Source: The American Family Survey, 2015–2018.

Religion declining in importance for many Americans, especially for Millennials

Fewer than half of Americans consider religion to be an “extremely” or “very” important part of their identity, according to a new study.

The American Family Survey, an annual national survey conducted by the Deseret News and the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, found that just 43% of Americans viewed religion as a core component of their identity in 2018.

Below are six key findings about religion in the national study, which featured 3,000 respondents and had a margin of error of ±1.9%.

1. Nones are now 35% of the population.

Source: The American Family Survey, 2015–2018.

The number of Americans who identify as atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular—often lumped together under the umbrella term of “nones”—is now 35%. That’s actually not a huge increase over last year, though, when the figure was 34%.

“Though the change from year to year is small, there is a clear upward trend,” said Chris Karpowitz, professor of political science at BYU and co-director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy.

Catholics dipped down two percentage points, from 21% in 2017 to 19% this year.

2. But among younger Americans, Nones are inching close to half.

Source: The American Family Survey, 2015–2018.

For Millennials and even GenXers, the most common religion is no religion at all. The Nones claim 44% of the 18–29 age group, and nearly that (43%) among those who are 30–44.

This is more than twice their market share among Americans older than 65, just 21% of whom say they are atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular. However, even that 21% is a five-point rise from where the over-65 group was in 2015, when just 16% identified themselves this way.

3. Religion is less important than family when people explain what creates their identity.

Source: The American Family Survey, 2018.

Among Americans as a whole, only 43% said religion was “extremely” or “very” important to their identity. Instead, people define their identity in terms of family: 70% said that being a spouse was important to their personal identity, while 71% cited being a parent.

“Religion is more important than race, political party, community, or job, but it’s less important than their family identities,” summarized Karpowitz.

There were exceptions to the general rule among African American and Hispanic respondents, who were more likely than whites to rank marriage, parenthood, and religion very highly.

4. Religious Americans are likely to say marriage should come before sex—but they don’t always wait until marriage.

Many Americans are concerned about sexual permissiveness, but the number who think it’s one of the biggest problems facing the country has declined by 8 percentage points since 2015.

The nation’s most religious people still say that ideally, marriage should come before sex. However, “those who prefer a more traditional sequence as their ideal do not tend to realize this in their actual lives,” according to the survey report. For both Democrats and Republicans, sex usually comes before either cohabitation or marriage.

Other cultural issues, including crime and the availability of drugs and alcohol, have also declined in importance since 2015.

What’s rising? Economic issues. The number concerned about “the costs associated with raising a family” is up by 9 points.

5. Most people think it’s fine to marry someone outside their own religion.

Barely a third of Americans believe it’s important for married couples to share the same religious affiliation (36%), which is significantly lower than the number who feel that couples should share the same social values (76%) or feelings about children (81%).

Black respondents were a bit more likely than whites to say it was important for couples to be of the same faith (44% vs. 33%), while Republicans were nearly twice as likely as Democrats to say so (51% vs. 27%).

6. Republicans are getting more religious, Democrats less so.

There’s a sorting in religion and politics: Republicans are becoming considerably more religious than Democrats.

Overall, only 30% of Democrats say that being engaged in a religious community is essential for a fulfilling life, while 58% of Republicans do. (The exception to this is African American Democrats, who resemble Republicans in being deeply religious.)

Karpowitz says that this trend toward “identity cleavages” in religion and politics is “fairly new in American politics,” and is not necessarily a change for the better.

“It’s worrisome both politically and religiously,” he said. “If religions can’t be a comfortable home for people of both parties, then it’s challenging for them to make the claim that they are welcoming to all, and that they’re places where people of very different backgrounds can find solace and community.”

Overall, he said the AFS findings confirm many of the trends other studies have shown about American religion, which is becoming less important to the majority over time.

“There’s a subset of Americans for whom religious communities and beliefs are critically important to every facet of their lives, but the percentage of Americans to whom that applies is shrinking every year.”


