Secularization, USA

The proportion of Americans who belong to a church has dropped to record lows, but the percentage of people who believe in God has remained stable.

The current de-churching has nothing to do with science (Gen-Z don’t like science any more than organized religion), but mostly due to dissatisfaction with the religious right’s involvement with politics.

You’d think Evangelical Christians have the capacity of eventually learning, but they keep going for short-sighted power grabs. Recently they’ve even aligned themselves with a pussy-grabber-in-chief who lives antithetically to a Christian lifestyle, and is repulsive to Christian sensibilities. Then they get all upset and defensive when people think they’re hypocrites.


This analysis doesn’t hold water, because no churches have done worse than mainline Protestant denominations not connected to the religious right. Evangelical numbers, on the other hand, have remained quite stable. Catholics are losing percentage share as well, but less than mainline Protestants because of immigration.


I don’t like Trump any more than you do, but let him (or her) who has never grabbed a pussy cast the first stone. What’s wrong with grabbing pussies in a consensual way? :slight_smile:

Then there’s this.

A year after reporting the largest single-year membership decline in more than 100 years, churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, lost more than 400,000 members in 2020 and set a new record for the single-year decline amid the coronavirus pandemic and a bitter culture war.

The Annual Church Profile report shows membership in SBC congregations declined by a staggering 435,632 in 2020, more than 50% higher than the 287,655 members the denomination reported losing from 2018 to 2019.

Evangelical churches have been doing better than mainstream churches up to the last few years, in large part because of ‘churn’; most mainstream memebers peeling off became Nones, but a number rejected liberal theological stances and became affiliated with more conservative churches. This served to slow (not reverse) the decline in evangelical church numbers.
Over the last couple of years the drop in evangelical numbers has started to surge, accelerated by a hardening of the right-wing political movement of many (not all) of those churches; young evangelicals are much less comfortable, for example, with the anti-gay emphasis of their elders- also differing on climate change and environmentalism in general.
I think the floodgates are opening.

Like with any observation that leads to an analysis and conclusion, the claims need to be properly sourced.

Claim 1.

I would rate this as true. Gallop Poll, U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades

Claim 2

I rate this claim as false. Gallop poll, How Many Americans Believe in God?

Claim three tries to offer an explanation as to why we are seeing this decline.

There may be some truth to such a statement, I wonder to what extent the decline is attributable to the toxification of some church beliefs (say being against gay marriage).

Right wing politicians have always been religious, or pretended to be. If that has always remained constant yet the decline seems most pronounced since 1998 the cause is likely something other than their supposed religious beliefs.

Maybe some have found a new religion, intersectionality, and many of their beliefs are at odds with Christianity (or their understanding of Christianity) .

But overall, due to the false claim that there has been no decline in the belief in god, that accounts for around 50% of the numbers (depending on how the question is worded) and would be the mostly attributable reason IMO.


Gen-Z? You mean humanity is in it’s final years?

have to adjust for church of social justice and latter day saints

I rate your ability to read graphs as “requires more practice.”

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This has been documented by several different sources.
Why is religion suddenly declining? | OUPblog> gNK9Y7rD8KndMhvcIh1idmfIFa8BLNG7ZvPzKipp9kjHJPgNDFmBHI

Several other factors help explain the waning of religion. In the United States, politics explains part of the decline. Since the 1990s, the Republican Party has sought to win support by adopting conservative Christian positions on same sex marriage, abortion, and other cultural issues. But this appeal to religious voters has had the corollary effect of pushing other voters, especially young liberal ones, away from religion. The uncritical embrace of President Donald Trump by conservative evangelical leaders has accelerated this trend.

American religion has an amazing ability to adapt.

By every measure, in every way the question is worded, belief in god has decreased.

Why stick to claims when evidence suggests otherwise is presented? You can modify your position accordingly, sticking to a false claim when everybody can see for themselves it was not true, is a form of doubling down which I doubt will impressive anyone on here.

For the most parsimonious question, the first one, belief is not monotonically decreasing. It’s stable.

The second question is straight up going to confuse people.

The third is a measure or certainty, not belief per se.

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Or the church of oppressed white males. Most recently found congregating at super spreader Trump rallies.

and all of a sudden, religion is everywhere again

Indeed. Not Yahweh but something else entirely…

It shows a trend, all be it with some variance. There may be too few data points.

No it would include an answer that includes uncertainty, instead of the yes/no answer only given in the first question. It means uncertainty is rising. Sorry you find it confusing.

It’s just adding more levels of being sure or unsure about something. Again the trend of being uncertain is clear.

I suspect if I dig, I will find more studies that show exactly the same thing.

and the far-left faith-based nonsense, just as ridiculous

I see their caricatures on TV but don’t run into them as often as I do the mask-less idiot at Walmart. Well at least when I lived in the US…

I have hard time squaring the plague of woke culture against the far right religion that has caused so many needless deaths in the middle of a pandemic and a wholesale belief in the Big Lie. It’s there I’m sure just seems more of a nuisance than anything.

I suppose it depends on where you live (for me it was canada) and the circles you run in (for me it was highly educated and minority straight-white-male)

also, to some extent of course the things that we notice are the things that stand out to us. in other words if we’ve decided the right is far worse than the left, or vice versa, we’ll probably notice the things that support that perspective (confirmation bias)

Well yes and actual dead people, and then the US having the worst covid situation in the world until India came along and vaccines were rolled out. When it clearly could and should have done better. Not to mention a bunch of idiots storming the seat of government which hasn’t ever happened before.

Sure confirmation bias is part of it, but I have a real hard time seeing the consequences of woke culture in real life. The pandemic did affect my life directly, as did DJT’S trade wars. Critical race theory? Nah sorry that’s a lot harder to square up against the aforementioned death of hundreds of thousands.

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