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Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:00 AM

Why Americans Are Losing Their Religion at a Startling Rate

Here are some of the factors contributing to the massive decline in religiosity in America.


New research from Allen Downey, a computer scientist at Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, shows a startling correlation between the rise of the Internet and the decline of religious affiliation in the United States.

According to MIT Technology Review, back in 1990 only eight percent of the U.S. population did not have a religious affiliation. Twenty years later in 2010 that number was up to 18 percent. That is a jump of 25 million people. Americans seem to be losing their religion, and from Downey’s research we may have an answer.

The data Downey looked at is from the General Social Survey, which according to MIT Technology Review is “a widely respected sociological survey carried out by the University of Chicago.” Since 1972, the survey has been measuring the population’s demographics and attitudes.

The approach to looking at the survey material was to see how socioeconomic status, education, religious upbringing and other factors correlated with the drop in religious affiliation. This is a good time to talk about the difference between correlation and causation. The data from the survey shows a relationship between these factors and decreased religious affiliation, but not direct causation.


http://www.alternet.org/belief/why-americans-are-losing-their-religion-startling-rate

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Reply Why Americans Are Losing Their Religion at a Startling Rate (Original post)
madokie Apr 2014 OP
RKP5637 Apr 2014 #1
ProfessorGAC Apr 2014 #2
Heidi Apr 2014 #3
madokie Apr 2014 #6
Heidi Apr 2014 #8
madokie Apr 2014 #11
Heidi Apr 2014 #12
madokie Apr 2014 #16
Heidi Apr 2014 #21
madokie Apr 2014 #27
marions ghost Apr 2014 #4
Freddie Apr 2014 #7
jwirr Apr 2014 #13
marions ghost Apr 2014 #30
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #93
Freddie Apr 2014 #43
jwirr Apr 2014 #56
LiberalElite Apr 2014 #35
sorefeet Apr 2014 #10
marions ghost Apr 2014 #32
Arugula Latte Apr 2014 #63
stopbush Apr 2014 #77
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #94
Enthusiast Apr 2014 #39
marions ghost Apr 2014 #85
Enthusiast Apr 2014 #86
onecaliberal Apr 2014 #53
marions ghost Apr 2014 #84
onecaliberal Apr 2014 #90
OnionPatch Apr 2014 #60
LuvNewcastle Apr 2014 #5
Uben Apr 2014 #14
LuvNewcastle Apr 2014 #49
Uben Apr 2014 #69
ChisolmTrailDem Apr 2014 #79
99Forever Apr 2014 #9
ladjf Apr 2014 #20
MANative Apr 2014 #33
RKP5637 Apr 2014 #40
Arugula Latte Apr 2014 #68
Vashta Nerada Apr 2014 #72
ladjf Apr 2014 #15
Heidi Apr 2014 #18
ladjf Apr 2014 #23
RKP5637 Apr 2014 #42
DhhD Apr 2014 #57
MellowDem Apr 2014 #17
LittleGirl Apr 2014 #28
RKP5637 Apr 2014 #44
OKNancy Apr 2014 #19
Uben Apr 2014 #34
RKP5637 Apr 2014 #45
Enthusiast Apr 2014 #46
Arugula Latte Apr 2014 #65
mopinko Apr 2014 #22
Android3.14 Apr 2014 #24
Snarkoleptic Apr 2014 #36
glowing Apr 2014 #25
randr Apr 2014 #26
LiberalElite Apr 2014 #47
Enthusiast Apr 2014 #54
RadiationTherapy Apr 2014 #29
rug Apr 2014 #38
KittyWampus Apr 2014 #31
rug Apr 2014 #37
Arugula Latte Apr 2014 #64
rug Apr 2014 #80
JNelson6563 Apr 2014 #81
rug Apr 2014 #82
JNelson6563 Apr 2014 #83
RebelOne Apr 2014 #87
rug Apr 2014 #89
Bonhomme Richard Apr 2014 #41
WinkyDink Apr 2014 #48
SoapBox Apr 2014 #50
mountain grammy Apr 2014 #51
They_Live Apr 2014 #52
notadmblnd Apr 2014 #55
yortsed snacilbuper Apr 2014 #61
DireStrike Apr 2014 #70
notadmblnd Apr 2014 #75
albino65 Apr 2014 #58
OmahaBlueDog Apr 2014 #59
L0oniX Apr 2014 #62
wheniwasincongress Apr 2014 #66
bemildred Apr 2014 #67
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #95
bemildred Apr 2014 #96
Vashta Nerada Apr 2014 #71
kimbutgar Apr 2014 #73
nilesobek Apr 2014 #74
Manifestor_of_Light Apr 2014 #91
Tom Ripley Apr 2014 #76
SomethingFishy Apr 2014 #78
Jamaal510 Apr 2014 #88
Douglas Carpenter Apr 2014 #92

Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:11 AM

1. IMO people are getting a better grasp of reality via the internet. For many

politicians religion has been a controlling mechanism of the flocks to get their votes. It will be interesting to see what happens to politicians who depend on thumbing the bible and waving the flag to get votes from the passive following religious authoritarians. Also IMO many are learning to think for themselves than blindly follow religious authoritarians.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:13 AM

2. Interesting Concept

I was hoping for a little more depth though. I'm glad to see the data showing the drop in religiosity because the more that fades the more radical the nutjobs appear.

But the article is awfully light.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:17 AM

3. Kick!

Good morning, madokie!

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Response to Heidi (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:23 AM

6. Good morning to you Heidi

How is the world treating you these day?
Over here in northeast ok its wild onions, morel mushrooms and asparagus time

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Response to madokie (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:42 AM

8. Oh, my gosh! You had me at "wild onions"!

:faint:

It's a beautiful Ticino afternoon, and the first boats of spring are zipping around Lago Maggiore.

http://www.ti360.org/#

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Response to Heidi (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:58 AM

11. It's stunningly beautiful where you are

Its pretty around here but where you are, my o my

Wild onions and eggs are on the breakfast menu today.
Hopefully this afternoon I'll find some Morel mushrooms to go with the few Asparagus shoots up, both are excellent on the grill

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Response to madokie (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:00 AM

12. Grill season officially opens at our place today!

Or, as I like to call it, "Call Me Wesley's Turn To Cook Season."

I wish you a beautiful weekend, madokie!

ETA: Here's a short panorama that was shot from the mountain behind us.


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Response to Heidi (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:14 AM

16. Wow

Beautiful.
Have a wonderful day
You've sure made mine a much better one

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Response to madokie (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:21 AM

21. Happy to have made your day better, madokie.

Your presence in this community has consistently improved my DU experience for years.

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Response to Heidi (Reply #21)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:34 AM

27. Thank you

Now you have me on cloud nine
Oh yes, I can say the same for you

I because I'm happy

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:19 AM

4. One theory I have

--right wing religious extremists have turned people OFF.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:39 AM

7. Precisely correct

This is why the mainline denominations are in trouble. Young people can't (or won't) make the distinction between these churches and the misogynistic, homophobic ones that make all the noise. My 23 year old son is an example, always questioning why I "bother" to go to my Lutheran church even though he knows (in theory) that the ELCA is socially liberal.
Another reason is attitudes towards church and kids. My generation (boomers) felt obligated, maybe pressure from our elders, to make sure our kids got some religious education. We got them to Sunday school and made sure they made confirmation. Today's kids are "too busy" with soccer practice (and games on Sunday mornings), music lessons, etc that parents look at church as just another activity that is now dispensable.

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Response to Freddie (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:02 AM

13. That is our family also. The rw has declared war on the people and all of religion is blamed. Of

course churches like ours should be speaking up more if they do not want to take the blame for the rw churches.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:42 AM

30. I'm not a churchgoer

but think that some churches still do good work and help people cope with this hard life, and I respect that.

From what I've seen, non-extremist Christian churches are beginning to speak up and be more active against abuses in the name of the religion. Of course it's put more in terms of what to be for rather than against, but sometimes you must clearly be "counter" or you will be assumed to be the same as the Fundy abusers of religion. Non Fundy churches have to speak up more, agreed.

I'm glad to see this.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #30)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:59 PM

93. They have never stopped

 

we went and watched Cesar Chavez yesterday... and one thing they showed were Rabies and Lutherans standing side by side with the workers. This happens, still, it never stopped. We have a local Interfaith Committee for Worker's Justice, and I suspect that almost every town has it, at least every major town. There is a difference. Those Rabbles (one from New York struck me as yup, like my local Rabi, Rabi Coskey), and Lutheran Padres were interviewed by CBS, NBC and ABC for the national newscast. You know the five O'Clock one.

