T Nation

Christianity on the Decline?

Just thought it was an interesting article, especially because my family is constantly sending me forwarded emails about how our nation is going to self-destruct because we are less religious than we have ever been.

To me it seems the more we advance as a society, and the more knowledge we gain, the harder it is to believe in something that started in a time when people had very little scientific knowledge about the world around them.

Do you think less God in our country means we are abandoning the ideas of the founding fathers, or that the founding fathers were following the popular belief system of the day and were able to get away with integrating the word God into every document they wrote?

(I grew up in an evangelical Christian home, and want to hear what “the world” thinks about the issue)

I think this is pretty silly:

“The proportion of Americans who think religion “can answer all or most of today’s problems” is now at a historic low of 48 percent. During the Bush 43 and Clinton years, that figure never dropped below 58 percent.”

Christianity was founded long before many of today’s problems probably even exsisted so to still think it would solve them is a little short sighted imo.

To be frank, I’d rather be the master of my domain so to speak, then for my decisions to be influenced by religion. I’m not against religion in anyway, I’ve been to church a few times but I’m simply not interested in having a religion.

Less god just means people are waking up.

[quote]jermag27 wrote:
Do you think less God in our country means we are abandoning the ideas of the founding fathers, or that the founding fathers were following the popular belief system of the day and were able to get away with integrating the word God into every document they wrote?[/quote]

No, less God means in your country means you’re closer adhering to the ideals of the founding fathers. America was not founded by Christians - infact, as far as I’m aware they tried to avoid implicating religion into early America as far as the country was concerned.

http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
jermag27 wrote:
Do you think less God in our country means we are abandoning the ideas of the founding fathers, or that the founding fathers were following the popular belief system of the day and were able to get away with integrating the word God into every document they wrote?

No, less God means in your country means you’re closer adhering to the ideals of the founding fathers. America was not founded by Christians - infact, as far as I’m aware they tried to avoid implicating religion into early America as far as the country was concerned.

http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html[/quote]

Those percentages are BS. There weren’t that many Christians. Many of them were really deists that still participated in the Christian church. In that first list it’s calling them a Christian based on if they attended church, not what their beliefs were.

Though it is important to note that while many were not Christians they were essentially all theists of some sort. And that the natural rights of man have their foundation is a higher power. The language of many of the founding documents don?t make since unless considered from a theist perspective, though not necessarily Christian.

I think I said I was Christian growing up so I didn’t have to say “agnostic” or “atheist”. I’m sure many of the people in those percentages say they are Christian, but that’s as far as their faith goes. I just get tired of people saying our country is a Christian one, when there are so many other belief systems in practice in our country.

[quote]hardgnr wrote:
Christianity was founded long before many of today’s problems probably even exsisted so to still think it would solve them is a little short sighted imo.
[/quote]

Really? Care to elaborate on this?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
RSGZ wrote:
jermag27 wrote:
Do you think less God in our country means we are abandoning the ideas of the founding fathers, or that the founding fathers were following the popular belief system of the day and were able to get away with integrating the word God into every document they wrote?

No, less God means in your country means you’re closer adhering to the ideals of the founding fathers. America was not founded by Christians - infact, as far as I’m aware they tried to avoid implicating religion into early America as far as the country was concerned.

http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html

Those percentages are BS. There weren’t that many Christians. Many of them were really deists that still participated in the Christian church. In that first list it’s calling them a Christian based on if they attended church, not what their beliefs were.

Though it is important to note that while many were not Christians they were essentially all theists of some sort. And that the natural rights of man have their foundation is a higher power. The language of many of the founding documents don?t make since unless considered from a theist perspective, though not necessarily Christian.
[/quote]

This is true. Many of them were Masons as well and that means they believed in some higher power. It does not mean they were all “Christians”.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
hardgnr wrote:
Christianity was founded long before many of today’s problems probably even exsisted so to still think it would solve them is a little short sighted imo.

Really? Care to elaborate on this?[/quote]

There is nothing new under the sun. Regardless of our specific “problems” in context of the era we live in, there is doubtfully any current “problem” that has not been experienced in some shape, form or minor variance in past millennia.

“But we fly in planes!”
“It is still a transportation problem”

I think that the problems we are seeing are starting push people further to sides of the isle. They may not be new, but they are more in your face than ever before with all of the different types of media that are instantly updated globally. So it is driving people to be more emphatic with their beliefs and be more extreme. people who were actually christian and not just saying are turning more evangelical and people who don’t believe are now pushing the atheist side more.

