Sunday, May 03, 2015

Post-Christian America

The end of history it may not have been, but the beginning of the end of (non-secular) religion as a primary driving force in American society it apparently was. The following graph shows the percentages of all GSS respondents and also the percentages of respondents under the age of 30 without any expressed religious affiliation, by year:


GSS variables used: RELIG(4), AGE(18-29), YEAR

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Unwin in his scholarly book, SEX AND CULTURE, 1934, reported that the sexual freedom of women tells so much about a society. Including its religious beliefs.

So, as women get more and more sexually free and depraved, yes, there will be less religion.

Anonymous age 72

BehindTheLines said...

I'd be interested in what happened in 1991.

JayMan said...

Many of those claiming no religion nonetheless still claim to believe in God.

The secular trend (so to speak) may be towards irreligiousness, but the genotypic trend is clearly going in the other direction. Hence, don't expect this pattern to last.

Anonymous said...

The weird thing is that you have church members and pastors who don't believe and non-affiliated who do.

Joshua Sinistar said...

You're making the common error of conflating Organized Religion with Religious Belief. Would anyone who believes in God join a church that is run by feminists and supports homosexuality. I believe in God, but that child molester in the funny hat in Rome that believs in socialism and global warming can go suck it!

chris said...

Can you please take my posted comments out of moderation/the spam filter and allow their posting in;

http://anepigone.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/shallow-self-assured-snark.html

sykes.1 said...

Christianity, at least the organized churches, no longer satisfies the intellectual and spiritual needs of modern Westerners. Two thousand years ago, paganism was the failed god, and Christianity filled a void.

It is hard to know what will replace Christianity, but something will. It's probably here already, and we're blind to it because of our cultural baggage.

Audacious Epigone said...

Jayman,

The thing is that trend has been occurring for at least the last 40 years according to the GSS (the religious having more children than the irreligious, and I suspect it extends back further than that, though modern contraception presumably opened the gap up wider) and yet religiosity keeps dropping. Presumably there is some bottoming out point, but I don't know at what point it is reached.

Sykes,

Yes, I'm listening to a podcast series entitled communio sanctorum and it's pretty striking how paganism in the late Roman empire and modern Christianity in the West share so many parallels.

Audacious Epigone said...

Chris,

Done, thanks for your thoughts.

mikestreetstation said...

sykes.1 said...
"t is hard to know what will replace Christianity, but something will. It's probably here already, and we're blind to it because of our cultural baggage."


On the contrary, I think it's pretty easy to guess which religion is in the best position to replace tired out Christianity. Hint, it rhymes with embalm.

Saint Louis said...

Maybe I'm missing something. What religion rhymes with "embalm"? Islam?

I think the spread of public schooling in the early 20th century and, especially, the rise of television in the mid 20th century probably explains a lot of the reason for why religiosity is dropping despite the religious having higher fertility rates. It doesn't matter how many kids you have in your orthodox family if the broader culture brainwashes/converts them to secular humanism.