For 30 years, Focus on the Family and its offshoot, the Family Research Council, have acted to erode public approval and participation in Christian churches through cultural and religious warfare against Americans — including warfare against members of their own conservative churches.
Focus on the Family and FRC on Monday accused their former church members of “an absence of morality and religion.”
Focus and FRC were responding to the release of the American Religious Identification Survey by Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. The survey found that the percentage of Americans claiming no religion has nearly doubled to 15 percent since 1990.
While Focus looked for bogeymen to blame, a more objective and reputable news source, Beliefnet, offers the following insights into the nature of America’s changing attitudes toward religion:
- Evangelicals for years could mock mainliners for their lethargic growth numbers. It’s more complicated than that. Baptists, the largest evangelical denomination, dropped from 19.3% in 1990 to 15.8%. What has grown is the group called “non-denominational Christian,” often associated with megachurches which grew from 200,000 people in 1990 to 8 million today — from 5% of the population in 1990 to 11.8% in 2008.
- The Muslim slice of the population has grown from 0.3% in 1990 to 0.6% now.
- Only 1.6% call themselves atheist or agnostic, though ARIS concludes that based on their beliefs 12% are either atheist or agnostic. 27% expect that when they die, they won’t have a religious service.
- 12% of the population believe in a higher power but not a personal God.
- Still, from 2001 to 2008, the percentage of the population that’s Christian remained stable at 76%. 34% now call thesmelves “Born Again or Evangelical Christians.”
- 82% say they believe in God.
- Best educated faiths (% of college graduates): Muslim, Other Religins, Eastern Religions, Jews, Mormons and Mainline Christian.
- Least educated: Pentecostal, Baptist, “Protestant Denominations”