Times change. People change. Trends develop, thrive and fade. And political power and influence grows, adapts and sometimes swings like a pendulum from one extreme to another. Sometimes, it takes a while for people to notice that something has changed until it bites them in the backside.
The marriage of "Christian" conservatives -- including some extremist, radical fundamentalists, evangelicals and politically motivated pseudo-(psycho?)-cults -- to politics via the Republican Party's attempts to establish a core base of blindly faithful followers appears to be suffering some reality burns. According to a recent story by Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA TODAY, "Most religious groups in USA have lost ground, survey finds."
The percentage of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more than 11% in a generation. The faithful have scattered out of their traditional bases: The Bible Belt is less Baptist. The Rust Belt is less Catholic. And everywhere, more people are exploring spiritual frontiers — or falling off the faith map completely.
These dramatic shifts in just 18 years are detailed in the new American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), to be released today. It finds that, despite growth and immigration that has added nearly 50 million adults to the U.S. population, almost all religious denominations have lost ground since the first ARIS survey in 1990.
In other words, thank your God, gods and/or goddesses -- if you have any -- that the extreme (and sometimes militant) wings of the radical religious right have begun to lost power as the nation begins to shift course. The radical might think this will lead to an immoral, unethical populace, but they never did seem to "get" the fact that there was a blatant hypocrisy about whether religion actually led to a more just and chaste life. In truth, the opposite has often appeared to be the case, with extremist religions leading the way (Taliban, anyone? American or Middle Eastern, take your pick...or Christian Crusaders, perhaps?)
Below the fold, a quick dip into healthcare and stem cell research.
This is an Open Thread.