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Old 03-09-2009, 11:56 AM  
DaKCMan AP DaKCMan AP is offline
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More Americans say they have no religion

More Americans say they have no religion

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

A wide-ranging study on American religious life found that the Roman Catholic population has been shifting out o of the Northeast to the Southwest, the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more people say they have no religion at all.

Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent. Still, the study found that the numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state.

"No other religious bloc has kept such a pace in every state," the study's authors said.

In the Northeast, self-identified Catholics made up 36 percent of adults last year, down from 43 percent in 1990. At the same time, however, Catholics grew to about one-third of the adult population in California and Texas, and one-quarter of Floridians, largely due to Latino immigration, according to the research.

Nationally, Catholics remain the largest religious group, with 57 million people saying they belong to the church. The tradition gained 11 million followers since 1990, but its share of the population fell by about a percentage point to 25 percent.

Christians who aren't Catholic also are a declining segment of the country.

In 2008, Christians comprised 76 percent of U.S. adults, compared to about 77 percent in 2001 and about 86 percent in 1990. Researchers said the dwindling ranks of mainline Protestants, including Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians, largely explains the shift. Over the last seven years, mainline Protestants dropped from just over 17 percent to 12.9 percent of the population.

The report from The Program on Public Values at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., surveyed 54,461 adults in English or Spanish from February through November of last year. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.5 percentage points. The findings are part of a series of studies on American religion by the program that will later look more closely at reasons behind the trends.

The current survey, being released Monday, found traditional organized religion playing less of a role in many lives. Thirty percent of married couples did not have a religious wedding ceremony and 27 percent of respondents said they did not want a religious funeral.

About 12 percent of Americans believe in a higher power but not the personal God at the core of monotheistic faiths. And, since 1990, a slightly greater share of respondents — 1.2 percent — said they were part of new religious movements, including Scientology, Wicca and Santeria.

The study also found signs of a growing influence of churches that either don't belong to a denomination or play down their membership in a religious group.

Respondents who called themselves "non-denominational Christian" grew from 0.1 percent in 1990 to 3.5 percent last year. Congregations that most often use the term are megachurches considered "seeker sensitive." They use rock style music and less structured prayer to attract people who don't usually attend church. Researchers also found a small increase in those who prefer being called evangelical or born-again, rather than claim membership in a denomination.

Evangelical or born-again Americans make up 34 percent of all American adults and 45 percent of all Christians and Catholics, the study found. Researchers found that 18 percent of Catholics consider themselves born-again or evangelical, and nearly 39 percent of mainline Protestants prefer those labels. Many mainline Protestant groups are riven by conflict over how they should interpret what the Bible says about gay relationships, salvation and other issues.

The percentage of Pentecostals remained mostly steady since 1990 at 3.5 percent, a surprising finding considering the dramatic spread of the tradition worldwide. Pentecostals are known for a spirited form of Christianity that includes speaking in tongues and a belief in modern-day miracles.

Mormon numbers also held steady over the period at 1.4 percent of the population, while the number of Jews who described themselves as religiously observant continued to drop, from 1.8 percent in 1990 to 1.2 percent, or 2.7 million people, last year. Researchers plan a broader survey on people who consider themselves culturally Jewish but aren't religious.

The study found that the percentage of Americans who identified themselves as Muslim grew to 0.6 percent of the population, while growth in Eastern religions such as Buddhism slightly slowed.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090309/...9yZWFtZXJpY2Fu
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:01 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by BigCatDaddy View Post
So next time someone request prayers for an ill loved one, man up and tell them to take that crap to DC if you feel that way.
good point. It a little hypocritical but its the way the vast majority of the community want things to run on here.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:14 PM   #32
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:17 PM   #33
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:28 PM   #34
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:19 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCatDaddy View Post
So next time someone request prayers for an ill loved one, man up and tell them to take that crap to DC if you feel that way.
Actually, I don't give a shit. If they think that worshiping a Jewish Zombie will help them, that's their prerogative.

What I do have a problem with is the assertion that there isn't an implicit acceptance of religion and religiosity in those contexts.

Prayer request=asking someone to partake in a religious ritual for you/someone else.

The religion is implied, it doesn't even need to be discussed.

Just call a spade a spade.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:38 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
Actually, I don't give a shit. If they think that worshiping a Jewish Zombie will help them, that's their prerogative.

What I do have a problem with is the assertion that there isn't an implicit acceptance of religion and religiosity in those contexts.

Prayer request=asking someone to partake in a religious ritual for you/someone else.

The religion is implied, it doesn't even need to be discussed.

Just call a spade a spade.
For what it's worth, I set the prayer icon up, and I'm about as atheist as they come. It's not about the prayers themselves. It's about comforting people in a time of need. If I ever had a loved one who was having a life or death issue, I'd probably post a "prayer" thread just for the kind wishes and thoughts.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:44 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by DaFace View Post
For what it's worth, I set the prayer icon up, and I'm about as atheist as they come. It's not about the prayers themselves. It's about comforting people in a time of need. If I ever had a loved one who was having a life or death issue, I'd probably post a "prayer" thread just for the kind wishes and thoughts.
Again, I have no qualms with the concept of prayer request threads, but I just want people to acknowledge the fact that there is an implicit acceptance of religion's role in that regard.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:47 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
Again, I have no qualms with the concept of prayer request threads, but I just want people to acknowledge the fact that there is an implicit acceptance of religion's role in that regard.
Who would deny that? It seems more self-evident than anything else that could be posted, and I don't see why or how people w/could be slow to acknowledge it.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:29 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by alanm View Post
Not having any religion is going to suck when you have no job and no food.
To paraphrase an old saying:

A job and food in a time of no religion will be of far more use than religion in a time of no jobs and no food.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:37 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Jenson71 View Post
Who would deny that? It seems more self-evident than anything else that could be posted, and I don't see why or how people w/could be slow to acknowledge it.
It's only to prove some kind of asinine point, just like when the original poster wondered why his thread was moved to begin with.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:40 PM   #41
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It's only to prove some kind of asinine point, just like when the original poster wondered why his thread was moved to begin with.
The point is if you are going to be so strident about moving threads like this to DC, then Prayer Requests should as well.

That is not saying that either need to be moved.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:06 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
The point is if you are going to be so strident about moving threads like this to DC, then Prayer Requests should as well.

That is not saying that either need to be moved.
Pretty much. The prayer threads and their location don't bother me. Hypocritical double-standards do.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:00 PM   #43
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Not having any religion is going to suck when you have no job and no food.
Explain the logic underlying that conclusion...
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:03 PM   #44
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I blame Bill Mahr.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:06 PM   #45
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