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The End of White Christian America
Bad news for Classic Xer, and former posters JPT and JDFP!

White Christian America is dying

(also interviewed on PBS Newshour today)(videos available at this website also)

Robert P. Jones is the founding CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). His new book, “The End of White Christian America,” has been called “quite possibly the most illuminating text for this election year.” He kindly answered some questions about the book via email. Below is a lightly edited version.

Let’s start with a graph from the book. I think this won’t strike many readers as surprising, but tell us what you see and how you interpret it.
The chart below reveals just how quickly the proportions of white, non-Hispanic Christians have declined across generations.

[Image: EWCA-PRRI-Religious-Affiliation-by-Age.png&w=1484]

Like an archaeological excavation, the chart sorts Americans by religious affiliation and race, stratified by age. It shows the decline of white Christians among each successive generation.
Today, young adults ages 18 to 29 are less than half as likely to be white Christians as seniors age 65 and older. Nearly 7 in 10 American seniors (67 percent) are white Christians, compared to fewer than 3 in 10 (29 percent) young adults.

Although the declining proportion of white Christians is due in part to large-scale demographic shifts — including immigration patterns and differential birth rates — this chart also highlights the other major cause: young adults’ rejection of organized religion. Young adults are three times as likely as seniors to claim no religious affiliation (34 percent versus 11 percent, respectively).

What’s the broader implication of this generational pattern?
The American religious landscape is being remade, most notably by the decline of the white Protestant majority and the rise of the religiously unaffiliated. These religious transformations have been swift and dramatic, occurring largely within the last four decades. Many white Americans have sensed these changes, and there has been some media coverage of the demographic piece of the puzzle. But while the country’s shifting racial dynamics are certainly a source of apprehension for many white Americans, it is the disappearance of White Christian America that is driving their strong, sometimes apocalyptic reactions. Falling numbers and the marginalization of a once-dominant racial and religious identity — one that has been central not just to white Christians themselves but to the national mythos — threatens white Christians’ understanding of America itself.

One thing you describe is how the decline of white Protestantism isn’t just about the decline of mainline denominations like the Episcopal, Methodist or Presbyterian Churches. It’s also about the decline of evangelical Protestantism. This conventional wisdom that traditional Gothic cathedrals are empty but the suburban mega-churches are bursting isn’t quite right.

Up until about a decade ago, most of the decline among white Protestants was confined to mainline Protestants, such as Episcopalians, United Methodists, or Presbyterians, who populate the more liberal branch of the white Protestant family tree. The mainline numbers dropped earlier and more sharply — from 24 percent of the population in 1988 to 14 percent in 2012, at which time their numbers generally stabilized.

But over the last decade, we have seen marked decline among white evangelical Protestants, the more conservative part of the white Protestant family. White evangelical Protestants comprised 22 percent of the population in 1988 and still commanded 21 percent of the population in 2008, but their share of the religious market had slipped to 18 percent at the time the book went to press, and our latest 2015 numbers show an additional one-percentage-point slip to 17 percent.

These indicators of white evangelical decline at the national level are corroborated, for example, by internal membership reports during the same period from the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical Protestant denomination in the country. It has now posted nine straight years of declining growth rates.

As a result, both white mainline Protestants and white evangelical Protestants are graying. In 1972, white Protestants’ median age was 46 years old, only slightly higher than the median age of the American population (44 years old). Today, white Protestants’ median age is 53, compared to 46 among Americans as a whole. Notably, by 2014, there was no difference between the median ages of white evangelical and mainline Protestants...............
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
This has gone viral on facebook.
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
Well let's hope this is the end of white Christisnity
Heart  Bernie/Tulsi 2020    Heart
Did this ever turn out to be a literary Edsel!
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
That's too bad.

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