Facing South

Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the South

Facing South
Facing South
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Christian faith still flourishes in the Bible Belt -- but there, like elsewhere, it's in decline.

That's one of the findings of the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey released this week. The study is especially valuable because it tracks trends over time -- previous reports were done in 1990 and 2001 -- and draws on a rich volume of data (in 2008, questionnaires of 54,400 people).

The big finding of the report is that Protestant Christians are in decline:

The percentage of Christians in America, which declined in the 1990s
from 86.2 percent to 76.7 percent, has now edged down to 76 percent.
Ninety percent of the decline comes from the non-Catholic segment of
the Christian population, largely from the mainline denominations,
including Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians,
Episcopalians/Anglicans, and the United Church of Christ.

The number of Catholics is declining as well, but not nearly as much largely because losses in the Northeast have been balanced out by a growth of Catholics -- fueled by new immigrants -- in the South and Southwest. (Perhaps Christians have Latinos and other new immigrants to thank from keeping church values alive.)

What's happening in the South is especially interesting. As USA Today illustrates with some very handy flash charts, Southern states still score high in terms of their "religious-ness," although it's not as clear-cut as you'd think. For example, the number of respondents claiming "no religion" grew 7% between 1990 and 2008 in Alabama, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

But at the same time, Protestant religions have seen a dramatic fall in the South. Between 1990 and 2008, the number of non-Catholic Christians has dropped in every Southern state except Louisiana. (As the Institute pointed out in a study last year, faith groups bolstered their standing in Louisiana with their heroic response to Katrina and other disasters.)

A RUSTING BIBLE BELT?

Percent Decline of Non-Catholic Christians, 1990 - 2008

Texas: -20%
South Carolina: -15%
Georgia: -14%
Florida: -13%
North Carolina: -13%
West Virginia: -13%
Kentucky: -13%
Tennessee: -13%
Virginia: -13%
Alabama: -9%
Mississippi: -8%
Arkansas: -6%
Louisiana: +8%

Sources: 2008 American Religious Identification Survey; USA Today, compiled by Institute for Southern Studies 3/09

The only group showing growth during that time frame in every state? "The Nones," according to the survey -- those who claim to hold no particular religious belief.

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re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

This was predicted a long time ago when a cheif Pagan god told Solomon that his reign would be but a season(few thousand years). We are at the initial fall of this false religion and in the next century it will finally be gone for good and the true God will rise to his initial glory, HAIL SATAN!!!
-Anonymous, dedicated stanist of the Joy of Satan Ministries-

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Hahahaha Now Thats some funny junk

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

So happy to see everyone waking up and becoming open minded and educated. Agnostic and proud!

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

There are so many people who have been wounded by religion and their righteous anger shows. Others simply do not want to think on a moral and spiritual level because it takes effort, must embrace mystery and be open to diverse opinion. Hopefully, some of the idiot Christian zealots will learn to think and realize their zeal is not productive, much less loving at all. Likewise, maybe some of the angry and wounded will learn to forgive.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Atheism will finally win, can't wait.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Hail Satan!
It won't be too many years down the road before the masses get to see the lies themselves. It will only come to quick for them.

JoyofSatan.org

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

It's very interesting how only non-believers are so vocal about this topic. It is said anyways in the Bible that many will call Lord Lord but not everyone will be saved because the path is so narrow and difficult and many will turn away. My prayer is that Christians would just live loud for Jesus and hopefully many will be saved in the end times. I am glad that many Christian churches are encouraging the body of Christ to do just that. I do want to see everyone (even the ones I don't know personally) to be united with God at the end times. That is why Jesus came because of God's amazing love for you and I that He would be the final sacrifice. Whoever you are and whatever you believe in and whatever hatred you have to God, God still loves you and just waiting for you to accept Him. That's the amazing thing of His unconditional love that no matter how much we sin He is there with open arms waiting for us. YOU are loved by Him whether you believe this or not, you are loved by God. That is expressed by Jesus dying on the cross for you and I. God loves you!

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Perhaps you are confused about what the term "unconditional love" means. The doctrine you teach is that God's love is conditional. Absolutely conditional on 1) a blood sacrifice, followed by 2) submission and acceptance. Without those conditions being met, we are not to receive God's love but rather his wrath and punishment. Christian beliefs are so wacky it actually scares me that otherwise rational people swallow them so readily.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Unfortunately, this decline is actually quite slow compared to many segments of Europe. The result of such open mindedness in Europe has lead to more progressive societies, a more stable economy, and a more humanistic approach to living. In contrast, America's occasional progressive social agendas are consistantly opposed by the religious right and even the "left" side of the spectrum is considered rather conservative by the more progressive thinkers of the wider world.

