Pew Research Center

Decline Of Religiosity In America A Sign Of The Future In America

In the past few decades, we have seen the deleterious influence of the Christian Right in America, promoted in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond by the likes of the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

They and other preachers have utilized their influence to attempt to dominate American politics, and promote a right wing agenda that promotes intolerance and hate.

This includes opposition to women’s rights to control their own bodies (misogyny); opposition to gay rights and gay marriage; the repudiation of science for the teachings of the Bible; the rewriting of American history to make it seem that the Founding Fathers wanted a national religion and a theocracy to govern us; advocacy of war overseas against Islamic civilization; promotion of nativism on the issue of immigration; belief that school prayer will somehow change America in their direction; and attempts to legislate morality limits through control of government.

Originally known as the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition, many of these preachers have become super rich and gained the following of millions who have stopped using their brains, and just accept the unethical, hypocritical utterances of charismatic figures.

Despite this, there is now evidence that more Americans, particularly the young and disaffected, have abandoned organized religion and its narrow minded tenets. The Pew Research Center describes this group as the “Nones”, and they are 22.8 percent of US adults, up from 16.7 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, those who identify as Christian have declined nationally from 78 to 71 percent, including not only evangelicals but also Catholics and mainline Protestants and Mormons. There has also been growing disillusionment with the Catholic Church, mainline Protestant sects, and the Mormon Church.

The “Nones” outnumber Catholics (20.8 percent) and mainline Protestants (14.7 percent), demonstrating a constant decline in adults who identify as being Christians. “Nones” include those who have no religious affiliation, as well as those who say they are Atheists and Agnostics.

Evangelical Protestants still are the largest group at 25.8 percent, but they have declined, and it is clear that the “Nones” will eventually surpass them in the adult population of America over the next couple of decades, as many of the Evangelicals are older and will die off over time, as young Americans reject their divisive ideology!

Narcissistic American Presidents

The Pew Research Center has conducted a unique study of American Presidents, and the results are fascinating.

Presidents have been analyzed in a multitude of ways, but now there is a new one—how narcissistic they are, how much they love themselves and want attention drawn to them by the American people.

At the top of the list are Lyndon B. Johnson, followed by Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton as the top seven.

All seven are regarded as among the best Presidents we have had, and all are highly controversial because of their assertive manner of governing.

But also, a high level of personal insecurity is evident in all seven, including health issues and personal experiences that made them have the personalities they exhibited in the Presidency.

Only a total of 15 Presidents are seen as having more narcissism than the average person has, including modern Presidents such as Woodrow Wilson, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, as numbers 10, 11 and 15.

Presidents such as Harry Truman, George Washington, Jimmy Carter, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H. W. Bush, Thomas Jefferson, Gerald Ford, and Abraham Lincoln all rate below average on narcissism from numbers varying from 18 to 32 on the list.

The question is how valuable is such a list, but at least it is food for thought!

Shocking Maldistribution Of Wealth Due To Great Recession Of 2008: Pew Research Center Report

A new Pew Research Center report demonstrates the alarming fact of the shocking maldistribution of wealth among the major racial groups in America, due to the Great Recession’s effect, and the findings should ring alarm bells among all Americans in regard to the likelihood of social turmoil and disarray that could, sadly, lead to violence, if nothing is done about the reality of the failure of the “American Dream”!

The study shows that white households are TWENTY times wealthier than African Americans, and EIGHTEEN times better off than Hispanic families.

These statistics are staggering and unprecedented, and show the stratification of American society is the worst it has ever been, and far surpasses any democratic nation in Western Europe or Japan.

The median white household in 2009 had a net worth of $113,000 as compared to an average of about $5,700 for black families and $6,300 for Hispanic households.

At the same time, poor families with zero or negative worth were found in one third of black and Hispanic families, but only 15 percent of white families.

The average median wealth of black families fell by 66 percent between 2006-2009, 53 percent for Hispanic households, and only 16 percent for white families.

The housing and unemployment crises and declining income during the Great Recession also harmed black and Hispanic families much more than white households.

The real danger is that even lower income whites have been identifying with the Republican Party, while minority voters continue to connect to the Democratic Party, so the racial conflict that seems to be developing is endangering the country, and seems similar to the old North-South split on slavery in the 19th century and the civil rights movement in the 20th century, but now based on race nationally, instead of in geographical regions.

It has to make one fear for the future civil peace of the nation, if this manifestation is allowed to continue unabated!

Americans And Religious Knowledge: Very Lacking In Understanding Their Own Religion, As Well As Other Religions!

America has an image of being a religious nation, as compared to many European countries, and yet the basic knowledge of religion of Americans–their own and others–is severely inferior! πŸ™

A Pew Forum Research Poll demonstrated that Americans are extremely ignorant about the Bible, Christianity, other world religions, famous religious leaders, and even the issue of the Constitution and religion! πŸ™

Numerous takers of a 32 question exam showed no evidence of understanding their own religion, let alone of other faiths! The questions were multiple choice, so that the correct answer was available, but it seemed to have little effect!

Ironically, atheists and agnostics showed evidence of greater knowledge of religion than anyone of any religious group! Among those who claimed a religion, Jews and Mormons, both minorities in the religious world, scored the highest, with White evangelical Protestants substantially lower, followed by White Catholic, White Mainline Protestants, Black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics!

The fact that so many people claim to be religious, and yet have no or little understanding of their faith, and often no tolerance of other religions, is indeed a very troubling issue in a country that promotes freedom of religion and separation of church and state! πŸ™

Barack Obama And Foreign Public Opinion 17 Months In Office

President Obama remains popular overseas after 17 months in office, as indicated by recent surveys done by the Pew Research Center.

Especially favorable in Germany (90 percent), France (87 percent) and Great Britain (84 percent), the President’s ratings in Russia (57 percent) and China (58 percent) were also notable!

The one area of the world where Obama has major problems is the Middle East and the Muslim countries, generally, who still have a major suspicion of the United States, due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the confrontation with Iran, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So even in “friendly” Muslim countries such as Egypt, the President’s standing is only 17 percent, despite Obama’s outreach to the Islamic world!

Interestingly, at home, 65 percent like Obama’s foreign policy, despite the attempts of conservatives and Republicans to attack and be critical of his initiatives!