Friday, August 15, 2008

Atheists större än Baptists och Mormons

Post from a forum I enjoy. This is from Bob Johnson:

The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), the largest and most respected study of religious affiliation in the United States, actually gives a much higher number of Atheists/Agnostics. (They didn’t separate the two categories – which actually do overlap as people transition from one to the other.) Their percentage is 14.1% of American adults in their 2001 survey, up from 8.2% in their 1990 survey. That made Nonreligious, the fastest growing religious category in the United States. They estimate that almost 30 million American adults (over the age of 18) are Atheist/Agnostic. This compares with 50 million Roman Catholics, 34 million Baptists, and 14 million Methodists (the third largest Christian denomination). Mormons and Jews are about equal in number and each only make up about 2.8 million Americans. (The number of those refusing to state their religion also doubled in that period between the two surveys. I would guess that most of the 11 million who refused to tell a stranger what their religion is are Atheist/Agnostic, giving a total number greater than that of Baptists!)

Not only are the nonreligious greatly underrepresented in the prison population, they are greatly OVER represented among those living with a partner, but not married (22% of them, the largest such group). Only Evangelical/Born Again Christians came close with 19% living with unmarried partners! All other groups were in the single digits. Atheists/Agnostics (as well as the Evangelical/Born Agains) have a divorce rate equal to the U.S. average – 9%. The highest rate is among Pentecostals (14%), followed by Baptists (12%).

One of my former students, now a Buddhist priest in Japan, once told me that one reason for the high crime rate in the United States is that Christians believe that they only need ask God for forgiveness, and they WILL be forgiven. Those who are not Christian do not believe that they can escape so easily.

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In this my personal Christian blog, I hope to be discursive and now and then critical. What I write here is tentative and tensive. I post thoughts, feelings, and observations somewhat randomly and often in immediate response to current events and posts on other blogs.

"Serendipitous Creativity" from Gordon Kaufman

"I suggested that what we today should regard as God is the ongoing creativity in the universe - the bringing (or coming) into being of what is genuinely new, something transformative; …

"In some respects and some degrees this creativity is apparently happening continuously, in and through the processes or activities or events around us and within us(…) is a profound mystery to us humans(…) But on the whole, as we look back on the long and often painful developments that slowly brought human life and our complex human worlds into being, we cannot but regard this creativity as serendipitous …

"I want to stress that this serendipitous creativity - God! - to which we should be responsive is not the private possession of any of the many particular religious faiths or systems …

"This profound mystery of creativity is manifest in and through the overall human bio-historical evolution and development everywhere on the planet; and it continues to show itself throughout the entire human project, no matter what may be the particular religious and or cultural beliefs."

Gordon Kaufman, Mennonite Life, December 2005 vol. 60 no. 4

Melville is a rational man who

"Melville is a rational man who wants God to exist. He wants Him to exist for the same reasons we all do: to be our rescuer and appreciator, to act as a confidant in our moments of crisis and to give us reassurance that, over the horizon of our deaths, we will survive." (John Updike)

And that is a problem for me.

Fragmented Notions

Fragmented Notions
Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

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