These days, if they get interviewed when they show up, it is by alternative media like the paper that I don't work for, nor does it exist. Hell, the whole strike led by Chavez was covered by US National Media. THEY SENT REPORTERS to Delano California, to cover a bloody strike by the poorest of the poor that lasted five years. These days...I literally have to advocate and at times just cover it on my own. (I got a blog)

What changed though is that the RW nutjobs have the national media in their pocket. This started to change with Nixon. Then came the 1980s and the conservative revolution. Now it is starting to change (the coverage that is) because people are tired of this shit. And yes, people are leaving the (insert religion here) in droves.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:02 AM

43. Find "The Christian Left" on FB

If you haven't already. Great stuff and a reminder that we're not alone.

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Response to Freddie (Reply #43)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:30 AM

56. Thank you.

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Response to Freddie (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:50 AM

35. I knew an Atheist couple

originally raised Catholic, who were raising their son Catholic "so he'll have something to rebel against."

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:53 AM

10. I think you are correct

The hypocrisy. The lack of science or proof. The impossible myths. Why in the fuck would I want to go to an afterlife or another diminsion with these hateful, lying, thieving right wing bigots. If you believe, you will be rewarded with riches, but if you are rich you can't get into heaven.
What the fuck is up with that. And they all crave wealth????

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Response to sorefeet (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:48 AM

32. It's been twisted all to hell

...I try to have some compassion for those who would buy the lies and distortion. But their leaders and exploiters.... They've turned their congregations of trusting souls into vicious pack dogs.

This kind of religion is a cult.

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Response to sorefeet (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:08 AM

63. It's not just the rightwing bigots. People are figuring out it's all based on preposterous myths.

 

The basic premise of Christianity -- the resurrection of a guy from ancient Judea -- is ludicrous as a "true" story or anything other than some sort of parable or symbol. Same goes for Islam -- that one guy in ancient Mecca is the most important human that ever lived and is the messenger of some sort of omnipotent deity of the universe (never mind those billions of other galaxies out there). Same for the Golden Tablets, same for Moses being a prophet of Yahweh, same with any other religion you care to name, with the exception of those that are more like philosophies.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #63)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 02:02 PM

77. Bingo! Gone are the days when people shuffled their feet with downcast eyes

when the subject of religious make believe came up. The old shut-up-and-get-along attitude is dying in regards to religion, just as it has died when it comes to race and sexual identity.

Religions are anti-human, racist, misogynistic enterprises on their faces and at their cores. Fewer and fewer people are willing to ignore "the bad parts" of the holy books because they realize that the bad parts make up 85-95% of the holy books.

We are evolving and maturing as a species. Time to discard the stupidities of our intellectual and moral youth and move into a better existence.

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Response to sorefeet (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:00 PM

94. You can thank Calvin for that one

 

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:00 AM

39. That's a good theory.

Ever fewer numbers of people are being taken in by these fabricators. Why would anyone send these crazies their hard earned money?

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #39)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 06:35 PM

85. "Jesus, protect me from your followers"

--old bumper sticker slogan...unfortunately, never truer than today.

People are isolated and downtrodden these days--church gives them a sense of community and support.
This makes them prey for the worst kind of exploitation. And we're seeing what happens when church and state become one. Scary. Who wants to live in Margaret Atwood's Gilead?

Some people are avoiding anything to do with religion now IMO because of a very real fear of the Fundy influence on the institutions of government. "Jesus was in the White House" when Dubya took office...and now Obama is Satan. They are brainwashed. It's ugly to witness.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #85)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 06:39 PM

86. It sure is ugly to witness.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:17 AM

53. Exactly

The examples of so called religion are of people who clearly worship money, not a Deity.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #53)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 06:01 PM

84. Thx for reply and

welcome to DU onecaliberal

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #84)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:29 PM

90. Thank you!

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:47 AM

60. I think that's a big part of it, too.

I've noticed in the last few decades that the fundamentalist extremists have gotten louder and many times meaner (Jesus has been morphed into a "warrior" and also that Christianity is all about "your relationship with Christ" instead of helping one another and doing good in the world. They have their "relationship with Christ" by being a member of their church and they think that's all they need to be a good Christian. Forget all that forgiveness and acceptance and selflessness.

