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Study Shows US Changes Religion

Who Believes What? How Religions Stack Up Nationwide

Over 40 percent of US adults have changed their religion since childhood. A major study just released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life surveyed 35,000 people in five languages creating the most extensive collage of faith in the US to date.

The group with the biggest number of new members? "Unaffiliated." That's not to say people are turning secular in record numbers, just that they experience faith in an unlabeled, uncategorized way. The faith with the biggest loss of members is Catholicism. Interestingly, Mormonism and Judaism have an equal number of followers at approximately 1.7 percent of the population.

Time magazine put the data in a gorgeous group of pie charts (oh come on, pie charts rock.) To see the masterpiece,

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remedios remedios 7 years
I agree that we are/should be able to converse without worrying too much. We can disagree. I even chose the word "zingers" for its cutsey effect. I genuinely didn't understand what it was you both thought I didn't get. (And you're absolutely right - I give out just as much, though hopefully I'm usually keeping it on topic. If not, just call me out.) I agree with Grandpa that Easter is the most important Catholic holiday, much more important than Christmas. My schools/church treated it like that as well. I know that Lent is a time for sacrifice, to improve ourselves, that ultimately leads up to Jesus's sacrifice, and that Easter is our rebirth. But ultimately I think there are many that find that the need to follow specific rules just doesn't make sense. Many find that the rules come from men, not god, and that god wouldn't care about those rules so long as you are following the ultimate golden rule - (I might be off a bit, it's been a while) - to love god with your whole heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. (I actually would question the first one on that too, but that's going down an unnecessary road for this.) That's what I was trying to convey. Perhaps I was too flippant in how I set up my original comment. I just remembered that I gave up eating meat one year Lent when I was still Catholic - 16 years ago. I have never eaten meat since then. I am now a vegetarian (mostly vegan) because of Lent.
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
Remedios, 3M already stated what i was going to say about Lent, so refer to that if you want my answer, I don't particularly feel like rewriting that. As for my comment. Of course there are people that don't follow religion for reasons other then laziness. And I could not care less why people choose to or not, it has absolutely no affect on me. I can state from my experience that for myself when I did not practice my faith it was for the reasons I sated, and for the people I know the reasons hold true. I stand by what I said, I think it reflects on the Character of this country. You can feel differently. As for my zingers. You and I have been on this site long enough and have had many a discussion. You know my personality on this site, as I am aware of yours. If you don't want my zingers don't dissect my post. And you know, you have been known to throw them right back.
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
Remedios, 3M already stated what i was going to say about Lent, so refer to that if you want my answer, I don't particularly feel like rewriting that.As for my comment. Of course there are people that don't follow religion for reasons other then laziness. And I could not care less why people choose to or not, it has absolutely no affect on me. I can state from my experience that for myself when I did not practice my faith it was for the reasons I sated, and for the people I know the reasons hold true. I stand by what I said, I think it reflects on the Character of this country. You can feel differently.As for my zingers. You and I have been on this site long enough and have had many a discussion. You know my personality on this site, as I am aware of yours. If you don't want my zingers don't dissect my post. And you know, you have been known to throw them right back.
Linny Linny 7 years
and I say to that: "oh well, you can't win them all"
Grandpa Grandpa 7 years
would be, I mean
Grandpa Grandpa 7 years
would be, I mean
Grandpa Grandpa 7 years
Linny, I can see myself opening my eyes after I die and see this guy looking down at me with the face of a jackal and saying to me “Amen-ra is displeased with you. My only response would “dammit, I should have paid better attention to the “book of the dead” when I read it, now it is too late.” LOL
Linny Linny 7 years
grandpa- the earth and the fact that we exist is not random. dna is not random. we are what we are, thinking, feeling humans because of natural selection. i think i know what you mean by you saying you sort of envy believers. you've gone through 40+ years of 'trying to figure it all out' rather than just accepting whatever faith was handed to you. i think it's easier to buy and accept a ready-made religion and faith system. it can be easier than going alone and trying to understand god and such through your own path. i kind of feel that way too. i am also a little envious that people who go to church have this relatively large group of people they can see about once a week and they all have something in common. I don't feel like I have a spiritual void by being an atheist, just a lack of an organized group where i can go and meet people who are like-minded. I think that's the only thing I miss from going to church and I don't miss it that much.
Grandpa Grandpa 7 years
