90 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 27 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Christianity is Collapsing

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Message James A. Haught
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

This piece was reprinted by OpEd News with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

(Daylight Atheism - 7/12/21)

By James A. Haught

Sociologists are amazed by the swift disintegration of Christianity in America. It's a stunning cultural transformation, confirmed by dozens of surveys and studies.

A Gallup Poll found that fewer than half of Americans (47 percent) now belong to a church or mosque or temple - down from seventy percent at the start of the 21st century. Today, more than half of Americans are churchless.

Tall-steeple "mainline" Protestant faiths - once the pillar of WASP respectability - suffered worst, dropping so severely they're dubbed "flatline" Protestantism. Born-again churches followed. Southern Baptists lost two million members since 2006.

Now a brand-new finding by the Barna religious polling service says Christianity is being erased by "Don'ts - people who say they don't know, don't care, or don't believe that God exists." Chief George Barna calls the church wipeout "the most rapid and radical cultural upheaval our nation has ever experienced."

A June 8 report from Arizona Christian University, where Barna is located, cited his findings this way:

"The number of U.S. adults who qualify as 'Don'ts' has nearly tripled in the past decade, rising to 34 percent in 2021. Millennials (ages 18 to 36) are driving much of that shift, with 43 percent rejecting the existence of God.

"As recently as 1980, more than 90 percent of Americans claimed to be Christians. Since that time, there has been a steady decline". By 2010, three out of four Americans claimed to be Christian, and currently, just under two out of three make the same claim."

The ACU report added:

"Belief in the existence of God as the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe who still rules the world today: Down from 86 percent in 1991 to 46 percent in 2021.

"Belief that the Bible is the accurate and reliable word of God: Seventy percent in 1991; 41 percent in 2021.

"The percentage of U.S. Hispanic adults who self-aligned with the Catholic Church has been sliced in half, from 59 percent to 28 percent, in the last thirty years. And those former Hispanic Catholics are not flowing into Protestant churches, but are leaving Christian institutions altogether."

I'm impressed by the frankness of Barna and Arizona Christian. Instead of trying to whitewash the ruinous survey results, they admit there's "a precipitous decline in Christianity, and reduced confidence in religion nationwide."

Since I'm a progressive liberal, this theological tsunami gives me political hope: White evangelicals who dominate the Republican Party - electing Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump - have shrunk to a mere fourteen percent of the populace. The Public Religion Research Institute says they fell nine percent in the past four years. Their power to swing elections presumably is fading further.

Meanwhile, America is turning more honest. Sincere people don't claim to know supernatural things that nobody can know. They reject religion's magic claims that lack any evidence.

Religious scholar Thom Rainer predicts: "Denominations will begin their steepest decline in 2021." I hope he's correct.

Rate It | View Ratings

James A. Haught Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  Mr. Haught has won two dozen national news writing awards. He has written 12 books and hundreds of magazine essays and blog posts. Around 450 of his essays are online. He is a senior editor of Free Inquiry magazine, a weekly blogger at Daylight Atheism, (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Feeding 7.7 Billion

Megachurch Mess

Religion-Tinged Politics

deadly labor struggles

The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of

Coal Mine Wars

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend