The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    [Religion & Politics in America] falling faith, rising intrigue

    Statista › statistics

    Church attendance of Americans 2022

    Jun 2, 2023 — According to a 2022 survey, 31 percent of Americans never attend church or synagogue, compared to 20 percent of Americans who attend every week.


    U.S. Church Attendance Still Lower Than Pre-Pandemic

    4 days ago — Eighty-one percent of U.S. adults say they believe in God, down six percentage points from 2017 and the lowest in Gallup's trend. June 26, 2023

    Lifeway Research › rever...

    Reversing the Shrinking Share of Americans Who Regularly Attend ...

    Jun 15, 2023 — Using this standard, 27% of Americans qualify as regular churchgoers, according to the 2022 General Social Survey (GSS). An increasing percentage of Americans ...

    CBS Austin › nation-world

    Fewer Americans going to church, survey shows | KEYE

    2 days ago — In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999. And the percentage of Americans who do not ...

    Fox28 Savannah › churc...

    Fewer Americans going to church, survey shows

    2 days ago — A survey conducted last month and released this week shows 31% of Americans attended a church, synagogue, mosque or temple in the past seven days.

    Gizmodo › church-servi...

    More and More Americans Want to Attend Church Digitally, Study Finds

    Jun 18, 2023 — According to Pew Research, about 63 percent of Americans currently identify as Christian; another seven percent, meanwhile, say they are affiliated


    Made up gay case hits SC

    TX Evangelical lawyer/group behind SC & prior Presidential activism

    To paraphrase @drvolts, the central conflict in American politics is between those who think America is defined by a set ideas (to which anyone can belong) and those who think America is a people (of specific ethnic, religious and racial origin).

    — Omar Wasow | @[email protected] (@owasow) June 29, 2023

    I’m having trouble with this framing because “Christian” is explicitly a set of ideas to which anyone can belong and is not an ethnic group, per the founder (many passages in the NT) and the main early popularizer of it (Paul) and all major denominations.

    — jonstokes.(eth|com) (@jonst0kes) June 29, 2023

    Can Jews belong?

    — Omar Wasow | @[email protected] (@owasow) June 29, 2023

    Is a call for a Muslim ban inconsistent with Christian nationalism?

    — Omar Wasow | @[email protected] (@owasow) June 29, 2023

    I’d turn the question on you. If America is “defined by a set of ideas (to which anyone can belong)”, are there ideas one can hold that are definitionally un-American and therefore disqualifying if you want to join the group of people defined by those ideas?

    — jonstokes.(eth|com) (@jonst0kes) June 29, 2023

    I’m not saying you’re all wrong, but anyone can be a Christian. In that way, it’s significantly different than those who believe America can only be a white country.

    (Speaking as an atheist, I like the country united by ideas POV.)

    — Carl (@HistoryBoomer) June 29, 2023

    Agreed and I think some of the shift towards explicit Christian Nationalism from forms of White Nationalism is that, oddly, it allows for a kind of racially inclusive ethno-nationalist project that’s still nativist (immigrants change values!), anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ rights, etc.

    — Omar Wasow | @[email protected] (@owasow) June 29, 2023

    Yes. And that is also the primary question on which liberal democracy has defined itself through the centuries.

    (And we used to take pride in America’s exceptionalism on this front.)

    — Mark Histed • (@mark_histed) June 29, 2023

    In part, Omar Wasow is tryIng to show how it's not about PRACTICING a religion! Whether they ever go to a church, or even have aetheist beliefs doesn't really matter.It's whether they like "Christian" values as principles of a country/civilization. However they define those. Especially note his last comment.

    So a decline in religious practice and even an increase in atheism doesn't really say much about how politics will proceed. It doesn't mean that they hate Christianity as an inherited culture, etc.

    I don't kthink that they "hate" Christian culture, but I would likely conclude that the fundamentalist fervor  across America is lessening somewhat (and back in the day, church attendance was a good measure of how serious you were - I doubt phoning it in means the same now), at the same time some of these Falwell 2.0 are succeeding with more conspiratorial impact (yes, beyond legal lobbying). So it's similar to other issues where public interest is moving one way, and these radical fundie groups are moving the courts & legislation the opposite.

