Tuesday, July 15, 2008
atheism is growing, god willing
via mary at pacific views, we find that, unlike the media narrative about fundamentalism in this country, the religious right is losing about a thousand kids a day as they walk away from their faith:
today onthemedia had an interview with christine wicker, author of the fall of the evangelical nation. as a former religious reporter for the dallas morning news as well as being raised as an evangelical she was seen as an ideal person to investigate what was going on with the evangelical movement. what she found was that rather than being the powerhouse movement the media and rove say, it is actually a religious movement that was shrinking and losing clout year by year as followers fall away. even more surprising, she found that they never could have been the force that they claimed as they never did have the numbers reported. here's a gist of her thesis from a sermon she quoted by pastor davidson loehr, pastor at the first unitarian/universalist church of austin:too bad skippy international isn't powerful enough to push this story.
evangelical christianity in america is dying. the idea that evangelicals are taking over america is one of the greatest publicity scams in history, a perfect coup accomplished by savvy politicos and religious leaders, who understand media weaknesses and exploit them brilliantly. (christine wicker, the fall of the evangelical nation, p. ix)
the facts are that about a thousand evangelicals walk away from their churches every day and most don’t come back (christine wicker, the fall of the evangelical nation, p. xiii). as a whole, american christians lose six thousand members a day – more than two million a year. (christine wicker, the fall of the evangelical nation, p. 123) the real figures are that fewer than seven percent of the country are really evangelicals – only about one in fourteen, not one out of four. the fastest growing faith groups in the country are atheists and nonbelievers. in just the eleven years from 1990 to 2001, they more than doubled, from 14 million to 29 million, from 8% of the country to 14 percent. there are more than twice as many nonbelievers and atheists as there are evangelicals. and since it’s hard to believe everyone would have the nerve to tell a pollster they were an atheist or nonbeliever, i suspect the real figures are higher. you don’t read this in the media because there are no powerful groups pushing the story.