Religion...

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Re: Religieraon...

Post by AllThingsKC » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:38 pm

Jackson County has something called "Christmas in the Park" at Longview Lake. It's a pretty impressive display of lights and animations. However, it is on public property and has the word "Christmas" in it. There are no religious symbols, no nativites, nothing like that. It's pretty much Santa Claus and Winter themed.

So I know people of any faith or no faith can celebrate Christmas. And with the exception of maybe going to church (which is debatable itself as many Christians still don't go to church at Christmas), the non-Christians are celebrating Christmas almost exactly the same way as Christians do. Even for Christians, there's not a lot of "religion" in it. There's no standard way Christians celebrate Christmas. There is nothing commanded of Christians to do that day, there is no certain time they have to pray, there's no candles they're suppose to light, nothing.

I don't see how people think a Christmas tree is a religious symbol and I can barely see how Christmas is a religious holiday. I know it has the word 'Christ" in it. But, other than maybe going to church, I don't see how it's celebrated differently among people of other faiths.

As far as the war on Christmas, I don't see much of it. There are times when I can tell companies go out of their way to be too PC (in my opinion only). When they say "this holiday," or "holiday tree" that make me wonder which holiday they're talking about. We don't call any other holiday "holiday." So that seems too PC to me especially since people of other faiths celebrate Christmas. But don't have a problem with "Happy Holidays" or red coffee cups. I don't know even have a problem with trying to be PC. Who wants to purposely offend someone? But just like with reacting to red coffee cups, sometimes we can be too PC.
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Re: Religion...

Post by mean » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:15 pm

What other holiday is associated with a tree? If I mentioned a holiday egg, a holiday jack-o-lantern, a holiday rendition of auld lang syne, a holiday heart-shaped greeting card... should be pretty self-evident, right?

Not that I think being overly PC to the point of silliness is worthwhile, but if it is December and there's a guy selling "holiday trees", it is probably a bit disingenuous to throw up your hands in frustration at trying to divine what holiday he could possibly be referring to.

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Re: Religion...

Post by AllThingsKC » Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:54 pm

I hear ya. If you mentioned a "holiday jack-o-lantern" in October, I would know what you're talking about and I likely wouldn't think that twice about it. But who says that? What stores promote their holiday jack-o-lanterns or holiday heart-shaped greeting cards? If "holiday trees" can only mean Christmas trees, why not just call them Christmas trees? Why do we use the word "holiday" to only refer to Christmas and no other actual holiday?

Of course, I'm not suggesting that there's a war on Christmas because of that.
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Re: Religion...

Post by mean » Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:06 pm

Maybe Christians have a jealously guarded trademark? Like how everyone who doesn't send money to the NFL has to advertise their wings as being for "the big game".

But seriously, the reason is because someone somewhere decided they would do it that way. Why they decided that probably varies but it is probably fair to assume PC motives. I just don't understand why anybody cares overmuch. If people were getting mad that B-dubs called the super bowl by a euphemism and used that as evidence of a war on football ("the big game"!? What game!? Badminton!?") we would look at them funny.

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Re: Religion...

Post by AllThingsKC » Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:39 pm

mean wrote: But seriously, the reason is because someone somewhere decided they would do it that way.
That's exactly why I don't trust Santa Claus. He's a jerk. Or she's a jerk. Don't want to offend! But that's a different subject...
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Re: Religion...

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:46 am

Concerning the "war on Christmas" I don't think there are that many saying that. It's just that when the few say it they are very vocal about it, much like the people who object to Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays.
I agree with you, phuqueue, in that today's Christmas for a large number of people is more secular instead of religious. Football games, parades, basketball games, movies, giving and receiving presents, parties and other activities that are not religious in nature. Even if one is religious about it just a small amount of time is spent in church with secular activities taking a greater amount of time.

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Re: Religion...

Post by mean » Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:25 am

aknowledgeableperson wrote:It's just that when the few say it they are very vocal about it, much like the people who object to Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays.
That is certainly possible, but at least anecdotally, the overwhelming majority of people I regularly associate with are on a spectrum from progressive secular liberals to rabid anti-theists and I've never heard any of them say anything negative about Christmas or complain that someone said "Merry Christmas"; if anything, they're likely to think the whole thing is a stupid distraction that just reinforces the conservative echo chamber (I count myself among them). But down at the gun club, ask anybody if there is a war on Christmas. Just try it, if you want to hear an hour-long rant about Obama and Muslims and Saudi princes and forged birth certificates and Mexican immigrants and....

In other words, I don't think there is an equivalence here. I think there is a vanishingly small number of people who have a beef with Christmas, who intentionally get played up to stoke this ridiculous fear of a War on Christmas, which then spreads like a virus--or, perhaps more accurately, like a FOX News-implanted meme--among the types of people who are predisposed to believe that kind of thing.

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Re: Religion...

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:50 am

For fun here are two quotes.

"I'm sorry, but if you go around dropping 'Merry Christmases' on random people, you're a culturally insensitive bigot."

"The secularist camp, lead by Tom Flynn, author of that Christmas classic The Trouble with Christmas, and editor of Free Inquiry magazine, charges that "Merry Christmas" is used to condemn and exclude non-Christians from the month or so between Thanksgiving and New Year's, a season that the Christians have hijacked, and with their traditions "poisoned the December air." Americans, says Flynn, "need to recognize that a war of sorts is genuinely in progress, a war to redefine American life...and it is desperately important that non-Christians win."

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:28 pm

So Many Australians Are Claiming 'Jedi' as Their Religion That It's Becoming a Problem

A battle over government, religion, and Star Wars is brewing in Australia. The country will hold their national census on August 9 and a group of people is begging their fellow citizens to not put “Jedi” down as their religion.

Here’s the problem: On the 2011 census (it takes places every five years) 64,390 Australians put “Jedi” down as their religion, an increase of from 58,053 on the 2006 census, according to The Brisbane Times. Numbers like that put “Jedi” right behind Sikh on the list of religions in the country. It seems unlikely that all these people truly believe themselves to be actual Jedi, and most of them make the claim as a harmless way to declare their Star Wars fandom and give the government the middle finger at the same time.

However, a group called the Atheist Foundation of Australia is leading a campaign to get people to stop making this joke. Their reasoning is, that when officially counted, Jedi gets classified as a “Not Defined” religion instead of “No Religion.” When that happens, they believe “it makes Australia seem more religious than it really is.” Which, again, doesn’t sound like a problem, but “data on religious affiliation is used for public policy, city planning, community support facilities and more,” according to this cute infographic.
http://io9.gizmodo.com/so-many-australi ... 1784653831

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:45 am

White Christian America is Dying...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/mon ... g/?ref=yfp

And it seems more and more younger Christian whites lately are much more extroverted or evangelical about it than in past, in an 'in your face' kind of way, which only turns people off more. The article goes into Republican impact. Seems it will likely shrink GOP and/or turn them more socially liberal (over 50% young GOP accept gay marriage) - a little bit of both maybe.


Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)
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Two more sources claim American Millennials rejecting traditional religion despite immigrant increase...

PEW
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Gallup
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Re: Religion...

Post by beautyfromashes » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:23 am

Younger people are always more likely to be less religious and liberal. Then, you grow up get smarter and find the need for God and become a Republican.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:31 am

Not really anymore since the 1990s, 20-something religious rejection is higher than any 20-something non-religious generation probably in US history. As the Silent generation dies off, non-religious will likely approach 30% much quicker than it took to hit 20%. What seems to be shrinking most is the 'moderately religious'. Seems lately there is either actively religious or not affiliated at all. But is curious you think 'finding the need' for supernatural forces you can't have an interactive intelligent conversation with is considered 'smarter'. We do have very very powerful imaginations though and most will fill in unknowns or blanks with some form of wishful thinking when needs aren't met.


The net non-religious is growing rapidly. And the main reason Catholic is stable in US is due to immigrants, who are less likely to be GOP with anti-immigration message.

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Re: Religion...

Post by flyingember » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:04 am

The numbers for 18-29 are way higher than I expected. I was thinking 20% unaffiliated at most. But maybe that's caused by a bad survey.

I would argue we're not becoming less religious but people are not fitting into the buckets we have used for centuries.

Religion used to be tied to each community and the 20th century has seen the decline of this being true. People knew if you weren't attending and the church mirrored your social group. So not attending affected your social prospects. Many churches have not changed to match the communities we have today. And they haven't been incentivized to. If your attendance remains older white middle class couples as youth attendance keeps decreasing why would one change to serve a different demographic?

When as a person you're sold on diversity and acceptance, your parents don't take you to services weekly and the chance of moving away for work means you'll have to find a new community that may not match your social beliefs I don't blame someone for not feeling tied to any denomination.