However, if you consider America's roots: Rebelious Religious Zealots, it's not that supprising. Culture, tradition, religion and common practices are handed down genertion after generation regardless of whether the bearer is even aware of the burden.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

God's unconditional love was evident in that he could have created us all to blindly love him with no choice in the matter, sort of like a toy company that created baby dolls that say Momma, Momma, Momma with no real meaning of love for a mother. If we had no choice, would there be any love in the world? God created us to have intelligence, reason, choices. In so doing, he allows us to live as we wish, but he made it so easy for us to atone for our hatred of him by sacrificing the most precious being ever to walk the earth, a man without sin. Alas, so many smug people espousing atheism are in for a very rude awakening when all that's left of them is their souls and they realize how long eternity will last.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

And maybe you smug religionists may suddenly wake up on the other side and realize you were following a cult that lasted centuries? Who knows what is out there, maybe you like to believe that you do and condemn everyone else who thinks different to hell. But you really don't, it is just conecture.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...
That's not true. In the beginning a natural event created the universe as we know it, and the earth did not form until billions of years later. The creation story in Genesis is completely wrong. Simply read Genesis and you can see it. For example, the Bible says that light and darkness are created after the water but before the sun. Everyone knows that the sun came first, then the planet and its rotation (which is what causes light and darkness to occur on a daily basis) and then the water, and this all happened over million of years. There are many other problems with the Bible:
Man did not come from a handful of dust through some mythological being. Man evolved from other species like every other living thing has for hundreds of millions of years.
The Bible talks about a world-wide flood that covered earth in 5.5 miles of water and killed everything, yet we know it never happened. That is clear from the archeolgical record.
There was no tower of Babel where God confounded the languages of mankind.
The list goes on and on. The Bible is nonsense in a thousand different scientific ways.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

People are finally waking up the truth. The reason the world is becoming more free and civilized is because christianity is falling.

Hail Satan!

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Its no suprise considering Christians lack of love and tolerance of others (non-Christians). Christians today don't share in Christ's true agenda. People are waking up instead of cowering to their brutality. Christ was king first to the Jew then to the Gentile.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Because Christianity is based upon vulnerable concept. Different with my religion, Islam, so well formed and have a solid rational logic.

Andri

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

With the advent of the internet...more knowledge is available to the masses and more of the masses are really starting to critically examine their belief systems. As with all things mythological, where knowlegdge increases the rational mind opens up and finds the evidence available to show their beliefs are nothing but great myths. At that point the mythologies are left to fester and die...as they should.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Christianity is just humanity's way of trying to say "We didn't come from monkeys!"

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Lets try to be civil and logical all at the same time. Some mastermind a few posts up has claimed to debunk the Bible....get in line. If the Bible is one thing it is historically and archaeologically accurate. Please feel free to study the various peoples and cities mentioned throughout the New and Old Testaments and dispute their validity. Another problem with the arguement is that the Genesis account is non-functional and wrong. Lets begin with the alternative....the random universe/Big Bang theory. Ok so I am to assume that matter did not exist and then through some cosmic accident it was formed and energy as well. Thats fine. Except we know by that by definition matter can be neither created nor destroyed. That is until you enter God into the equation. There must be an infinite source for our finite universe. With regards to Christ the situation is simple. You either believe or you do not. Its funny that my Bible predicts a time when the belief in Christ will decline, that knowledge will explode its bounds, that famines will be far reaching, that earthquakes will increase in frequency, that violence will escalate, that nations will form all across the globe and will contest for power and dominance. Funny.....it reads like the New York Times in spite of the fact it was written 2,000 years+ ago. I love you all and desperately hope you will give Christ another oppurtunity to pull you to Himself. Salvation is real. Jesus Christ is real. If the Bible can stand upon all these factual foundations don't you at least have to read through and listen just once more to the greatest true story ever told? God Bless you guys and take itr easy.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

I am so happy to see people are waking up and starting to think for themselves. Keep up the good work America

Hail Satan

www.joyofsatan.com

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

It's inevitable that religious superstition will gradually fade as our body of scientific knowledge obtained through research, technology, and reason grows. Like someone stated above, it's happening faster in Europe, which has a much more harmonious society than America, which is plagued with high literacy, high teen pregnancy, high drug use, high violent crime, etc. - largely because of the religious right.

James, you get in line. Certain parts of the Bible are historically accurate, but it nevertheless imposes mythological hyperboles, nonsensical fables, and tyrannical social mores, just like the sacred texts of other religions. Parts of the Bible are refuted irrevocably by modern scientific facts (never mind that they fail 1st grade logic anyway), and much of the Bible is intra-contradicting to the point that it is impossible to take all of it seriously.