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Comments

  1. Back when I was finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in the early 1980s and we had to take “Intro to Computer Science,” my professor in that course predicted that computers would be the “death of organized religion.” I scoffed then because the Mormon Church had the largest non-government mainframe computer on the planet, but I don’t scoff any more. It was not the computer so much as the internet that doomed all forms of traditional organized religion, and not just Mormonism. When you can get good access to accurate information unfiltered by the overseers of the “faith,” organized religion’s various sects all lose their mystique, forever.

  2. “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world to day is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and then walk out the door and deny it by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” – Brennan Manning

    In my opinion, most Christians, myself included, live a life that barely, if at all, resembles the life of Jesus that we are supposedly modeling our lives after. That, as I read it, was a life of someone who chose to live in poverty, cared deeply for the poor, the broken, the outcast, those who the rich were trampling on; someone who challenged the established religious elite (see Matthew 25:31-46 among many other passages) and someone who chose to die so that our sins could be forgiven. Forgiveness was central to his message, and he offered it in many instances to people who never even asked for it, notably the soldiers nailing him to the cross, and Peter after he, his closest disciple, denied knowing Jesus and let him die alone (as foretold by Jesus).

    It seems to me that if more Christians’ lives looked like that (“judge not, lest ye be judged” and “love God, love your neighbor, on these two rest all the law and the prophets”), we might have a different world. In other words, the problem does not seem to be the message as much as the messengers of today.

  3. “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

  4. You’re being much nicer about it than I would be, but I agree with you.

    As conservative religion has continued to fornicate with the republican party, with Vlad Putin, with ISIS, with everything that screams they are really interested in power, money, revenge, and dominion, and feeding their megalomaniacal delusions that the god they have created is one and the same with themselves, anyone with half a brain, half a soul, or half a heart can see what this is really about.

    Today, THIS happened: From Bloomberg Reports:

    Justice Brett Kavanaugh cast the pivotal vote as the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from two states seeking to cut off Medicaid payments to their local Planned Parenthood chapters.

    Kavanaugh voted to leave intact lower court rulings that let Planned Parenthood sue Kansas and Louisiana to try to preserve the Medicaid funds. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said Monday they would have heard the appeals, which contended the federal Medicaid law doesn’t allow lawsuits by providers who are kicked out of the program.

    _________________________

    The Christian Right got snookered once again. 45 years of promising to do something about abortion, billions of dollars and multiple millions of man hours later, and abortion is still here. The Koch brothers are laughing all the way to the bank, and anyone with half a brain, half a soul, or half a heart can see what this is really about.

  5. Truth, real truth did so, just not from the stuff that they peddled in Sunday School. Horse manure is really only good for gunpowder (salt peter is a byproduct of fermented manure, who knew?) and making gardens grow.

  6. “As conservative religion has continued to fornicate with the republican party ….“

    Traditional Jews and Christians have two choices: Democratic Party, Republican Party.

    The Democratic Party is pro-LGBT agenda, anti-family, pro-abortion, and increasingly anti-religious. That leaves the Republican Party.

    A more accurate assessment would be “As the Democratic Party has continued to pimp itself like a scarlet whore to every depraved human impulse ….”.

    “Justice Brett Kavanaugh cast the pivotal vote as the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from two states seeking to cut off Medicaid payments to their local Planned Parenthood chapters.”

    That, of course, is because unlike his predecessor Justice Anthony Kennedy, who believed his job was to wet his finger, see which way the wind blew, and then back into some sort of legal-sounding folderol to support things like same-sex marriage, Justice Kavanaugh believes in the rule of law.

    That means those who believed the Senate Democrats who swore on a stack of condoms that Kavanaugh was a yellow running dog for the Republicans got snookered once again.

    At this point the only thing “to do … about abortion” is a constitutional amendment. The Republicans have carried things about as far as they can short of that.

    Since you cannot see what this is really about, you must be lacking half a brain, half a soul, or half a heart.