I don't call myself a Christian anymore because of them. I just try to follow what I understand as the teachings of Jesus. I don't need a title for my beliefs, certainly not one that connects me to those mean-hearted, small-minded hypocrites.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:22 AM

5. I think part of the reason why internet use might affect religious

affiliation is the socializing factor. Lots of people, especially people in rural areas, went to church because that was the place to meet with neighbors and family and keep up with each other. Now the internet, through Facebook and other sites, can provide that and can even provide it better in some ways. You can keep up with family and friends all over the world on the internet and you can also meet others who share your same interests. Meeting up at church cannot compete with internet use, and on the internet you don't have to listen to the boring sermon to get what you really came there for.

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:07 AM

14. I think that's part of it

Thousands of years ago, people were introduced to religion by the availability of food. They were happy to follow as long as they were fed. Didn't matter what the religion was....it was all about food. They would worship rats if there was a meal in it.

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Response to Uben (Reply #14)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:07 AM

49. That association with food still exists.

Lots of rural churches have "dinner on the grounds" every Sunday, which is usually lunch in an outbuilding of the church. Everybody brings a dish, and the ladies (and some men) coordinate with each other on which dishes to bring so there won't be too much of one thing. A lot of those people are excellent cooks, and everybody usually eats their fill. Some people will tell you that they mostly go to the Sunday morning service in order to eat afterwards. When I went to church, all I could think about during the sermon was food.

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #49)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:30 AM

69. Can I get an Amen!

....and uh, some of that fried chicken, if ya don't mind.

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Response to Uben (Reply #69)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 02:13 PM

79. Amen! nt

 

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:46 AM

9. Not nearly fast enough.

The damage done by organized religiosity is beyond measure.

AND subsidized with tax dollars. Despicable.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:21 AM

20. I agree with you. The damage has been taking place for a long time.

The worst damage was that it taught it's followers to believe in "fairy tales" rather than fact based wisdom. Unless Religion's hold on people is broken it will result in the annihilation of our species.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:50 AM

33. + 100 bazillion n/t

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:00 AM

40. I've always considered religion to be an evil invention of mankind and among

the worst. The guilt inflicted on individuals, the horrors, the persecutions, the wars, the bloody battles and tortures inflicted. And the authoritarians at the helm and now many cults of hatred. And, all of this tax free.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:28 AM

68. Yes. A million times yes.

 

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:45 AM

72. Agreed.

 

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:14 AM

15. I wouldn't be too sure about INTERNET causing the decline in Religion. nt

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Response to ladjf (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:20 AM

18. I do think there could be a correlation between access to information (Internet)

and the decline in religious affiliation. In my own case, admittedly anecdotal, going away to university was my first exposure to a culture outside of the thoroughly fundamentalist culture in which I grew up.

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Response to Heidi (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:23 AM

23. Correlation yes but not the whole cause. Don't forget that along with some good

factual information and connections, the INTERNET also conveys vast amounts of damaging propaganda.

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Response to ladjf (Reply #23)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:02 AM

42. Well said! n/t

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Response to ladjf (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:31 AM

57. Internet lets us share that the evangelicals do not practice what they preach as an antichrist.

Just one example: They preach withdrawal of SNAP even though they cannot take its place as they preach.

There is no evangelicalism left in their hearts, as they show themselves by repeating stories and gossiping about how Yellowstone has began its early eruption. They are moving from evangelism in to what I call the, Noah Effect. They want to believe in the destruction of the world as true GOP conservationism is coming to them now. They see their own demise and are trying to force the return of christ on THEIR terms in stead of God's, if you will?

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:18 AM

17. Religion relies almost exclusively on the indoctrination of children to survive...

Let that sink in.