I honestly think this going to turn many in this country against each other on top of the other issues that are separating us.

I think the more people get away from religion and become more independant the better things will be. Like Liftivcmaximvs said becoming more awake. I still believe in a higher power but I think religious groups are sort of funny how they work.

[quote]jermag27 wrote:

Just thought it was an interesting article, especially because my family is constantly sending me forwarded emails about how our nation is going to self-destruct because we are less religious than we have ever been.

To me it seems the more we advance as a society, and the more knowledge we gain, the harder it is to believe in something that started in a time when people had very little scientific knowledge about the world around them.

Do you think less God in our country means we are abandoning the ideas of the founding fathers, or that the founding fathers were following the popular belief system of the day and were able to get away with integrating the word God into every document they wrote?

(I grew up in an evangelical Christian home, and want to hear what “the world” thinks about the issue)[/quote]

I agree that as we advance as a society it seems natural to slowly move away from these types of beliefs.
With that said, it doesn’t matter if we are abandoning the alleged ideas of the founding fathers; if people today feel they don’t need religion for whatever reason, that is their choice. Some still feel they do need it and that is their choice as well.

After 200 years, I think the idea of slowly moving away from religion seems probable. Hell, the rest of the world isn’t as caught up with religion as we are.

I think the priests/bishops/televangelists/etc that blame today’s problems on the waning influence of religion are just scared to lose ‘control’ or the influence they may have had.

[quote]MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
jermag27 wrote:

Just thought it was an interesting article, especially because my family is constantly sending me forwarded emails about how our nation is going to self-destruct because we are less religious than we have ever been.

To me it seems the more we advance as a society, and the more knowledge we gain, the harder it is to believe in something that started in a time when people had very little scientific knowledge about the world around them.

Do you think less God in our country means we are abandoning the ideas of the founding fathers, or that the founding fathers were following the popular belief system of the day and were able to get away with integrating the word God into every document they wrote?

(I grew up in an evangelical Christian home, and want to hear what “the world” thinks about the issue)

I agree that as we advance as a society it seems natural to slowly move away from these types of beliefs.
With that said, it doesn’t matter if we are abandoning the alleged ideas of the founding fathers; if people today feel they don’t need religion for whatever reason, that is their choice. Some still feel they do need it and that is their choice as well.

After 200 years, I think the idea of slowly moving away from religion seems probable. Hell, the rest of the world isn’t as caught up with religion as we are.

I think the priests/bishops/televangelists/etc that blame today’s problems on the waning influence of religion are just scared to lose ‘control’ or the influence they may have had.[/quote]

Please. This happens in cycles throughout history. For anyone to take the stance that they are “more awake” because they choose to not believe in God is a slap in the face to anyone who does believe. It means you truly think your mentality is superior and that others are beneath you. I haven’t met any of your “superior intellects” on this site yet who are so brilliant as to give that stance any foundation.

We are at the beginning of a new millennium. Fears of “Dooms Day” passed with Y2K. The moment mankind faces something that makes them feel small again…(like arguably Manifest Destiny in terms of conquering a “New World”), religion will gain even more strength in the population.

In my honest opinion…when relatively average people begin thinking they are the epitome of human consciousness, I do feel we are in very big trouble as a species.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
jermag27 wrote:

Just thought it was an interesting article, especially because my family is constantly sending me forwarded emails about how our nation is going to self-destruct because we are less religious than we have ever been.

To me it seems the more we advance as a society, and the more knowledge we gain, the harder it is to believe in something that started in a time when people had very little scientific knowledge about the world around them.

Do you think less God in our country means we are abandoning the ideas of the founding fathers, or that the founding fathers were following the popular belief system of the day and were able to get away with integrating the word God into every document they wrote?

(I grew up in an evangelical Christian home, and want to hear what “the world” thinks about the issue)

I agree that as we advance as a society it seems natural to slowly move away from these types of beliefs.
With that said, it doesn’t matter if we are abandoning the alleged ideas of the founding fathers; if people today feel they don’t need religion for whatever reason, that is their choice. Some still feel they do need it and that is their choice as well.

After 200 years, I think the idea of slowly moving away from religion seems probable. Hell, the rest of the world isn’t as caught up with religion as we are.

I think the priests/bishops/televangelists/etc that blame today’s problems on the waning influence of religion are just scared to lose ‘control’ or the influence they may have had.

