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