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:35 AM

28. +1 n/t

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Response to MellowDem (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:03 AM

44. Definitely, and most have indoctrination centers under the pretext of being schools. n/t

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:20 AM

19. I think a lot of people are secretly atheist, but just can't admit it

They probably have had doubts for a long time, but because of cultural reasons don't want to say it out loud, or even clarify their thoughts.
By using the internet, and seeing others say out loud what they think about religion allows doubters to openly express themselves and to find others who think the same. It validates their opinions.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #19)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:50 AM

34. This ^

I don't identify as an atheist. I am a theist. I believe in gods, or more precisely, beings of higher intelligence that have visited our planet in the past, and are probably doing so still. I don't worship any being...never will.

If they don't exist, well, our governments have taken great measures to hide the fact, although there have been scads of video to the contrary. Seeing is believing, and I have never seen a video of god, just mortal men trying to convince us that if we don't do what they say, we're going to hell. Yeah, that's believable....not!

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #19)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:04 AM

45. Definitely!!! n/t

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #19)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:05 AM

46. I believe you are on to something.

Strict believers see atheists as dangerous people that would do anything because they are not constrained by God's word. But those of us with more open minds know this to be a complete misconception.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #19)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:11 AM

65. I like to think of it as The Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome on a mass scale.

 

Last edited Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:52 AM - Edit history (1)

Previously people went to church and gathered amongst their own kind every Sunday, and reinforced their "faith" (which, as Mark Twain knew, is believing what you know ain't so). Atheists and agnostics had no such outlet, and church-attending doubters didn't want to rock the boat by voicing their doubts. The Internet changed all that.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:22 AM

22. i am always suspicious of this phrasing. why is this happening, lets look at it

oh the evil interwebs, what else could it be?

uummm. wanna lay the timeline of the clergy sex abuses and resultant scandals?
like maybe, when us boomers grew up and saw what was done to then, and others among us, we said, hey, skydaddy, i'll be working on taking care of myself from here on out. gonna buy a new car with that 10%. have a nice eternity.

don't pose a question and then play dumb about the answer, writer?

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:25 AM

24. Prepare for the backlash

 

Whenever elements within a culture begin abandoning or attacking religions, the practitioners that remain behind are more ferevent, more dogmatic and more militant. The rise in those abandoning religion is probably too minor from keeping the smaller, but highly motivated, practitioners from forcing their beliefs on to others.
Look what happened to the middle east, one of the original sources of creative and critical thought, centuries ago.
My hope is that the Internet will keep secular folks connected, able to defend themselves and supportive enough as a community to survive the coming push of Luddite anti-intellectualism.

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Response to Android3.14 (Reply #24)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:53 AM

36. "...ferevent, more dogmatic and more militant."

Sounds like a death spiral for the fairy dust spreaders.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:31 AM

25. I'm sure the internet factors into dropping religious affiliations somewhat..

 

There's an avenue for a different perspective and opinion and ability to find some scientific fact based realities. There's also the 24hr/7days work week issue. I couldn't go to church on Sunday AM if I wanted to, and for some, like my husband, that's a day to catch up on some well deserved/ needed rest. Since our economy has become based on 70% commercialism (buy and sell something); instead of "make something" (manufacturing), the 40hr work week, Monday thru Friday is becoming obliterated for the avg American working person... AND if you are younger, you are more likely stuck working in one of these shit ass service jobs. This means, church is the absolute last item you think about planning extra in your daily routine. Also, we are all more on the move. Younger people aren't as likely to be living in the same area that they were raised in and feel the urge to make an appearance every so often to catch up with their "church family". (They are more likely to attend a church service when they are back home visiting with their parents and friends than they are to find a church in a new area). AND speaking of even finding a "new church family" in a "new area", it really takes time to figure out where you would want to go and receive your spiritual uplifting with. Many churches are still crazy beans and they tend to be Republican = party of God; Democrats = party of the Devil (just think at how the younger generations have voted in the last coupld of presidential elections). Also, many of us young'uns don't believe our GLBT friends are going to hell or even straining our own heterosexual relationships. We also have a stronger urge for environmental causes (being good stewards of the earth), as well as, feeling that we should be our brother/ sister's keepers and that poor and homeless in a "wealthy nation as ours" is a scourge on us. AND let's not even get started on the misogynistic tendencies that most religions seem to value (especially in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths).

