Saturday, May 16, 2015

Christian Karma

There have been a lot of stories lately about a recent Pew study showing a surprisingly sharp drop off in the number of people in the US who consider themselves Christians.  Here's just one sample, from the Washington Post:

"Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers. The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. 

“It’s remarkably widespread,” said Alan Cooperman, director of religion research for the Pew Research Center. “The country is becoming less religious as a whole, and it’s happening across the board.”

Of course, no one can resist musing about why this might be true, most of the guesses involving blather about millenmials and about people just becoming more secular.  Based on every bit of our experience regarding the mainstream press' treatment of the right, however, it should hardly be surprising that none of them want to cite the obvious cause of this phenomenon.

And here it is:  people did not suddenly decide to get less spiritual or religious in the last ten years, after thousands of years of little change in that regard.  What changed was not the American people, but the Churches themselves.

Those of us who are a little older than the millennials can actually remember when the word "Christian" was not a synonym for an intolerant, ignorant, hate-filled, racist jerk.  We can remember when Christian churches were (as far as we knew- maybe we were wrong) something more than grifting machines.  And we can remember when, if you thought of the Catholic clergy, the first thing that came to mind was not a factory for manufacturing child rapists.

Evangelicals and Catholic Priests have become the face of their religion, and Christians have no one to blame but themselves- not just the execrable specimens of human garbage that actually participate in this hateful conduct, but all of the rest of them, who care too little about their religion to reclaim it for some decent purpose.  The public face of Christianity in the United States today is something that no decent person could really want to flourish.  This sort of Christianity is a malignant thing; that's why people are turning away.  But we are really not supposed to notice that, and instead blame the individuals who just won't associate themselves with something so contemptible.

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