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Increasing lack of religion only replacing sexual with ethnic hate?

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Increasing lack of religion only replacing sexual with ethnic hate?

Post by lpetrich » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:45 pm

America’s Empty-Church Problem - The Atlantic
Breaking Faith

The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.
During the Obama presidency, it seemed that the culture wars were winding down with a near-consensus on gay marriage and the like.
Secularism is indeed correlated with greater tolerance of gay marriage and pot legalization. But it’s also making America’s partisan clashes more brutal. And it has contributed to the rise of both Donald Trump and the so-called alt-right movement, whose members see themselves as proponents of white nationalism. As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between “us” and “them.” Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.
Though the decline of religion is most evident on the center to left, it has also happened to white Republicans, with the proportion of unaffiliated ones increasing by a nearly factor of 3 since 1990. The overall population's unaffiliated fraction has gone from 6% in 1992 to 22% in 2014, with Millennials at 35%.
During the campaign, commentators had a hard time reconciling Trump’s apparent ignorance of Christianity and his history of pro-choice and pro-gay-rights statements with his support from evangelicals. But as Notre Dame’s Geoffrey Layman noted, “Trump does best among evangelicals with one key trait: They don’t really go to church.” A Pew Research Center poll last March found that Trump trailed Ted Cruz by 15 points among Republicans who attended religious services every week. But he led Cruz by a whopping 27 points among those who did not.
Then about how religiously inactive white cultural conservatives tend to do worse than their religiously active counterparts, having more divorces, more addiction, and more financial distress. These people also tend to have a darker view of their social and economic prospects.

Although they are less intolerant of homosexuals, they are more intolerant of blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims. A pattern that is also true of Catholics, mainline Protestants, and evangelical Protestants more generally, and that is also true in at least some parts of Europe.

Why might that be the case? In the US at least, churches are heavily segregated, something that Martin Luther King Jr. famously pointed out back in 1960. This is despite Christianity being a transethnic religion -- and transethnic ever since its beginning as an obscure Jewish sect some 2000 years ago. This being transethnic may help to reduce ethnic bigotry among those involved in their churches. A white conservative Xian may identify with a Hispanic conservative Xian, and vice versa.

However, that did not stop many white Xians from hating black ones, it must be noted, even when they practiced rather similar sorts of Xianity. In fact, some white Xians have disparaged MLK Jr. as a Modernist and thus Not A True Xian.

In An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right, Milo Yiannopoulos's and Allum Bokhari's essay in Breitbart, we find 5 references to "tribe", 7 to "race", 13 to "the west" and "western", and only one to "Christianity".
Its leaders like Christendom, an old-fashioned word for the West. But they’re suspicious of Christianity itself, because it crosses boundaries of blood and soil. As a college student, the alt-right leader Richard Spencer was deeply influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, who famously hated Christianity. Radix, the journal Spencer founded, publishes articles with titles like “Why I Am a Pagan.” One essay notes that “critics of Christianity on the Alternative Right usually blame it for its universalism.”
That is, being transethnic.

Friedrich Nietzsche had slammed Xianity for promoting an ethnic of wimpiness and meekness and submissiveness -- very unlike what one gets from Religious-Right Republicans.

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Post by lpetrich » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:55 pm

The Left is also being affected.
In 1990, according to PRRI, slightly more than half of white liberals seldom or never attended religious services. Today the proportion is 73 percent. And if conservative nonattenders fueled Trump’s revolt inside the GOP, liberal nonattenders fueled Bernie Sanders’s insurgency against Hillary Clinton: While white Democrats who went to religious services at least once a week backed Clinton by 26 points, according to an April 2016 PRRI survey, white Democrats who rarely attended services backed Sanders by 13 points.
One has to ask why there is no big Religious Left movement. Why aren't there any defenders of evolution who shout "Galileo was right! The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go!"? Or defenders of abortion who shout "God has given us sovereignty over our bodies, and nobody can take that away from us!"?

The decline of religion is also happening in the black community. Black people under 30 are 3 times less likely to be unaffiliated as their elders over 50. It is revealing that the Black Lives Matter movement is mostly independent of the black churches, with some of its leaders finding fault with some churches for sexism, homophobia, and complacency about racial injustice. One leader, Patrisse Cullors, was raised a Jehovah's Witness, and she objected that that sect's leaders are "all men".

On religion, PC now follows a Nigerian religion called Ifa, and likewise, some white nationalists follow revived versions of old-time religions of Europe. Like Germanic paganism, a.k.a. Asatru or Odinism.
In his book Twilight of the Elites, the MSNBC host Chris Hayes divides American politics between “institutionalists,” who believe in preserving and adapting the political and economic system, and “insurrectionists,” who believe it’s rotten to the core. The 2016 election represents an extraordinary shift in power from the former to the latter. The loss of manufacturing jobs has made Americans more insurrectionist. So have the Iraq War, the financial crisis, and a black president’s inability to stop the police from killing unarmed African Americans. And so has disengagement from organized religion.
But the churches haven't been doing much to help.

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Post by Jobar » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:43 pm

Hatred of the Other, the outgroup, seems to be endemic and in-eradicable from any method of organizing human beings ever tried, whether it be religious, political, or philosophical.

I'd like to think that humanism might just possibly be immune from that, but given how many religions give major lip service to love and peace, realistically I have to doubt it.

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:03 pm

The Bernie Sanders “movement” was most decidedly a religious movement of the left, arguably precisely because the left is primarily agnostic/atheist (i.e., some among it looking for a messiah/savior rather than a competent administrator, which is what the job actually entails). That’s also why his appeal was limited to only about 5% among Democrats, primarily representing the more radical fringe.

Clinton’s rhetoric was “A boy from Hope”—which definitely skated the line of religious appeal—and Obama started out with “Hope” only to then quickly ditch that in favor of “Change” (which, imho, went a long way toward his win, because it correctly restructured away from religious connotations precisely because they only appeal to the more radical and therefore smaller fringe percentages).

It’s a difference of selling idealism over pragmatism (which, again is what the job entails). While that works on the majority of Republicans—who are far more entrenched cult members on average—it only works on a much smaller percentage of Dems.
Stupidity is not intellen

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Post by Politesse » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:31 am

Progressive Christianity will always be quieter than the conservative rabble. For one thing, they are much more willing to play dirty politics, and have an almost pathological drive to create new converts daily. They also have the advantage of greater solidarity; as in leftist politics, the Christian left is perennially hampered by our willingness to question ourselves and each other, while conservatives are better at forming a solid front even with people (like Trump) who are obviously disagreable to their principles, so long as they are all shouting a few of the same lines.

But we do exist. I was raised in a Progressive church, and a blatantly multiracial one too. We flew the rainbow flag even back in the 1990's when this was a much less popular act; we marched against police brutality against minorities during the same years (remember Rodney King?).

If you are waiting for the Left to out-shout the Right, you may be waiting for a long time. And a loud religious Left might not be any more tolerable to an atheist than a loud religious Right, judging by my experiences on this forum. But we won't being going away any time soon either.

A Brief Primer On Progressive Christianity


State of the Union: Progressive Christianity
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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