MainlineDecline, Decline-Talk, and Decline-ism

Notice: millions of citizens are not “bowling alone,” or being “spiritual” on their own, in splendid entrepreneurial isolation. We observe them instead in tens of thousands of parishes and temples where, in difficult places and against cultural odds, old faithful and new faithful people pray, give for, and through, “institutional religion,” serve their God, serve others, and, yes, are interesting.

Our Corner | Don’t Write Off Mainline Protestants

In an interview with Duke University's "Faith & Leadership," I spoke about trends in religious research that will become increasingly important, including growing numbers of interreligious families and the rise of the religiously unaffiliated.

COMMENTARY: Of Protestants, politicians and power

(RNS) It would be an error to underestimate or write off the Protestant influence in the American political arena. But with the rapid demographic and sociological changes now underway, get ready for Hindus, Jews, Hispanics, Buddhists, Muslims, gays, women, atheists and many other groups to head up future presidential tickets. By A. James Rudin.

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N.C. black pastor treads carefully on gay marriage

RALEIGH, N.C. (RNS) Most black churches consider homosexuality a sin, and have resisted any attempt to reinterpret biblical passages condemning it.  But some pastors are finding ways to skirt the theological issue, and support equal treatment of gays and lesbians as a legislative concern. By Yonat Shimron.

Audio: Are Protestants and Catholics coming together on Communion?

Five hundred years after the Protestant reformation, Catholics and Protestants are coming closer together, theologically and practically, over the Eucharist, or Communion. Katherine Brewer speaks to Monsignor Kevin Irwin, professor of liturgical studies at Catholic University, and the Rev. Dean Snyder of Washington's Foundry United Methodist Church in this audio report.

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Mainline Protestants up for grabs heading into November

WASHINGTON (RNS) In a matchup between Obama and GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, mainline Protestant voters are nearly evenly divided, with 41 percent supporting Obama and 43 percent for Romney. The same holds true between Obama and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich -- each is the choice of 41 percent of white mainline Protestants. By Lauren Markoe.