  7. But when the Republican party espouses racism, bigotry, fear of foreigners and lining their own pockets, that would seem to rule them out as well. For my part, I have not found an acceptable candidate to vote for in some years now. To me, politics are secondary. I want simply to live a life that is in line with the Two Great Commandments. Personally, I do not think one can legislate a non-believer into being holy (see the Old Testament, any part). I don’t think Jesus ever tried to either.

  8. And the Great Kibosh rolls on:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  9. Jesus was also a man who expressed little tolerance for the stiff-necked religious hypocrites of his day, the scribes and Pharisees, and didn’t shy away from expressing his anger at them either.

  10. “But when the Republican party espouses racism ….”

    Example?

    “… bigotry ….”

    Example?

    “… fear of foreigners …”

    Enforcement of current immigration laws.

    “… and lining their own pockets …”

    I assume you mean the Clintons. They’re Democrats.

    I don’t believe any of the items you rattled off are official Republican platform planks.

    I have had elections where they were no moral choices, e.g. 2008.

    But I do not expect political parties to be something they are not.

  11. True but do try and remember that there is no gay marriage in the new testament –nor will there ever be in Christ’s church– the next time you attempt to justify such perversion.

  12. Well you know what they say, the only difference between a saint and a pervert is hypocrisy.

  13. That would only be true if not trying meant trying yet falling short of the ideal, which it obviously doesn’t since trying requires some kind of action, spiritual or otherwise. I love the Father Brown stories, but in this case Chesterton is just wrong.

  14. #6 You sure can’t tell that one with the current state of republican politics. We have a crook in the white house running a bust out joint. North Carolina subverting the constitution. They want to screw the little guy, women, poor, immigrants, LGBTQ, and do everything they can to give entitlements to the wealthy. Way to go religious republicans. You know how to convert.

  15. Umm, you may want to file a lawsuit against that professor or at least that school. (Malpractice, for starters.)

    Thankfully, my own Intro Comp Sci teacher had enough horse sense to just teach us a few basics about how computers work, (that’s what he was paid to do, after all), instead of wasting time with mindless speculations about the “death of organized religion” via the advent of the computer.

    Such speculation is obviously proven — just by Googling, period — to be totally false.

  16. It would be difficult to sue the dead. That was about 37 years ago.

  17. which truth? should i pick up a quran, or a scientology book?

  18. Only for evangelical Protestants and conservative Catholics.

  19. Yes you should and read them. Then read the Upanishads and the Tao teh Ching, Black Elk Speaks, the Analects of Confuscius (I can never spell that right) and the writings of our great philosophers, theologians and thinkers.

    They all contain bits and pieces of the TRUTH. NONE contain the One and the ONLY TRUTH.

  20. I always wondered where salt peter came from! Thanks for that jewel of knowledge. The problem is that people think they possess the whole truth and nothing but the TRUTH when they don’t. They just have a tiny little piece of it.

  21. I learned about how they used to make salt peter from one of those cable channel series, that one about running gunpowder to colonial America from England at a time when it’s manufacture was strictly controlled by the British crown. It started with fermented animal manure.

  22. Poor baby

    You’re having to choose between nazis and people who support individual liberty. Such a hard decision to face.

    The Democrats aren’t trying to change you. The Democrats just want to protect the right of EVERY AMERICAN to live their lives as they see fit. If you want to be a racist, homophobic bigot, go ahead. You wont go to jail for it. You’ll be shunned socially, because you’re a bad person, but you are allowed to be a bad person.

  23. You’re not worth educating.

    People more worthy of consideration and education than you already understand.

    Go buy some land in fly-over country and spend the rest of your miserable days praying to your little gods, and leave the rest of humanity to create a just and equal society for all.

  24. “You’re not worth educating.”

    And you’re not worth responding to beyond noting your name is quite appropriate.

  25. Of course since the Republicans are not Nazis, and since the Democrats want to protect the right of EVERY PERSON be she/he/it LGBT, citizen, or otherwise – so long as they are born and don’t assert religious rights – to vote for the Democratic Party, we might conclude you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  26. And which church is Christ’s church? I think I know what your answer will be, but I’m not totally sure.

