"If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu
I think the very religious in this country are well aware of the constitutional restrictions of our behavior.
And I see a lot of irreligious people being tolerant of religion. I think they see it as preferable to young people killing each other over drugs.
And when I said that you were incorrect, I was referring to your assertion that opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights is contradictory to conservatism.
Positions on this issue also have nothing to do with the teachings of the Bible.School prayer and putting religious symbols in the public square also only have middling justification, biblically.
Jesus never said anything about dealing with poverty; in fact, at one point he even said, "The poor will be with us always", or something to that effect. He was more interested in the virtue of willingly giving what is yours to someone who needs it more, i.e. charity. There is nothing virtuous about giving someone else's money to the poor; that is not the kind of thing Jesus was advocating.But if you read the bible, Jesus at every turn brings up "help the poor, help the sick, help the needy." He even says at one point "as you have treated the least of you, so have you treated me."
Jesus didn't give two squirts about "social issues" we care about today, but social conservatives largely define themselves by these issues. When the government, which they're ok with legislating morality, tries to enact programs that help the poor, they're often the ones screaming the loudest against it. If they dedicated the energy they use to complain about abortion and gay marriage into trying to find good ways to deal with poverty and the like, we'd be a much better place.
And just because Fundamentalist Christianity will probably decline, which I agree is probable, doesn't mean that Christianity in general will decline.
Americans who self-identified as Christians dropped from 84% to 76% between 1990 and 2008. That's a drop of almost 10%. The percentage of Americans who stated that they have no religion DOUBLED in the same time period, from 8.2% to 15%.
From the Aris study:
America is now less religious than it's ever been at any point in its history.• 86% of American adults identified as Christians in 1990 and 76% in 2008.
• The historic Mainline churches and denominations have experienced the steepest declines while the non-denominational Christian identity has been trending upward particularly since 2001.
• The challenge to Christianity in the U.S. does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion.
• One sign of the lack of attachment of Americans to religion is that 27% do not expect a religious funeral at their death.
• Based on their stated beliefs rather than their religious identification in 2008, 70% of Americans believe in a personal God, roughly 12% of Americans are atheist (no God) or agnostic (unknowable or unsure), and another 12% are deistic (a higher power but no personal God).
...Tables 4 and 5 show that there is a real and growing theological polarization in American society whereby 34 percent of the population believe they are “Born Again” but 25-30 percent reject the idea of a personal divinity. These questions on belief reveal the cultural polarization between the pious and non-religious portions of the national population, which are today roughly similar in size.
Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 11-24-09 at 03:33 PM.
^That is all true; however, most of the decline was in the first 10 years. Now the decline is, well, declining.
That's why I said "will decline" rather than "is declining".