So, if the church/ religion seems to be anti-everything you value, are you apt to value religion? Plus they lie about so many items, so having faith in lies and liars and the fact that the religious books have been written by man and have been selected in a manner in which the PTB at the time choose to utilize them for control, it is hard to have a belief in an invisible God in the sky.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:32 AM

26. During the Viet Nam era almost every Religious organization signed on against the war

Sundays were days of protest as people would leave church to get to the nearest demonstration. One of the greatest myths perpetrated on the American public is that the Viet Nam war protestors were only college students and hippies. Nothing is further from the truth. The MSM filmed what they wanted to film and disregarded the masses of church going folk, grandparents, teachers, veterans, etal who made it their civic duty to show up in almost every major city in this country for a number of years. The only organized Religious organization, in my memory, that supported the war was the Southern Baptist Council. They were also against integration.
What has happened since that time is beyond me. It is like a dark cloud has descended on the churches of America. They no longer speak out except for the few fanatics among them. When they do it is to vilify our fellow citizens. Mega churches rule.
It is a healthy sign that the younger generation of America understands the conflict with spirit the churches are placing upon their members and the clear hypocrisy of their current mission.

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Response to randr (Reply #26)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:06 AM

47. RC Cardinal Spellman was a big hawk back then nt

it didn't seem right to me though.

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Response to randr (Reply #26)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:19 AM

54. Well that was an excellent post.

"It is a healthy sign that the younger generation of America understands the conflict with spirit the churches are placing upon their members and the clear hypocrisy of their current mission."

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:42 AM

29. Atheists Own the Internet

"the faithful have become the punching bag of the internet..." (video duration 4:38)

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #29)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:57 AM

38. If that's true, porn is #2.

 

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:44 AM

31. Maybe people are becoming more spiritual/philosophical and less dogmatic.

 

Hence, less likely to be drawn to a house of worship but more inclined to seek enlightenment on less conservative grounds.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 09:54 AM

37. I hope people are not making decisions based on what they read on the internet.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #37)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:09 AM

64. Right, they should be making decisions based on a collection of stories from

 

a primitive desert-dwelling people from ancient Judea.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #64)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 03:58 PM

80. I see you get your information from the internet.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #80)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 04:42 PM

81. Actually that info has been available

Long before the advent of the internet. I did my research old school,with books. Also used reason.

Julie

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #81)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 04:47 PM

82. That should belie the inference from the OP.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #82)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 05:04 PM

83. I was ahead of the curve.

I will say that I have found much more fellowship with other atheists on-line.I live in a red zone, lots of folks clinging to their guns and bibles, hatin' on that n***** democrat in the WH. Lots of such good Christians here.

I am grateful for the internet!

Julie

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Response to rug (Reply #37)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:19 PM

87. I am 75 years and was an atheist

long before the internet was in existence.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #87)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:41 PM

89. That's the way to do it.

 

Madalyn O'Hair was about the only prominent atheist then.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:01 AM

41. Factual Information. Isolation within the group and been the key to holding........

the congregation. The internet has made all people more aware because information is freely available making it very hard to convince the young that the preachers word is the only word.
Even Governments are finding it difficult to control the flow of information.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:06 AM

48. They can't sit still without technology that long. Plus, Americans don't want to be called sinful.

 

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:07 AM

50. For me...aliens, well maybe...

An all knowing, all creating gaseous "spirit being" that has never shown itself and is based on a book/books (that I've always felt old and angry men love to tweak and "interpret"....

Uh, no.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:09 AM

51. the religious right is rich and powerful

along with hateful and destructive. My husband was dragged to church every Sunday by his submissive mother and abusive father. He beat the kids, she prayed for it to stop. Needless to say, my husband has no use for religion. His brother remained true to the faith, married and raised six religious fanatics without the physical abuse (thank goodness.) Our nephew committed suicide at 21 with a wife and new baby. I loved that kid, but always knew he had a secret he couldn't reconcile with his family or himself. The suicide was devastating to the whole family, but probably not as devastating as the kid coming out. They have consoled themselves that he is in heaven with Jesus and all is well.
We took our daughter to the Presbyterian Church for several years, my husband liked the pastor. She was just a temp, but was our neighbor and a terrific lady. When the church got a new minister and my daughter grew up, my husband was through. I was the hypocrite attending because, in truth, I am a non believer. His family does enough praying for everyone. They love Jesus and pray Obama will die; real good Christians.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:14 AM

52. Hypocrisy and Extremism

Hypocrisy and Extremism make it difficult for the positive side of any religious belief system to get any spiritual or philosophical traction. If you are trying to set an example, you are that example. Instead, we get: "Do as I say, not as I do!"