  27. It is disgustingly easy to tie every one of the seven deadly sins to the recent behavior of Putin’s Pal, Stormy’s $130,000.00 piece of ass. Trump is fully representative of Christian Evangelicals. They elected him and continue to defend him. King James, of Bible fame, was a known c*cksucker. Why are you people so hateful about homosexuals when one of them approved the latest revision of your silly book.

  28. The Republican President thinks Nazis are “fine people”.

    The Democrats are fighting to protect your right to practice your religion for yourself, so long as your religion doesn’t intrude onto the lives of your fellow Americans.

    No one is saying you can’t be a bigoted, selfish christian. You just can’t force other people to adhere to your silly religious laws.

  29. My name is Major(P) Paul Fruet (pronounced “fruit”)

    It is quite appropriate.

  30. 1 – “Stormy’s $130,000.00 piece of ass”

    At least, unlike Bill Clinton, he was not too cheap to pay for it and he kept his pecker out of the payroll.

    2 – “Trump is fully representative of Christian Evangelicals”

    Except he is not an evangelical Christian.

    3 – “King James, of Bible fame, was a known c*cksucker”

    Except he was not the author of the translation.

    4 – “Why are you people so hateful about homosexuals”

    If you don’t want you want, just as want it, right now, people are “hateful”.

    Why are “you people” so completely ignorant?

  31. “The Democrats are fighting to protect your right to practice your religion for yourself, so long as your religion doesn’t intrude onto the lives of your fellow Americans.”

    No the Democrats are not.

    The last Democratic President rigged up an assault on religion under the guise of providing healthcare in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

    In the Hobby Lobby case he lost outright.

    In the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, East Texas Baptist University, Zubik, Priests for Life v. Burwell, Southern Nazarene University, and Geneva College v. Burwell case the government slinked off into the sunset when it admitted he did not need the cooperation of the plaintiffs to provide contraception:

    http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/little-sisters-of-the-poor-home-for-the-aged-v-burwell/

    “Holding: Because both the Obama administration and the religious non-profits, colleges, and schools challenging the accommodation offered to those who object to complying with the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate confirm that contraceptive coverage could be provided to the challengers’ female employees, through the challengers’ insurance companies, without any notice from the challengers, the decisions of the courts of appeals rejecting the challenge are vacated and remanded. Given the gravity of the dispute and the substantial clarification and refinement in the positions of the parties, the parties on remand should be afforded an opportunity to arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates the challengers’ religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered by the challengers’ health plans receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage.”

    In addition the Democrats have attempted to compel people with religious objections to participate in abortions.

    Since you’re simply regurgitating tired old previously demolished propaganda, do you have any objection to my simply blocking you so I don’t have to read it?

    https://help.disqus.com/commenting/user-blocking

  32. The “greatest single cause of atheism” are those people who voluntarily decide on their own to choose the religion of Atheism.

    Romans 1:20 says God has provided flat-out evidence of His existence. He hasn’t skimped on us, nor held back on us. He WANTS us to know & trust Him.

    So if a person chooses to pull the brazen-b.u.t.t. stunt of Atheism or Agnosticism, the last words of 1:20 will kick in. Ain’t no such gig as “Lemme hide behind Joe Christian’s mess to justify my own Atheism mess.” Rom. 1:20 simply says, “Without Excuse.”

    Don’t worry, that’s not to deny much of what you said. It’s just that the Bible got some stuff to say to Atheists, just like it got some stuff to say to Christians.

  33. Yup..it says to the Atheists…into the lake of fire! — Congratulations, you are going to Hell !!

  34. Great news!…But, 35% nonreligious in this survey is a bit too optimistic. More reliable and encompassing surveys by PRRi and Pew have the nonreligious at about 25%.

    Although we will get there…every year demographics show over two-million white Christians die off…and over four-million kids turn 18…about half non-white and barely half Christian. The day of old, white fundy domination will end…none too soon!

  35. -> “…Democratic Party has continued to pimp itself like a scarlet whore to every depraved human impulse ….”
    -> “…Democrats who swore on a stack of condoms…”

    Freudian seizure again Mark (or Bob, or whatever) ?…We see what is on your mind !!

