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Dupuy: 'Nonreligious' could be new silent majority
http://onlineathens.com/opinion/2012-10-11/dupuy-nonreligiou...
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How do we know Americans are embellishing their churchiness en masse? If 37 percent of Americans went to church weekly or more and 33 percent went monthly or yearly, you know what you’d see at churches? Lines of people. A hundred million people every single Sunday. Instead, churches — even iconic megachurches — are going bankrupt and the pews are collecting dust instead of donations.
No, when it comes to self-reporting religious devotion, Americans cannot be trusted.
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http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/fastfacts/fast_facts.html#s...

Q: How many people go to church each Sunday?

A: For years, the Gallup Research Organization has come up with a consistent figure — 40 percent of all Americans, or roughly 118 million people, who said they attended worship on the previous weekend. Recently, sociologists of religion have questioned that figure, saying Americans tend to exaggerate how often they attend. By actually counting the number of people who showed up at representative sample of churches, two researchers, Kirk Hadaway and Penny Marler found that only 20.4 percent of the population, or half the Gallup figure, attended church each weekend.

DB2
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I stopped being religious roughly five years before I admitted the fact to myself. It was another five years before I admitted the fact to people I trust.
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I'm not sure I'm buying even though it is a pleasant thought.

Moreover, they don't need to be a majority. They vote one way and basically on three issues, guns, gays, and anti-choice.
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I stopped being religious roughly five years before I admitted the fact to myself. It was another five years before I admitted the fact to people I trust.




Afraid they would kill you?

AM
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I stopped being religious roughly five years before I admitted the fact to myself. It was another five years before I admitted the fact to people I trust.

As a counterpoint, I attended church for about a year after I stopped being religious.

More than one way to be non-religious, I suppose.
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Whether or not one goes to church is only one way of determining the sincerity of religious self-identification.

Another would be to ask some very pointed questions, such as "do you believe in all of your religion's teachings?" "Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was born to a virgin and was ressurected after being dead for three days?" "Do you believe that the bible is infallible, and that the thousands of people involved with the telling, retelling, compiling, editing, and canonization of the its texts were under a magic spell of perfection?" "Do you believe in Satan and Hell?"

The Pew and ARIS surveys that seek to gauge the religious self-identification of Americans don't ask whether or not Americans actually believe what their religions are teaching. I'll bet a lot of Americans self-identify as religious because of their family traditions, the fact that they might have been baptized into a religion that they don't practice, or maybe they go to church twice a year. If we were to carefully determine what Americans actually *believe,* as opposed to what religious tradition they self-identify with, I suspect that non-believers would indeed be a silent majority.
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FoolishVintner: The Pew and ARIS surveys that seek to gauge the religious self-identification of Americans don't ask whether or not Americans actually believe what their religions are teaching. I'll bet a lot of Americans self-identify as religious because of their family traditions, the fact that they might have been baptized into a religion that they don't practice, or maybe they go to church twice a year. If we were to carefully determine what Americans actually *believe,* as opposed to what religious tradition they self-identify with, I suspect that non-believers would indeed be a silent majority.

That seems like a safe bet. How many Catholics believe that the chalice at mass contains Christ's blood, or that the wafer is actually his flesh? I'm betting "not many".

Does Michele Bachmann actually believe that the Pope is the anti-Christ? That's one of the tenets of her church, but I doubt even she is crazy enough to believe it.

rj
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