Now as for myself, I like to say I was a practicing Catholic for many years, but unfortunately could never get it down right. I grew up in Ireland until my 11th Bd., and went to a parochial elementary school, a public High School, and a Catholic University. Back then 1959-1963, no matter what your major was there were certain core courses all students were required to take if you wanted your B.A. degree. So many required courses that if you only had 20 credits left of non required courses for your declared major. These included a year of science (your choice of biology, chemistry, Or physics) a year each of composition, English Literature, American Literature, American History, a second year of history, but you could pick the era of your area of study (I picked the middle ages), 2.5 years of a language, .5 art, and .5 music, 12 credits of Theology, and 20 credits of philosophy (that was 10, 2 credit required courses including: Introduction, Logic, cosmology, ethics, metaphysics, theodicy, and epistemology). My questions on religion started when I took Theodicy, this course was to prove the existence of God using reason alone, and without resorting to divine revelation. I found the results of the course seriously flawed, while we could deduce a “first cause” or “prime mover”, there was no proof that it was sentient, let alone had a plan for mankind, or that we had an immortal soul. I started still a true believer, and thought independent study could give a much better proof of the existence of a caring God. This 40+ year journey has led me to the reasoned conclusion that a compelling case can be made for the existence of a sentient prime mover, using physics, astronomy, and biology, just on the basis of statistical probability of the universe forming, the earth being habitable, and DNA being just random events just overwhelmingly, incredibly unlikely, bordering on IMPOSSIBLE considering the totality of events. I have yet to find one scintilla of evidence that there is a god preferred form of religion, or that there is such a thing as an immortal soul that survives the body, let alone an after life (that branch of study is called eschatology). I would prefer to believe then not, I can’t. I guess I kind of envy believers, that allows for a final judgment for good an evil acts.
Grandpa Grandpa 7 years
Now as for myself, I like to say I was a practicing Catholic for many years, but unfortunately could never get it down right. I grew up in Ireland until my 11th Bd., and went to a parochial elementary school, a public High School, and a Catholic University. Back then 1959-1963, no matter what your major was there were certain core courses all students were required to take if you wanted your B.A. degree. So many required courses that if you only had 20 credits left of non required courses for your declared major. These included a year of science (your choice of biology, chemistry, Or physics) a year each of composition, English Literature, American Literature, American History, a second year of history, but you could pick the era of your area of study (I picked the middle ages), 2.5 years of a language, .5 art, and .5 music, 12 credits of Theology, and 20 credits of philosophy (that was 10, 2 credit required courses including: Introduction, Logic, cosmology, ethics, metaphysics, theodicy, and epistemology). My questions on religion started when I took Theodicy, this course was to prove the existence of God using reason alone, and without resorting to divine revelation. I found the results of the course seriously flawed, while we could deduce a “first cause” or “prime mover”, there was no proof that it was sentient, let alone had a plan for mankind, or that we had an immortal soul. I started still a true believer, and thought independent study could give a much better proof of the existence of a caring God. This 40+ year journey has led me to the reasoned conclusion that a compelling case can be made for the existence of a sentient prime mover, using physics, astronomy, and biology, just on the basis of statistical probability of the universe forming, the earth being habitable, and DNA being just random events just overwhelmingly, incredibly unlikely, bordering on IMPOSSIBLE considering the totality of events. I have yet to find one scintilla of evidence that there is a god preferred form of religion, or that there is such a thing as an immortal soul that survives the body, let alone an after life (that branch of study is called eschatology). I would prefer to believe then not, I can’t. I guess I kind of envy believers, that allows for a final judgment for good an evil acts.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 7 years
Ah, my mistake then :-P Mistakes so often happen when you're going out the door to do errands! All the same, I feel badly that she had that experience :-(Perhaps it WAS Life of Bryan...I can't recall. They were singing about being Catholic, and the wife was dropping out babies (without even noticing) while the horde of children were running about.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 7 years
Ah, my mistake then :-P Mistakes so often happen when you're going out the door to do errands! All the same, I feel badly that she had that experience :-( Perhaps it WAS Life of Bryan...I can't recall. They were singing about being Catholic, and the wife was dropping out babies (without even noticing) while the horde of children were running about.
Grandpa Grandpa 7 years
Remedius, Easter Sunday is what Catholicism is all about. In fact it is the only truly Christian Holy Day, every other “Holy Day of Observation” can trace its’ roots back to some pagan holiday or rite. Christmas was to take place of the Roman Saturnela festivile, All Saints/All Souls Day, can be traced back to Celtic Druidic rites, etc. Lent starts with Ash Wednesday, where Catholics are supposed to contemplate there own mortality (“Remember man that thou are dust and to dust you shall return.”). The purpose of fast and abstinence was to remind us, prepare us as to why we are here, and where we will go after death.) This period of prayer, reflection and sacrifice culminates on Good Friday, when we remember what Christ did for all of us, not just Catholics. I remember as a kid we all observed 3 hours of silence, from noon till 3:00 PM, to reflect on Christ’s’ crucifixion and the time he hung on the cross prior to his death. Saturday was then a time of anticipation of the risen Lord, which culminated in the joyess celebration of the Risen Lord, which was to bring all of us to salvation. Does that give you a better perspective?