  36. No wonder religion is declining with patriarchy as the basis for so many religions traditions.

  37. Just as we continue to see what is on your mind … what there is of it.

  38. Or my personal favorite, “One man’s sacred cow is another man’s hamburger.” I love hamburgers by the way.

  39. The Dems are not pro-LGBT, they are pro civil rights for all. Pro choice because it is a woman’s right to choose. Pro-family because they will be sure there is enough money to support children and to keep them safe by voting for good environmental policies. And they respect all people and religions. So, yeah, the Democratic Party should do well and I will continue to e a proud part of it.

  40. “Overall, only 30% of Democrats say that being engaged in a religious community is essential for a fulfilling life, while 58% of Republicans do.” Another proof that just because the majority believe something, doesn’t mean that it is true.

  41. Right.

    They’re also not pro-abortion.

    And Hillary is the Queen of Romania.

  42. Christ’s church are those who have given themselves to Him, trusted in His promise of salvation (knowing it was only He who did the work) and have chosen to follow Him.
    Many people professing they follow him mess up all the time – that is not uncommon. The difference is, if they are Christian their sins are forgiven.
    Making a decision that a bad Christian is the identity of the church is silly. Christians follow Christ, not fellow Christians. Christ is who we look to, not man.

  43. Yes, gladly on abortion and I have no idea what you are talking about with Hilary?

  44. So, if I understand your statement correctly, the “church” is comprised of individuals who may be from a number of different Christian faiths, but meet the requirements you have laid out. (I’m assuming/conceding these are biblical requirements.)

  45. You have idea of what you’re talking about, either.

  46. absolutely. The “church” is the body of Christ – the people – not a building.

  47. And irony of his comment is completely lost on bob/Robert/jose,mark/draco/dr/matt,

  48. If I wake up in afterlife surrounded by feral christian scum that’s how I’ll know I’m in hell.

  49. That must’ve been one helluva sharp scab your brain hit on its way into the world. Too bad that sick old farm animal wasn’t slaughtered first.

  50. I felt really bad that the sick old farm animal was your mother.

  51. Thank you…I had not heard of that quote by Brennan Manning, but it is a sobering reminder, at least to me, to let the light of Christ show. I remember a pastor we had at church once say that we should live Christians so that even our family pet is happy we are a Christian (well something to that effect). Thanks again.

  52. “Religion” will decline until the next crisis rears it’s ugly head. Then, people will flock to Christ

  53. You do know that Jesus said to listen to what the Pharisees taught?

  54. And as a Christian, Trump is still forgiven – what about you, Perry?

  55. You wrote: ‘Pro-family because they will be sure there is enough money to support children…. ” That is why they support the murder of children, eh? Interesting

  56. they chose Hell, so they got what they wanted. They knew the results of their choice all along. No one hid it from them,

  57. You only believe becausenyounplaybPascal’s wager. Just in case he’ll isnreal wou will believe. Not from the heart.

  58. Religion was never a big deal in America in the first place. “Declining in importance” when it was never important makes no difference

  59. Of course not. My mother and father did. You do know how sex and reproduction work, don’t you? If not, you had better read up so you do not wind up pregnant.

  60. Jeremiah 1:5 New International Version (NIV)

    5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,

    before you were born I set you apart……

  61. Back into the woodwork for you for going off-topic.

  62. “The difference is, if they are Christian their sins are forgiven.”

    And where in the Gospel, pray tell, did you find this doctrine?

  63. Correct.

    (Regarding terminology, the *faith* mentioned here is Christianity; the denominations are *traditions* within the one faith.)

  64. “Did she create you?”

    Are you asking a *science* question or a *belief* question?

  65. Sorry, now my brain is humming along. And, BTW, I’m not a Mormon apologist (heck, I’m no longer a Mormon), so no hidden agenda to advocate for it. Keep in mind, Mormons claim to have the “sole” priesthood authority on earth to act in Gods name.