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:22 AM

55. I think it's coincidence

My theory is that the closer to the end of a millennium, the more religious people get. Then when they begin to realize that the second coming is not imminent, they kind of leave religion on the side of the road.

Ever notice how people who go to prison, get religion? They swear they found god and have changed their ways. However, when they get out, they're soon back to engaging in activities that led to their prison time to begin with.

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Response to notadmblnd (Reply #55)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:00 AM

61. "Ever notice how people who go to prison, get religion?"

I noticed that!

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Response to notadmblnd (Reply #55)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:38 AM

70. Regarding prison, I heard an interesting idea the other day

I was listening to The Atheist Experience (a public-access atheist call-in show) and one of the hosts mentioned that there are incentives to be religious while in prison. You get things from going to service. Some of these are obvious, like a respite from the cutthroat prison environment. I don't remember exactly what was said or which episode it was in (somewhere in the low 780s) and there's too much unrelated stuff coming up when I google for this. I'll come back if I find exactly what he was talking about.

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Response to DireStrike (Reply #70)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:02 PM

75. Yeh, I've read about religious programs in prisons too.

Maybe some of them just go along with the program to reap the perks. However, I think many more prisoners are sincere while doing time.

I think that for many religion is a crutch. When facing crisis and chaos in their lives, they go back and lean on religion and when things are fairly stable they leave it by the wayside.

My husband's brother spent a couple of years in prison and while there- his letters and phone calls were often filled with "it happened for a reason" and "Gods changed my life" and the " I swear I'll never do it again" BS. But when he got out, he went back associating with the people and doing the things that landed him in prison to begin with. In the end, it was the use of the drugs he sold that killed him.

My grandmother, born in 1924 and raised catholic, totally rebelled in her adult life. She raised both her daughters without any guidance by any religious organization. My Aunt, as far as I ever knew, had nothing to do with religion her entire adult life. My mother on the other hand got religion when she got with a man 25 years her senior who was using the church to regain custody of his children from his ex. She was quite the little fundy nut for a while. She dragged us to church 2x on Sundays, Wednesday nights. Church choir practice, special holiday programs, revival meetings, vacation bible school and Saturday night pot luck dinner at the local fire hall. At home it was bible meetings and religious music played full blast while she made us clean house with her. In her later years, my mother has eased off on religion. she doesn't go to church, nor moralize to us very often anymore. My aunt, when she found out she was dying, immediately got religion and began setting things right with herself and people that she knew she had slighted and hurt over the years.

At the end of the millennium, I think a lot of people bought into the Y2K crap along with rapture ready loons and joined in believing that the end was coming. I think MSM and religion sucked a lot of people in with their rationals. The events of September 11, 2001, and the religious hyperbole that followed only reinforced that belief at the time. Now it's 13 years later and people are seeing that the end is not unfolding as they were told and are no longer feeling that they need religion as the strongest focus in their lives. I won't be around come the end of this millennium to find out if religion makes a resurgence then, so I guess it really doesn't matter what I think. By then I'll have found out for myself.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:32 AM

58. I thought it was MTV

 

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:42 AM

59. I'd have to see detailed survey data, but it'd be easy to draw an incorrect conclusion here

The survey results purportedly show "... a startling correlation between the rise of the Internet and the decline of religious affiliation in the United States."

The words decline of religious affiliation may have a different meaning than you think they do. One phenomenon that took over in the nineties (a time, coincidentally, that marked "the rise of the Internet" is the rise of the non-denominational mega-churches. These churches a) tend to have modern, Christian rock music instead of traditional hymns, b) tend to have many low-cost and no-cost on-site amenities, such as child care during services, coffee bars, and book stores, c) tend to appeal to a younger demographic, d) tend to have more of an arena or concert hall feel, and d) tend more to be driven by an appealing pastor rather than a centralized, rigid dogma.

If you ask members of these churches what religion they belong to, they will answer with "I attend (name of mega church)" or "I just love the Lord". They will not cite a traditional religious affiliation.

