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Protestants are no longer a majority of Americans, study finds

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by chelloveck, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Protestants are no longer a majority of Americans, study finds: The trend towards a loss of membership from traditional institutional protestant churches to the ranks of the godless and the unaffiliated faithful, may have considerable implications for the US political landscape.

    tulianr likes this.
  2. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    I get so tired of these polls that show this or that. I can go to certain sections and ask questions and get direct answers. Go to another social section and get the opposite answers. What kind of answers does one expect from people living around DC? If you have ever been to that area you would know the answer. Urban areas are normally more liberal/trendy/and unconcerned with traditional values than rural. Nothing new. Pew's report has a political ring to it and smells of it.
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    On what basis do you conclude that the respondents in this survey were cherry picked by geographically limiting survey respondents to urban areas? The Pew Religious Landscape Survey was a nationally representitive survey, not just a survey of those people living in Washington DC.


    The research methodology used for the survey has been described quite clearly as an appendix to the report:


    and the report has been quite open about the practical limitations of the survey method used.

    PEW Forum US Religious Landscape Survey website main page:


    The full report is downlaodable as a .pdf file as follows


    As to painting the unpalatable findings of the report out with vague suspicions (without providing supporting evidence) of political taint, you surely have to do much better than that. I do wonder if the findings of the report had found quite different religious demographic shifts that favoured increases in respondents reporting Protestant affiliations, whether those vague suspicions of political taint might vanish miraculously?
    tulianr likes this.
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member


    Ironic that the very group that broke away from the pack due to differences in doctrine and perceived false preaching has become the pack.
    Tracy likes this.
  5. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    The choice to worship Mother Earth, Some bare breasted goddess of fertility, God, Allah, Jesus, the pope, the porcelain alter or nothing at all is what makes America, America.

    And we reserve the right to change at any given time. Just so long as it's not Justin Bieber I'm ok with it (mostly)

    Oh WTF am I doing posting to the F&R forum. It's all Chelloveck's fault for dragging me in here.
  6. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    That is OK, he needs someone else to shed his insightful wisdom and vast knowledge with. Keeps egos alive and well.
  7. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    All jesting aside, I like that we have a Diabolus Causidicus monkey in our midst.
    Keeps our minds open and and prevents us from viewing the world through our ingrained paradigms.

    I actually like all the monkeys even when i don't agree with 'em.
    Yard Dart, Brokor, CATO and 3 others like this.
  8. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Well hello, who the heck would we argue with if it were not for him/them/those/ what ever--lol. I do not worry about things folks say--if they want to be wrong, that is their prerogative --LOL.
  9. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    This survey is very misleading. Many liberal outlets have been touting it as evidence that people are turning away from religion. The truth is just the opposite. The poll queries peoples affiliation with mainstream protestant denominations. The trend in the last couple of decades has been for Christians to turn from the organized religious establishment. The vast majority of the loss in numbers is attributable to people adhering to the biblical mandate to not "divide the body of Christ". They are turning to non denominational congregations that adhere to biblical truth not denominational doctrine. Over 80% of people in the US claim to be Christians. That number has not changed. Only their affiliations are changing.
    This study is actually good news for Bible believing Christians. A return to the tenets of our faith is to be celebrated, no matter how the liberals would like to spin it.
    bfayer, Kingfish, jim2 and 2 others like this.
  10. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    I remember when the United Methodists voted to allow sodomites (homosexuals-gays) to be allowed to be preachers and voted pro abortion. They lost 1/3 of their church in one year--including my family and several others from our church. The Pres. have split twice since that time over the same issues. Look at how many have left the Cath over the priest/homo scandals. Yes, the conservative Bible believing section does not put up with their churches adopting non Biblical practices. We left Meth over these then the Sou Bapt. for many years over their funding of abortion but am back with a great little country Sou. Bapt. church that is very mission minded both locally, nationally, and world wide.
    Minuteman, you hit the "nail on the head". Thanks.
  11. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    I can see some truth to what you're saying; non-denominational churches are definitely increasing their membership at the expense of the more traditional churches. There is indeed a lot of movement within the Christian community; but I also see a lot of movement out of it.

    The respondents to the Pew Forum which fell into the "None" category, when queried on religious affiliation, have to be considered - 7% in 1972, 15% in 2007, and 20% in 2012. That represents a tripling within a forty year period, and a definite trend. These respondents weren't saying that they are affiliated with a nondenominational church, they were saying that they were not affiliated with any religious institution.