Please. This happens in cycles throughout history. For anyone to take the stance that they are “more awake” because they choose to not believe in God is a slap in the face to anyone who does believe. It means you truly think your mentality is superior and that others are beneath you. I haven’t met any of your “superior intellects” on this site yet who are so brilliant as to give that stance any foundation.

We are at the beginning of a new millennium. Fears of “Dooms Day” passed with Y2K. The moment mankind faces something that makes them feel small again…(like arguably Manifest Destiny in terms of conquering a “New World”), religion will gain even more strength in the population.

In my honest opinion…when relatively average people begin thinking they are the epitome of human consciousness, I do feel we are in very big trouble as a species.[/quote]

I’m not sure why you quoted my post. On the one hand, I did write “as we advance as a society” but I didn’t mean it to mean “advance mentally or intellecutally.” So that is my fault. I think you’re taking my post a little too far though. I’m not of the opinion that our waning dependence on religion is because people have “woken up.” I don’t know what the reason is; I just said that many today feel they don’t need religion, others still do.

200 years ago going to church and being some type of theist, often times (though i’m not of the opinion that the Founding Fathers were mostly/all Christian) some type of Christian, was the norm. Now, it isn’t as much. I don’t know why, but you are assuming I was attacking you and others as being mentally inferior.

I dont think I am superior to anyone, I just think more goes on than what people think.

[quote]MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
Professor X wrote:
MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
jermag27 wrote:

Just thought it was an interesting article, especially because my family is constantly sending me forwarded emails about how our nation is going to self-destruct because we are less religious than we have ever been.

To me it seems the more we advance as a society, and the more knowledge we gain, the harder it is to believe in something that started in a time when people had very little scientific knowledge about the world around them.

Do you think less God in our country means we are abandoning the ideas of the founding fathers, or that the founding fathers were following the popular belief system of the day and were able to get away with integrating the word God into every document they wrote?

(I grew up in an evangelical Christian home, and want to hear what “the world” thinks about the issue)

I agree that as we advance as a society it seems natural to slowly move away from these types of beliefs.
With that said, it doesn’t matter if we are abandoning the alleged ideas of the founding fathers; if people today feel they don’t need religion for whatever reason, that is their choice. Some still feel they do need it and that is their choice as well.

After 200 years, I think the idea of slowly moving away from religion seems probable. Hell, the rest of the world isn’t as caught up with religion as we are.

I think the priests/bishops/televangelists/etc that blame today’s problems on the waning influence of religion are just scared to lose ‘control’ or the influence they may have had.

Please. This happens in cycles throughout history. For anyone to take the stance that they are “more awake” because they choose to not believe in God is a slap in the face to anyone who does believe. It means you truly think your mentality is superior and that others are beneath you. I haven’t met any of your “superior intellects” on this site yet who are so brilliant as to give that stance any foundation.

We are at the beginning of a new millennium. Fears of “Dooms Day” passed with Y2K. The moment mankind faces something that makes them feel small again…(like arguably Manifest Destiny in terms of conquering a “New World”), religion will gain even more strength in the population.

In my honest opinion…when relatively average people begin thinking they are the epitome of human consciousness, I do feel we are in very big trouble as a species.

I’m not sure why you quoted my post. On the one hand, I did write “as we advance as a society” but I didn’t mean it to mean “advance mentally or intellecutally.” So that is my fault. I think you’re taking my post a little too far though. I’m not of the opinion that our waning dependence on religion is because people have “woken up.” I don’t know what the reason is; I just said that many today feel they don’t need religion, others still do.

200 years ago going to church and being some type of theist, often times (though i’m not of the opinion that the Founding Fathers were mostly/all Christian) some type of Christian, was the norm. Now, it isn’t as much. I don’t know why, but you are assuming I was attacking you and others as being mentally inferior.

[/quote]

Question…and I want your honest opinion.

If in the near or even distant future, we do notice some world ending comet or asteroid approaching Earth years in advance…do you expect religion to be on the decline?

Mankind has a habit of gaining an ego when it thinks it has nothing major to fear.

I would agree with you ProfX but I think thats kind of funny it does seem that when people are in a bind they always seem to look for someone to help them. It reminds me of the movie Religulous. I thought he brought up a lot of good points.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
Professor X wrote:
MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
jermag27 wrote:

Just thought it was an interesting article, especially because my family is constantly sending me forwarded emails about how our nation is going to self-destruct because we are less religious than we have ever been.

To me it seems the more we advance as a society, and the more knowledge we gain, the harder it is to believe in something that started in a time when people had very little scientific knowledge about the world around them.