    Based on what you and Sandi have written, then of what importance is it to belong to any tradition? Are their ordinances, such as baptism, confirmation, or communion/sacrament, deemed equal in the eyes of God, none more authoritative than the other?

    It seems obvious such early reformers such as Calvin and Wesley might disagree, hence why go to the effort of establishing a new tradition? Were they looking beyond the mark, oblivious that it only took a few simple actions/thoughts (no snark) to be part of the “church”?

  66. that is usually when they do. He puts some in the position of knowing He is their only hope

  67. Re: “As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham …” 

    That appears to be the case. The people who became the Hebrews were natives of the Levant, and weren’t from Chaldea or anywhere else near it. They did not migrate from there, or from Egypt, or anywhere else. 

    Re: “As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses …” 

    Ditto. Not only is the Exodus tale unsupported by historical or archaeological evidence, some of the legends about Moses were cribbed from elsewhere. For example, his supposedly being set afloat on the Nile as a baby was taken, lock stock & barrel from the story of Sargon of Akkad, centuries before. 

    Re: “A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached …” 

    Yeah, this “cycle of reincarnation” (which all the Dharmic faiths have in common) is asinine. Supposedly we all live multiple lifetimes in order to learn things we can’t pick up in just one. But if that’s so, why do we lose all memory of those prior lives (and can only reclaim these memories via weird methods like hypnosis, astral travel, meditation, yada yada yada)? That we can’t, under normal conditions, remember those past lives, all by itself directly and instantly refutes the entire scheme. 

    Re: “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life.” 

    What a lot of folks don’t realize about Lao Tze is that he was, essentially, the Far Eastern equivalent of a Greek Sophist. He came up with sayings and constructs just to tweak people and impress them with his vaunted “wisdom.” 

    I mean, what else can one say of a guy who asks asinine questions like, “Is there a difference between yes and no?” (Tao Te Ching, ch 20). Sure, it sounds all profound and crap … but that’s all it is, is crap. 

    That assumes, of course, there was such a person … which isn’t entirely certain, but it very well might be so. It stands to reason that a philosophy which, really, is a kind of sophistry is going to morph into something entirely different, at some point. It might even morph multiple times. 

  68. Your reinforcement of the Great Kibosh is greatly appreciated .
    I will add your documentation to my files on these topics.

  69. You made the assertion. Back it up. Cite even one passage.

  70. Different traditions within a given faith have different interpretations, doctrines, and practices. For example, within the faith of Islam, there are several traditions, the most newsworthy being Shia and Sunni. Within Christianity, there are many traditions, for example, Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, etc. There are even sub-traditions within the latter.

    In reply to your second paragraph, the answer is “No” or “Not necessarily, it depends.” For example, the Church of Rome (aka, the “Catholic Church”) recognizes any and all baptisms performed in accordance with the use of water and the pronouncement “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost)”. The Church of Rome recognizes the “validity” of presbyteral and episcopal ordinations in the Orthodox Christian Communion. With certain possible exceptions, on the other hand, the Church of Rome does not recognize the “validity” of Anglican ordinations or Mormon baptisms.

    Regarding your third paragraph, you demonstrate the correct understanding of “church” (aka, assembly, ecclesia, community). Different traditions arose/arise because of different interpretations of sacred scriptures, among other reasons.

    Hope this information helps.

  71. Amen Brother!!! Feel free to promulgate wherever and whenever. ( and not copyright protected 🙂

  72. Something else I think deserves “the Great Kibosh” is this insipid business about “spiritual but not religious.” The truth is … there’s no such thing! Everything “spiritual” also just happens to be “religious,” and vice versa. It’s all metaphysics, no matter how one tries to spin it, and as such it’s all just rank B.S. Slapping the label of “spiritual” on one’s metaphysics, in order to swerve out of the way of the negative connotations of the word “religious,” is just absurd, and it needs to freaking stop

    <ahem> 

    Rant over. Please … carry on! 

  73. Some of the comments are better than the article, there is only one religion in atheist do it well. IMHO

  74. A decline in religion is true for other Western countries.

  75. About time. Religion has no place in the modern world.

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