THERE IS very bad news for the hot bed of right-wingnuttery represented in the Republican base, as well as Democrats who think wearing religion on your sleeve as a badge will help win a wider majority. Religious institutions Americans once supported, and the male hierarchy that props these traditional bastions up, have lost their grip. That does not mean that people aren’t interested in or looking for meaning beyond the physical elements of life, represented by New Age spirituality, which has risen in popularity across American culture, as has different faiths.
Bottom line: Curiosity beyond physical life remains, even if new avenues to ponder it have widened.
The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages. – Pew Research Center
Still, some continue to grasp at straws to explain there’s no real effect, skimming the surface without understanding the cultural tidal wave in our midst.
From The Atlantic, Emma Green:
This may make it sound like Christianity has entered a tailspin, but given its continued prominence in American life, that’s probably overdramatic. America is still a Christian nation, just by a somewhat smaller margin. Seven years ago, roughly 78 percent of the country was Christian. Now, that portion is closer to 71 percent, researchers estimate.
The “continued prominence in American life” written above and printed on the web pages of The Atlantic represent more of the pabulum pushed on our television sets, as well as what the Republican Party sees as the guiding light of their crackpot platform, which gives power to traditionalism over modernity.
When you’re to the right of Pope Francis, and more medieval, there is something wrong with your understanding of what people are experiencing today, as well as the guidance needed to reach the masses.
Pope Francis has offered hope for Catholics who have wandered away, primarily because he’s talking as a modern. While being smart enough to know no one can change the doctrine of ages, he reaches out to a modern world grappling with moral issues in our world. That Pope Francis is more progressive than most Republicans in Congress, as well as their 2016 candidates came down like a thunderbolt from the heavens in April.
…Francis asked Catholics to consider “the Christian seed of radical equality between men and women” when discussing the reasons behind declining marriage rates around the world, according to Vatican Radio.
In response, Christians should “become more demanding” for that “radical equality,” the pope added. For example, “by supporting the right of equal pay for equal work.”
“Why should it be taken for granted that women must earn less than men? The disparity is pure scandal,” Francis said, according to the Italian news service ANSA.
In the chapter “God’s Outdoors” in my latest book, the central theme is the shifting of religion in the lives of women as it relates to our careers and primary relationship. Forbes revealed in 2012, women are founding businesses at rates one-and-a-half times the national average. An excerpt from a study in 2012 is below; joined by U.N.C. at Chapel Hill, N.Y.U., and University of Utah.
We found that employed husbands in traditional marriages, compared to those in modern marriages, tend to (a) view the presence of women in the workplace unfavorably, (b) perceive that organizations with higher numbers of female employees are operating less smoothly, (c) find organizations with female leaders as relatively unattractive, and (d) deny, more frequently, qualified female employees opportunities for promotion. It’s becoming stark for the average middle class household.
[The Sexual Education of a Beauty Queen: Relationship Secrets from the Trenches, page 176]
Revelations about men in traditional marriages and how they see corporate life, which are promoted by Evangelical and other fundamentalist religions, including Jewish and Muslim, are becoming untenable, relics in modern life, even if some can’t yet grasp it.
With women the majority of the electorate, what’s left to shift is the disintegration of traditionally religious political candidates who pander to a small minority that hasn’t entered the 21st century.
Religious dogma and zealotry doesn’t work on the wider electorate, which explains why the Republicans are diligently working in state after state that offers smaller canvasses. Meanwhile, Democrats have finally awakened to the reality that if they aren’t pushing back in every county, the “continued prominence in American life” of religion will prevail, even if the vast majority of the populace is bucking that trend in the lives they lead.