Do you think less God in our country means we are abandoning the ideas of the founding fathers, or that the founding fathers were following the popular belief system of the day and were able to get away with integrating the word God into every document they wrote?

(I grew up in an evangelical Christian home, and want to hear what “the world” thinks about the issue)

I agree that as we advance as a society it seems natural to slowly move away from these types of beliefs.
With that said, it doesn’t matter if we are abandoning the alleged ideas of the founding fathers; if people today feel they don’t need religion for whatever reason, that is their choice. Some still feel they do need it and that is their choice as well.

After 200 years, I think the idea of slowly moving away from religion seems probable. Hell, the rest of the world isn’t as caught up with religion as we are.

I think the priests/bishops/televangelists/etc that blame today’s problems on the waning influence of religion are just scared to lose ‘control’ or the influence they may have had.

Please. This happens in cycles throughout history. For anyone to take the stance that they are “more awake” because they choose to not believe in God is a slap in the face to anyone who does believe. It means you truly think your mentality is superior and that others are beneath you. I haven’t met any of your “superior intellects” on this site yet who are so brilliant as to give that stance any foundation.

We are at the beginning of a new millennium. Fears of “Dooms Day” passed with Y2K. The moment mankind faces something that makes them feel small again…(like arguably Manifest Destiny in terms of conquering a “New World”), religion will gain even more strength in the population.

In my honest opinion…when relatively average people begin thinking they are the epitome of human consciousness, I do feel we are in very big trouble as a species.

I’m not sure why you quoted my post. On the one hand, I did write “as we advance as a society” but I didn’t mean it to mean “advance mentally or intellecutally.” So that is my fault. I think you’re taking my post a little too far though. I’m not of the opinion that our waning dependence on religion is because people have “woken up.” I don’t know what the reason is; I just said that many today feel they don’t need religion, others still do.

200 years ago going to church and being some type of theist, often times (though i’m not of the opinion that the Founding Fathers were mostly/all Christian) some type of Christian, was the norm. Now, it isn’t as much. I don’t know why, but you are assuming I was attacking you and others as being mentally inferior.

Question…and I want your honest opinion.

If in the near or even distant future, we do notice some world ending comet or asteroid approaching Earth years in advance…do you expect religion to be on the decline?

Mankind has a habit of gaining an ego when it thinks it has nothing major to fear.[/quote]

No it would probably not be on the declien (had to edit this because I misread the question). I think most would have to agree, given human nature. It is analogous to your “there are no atheists in foxholes” post in the other thread; when faced with a life or death situation, even an atheist can forego their beliefs, no matter how sincerely believed, and start believing in God to comfort them. It is human nature to want to be comforted.

With that said, the fact that we haven’t been faced with a life or death situation of that magnitude does not negate anything I said. If you saw, I said “if people today feel they don’t need religion for whatever reason…”
That reason could be the absence of a doomsday event, such as a comet hitting the earth which we detect in advance. But we have not had something like that which could cause people to return to their faiths.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
GDollars37 wrote:
hardgnr wrote:
Christianity was founded long before many of today’s problems probably even exsisted so to still think it would solve them is a little short sighted imo.

Really? Care to elaborate on this?

There is nothing new under the sun. Regardless of our specific “problems” in context of the era we live in, there is doubtfully any current “problem” that has not been experienced in some shape, form or minor variance in past millennia.

“But we fly in planes!”
“It is still a transportation problem”[/quote]

Exactly. Only, more importantly, the problems of humanity and human sin and error are exactly as they have always been. Pride, greed, lust, etc. They may take on different forms and power, but they haven’t changed. Religion, whether you are a believer or not, speaks to the eternal human condition.

[quote]trojapa wrote:
I would agree with you ProfX but I think thats kind of funny it does seem that when people are in a bind they always seem to look for someone to help them. It reminds me of the movie Religulous. I thought he brought up a lot of good points. [/quote]

However, those threats are ALWAYS out there.

I don’t believe in God simply because my parents did. My parents actually encouraged me to go to other churches. They didn’t stop me when I attended a Buddhist Temple once with some Asian friends in high school. I consider myself “non-denominational”. I am not Baptist or Catholic but I do believe in a higher power and that life exists with a purpose beyond simply “procreation”.

I just find the mentality of those who claim divinity to be like some childish nursery rhyme to not only severely lack any grasp of what some of us actually believe…but it also seems like a rather shallow way to view the world especially if they feel they are superior for thinking that way.