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Thu Mar 16, 2017, 12:19 PM

Breaking Faith

The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.

Over the past decade, pollsters charted something remarkable: Americans—long known for their piety—were fleeing organized religion in increasing numbers. The vast majority still believed in God. But the share that rejected any religious affiliation was growing fast, rising from 6 percent in 1992 to 22 percent in 2014. Among Millennials, the figure was 35 percent.

Some observers predicted that this new secularism would ease cultural conflict, as the country settled into a near-consensus on issues such as gay marriage. After Barack Obama took office, a Center for American Progress report declared that “demographic change,” led by secular, tolerant young people, was “undermining the culture wars.” In 2015, the conservative writer David Brooks, noting Americans’ growing detachment from religious institutions, urged social conservatives to “put aside a culture war that has alienated large parts of three generations.”

That was naive. Secularism is indeed correlated with greater tolerance of gay marriage and pot legalization. But it’s also making America’s partisan clashes more brutal. And it has contributed to the rise of both Donald Trump and the so-called alt-right movement, whose members see themselves as proponents of white nationalism. As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between “us” and “them.” Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/breaking-faith/517785/

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Breaking Faith (Original post)
HAB911 Mar 2017 OP
True Dough Mar 2017 #1
HAB911 Mar 2017 #2
True Dough Mar 2017 #3
Lordquinton Mar 2017 #5
Igel Mar 2017 #6
Lordquinton Mar 2017 #4
Mosby Mar 2017 #8
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2017 #9
Lordquinton Mar 2017 #10
Sentath Mar 2017 #7

Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Thu Mar 16, 2017, 12:25 PM

1. A growing number of young Americans have their own form of worship

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Response to True Dough (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 16, 2017, 12:36 PM

2. I know

and to think.......they could have health insurance instead

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Response to HAB911 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 16, 2017, 12:40 PM

3. Ha! They can turn to Dr. Google in an attempt to confirm their ailments

but cannot afford treatment without insurance. What an age to be alive!

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Response to HAB911 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 16, 2017, 01:54 PM

5. I don't follow your logic

The religious party got in power and is the ones taking away insurance. Secular voters went heavy for Clinton, while religious went for trump.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 16, 2017, 06:55 PM

6. We play this game.

Say you're Xian and you are.

Kill people and say you're Muslim, and you're ignored.

Say you're a Democrat and say something amiss and the Inquisition shows up.

It's way beyond a double standard. It's just playing with words to show that we're always right and they're always wrong.

QED.

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Thu Mar 16, 2017, 01:52 PM

4. Ignoring some important details

Like that the right is steeped in religion and keeps it's members in lockstep. They are riding a global tide of facissism and doing great harm to us, all in the name of god.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 02:17 PM

8. Did you read the article?

Why did these religiously unaffiliated Republicans embrace Trump’s bleak view of America more readily than their churchgoing peers? Has the absence of church made their lives worse? Or are people with troubled lives more likely to stop attending services in the first place? Establishing causation is difficult, but we know that culturally conservative white Americans who are disengaged from church experience less economic success and more family breakdown than those who remain connected, and they grow more pessimistic and resentful. Since the early 1970s, according to W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, rates of religious attendance have fallen more than twice as much among whites without a college degree as among those who graduated college. And even within the white working class, those who don’t regularly attend church are more likely to suffer from divorce, addiction, and financial distress. As Wilcox explains, “Many conservative, Protestant white men who are only nominally attached to a church struggle in today’s world. They have traditional aspirations but often have difficulty holding down a job, getting and staying married, and otherwise forging real and abiding ties in their community. The culture and economy have shifted in ways that have marooned them with traditional aspirations unrealized in their real-world lives.”

The worse Americans fare in their own lives, the darker their view of the country. According to PRRI, white Republicans who seldom or never attend religious services are 19 points less likely than white Republicans who attend at least once a week to say that the American dream “still holds true.”

But non-churchgoing conservatives didn’t flock to Trump only because he articulated their despair. He also articulated their resentments. For decades, liberals have called the Christian right intolerant. When conservatives disengage from organized religion, however, they don’t become more tolerant. They become intolerant in different ways. Research shows that evangelicals who don’t regularly attend church are less hostile to gay people than those who do. But they’re more hostile to African Americans, Latinos, and Muslims. In 2008, the University of Iowa’s Benjamin Knoll noted that among Catholics, mainline Protestants, and born-again Protestants, the less you attended church, the more anti-immigration you were. (This may be true in Europe as well. A recent thesis at Sweden’s Uppsala University, by an undergraduate named Ludvig Broomé, compared supporters of the far-right Swedish Democrats with people who voted for mainstream candidates. The former were less likely to attend church, or belong to any other community organization.)

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Response to Mosby (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 19, 2017, 06:52 PM

9. The article ignores the blindingly obvious answer to why religious cons preferred Cruz to Trump

in the primary: Cruz is the once-married son of an evangelical preacher, and Trump is the three-times married, Playboy-cover-appearing, Howard-Stern-casual-sex-boasting guy who doesn't know one end of a bible from the other.

So when the churchgoers had the choice of "one of them" or Trump, they preferred the churchgoer. That's the only figure they actually have about what non-churchgoing conservatives like, though.

But that didn't stretch to them thinking about supporting a moderate mainline Protestant like Hillary; evangelicals preferred Trump by 65 points, compared to Romney over Obama 57 points, McCain over Obama 50 points, and Bush over Kerry 57 points. Trump's lack of personal Christian credentials was not a problem when the alternative wasn't a Republican.

Trump's vote by frequency of attendance was - giving the percentage of all voters who were in a category and voted for Trump:
weekly+: 18.5%
monthly: 7.8%
few times a year: 13.6%
never: 6.8%

The non-churchgoing conservatives are a small part of the population. The rise of Trump really isn't down to them. And the more often someone went to church, the more likely they were to pick Trump over Hillary.

Non-churchgoing conservatives flocked to Trump because they're asshole conservatives. Churchgoing conservatives also flocked to Trump because they're asshole conservatives, but they would have preferred an asshole more like themselves. But electing an asshole was the important thing to both groups.

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Response to Mosby (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 11:56 AM

10. Unless the article goes completely against the hook that was posted

Then i don't see the point in wasting my time. Their basis is flawed, and ignores important factors. Muriel summed it up well.

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Sat Mar 18, 2017, 03:20 PM

7. NPR interview with author.

http://www.npr.org/2017/03/18/520631240/the-rise-of-secularism-and-the-alt-right

LSS: he says that among people with a conservative disposition, civic interaction / integration was only church and when they drop that nothing replaces it. This causes them to divide the us vs them along economic and racial lines to replace their lost religious divisions​.

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