Walking away from church

Published October 17th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

I came across an interesting LA Times article:

Organized religion’s increasing identification with conservative politics is a turnoff to more and more young adults. Evangelical Protestantism has been hit hard by this development.

During the 1980s, the public face of American religion turned sharply right. Political allegiances and religious observance became more closely aligned, and both religion and politics became more polarized. Abortion and homosexuality became more prominent issues on the national political agenda, and activists such as Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed began looking to expand religious activism into electoral politics. Church attendance gradually became the primary dividing line between Republicans and Democrats in national elections.

You can read it here

23 Responses to “Walking away from church”

  1. The Second to Last Angry Man says:

    The end is disgustingly true

  2. Theo says:

    I thought churches are businesses in the USA (or anything else). So getting politically involved makes sense.

    • CanadaBri says:

      Not just businesses, TAX FREE businesses. CH-CHING!

  3. B. says:

    Its the unavoidable consequence when melting religion and politics together. Its a bit ironic actually. The church tries to attract new people by using media logic but the subsequent polarization alienates people instead.

  4. Brian Fritzen says:

    Excellent stuff, Bobby. As the rational continues to extend its influence, we may well be rid of religion in the west within centuries!

  5. gatortarian says:

    Having faith in government is no better then having faith in religion. The recent rise of the libertarians brings me hope that secular limited government is making a comeback.

  6. B. says:

    I thought this was nice, although it might be slightly off topic: Its a google translated article about how someone from the church in Finland expressed negative opinions about homosexuals. Then 18.000 people left the finnish church the following week.


  7. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    It’s a two-way street: right wing politics also identified itself with evangelicals. With the fall of the Soviet Union, their bashing of the left for being communists lost its luster, so then they attacked their “family values”. Homosexuality, abortion and non-belief are the attack issues of the conservatives now.

    • Keith says:

      As in Australia the “religious” right don’t know that the concept of a family is not confined to husband, wife and the 2 1/2 kids. Extended families have always existed, homosexuality has always existed, abortion has been going on since (probably) before recorded history.
      One thing is definite: the new right is always the old wrong.

  8. CanadaBri says:

    Most of the politically Right in the US, and the T-Party in particular, if asked, will admit to knowing that the 1st Ammendment to the US Constitution is about freedom of speech for all, and freedom for the press. But there seems to be a convenient and complete ignorance toward the whole seperation of church and state part.

    • lmary7 says:

      no where in the first amendment does it say the term, “separation of church and state.” that phrase, originally said by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Baptist Association of Danbury Connecticut, was then used during a 1947 supreme court case, Everson vs. Board of Education. sure, there is freedom of religion, but no requirement for the separation of church and state. also, saying that, “there seems to be a convenient and complete ignorance toward the whole separation of church and state part.” is uncalled for. politicians that are religious are not necessarily ignorant to the first amendment of the constitution.

      • B. says:

        The fact that the sentence isn’t there, doesn’t mean that one should try to twist the meaning – the original meaning – of the Constitution. I feel its quite the double standard to prescribe to the usual glorification of this document and then try to twist its original purpose so it will fit your present needs. It is obvious what the original intention was. Among other, the separation of state and church.

        Moving on from FACT, I would like to add my own opinion that is that true freedom of religion can’t be achieved when the state elevates a particular faith and/or religion. It is weird actually. The conservative way in the US seems to be (correct me if I’m wrong) privatization and down sizing of government. How does it fit with making church, that handles the most private matter there is, personal faith – part of the state?

        • lmary7 says:

          don’t get me wrong, i understand that our government should not be elevating particular religions, but just because someone is a politician does not mean that they should have to hide their faith, although they should not push their religion onto the citizens of America. i have absolutely no problem with our country having no established religion, i think that is is great that citizens here have the freedom to believe in whoever or whatever they want, or believe in nothing at all. i was simply correcting the statement that conservatives are ignorant to the Constitution, which is an absurd stereotype, and correcting their statement that said that separation of church and state was in the Constitution, when it is not. because that phrase is an interpretation of the first amendment, not an actual part of it. also, i’m not sure what you were referring to by this, but i am in no way trying to twist the meaning of the Constitution. especially not to try and fit my present needs.

        • B. says:

          A correction for the sake of truthfulness. “Our” government is “your” government. I’m not American.

          My point was that tho the actual phrase isn’t there it doesn’t mean that the meaning is any different. I agree that stereotypes should be avoided, tho in this case I was generalizing for the sake of argument and I’m sorry if you felt pointed out. I’m not all that familiar with your Constitution but I suspect that like most legal documents it can be interpreted in a lot of ways, which is what I meant with “twisting its meaning” – but there’s generally just one way it was supposed to be read.

      • Danimal says:

        I think Bri was trying to say that Repubteapartians DO know that the establishment clause is in the the constitution preventing one specific religion, in this case christianity, from being elevated above all others but that they CHOOSE to ignore it. Based on what I’ve seen I would agree that the the conservatives with control of the microphone do spout this message. I sure would like to hear a little more: “Yes I’m a christian/republican/conservative, and the USA is not a christian nation.” If the majority of conservatives are reasonable and moderate they should have no problem drowning out and shutting down the wackjobs on the fringes but they don’t/can’t/won’t/haven’t.

        • B. says:

          Danimal made a better way of making my own point than myself.

          The US stance on freedom of religion early in the nations forming is something to be proud over. Over here, there was no separation until 2003.

        • lmary7 says:

          okay, thanks :)

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