Millions Leaving the Church, While Legislators Waste Time and Money

In the past decade more than 100 million people have left the Christian Church, but that has not stopped conservative religionist from trying to force their point of view into public schools. Since Texas passed its “prayer bill” in 2006, numerous “Bible Belt” state legislatures want to do the same end run around the constitution.

100 million people is nearly a third of the United State's population. Yet, while Christianity sinks into the abyss, religion fueled legislators fight to send the church even deeper into the tar pits with irrelevant introductions of insidious edicts that would constitutionlize ignorance.

Despite the obvious challenge to the separation of church and state, the immediate damage done to fact-based education by the introduction religion is unknown, but it does not bode well for the United State’s competitive place in the world. Nevertheless, parochial Right Wing religionists continue their push of government support for proselytizing, which is an insult to the vision of the country’s forefathers and puts American youth at a competitive disadvantage for college acceptance.

Evidently, the message sent by the 100 million leaving Christianity is not clear as Georgia, Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina all have “Bible bills,” while Arizona’s lawmakers are set to pass a bill encouraging schools to set up Bible courses. Asides from the coming legal payday for attorneys because of the obvious religious intent of the legislation, religionist will assist in pushing even more away with their unceasing intrusion into public life.

Not content, to watch former church members walk away; several Southern states are leading the charge toward Galileo by allowing schools to change science education in an attempt to undermine the well-established theory of evolution. The legislation is an obvious ploy to promote religious views as science that if implemented will further lower the already pitiful standing of US students with the rest of the world.

Apparently, unaware of those voting with their feet or their standing as one of the least favored groups in the United States, conservative religionists hope to close the barn door well after the horse escaped, by using state legislatures as a sly way to promote religious views as science in public schools. As a whole, the United States already lags behind the rest of the world in science education: if teaching the highly disregarded scientific viewpoint of the Christian Right becomes reality, the Christian Right will succeed in pushing America back to the Dark Ages.

Religionists want to teach evolution as it relates to the Bible; a book lifted from various cultures of that period, pieced together, and then voted into existence more than three centuries after its founder’s death, even then, it was not finished. Taken literally, the Bible is at best a relic, an antique or even an example of early heroic composition, but as a reference for living in 2012, it is hopelessly out of date and nearly useless other than as a worn icon.

Density aside, a possibility exists, that right wing religionists may realize that they’ve won a few battles, but the war is fast slipping away as there is a good reason over 100 million Christians left the church and the Evangelical Right must take a large portion of the blame. The battles won in the South are little more than preaching to the choir or home field advantage. However, it is a clear admission that Christian parents and churches aren’t getting the job done and want the help secular institutions to do what they apparrently can't—make religion relevant again.

The Religious Right might claim that society needs more religion in order to improve, but no matter how it is assessed, religion has done little if anything to improve public morality and in many cases exacerbates problems by inserting intolerance and irrationality into already complex issues. In a dominant Christian populace (76%), the first thought is morality should not present a problem, but as noted evangelical researcher George Barna acknowledged, there is little difference between the behavior of Christians and non-Christians.

As an example, Christians account for 65% of abortions in the United States, a fact that never passes the lips of anti-abortion spokespersons. Born-again Christians are the most divorced group in the United States. Again, this fact seems to avoid the lips of religious speakers. The fact is, Right Wing Christians want a fascist state enforcing their version of belief and providing assistance with brainwashing children and teenagers with their view of religion.

Although, science has its shortcomings, it has done a remarkable job of explaining much of the “unknown” that makes a difference in life on earth, like curing disease or feeding the population. In the 21st century, the supernatural is no longer accepted as a viable cause for natural occurrences and the place of religion, other than as a social club for like-minded people, religion no longer is relevant in the industrial world.

Although, the 100 million that left the church are not all abandoning their beliefs, they are abandoning organized religion and large numbers of those abandoning ship cite the Church’s continued intrusion into politics and sexuality as major reasons. Unfortunately, the continued trespassing of religion into the public domain of education might increase religiosity, but the results will come at a price none can afford.

Already the South is the least educated, poorest and most socially dysfunctional part of the country; with the addition of Bible-based learning, the chances of the most religious states in the country escaping last place seem remote. Thanks to the Evangelical Right, religion has become more divisive than ever and tolerance for its continued illogical and unreasonable demands is growing short. At the rate people leave organized religion; it may not be long before legislators get the message like their brethren in Europe—we don’t need the help of an institution that is as Perry Mason might say, “incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial.”

Views: 266

Tags: Christian, Christianity, Creationism, Design, Dysfunctional, Education, Intelligent, Population, Science, South, More…The, shrinking

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Comment by Daniel W on April 17, 2012 at 9:25pm

MbM most of it is pretty boring, but there are some good parts.  It's like that old poem about the blind men and the elephant.  What we get out of it depends on what part we touch.  And, not in the poem, it depends on what is our agenda.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on April 17, 2012 at 7:46pm
Sentient--that sounds too much like a sensible thing to do for it to happen with any frequency. I've read the Bible many times, but I never read it as literature until my freshman year in college. Reading it as another book is an eye-opening experience, especially after graduating from Catholic School. As just another book amonmg many that I was required to read, put it in an entirely different perspective.
Comment by Donald R Barbera on April 17, 2012 at 7:42pm
No problem. Good to question. Those figures came from none other than leading evangelical researcher George Barna. He calls them the "unchurched." I have the foot note in another post, but it is easy to find on the Barna Group site.
Comment by matthew greenberg on April 17, 2012 at 12:38pm

i'm dubious about your numbers.  where did you get the info that 100 million people have left the Christian Church?  that doesn't sound right.  i'd love it if it were true though.

Comment by Daniel W on April 17, 2012 at 11:03am

Thoughtful discussion.  It's very strange to me that christian activists push their agenda while failying to acknowledge that the behaviors of christians are less "christian" than nonchristians.

*

I wonder if, if it was possible to do away with the emotional baggage of the bible, we could better learn about its influence on humanity.  It's a book - or compilation of books - whose use has powerfully influenced the course of human history and life for billions of people.  What other book, let alone historical fiction and compilation of legends poetry and laws, comes close?  Just as we can study the effects of disease, or technology, obectively, it would be interesting to do the same with the bible.  Unfortunately I am not the one to do it  I can not divorce myself from the malign effects and emotions related to the bible, and I could not. be objective

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