Despite the lack of specific affiliation, most of these churches tend to be fundamentalist in their nature. However, they tend to bend over backwards to be welcoming to single parents, unmarried co-habitating parents, and those with past issues such as drug and alcohol issues.

What gave rise to the mega churches? The most oft-cited reason is music. Post baby boomer America likes Christian rock or modern Gospel music in their churches, not traditional hymns. Other reasons include, but are not limited to: peer pressure (it's where my neighbors go), a mixed-faith couple, "Catholic" issues (including, but not limited to, remarriage issues, disillusionment over the abuse scandals, the fact that your priest is likely an unmarried old-guy to whom you cannot relate), "Episcopalian" issues (including, but not limited to, closure of churches and the "Schism", and very slick marketing that mega-churches engage in to boost membership. Bottom line: all the things Christian "traditional churches" (Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist) don't do/can't offer are offered by non-affiliated mega churches.

I'm saying that without a more detailed drill-down, there is a big potential to misread the data.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:04 AM

62. People can't afford religion anymore.

 

Tithes and associated costs of transportation and clothing for ones family is too much of a burden. Where's that "My yoke is light and My burden is easy"? No wonder some people go to the internet for religion. There are many writers, bloggers, Facebook, Youtube pastors and well studied individuals publishing online. Some even have weekly video sermons.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:23 AM

66. Thank God

This thread is a keeper - I've been interested for some time between the correlation of the internet and declining religion. There are some thoughtful ideas and theories here. Amen!

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:26 AM

67. It is hard to indoctrinate people who are swallowing a firehose of information every day. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #67)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:02 PM

95. I hope it is only a 1 inch

 

the 3 inch will throw them to hell!



Some FF humor

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #95)

Mon Apr 7, 2014, 04:10 AM

96. Or you could feed it into the other end. Sort of a bottle rocket.

A couple of miles up and then the head explodes in a colorful fashion.

And no doubt the one inch nozzle would be much less uncomfortable.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 11:43 AM

71. Maybe it's because people are finally realizing that religion is a bunch of crap.

 

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 12:08 PM

73. I don't care about religion anymore

Because when the right took over Christianity and made it that only they are Christians I decided I was finished,

I grew up with god is love and I'm not seeing any love from the republican right for Americans. These fake religious nuts only love money and the 1%.

All the garbage coming from cpac who's members says they are Christian makes me ill and want to be athestic and spiritual.

My husband grew up a strong Lutheran and he told me the other night he dislikes religion and us turned off by religious freaks like Robertson, warren etc.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 12:10 PM

74. My rejection of religion

had nothing to do with the internet. In tragedy and crisis I cried out to all the Gods and there was nothing but silence.

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Response to nilesobek (Reply #74)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:35 PM

91. Yeah, same here. He never said anything to me, no skywriting, no messages at all.

 


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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 01:18 PM

76. Now, THIS is truly good news for modern man

 

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 02:09 PM

78. Losing religion or spirituality?

Seems to me that people are coming to term with the fact that most "religious" institutions aren't very "religious". Sure they follow the dogma and speak the words but their actions are anything but spiritual.



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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 08:20 PM

88. To me, it's really kinda sad

that these pseudo-Christians on the Right have turned more people off (especially people around my age) and twisted the meaning of religion into something that is so...insane. They've interpreted it to basically mean hatred and imposing your own views on others, and that is not what Christianity and religion are about.
Despite what its critics say, I think that religion does have a lot to offer people, like when it comes to Christ's basic teachings and with Buddhism's Eightfold Path. Though it has been one of the many factors involved when it comes to the world's problems, it can also solve some of our problems and unite people.
Furthermore, the pseudo-Christians do not represent me. They do not represent my family. And they do not represent most other people of faith period (whether they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.). Many of us who follow religion do also take science seriously, and many of us do not wish to impose our views onto others. Barack Obama is a good Christian. Rev. Al Sharpton is a good Christian. But people like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Pat Robertson are frauds. I sincerely wish that more on America's Religious Left (yes, it does exist) would speak up and not let the RW have this hold on religion.

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Response to madokie (Original post)

Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:36 PM

92. There is a common sense answer for that. Because the rapture is coming soon and the anti-Christ

is preparing his kingdom for seven years of tribulation

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