also a verse about one man helping another, improving BOTH. Is there a law stating we "should" help people?

Slavery is bad, yes, but the Civil War took care of that.
Ultrashy - You are trying to put words in my post. That was way too general. I am talking about basic things. Women shouldn't act like guys and vice versa. We do have roles. Some are the same and some are different.

Like I said, one post and I am Public Enemy #1 in this thread for trying to state something. Point made.

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Like I said, one post and I am Public Enemy #1 in this thread for trying to state something. Point made.
im not trying to get the thread locked but people dont like intolerance.
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With religion comes morals - something we seem to lack.

The gay marriage thing is a sign of the breakup of the family

Part of the problem is that women and men don't know their roles anymore
.....also the US was not the only country that allowed slaves. slavery started way before the 'founding' of the new world and it still exists to this date though its illegal

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post #13 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 10:19 AM
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Women shouldn't act like guys and vice versa.
I don't want to put any words in your mouth or make any assumptions (which may turn out to be erroneous) regarding what you mean by that, so please elaborate.

How should women act? How should men act? The more specific you can be the better. Thank you.
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This made me think of one of the many things that annoy me: "Christian-based companies", which I suspect largely worship money and just use that as a marketing gimmick in the US which is a predominantly x-tian nation (wonder if they have any "Islam-based companies" in places like Saudi Arabia to take money from the religious folks there).

I wonder what x-tian principles these companies conform to? Do they treat their customers with respect as Jesus would want them to? Well, one hardly needs Jesus to tell you not to cheat your customers as that is a very short-sighted approach to business. If you don't treat customers well, you're not going to have repeat business or get referrals from satisfied customers and you'll likely end up out of business. Is treating customers well really Christian or just a prudent long-term business practice?

I suppose Jesus would tell you to treat employees with respect as well. But, again, do you really need Jesus to tell you this? A company that treats employees poorly is likely to have disgruntled workers that do as little work as possible, that frequently quit, and that don't feel at all bad about stealing anything that isn't bolted down from their employer from hell. Perhaps treating workers well is more of an enlightened business practice that promotes maximum productivity and retention of the best workers, and really has nothing to do with anything religious.
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Just basic stuff. Guys learning to be good dads, be kind to women, and take initiative (not being afraid to be a guy), responsibility - no mistreatment. Girls learning to be good moms and not having to feel like they have to do everything alone or be a man replacement. Have strength of character, honesty, and a sense of decorum (both sexes).

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post #16 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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Like I said, one post and I am Public Enemy #1 in this thread for trying to state something. Point made.
You're entitled to your opinion but the world does not begin and end with your version of christianity and the bible (well then again maybe it does to you)
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post #17 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 01:04 PM
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"Historically, the percentage of Americans who said they had no religious affiliation (pollsters refer to this group as the "nones") has been very small -- hovering between 5 percent and 10 percent. However, Putnam says the percentage of "nones" has now skyrocketed to between 30 percent and 40 percent among younger Americans"

Is this the same percentage that watch MTV, want to be on MTV, or have been on MTV?
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post #18 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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This report is likely slanted, too.

With religion comes morals - something we seem to lack. Yes, it's true. Think of the Ten Commandments and how we don't follow them - OMG, they're God's rules! We can't mention G-D. The Golden Rule has fallen by the wayside.

What did God ever do to warrant this kind of response? Be a parent? Many of us certainly don't know how to do that anymore!

The gay marriage thing is a sign of the breakup of the family - parents not doing their job, parents getting married for the wrong reason/seflishness, children trying to find love where parents are failing, peer abuse/bullying, children with behavioral problems (many attributed to family problems), which can lead to drug use/promiscuity/alcoholism. Do we see the misery? NOPE! Live and let live, right? As long as it is not me, I will pursue my rights - to heck with everybody else. *That's the way our country has gone and it's sad.

Part of the problem is that women and men don't know their roles anymore - the Bible, which everybody hates, defines it! Yet, the atheists have turned it into an evil book - don't want to live my life that way, no sirree.

We were warned about this very thing - good is considered evil, and evil good. Christians being persecuted and killed just for trying to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, the entire country is punished for the actions of a few. That's Biblical, too.

The bible is a complete and utter work of fiction.

It was dreamt up thousands of years ago and that's where it belongs. It doesn't have a place in the 21st century apart from a few nice little moral stories to pick out.


It is so easy to discredit yet still we have all these brainwashed people believing it.. you have to pause and marvel at how christianity still gets taken seriously in today's society.

Anything so clearly a pile of nonsense should be given no credibility at all.
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post #19 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 04:31 PM
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The bible is a complete and utter work of fiction.

It was dreamt up thousands of years ago and that's where it belongs. It doesn't have a place in the 21st century apart from a few nice little moral stories to pick out.
Anything so clearly a pile of nonsense should be given no credibility at all.

This sort of response is why i often keep my christian opinion to myself.

Does it matter that Christianity has existed for thousands of years ? nope.
Does it matter that there are many good things in the bible.

Nope. Apparently all that seems to matter is that the bible was written in the context of the culture at the time, and as a result some of it has become outdated.

But of course just like people's opinion of priests. Some BAD means all is bad right ?

God bless generalizations
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post #20 of 99 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 04:38 PM
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This report is likely slanted, too.
How so?

AFAIK, it's a fact that church-going among young people is at an all-time low.

What else is there to slant? The rest of the report gives various opinions on the issue, which are presented as just that - opinions.

I'm tired of people saying that every article they disagree with is slanted or biased or some such nonsense... opinions cannot be biased!
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