mymellowman mymellowman 7 years
"Just because I think it reasonable that some people might think that if god exists, god doesn't care what someone eats during a couple Fridays in spring doesn't mean I don't understand what the Catholic belief is." - That statement does just that, it implies that you don't understand the Catholic belief of Lent.Does god care if you eat meat on Fridays in the spring? Probably not.Is not eating meat on Fridays what Lent is about? No, it is the symbolic relationship of giving something up in your life to relate to what Jesus had given.Does saying God doesn't care about someone eating meat or not on Friday imply that you understand Lent? No, it is a statement made to make it seem stupid that people give up meat on Fridays because god wouldn't care if you eat meat.
mymellowman mymellowman 7 years
"Just because I think it reasonable that some people might think that if god exists, god doesn't care what someone eats during a couple Fridays in spring doesn't mean I don't understand what the Catholic belief is." - That statement does just that, it implies that you don't understand the Catholic belief of Lent. Does god care if you eat meat on Fridays in the spring? Probably not. Is not eating meat on Fridays what Lent is about? No, it is the symbolic relationship of giving something up in your life to relate to what Jesus had given. Does saying God doesn't care about someone eating meat or not on Friday imply that you understand Lent? No, it is a statement made to make it seem stupid that people give up meat on Fridays because god wouldn't care if you eat meat.
remedios remedios 7 years
Perhaps instead of just throwing out zingers, you can inform me what it is that is causing such a reaction, that I am uninformed about Lent. I really have no clue what your issue related to that is. Just because I think it reasonable that some people might think that if god exists, god doesn't care what someone eats during a couple Fridays in spring doesn't mean I don't understand what the Catholic belief is. It means I think it's reasonable that people question it and don't share it. That's all. You can (obviously) believe whatever you want, and others can believe what they want, but to start out by stating that they have their beliefs out of laziness (or lack of discipline) and lack of wanting to take responsibility seems to me enough to warrant a defense to those that don't share strong religious beliefs. Some people hold beliefs other than yours for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with laziness and lack of responsibility, and it is a bit offensive to state otherwise.
bethany21 bethany21 7 years
Oh man, I'm gold now!!! Awesome! :jumpin:
bethany21 bethany21 7 years
Yeah, it was a Methodist church...I LOVE Lent, because if it weren't for Lent we wouldn't have Mardi Gras! ;)
bethany21 bethany21 7 years
Yeah, it was a Methodist church... I LOVE Lent, because if it weren't for Lent we wouldn't have Mardi Gras! ;)
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
Jovian, I could be wrong but I don't think in Bethany's case it was a Catholic Church, as she refers to a preacher, I could be wrong though. And which Monty Python are you thinking of? LIFE OF BRIAN?
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
Jovian, I could be wrong but I don't think in Bethany's case it was a Catholic Church, as she refers to a preacher, I could be wrong though.And which Monty Python are you thinking of? LIFE OF BRIAN?
JovianSkies JovianSkies 7 years
I apologize if my post came off as impetuous. It wasn't necessarily that Berlin was comparing Catholics to Pagans, but that she was scoffing at other people's beliefs (rudely, at that). Spiritual matters are very sensitive, and should be respected, not approached with an elitist attitude. As for this thread, I find it disheartening that there have been instances where members of the Catholic church have driven others away (or in the case, of poor Trixie6, scared them). Or in Bethany's case. When I read that, my initial thought was, "WTF? Don't they know that Jesus himself was Jewish?". I'll go out on a limb here and guess HE didn't go to Hell... I've never been told that I was going to Hell, and the worst experiences I've had with Catholicism have probably been with my grandmother (she's always been a little crazy, so maybe that doesn't count, lol) and attending boring masses when I was a little girl. I'm glad that I learned what my religion was really about, and rejoined :-) Just a thought before I'm out of the house...anyone else here thinking of Monty Python?
JovianSkies JovianSkies 7 years
I apologize if my post came off as impetuous. It wasn't necessarily that Berlin was comparing Catholics to Pagans, but that she was scoffing at other people's beliefs (rudely, at that). Spiritual matters are very sensitive, and should be respected, not approached with an elitist attitude. As for this thread, I find it disheartening that there have been instances where members of the Catholic church have driven others away (or in the case, of poor Trixie6, scared them). Or in Bethany's case. When I read that, my initial thought was, "WTF? Don't they know that Jesus himself was Jewish?". I'll go out on a limb here and guess HE didn't go to Hell... I've never been told that I was going to Hell, and the worst experiences I've had with Catholicism have probably been with my grandmother (she's always been a little crazy, so maybe that doesn't count, lol) and attending boring masses when I was a little girl. I'm glad that I learned what my religion was really about, and rejoined :-) Just a thought before I'm out of the house...anyone else here thinking of Monty Python?
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
"And you still don't get what lent is about?Hang in there, it just takes some a little longer than others."-3M you beat me to the punch.
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
"And you still don't get what lent is about? Hang in there, it just takes some a little longer than others." -3M you beat me to the punch.
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