Religious fanaticism is dying, and our future will be brighter for it.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

It is a shame that my country(USA) had to be brought up believing we are a Christian nation. There may be "Christian ideals" in the Constitution, but that does NOT mean we are supposed to be and or bound to "Christian law". That is why our founders left England, a tyrannical ruler shackled to Kvite Krist. Europe understands this better due to their rich history of religious fanaticism and fundamentalism. Need I even mention the "Christianization of Scandinavia"? Europe understands this because they are taught about the true face of Kvite Krist. If you are an ignorant Christian and or Baptist from USA, I suggest you read up on the christianization of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greece, etc... You will hopefully have your eyes opened up and be enlightened, rather than be stuck on your knees submitting yourself to your Jewish God. I know because I went to Christian/Catholic school for nine years and was brainwashed and taught that the "Crusades were great", that "Constantine was the greatest emperor and everything he did was right". Islam is just as bad if not worse, but Islam has destroyed itself from the get go. Islam will destroy itself as Christianity will implode. Most of the world has to come to realize that Christianity is just a cult for paedophiles and all they want is your money. I mean seriously, how can you move with all those holy chains??? If you're ancestry is: Irish, Scandinavian, Italian, Greek, English, Polish, Scottish, Russian, German, etc.. and you are a Christian, then you are putting shame to all your ancestors who were murdered in cold blood due to the ruthless campaigning of "Christ". Think about it and sleep on it. My comrades over at Joyofsatan.com make an excellent point and that is "The bible is a history of/for the Jewish people that never happened." So if you are a white European ancestry, then know that your soul lies in the hands of The True Old Ones, before Christianity poison ever existed. I am saying this out of genuine care and concern, due to my past of being poisoned by the Christian earth.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

The devil (satan) hates all of us and sometimes a christian may not have a pure heart and that may be the reason for their rude behavior. Jesus loves us all and you don't have to be friends with the devil b/c at the end he will destroy you. He is worst than a snake and he plays with peoples minds and hearts. WHen you see a christian not acting according to the bible, pray for them or show them the way. You seem like you would be good as an activist for christianity and once you give your life to christ he will definitely be on your side and that means many blessings if you do not fall.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

I am a born again christian and I appreciate your comment, It made me smile b/c we definitely did not come from monkeys... God made us out of dirt and then he breathed life into us... yes, It's all in the bible.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

So when people say oh I am not perfect, it really is an excuse christians, the masses should really wake up b/c father, son and holy spirit are real... Jesus is soon to come all those who believe in him will spend eternity in heaven... those who do not believe and worship him may go to hell, Hell is a horrible place no one will want to spend a second there let alone eternity... I hope you join the process of being a christian b/c the devil is not your friend... he got kicked out of heaven and can't go back and that's why he lies so he can keep others from going.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

www.savechristianity.webs.com

Jesus is on his way back and he wants to save your souls from the wraths of the devil now.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

"God created us to have intelligence, reason, choices. In so doing, he allows us to live as we wish,"

Yet we are slammed for everything we do. We've been given reason, yet are denied because of the very reason we are given. How does any of that make sense. Silly theist, realize how great you are as a human and work towards our betterment.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

JOY of Satan!!? What an oxi - MORON. If you think he has any joy, you must have an I.Q. of about 6.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

The world will be a much, much better place when no one believes in God.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

man i tell you, people don't seem to understand that the devil is in every corner of the earth. he whispers to every one of us and when we fall victim to his whispers, we become what he wants. i see these people parading around telling people that there is no hell, and that everything will be ok no matter what they do, but that is not the case. The Vatican to this day does dozens, sometimes hundreds of exorcisms every year, most of which involve some pretty spine chilling situations. now, I'm not involved in any particular sect of Christianity, because i don't believe in the church, but i maintain my faith as best i can. I've tried to tell people there's a difference between mental illness, possessions, and evil energy flowing through peoples minds, but i usually get laughed at by atheists who don't even bother to look into it. in this case, ignorance isn't just bliss, but damnation. i see all of these people who criticize my beliefs and cant even name 4 books in the bible, while i use scientific terms and educated and logical arguments to try to debate the existence of god, i lose no matter what. even if i throw reason at these people, no matter what i tell them they refuse to at least think about it, to the point where it seems their opinions aren't their own, like something has a grip on their minds. it makes me wonder, really.

re: Survey finds Christianity on the decline -- even in the Sout

Conor, you will never prove the existance of god in a rational, logical debate. To believe in a god will always comes down to a leap of faith. That's the nature of any religion. People who do not believe in a god have not taken a leap of faith, but they rationally and logically see that no arguments are convincing enough. Don't you think that you are the one who has something that has a "grip on your mind," because something supernatural is causing you to believe an idea that cannot be proved? The athiets, or agnostic, makes no such assumption so that would indicate that nothing has a "grip on his mind." You sound like a young person so I will offer you some friendly advice. Don't grow up to be too rigid and intollerant. If you google "critical thinking," or "logical falacies" you can see for yourself how the existance of any god cannot be proved. If you still want to be a christian, that is certainly one option you have, but you should understand that this is a matter of faith which is not logical or rational.