    I don't think that the percentage number of hardcore faithful within the Christian community has truly changed over the past forty years though. They may have moved churches or denominations, but they are still there. What I think we're seeing is a byproduct of the dissolution of the family and community within the nation, and a greater willingness on the part of many to actually say what they had been thinking all along.

    I think that these numbers on profession of faith create a perception similar to the perceived increase in the numbers of homosexuals within the American population. We don't necessarily have more homosexuals now; we simply have a larger percentage of homosexuals now who feel comfortable with publicly expressing their true orientation. I don't think we have a less religious society in truth, compared to forty years ago, but I think that a lot of those who warmed the pews in years past no longer feel a need to do so.

    People who remain in their little hometowns, three houses down from their parents, still associating with their highschool chums, have little impetus to question their beliefs and, in fact, have a lot of incentive not to question their beliefs. People tend to go along to get along. If these folks grew up attending a Christian church, and are surrounded by others attending Christian churches, they will likely go to their graves proudly affirming their Christian affiliation, without ever truly giving it much thought.

    If, however, people get away from childhood influences, travel, meet other peoples and cultures, and experience other religions; they have the opportunity to truly examine their beliefs and establish firm convictions. Some of these people will retain their childhood affiliations, some will reject them and have no religious affiliation, and some will find new religious faith. Those in this last category have at least had the opportunity fairly consider the range of possibilities.

    I think that today's world gives people that opportunity to explore and consider alternatives, and that the numbers that we're seeing in this, and similar polls, represents more actual truth than polls conducted in earlier years.
    chelloveck likes this.
  12. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    I for one fall into this category- raised Presbyterian, and today I am a much stronger Christian- worshiping in a non-denominational church and serving all my fellow man regardless of their denomination or lack thereof!! Minuteman you said it well- I do not believe we are divided and we are heart lead - following the teaching's, as one body unified.
  13. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Here again I lost my internet before I had a chance to respond. Not trying to whip a dead horse here just want to throw out my original thoughts.

    Statistics are in the eye of the beholder. They can be made to say anything you want.

    What's the quote? "There are three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies, and statistics".

    Half the population no longer belongs to Protestant Churches. A victory for atheism. Right? Umm, no. It's only in the way you wish to spin the data.

    "The respondents to the Pew Forum which fell into the "None" category, when queried on religious affiliation, have to be considered - 7% in 1972, 15% in 2007, and 20% in 2012."

    OK, but what was the population of the U.S. in 1972 versus 2012? The percent of respondents doesn't mean anything unless you determine the percentage of the population at large. The poll queried the same number of people each time but what percentage of the total population did they represent each time? If 7% of a focus group of say for example 20% of the population at large responds negatively in the first poll. But 20% of a focus group of 7% of the total population responds negatively 40 years later, what can we deduce from that? Squat! It doesn’t tell us anything.

    If 20% of 1000 people were surveyed (200) and 7% of those (14) responded negatively, yet 40 years later 7% of 10,000 people are surveyed (700) and 20% of them respond negatively (140) then what have we learned? The population increased 10X. The respondents increased what? 10X. So in actuality the number of people relative to the general population who claim "None" as their religious affiliation has remained unchanged for 40 years!!

    It all comes down to what the meaning of the word "is" is.
  14. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Regardless of what a poll or study says the fact of the matter is around 80% of Americans have some sort of Christian affiliation and belief. And believe it or not 80% of the country are not podunk hicks that "don't know any better" or just go along with what they were raised with and never put any thought into it.


    Exactly right.
  15. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    My family faith would be considered non denominational Christian. We go right to the source. God not the Pope , not the doctrine or slant. What no one has talked about in this discussion is Satan's corruption of modern Religion. Homosexuals have been mentioned which is just one of many satanic influences in the Church today. Most of the violations today however revolve around Money,(Mammon) . When I walk into a Church and see the elders all adorned in Jewelery and driving expensive cars I walk right back out.

    I would go as far to say that Man can corrupt anything including religion. However there is truth to the fact that many Christians have been deceived by programs like the Discover Channel that attempt to throw dirt on scripture, change history and show alternative theory regarding both old and new Testament facts.

    Faith is what you believe in your heart. No one can take that from you. KF
    Sapper John and BTPost like this.
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