It's also a different culture when religion doesn't need to be a small group exercise once as week using material prepared to match the denomination but is instead treated as something to get via an app throughout the week. Instead of following a strictly defined set of beliefs like Presbyterian or Catholic or Sunni or Reform you can read or listen to thoughts from many scholars these days. This is a society less concerned with who's right over item 24 of a specific denomination's list of what they believe and more over being moral people. And that doesn't fit into the neat buckets this survey has.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:10 am

flyingember wrote:The numbers for 18-29 are way higher than I expected. I was thinking 20% unaffiliated at most. But maybe that's caused by a bad survey.
There are 3 different sources posted above that show similar pattern - PEW, Gallup and Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). There are many more sources/polls showing net 'non-religious affiliation' rising rapidly since 1990s. Are all of them likely bad surveys, especially given how similar the patterns are?

What's interesting to me is that the 'moderately religious' is what seems to be shrinking most, so you have the very religious or not at all... more polarity than ever in US?

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Re: Religion...

Post by flyingember » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:47 am

earthling wrote:
flyingember wrote:The numbers for 18-29 are way higher than I expected. I was thinking 20% unaffiliated at most. But maybe that's caused by a bad survey.
There are 3 different sources posted above that show similar pattern - PEW, Gallup and Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). There are many more sources/polls showing net 'non-religious affiliation' rising rapidly since 1990s. Are all of them likely bad surveys, especially given how similar the patterns are?

What's interesting to me is that the 'moderately religious' is what seems to be shrinking most, so you have the very religious or not at all... more polarity than ever in US?
I would like to see surveys become more fine grained on religious identification was my point.

None of those surveys show that moderates are shrinking. The only one that splits up in that way shows all groups shrinking except for ones that were already below 5% of the population.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:55 am

Ah, but all three do show a general pattern of Millennials in the 30%-35% range of unaffiliated, and you said you expected 20%. All 3 are off base? Now KC could possibly be less given how closer we are to bible belt, although KC is in the middle of pack of large cities for unaffiliated overall so maybe not, according to...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mos ... ce3c30e/16

This one shows indication of importance - the 'very' is somewhat steady since 1990s (maintained by immigration likely) while 'fairly' is shrinking and 'not important' rising. There are others sources too with similar patterns, which is why I indicated we may be heading towards more polarity than ever in US.

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Re: Religion...

Post by flyingember » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:44 am

That data shows a slow decline in "very" is happening too. Something about after 2008 changed the results.

Looking at raw numbers the peak year was 2004 at 60% and since 2008 the peak year was 58 which is a low number for 1996-2007

I then did 3,4,5 year running averages (3-years would average 13,12,11 then 12,11,10 then 11,10,09 etc) to see how things are changing over time with the Very category. This will smooth out the numbers and make it easier to see trends.

From 1992 to 2007 the 3-year average was 58-60% very. Since around 2009 the Very category is a consistent 54-56% average. The min and max numbers over the long term both dropped by approx. 4%.

The five year average went from a consistent 58-59% from 1996 through to 2007 to a 55.5% average 2008 to 2013. Or a 3.5% drop. That's in line with the 3-year average drop.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:05 pm

Here are a couple others...

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Re: Religion...

Post by beautyfromashes » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:19 pm

earthling wrote: We do have very very powerful imaginations though and most will fill in unknowns or blanks with some form of wishful thinking when needs aren't met.
Yes, but I think we are also becoming much more narcissistic which might be a reason we are seeing more people rejecting the idea of something higher than themselves. We've replaced the belief in a God with a belief that we are God, the center of the Universe.

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Re: Religion...

Post by flyingember » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:42 pm

beautyfromashes wrote:
earthling wrote: We do have very very powerful imaginations though and most will fill in unknowns or blanks with some form of wishful thinking when needs aren't met.
Yes, but I think we are also becoming much more narcissistic which might be a reason we are seeing more people rejecting the idea of something higher than themselves. We've replaced the belief in a God with a belief that we are God, the center of the Universe.
The most telling is that belief in God is 20-30% higher than people who believe in scripture or hell.
So there's a lot of people that recognize a deity but not in a way that reflects on how we have in the past.

Thus why I want to see a more fine grained survey. These are all Christian vs not to varying degrees which doesn't tell if we're becoming less religious or less Christian religious.

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