Sunday, April 12, 2009

A "Post-Christian" Nation?

A statistic from the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey holds that the number of people in this country who are unchurched -- who claim no religious affiliation -- has very nearly doubled since 1990, from 8 percent to 15 percent. Newsweek carried a lengthy and provocative commentary entitled The End of Christian America by John Meacham:

According to the American Religious Identification Survey ... the percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 percentage points since 1990, from 86 to 76 percent. The Jewish population is 1.2 percent; the Muslim, 0.6 percent. A separate Pew Forum poll echoed the ARIS finding, reporting that the percentage of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith has doubled in recent years, to 16 percent; in terms of voting, this group grew from 5 percent in 1988 to 12 percent in 2008—roughly the same percentage of the electorate as African-Americans.
There's a lot more to Meacham's commentary -- and there are also any number of Fundo-Xian sites that are critical of his reading of the stats.

So, while it's kind of fun to consider an end to Christian dominance over the culture -- and the government -- we are in a fool's paradise if we think that the Fundos are going to just roll over on this. No, they will be even more virulent, even more demanding, even more protective of what they can see slipping away from them. The Culture Wars used to be just a handy metaphor. As the Fundos get weirder and crazier about their precious values being stripped away (in their view), that Culture War may be less of a metaphor and more of a reality. Since November the rightwing wackos have been buying up weapons in mind-staggering quantities, Crazy Lady Congressperson Michelle Bachmann is encouraging her followers to be "armed and dangerous", and that nutjob in Pittsburgh who killed three cops over a pissing dog was a former rightwing hate-radio host who stockpiled food and weapons in anticipation of impending Armageddon.

I'm afraid it's going to get worse before it gets better. The Fundo-Xians won't rest until they have turned this nation into an Xian theocracy and instituted a Christianized Sharia Law. And god help the rest of us if that happens.


Vleeptron Dude said...

hey opovet, Happy .......... uhhh ..... hmmmm .... well, Happy 2nd Sunday In April!

Greets from a much younger Army vet -- I'm 62. All hair, some teeth.

You have a very cool -- dare I add a very important -- blog. I was looking for the Nixon quote about the drug war being cooked up to screw blacks, and lo! You had it! Thanks!

Anyway, I got a Trivia Question for you: What is "The Republic of Gilead"?

Farnsworth68 said...

Hi, Vleep, and welcome. You would have had me on that Republic of Gilead question, had I not in the last six weeks or so re-read The Handmaid's Tale, which ought to be required reading for everyone. In it is a chilling reminder of what can go wrong when religion takes over government. Scary shit.

mrln said...

Things are getting very frightening...The Governor of Texas is calling for secession, Hannity is convincing his listeners that Obama is a Marxist, and the right wingnuttery is demonstrating cuts for the MIDDLE CLASS!!! I think we're becoming a post-THNKING nation!!