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The guardian

“Allergic reaction to US religious right” fueling religious decline, experts say

The percentage of Americans attending church is steadily falling and the whirlwind of right-wing politics and Christianity plays a key role Donald Trump with religious leaders for National Day of Prayer in September 2017. Photo: Evan Vuchi / AP Less than half of Americans belong to a house of prayer, shows new study, but religion ̵

1; and Christianity in particular – continues to have a huge impact on US politics, especially because it is declining faster among Democrats than Republicans. Only 47% of the US population is a member of a church, mosque or synagogue, according to a Gallup study, up from 70% two decades ago – partly the result of a deviation of millennia from religion, but also, according to experts, a reaction to the right-wing whirlwind politics and Christianity persecuted by the Republican Party. The evidence comes as Republicans in some states pursue extreme “Christian nationalist” policies in an attempt to impose their version of Christianity on an increasingly disinterested public. This week, the governor of Arkansas signed a law allowing doctors to refuse to treat LGBTQ people on religious grounds, and other states are studying similar legislation. Gallup began questioning Americans about their membership in the church in 1937 – and for decades their number was always over 70%. This began to change in 2000 and has been steadily declining since then. Part of the decline is due to the change of generations, with about 66% of people born before 1946 still church members, compared to only 36% of millennials. Among other groups Gallup reports, the decline in church membership stands out among self-identified Democrats and independents. The number of members of the democratic church has dropped by 25% over a period of 20 years, and the number of independents has decreased by 18%. Republican church members also refused, but only by 12%. David Campbell, professor and chair of political science at the University of Notre Dame and co-author of “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us,” said the reason for the decline among these groups was political – “an allergic reaction to the religious right.” . “Many Americans – especially young people – see religion as linked to political conservatism, and the Republican Party in particular,” Campbell said. “Because this is not their party or their policy, they do not want to identify as religious. Young people are particularly allergic to the notion that many – but by no means all – American religions are hostile to LGBTQ rights. “Campbell’s research shows that more and more Americans are abandoning religion because politicians – especially Republicans – mix religion with their politics. Campbell says there have always been tides in American attachment to religion, but believes the current decline “I see no sign that religious law and Christian nationalism are fading. Which in turn suggests that the allergic reaction will continue to be observed – and thus more and more Americans will turn away from religion,” he said. The number of people identifying as non-religious has been steadily rising in recent decades, according to Michele Margolis, an associate professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and author of From Politics to Benches, with more than 20 percent of all Americans classified as ” no, ”said Margolis, and more than a third of Americans under the age of 30. “This means that non-identification will continue to become a larger part of the population over time, as cohort replacement continues to occur,” Margolida said. But she agreed that another factor was the infusion of right-wing politics into theism. “Because religion was closed, associated with conservative politics, Democrats abandoned organized religion or were less engaged, and Republicans got involved,” she said. Christian nationalists – who believe that America was created as it should remain a Christian state – have taken a number of steps to bring their version of religion into American life. In practice, you have to wear religion up your sleeve to be chosen by Annie Laurie Gayler. In states including Louisiana, Arkansas and Florida, Republicans have enacted legislation that would otherwise hack LGTBQ rights, reproductive rights, challenge couples’ ability to adopt children, and see religion forced into classrooms. The governor of Arkansas recently signed a law that allows health workers to refuse to treat LGBTQ people on religious grounds. Montana will pass a law that will allow people or businesses to discriminate, based on religion, against the LGBTQ community. “Don’t make me NOT do what God tells me to do,” said Republican Montana Congressman John Fuller, a lawmaker. Alison Gill, vice president of legal affairs and policy for American atheists, who authored a report on the creep of Christian extremism in the United States, warned that dropping out of religion in America could actually speed up those efforts instead of slowing them down. “Surveys of those who identify with Christian nationalist beliefs consistently show that this group feels more discriminated against and marginalized by any other group in society, including Islamic people, blacks, atheists. [and] “Jewish people,” Gil said. They see their loss of prominence in American culture as an unacceptable attack on their beliefs – and this drives much of the effort we see to hold on to power, undermine democracy, and fight for the protection of “religious freedom.” “The influence of religion on politics is strong,” said Gil. “America sees itself as the predominant religious society, even if the facts no longer agree. Politicians often feel compelled to profess their religious beliefs – and are attacked for Although there is a real danger of a right-wing reaction, Annie Laurie Gayler, co-founder of the Freedom of Religion Foundation, said Gallup data showed that the United States was moving in a positive direction. this constitutional division of church and state in America, and our constitution is ungodly and says that you cannot have a religious test for public office and yet on pr. “You have to wear religion on your sleeve to be elected,” Gailer said. “There is movement [away from religion], and we’re just glad to see that. We think it’s great that Americans are finally waking up. “


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