    Don't get me wrong - I also have debates whether the loss of religiosity will make us all more selfish and unreasonable societally, even tho I'm something like a Christian ethics atheist - "do unto others", "as you do to the least of my followers you do to me", "what have ye to gain the world and lose your soul"...  which is all pretty much the nice type of socialism/communitarian & ethical behavior. If replaced by nothing, we lose much of the Protestant-driven Enlightenment (with Catholic reforms for sure). Non-enlightened Christianity is about the same as non-enlightened atheism. The idea of Christian work ethic/pull yourself up by your own bootstraps is for better or worse a major component of our success, sometimes forgotten behind the more secular "land of opportunity", "opportunity to succeed" Horatio Alger bit (boy did I get a load of that as a kid, even tho I managed to avoid reading any of it as well as Bomba the Jungle Boy). Unfortunately "charity begins at home" is largely forgotten when shitting on our own have-nots while doing missionary work and charity abroad. One can't be properly christian while hating humanity or large portions thereof, however it's presented.

    Bout  time. They really did get away with it for so long by delivering block votes (the faithful vote like the rebbe tells them to, and the rebbe tells everyone, most of whom are kept basically illiterate, to vote for whoever promises to let them keep doing whatever they want)

    18 Hasidic Schools Failed to Provide Basic Education, New York City Finds. An eight-year investigation determined that the religious schools were breaking the law by not offering thousands of students adequate instruction in English and math.

    — alain servais (@aservais1) June 30, 2023


    The bent on freebies is kind of a religion of its own.

    The Christian Pop Star Bringing Latino Evangelicals to the Pews (@valdesmarcela - @nytimes)

    — MusicREDEF (@MusicREDEF) June 28, 2023

    see now that one can access the article free from the NYT paywall by using this link

    A bit hagiographic - a recent Spanish article credited him with 10m worldwide, not 27m (maybe he sold some in churches, but millions? The Latin market is plagued with exaggerated claims, but Selena Gomez sold 850k and 250k her last records, so not easy.

    All 6 of his "Grammys" are Latin Christian Grammies, a distinctly tinier segment than most Grammys.

    Meanwhile Christian affiliation and Catholicism are decreasing in the Latin community much like white communities.

    Also the Obama reference was weird - Witt gave up politics just before a "Yes we can" candidate launched a multiracial grassroots campaign in Feb 2007 that had heavy Hispanic outreach and social media saturation finally in the Spanish language? (Which made Hillary look bad, btw)

    why are you focusing on him? I see stuff like this

    [....] This inclusive approach has made Witt popular at a time when American evangelism is fending off a demographic threat. Christians’ share of the population has been shrinking over the past two decades. The changes are especially stark among millennials. Last year, Pew Research Center issued a report noting that if current trends continue, by 2070 the United States may no longer be a majority-Christian nation.

    Given these patterns, it makes sense that Anglo institutions like Lakewood have begun wooing Spanish speakers. If they make inroads among Hispanics — the fastest-growing group of evangelicals — they have a better chance of ensuring their own relevance in the future.

    “We’re going to do away with monochromatic American evangelicalism,” the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, told me. “In the next 20 years, if the Lord tarries, you’re going to see less and less of all-white churches and all-Black churches. You’re going to see a lot of more beautiful churches that look like a Skittles bag. And I think that’s a byproduct of the Latino community.”

    Many Anglo megachurches already host Spanish-language congregations, but not all their efforts are as equitable as Lakewood’s. Osteen gave Witt the same sanctuary that he used, as well as the leeway to preach whatever he wished. But at Templo Calvario, Pastor de León has been receiving calls from Latino pastors who say that their congregations are treated like second-class guests in an Anglo house. Often, he says, Anglo pastors instruct their Spanish-speaking colleagues to parrot the content of their sermons. “This has been a problem we’ve had all over the United States,” de León says.

    For Latinos like him, the inequality feels especially galling because their pastoral tradition dates back to the early days of Pentecostalism [....]

    There's an open window right now, but if the Dem party gets more of a rep. as the anti-religion party and GOP does things right, you'll see Latino vote go more GOP than it already does 

    First, the article was primarily about him, sorry.

    Second, it's a shrinking religious pie - likely the Dems have a much larger secular audience to chase down, not that being anti-religious is good politics, or tolerant and inclusive, as they sometimes claim to be.

    But their reference to Obama is also alarming - he was doing active outreach, and I'd guess his campaign treated Hispanics with good respect - if that attention leaves Witt and I assume others feeling politics is futile, how do future Dems make inroads? 

    Also Witt was talking about Cornyn & the immigration issue and how it made him sick - 10 years later Trump's actively locking up immigrants in cages at the border, yet gaining traction with Texas Hispanics (though more up north, Dallas etc al, less near the border). So what strategy should Dems use? Not wishful thinking, with weird current facts and trends?

    Irreality rules

    Why can't Americans read simple stats?



    Still, I hate it when they publish percents and don't give an indication of absolute numbersm 10? 1000?

    Influence of "western" culture?

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