Friday, April 21, 2017

14% of US Christians Left Their Churches After Trump's Election

Trump - a barometer for evangelical Christian moral bankruptcy
It would appear that Donald Trump, a/k/a Der Trumpenführer, is not only politically divisive but has also created division and an exodus of some evangelical Christians from their churches.  A Washington Post chartered survey found that 14% of church goers had left their churches since the November 2016 presidential election.  While the survey is not conclusive, the fact that 19% of evangelicals did not vote for the thrice married, serial adulterer, and pathological liar who embodies a number of the seven deadly sins suggests that some of those leaving their churches might be those fed up with their denomination's moral bankruptcy as evidenced by support of Der Trumpenführer.  A piece in The Independent looks at the survey findings.  Here are highlights:
The 2016 presidential contest highlighted just how deeply divided the United States is over both politics and religion. The vast majority of white evangelicals (81 percent) voted for Trump. A strong majority of religious “nones” — those who do not identify with any religious tradition — voted for Clinton (68 percent).
Of course, the divide does not stop at the vote. For example, between May 2016 and February 2017, almost every religious group came to oppose Trump’s proposed temporary ban on allowing Muslims into the US. The exception? White evangelical Protestants, who increased their level of support for the policy. The largest gap on this issue is the one between evangelicals and nones, which grew from 28 to 41 percentage points.
How did we get here? One answer is sorting. That is, people may reevaluate their religious membership when they sense political (or other) disagreement, leaving their houses of worship more homogeneous organisations. While this happens across the religious spectrum, here we highlight new evidence that disagreement over Trump’s candidacy actually led some evangelicals to leave their church.
Of those who said they had attended a house of worship in September, 14 percent reported that they had left that particular church by mid-November. . . . . This represents an enormous amount of churn in the religious economy.
But was that churn influenced by politics? To find out if they attended a “political church,” we asked respondents if their clergy addressed any of eight political topics. We also asked, more generally, if seeing evidence of politics reminded them of how divisive politics has become. About 15 percent of those who believe that American politics has become divisive left their political houses of worship. Of those who don’t think politics is inherently divisive, close to none left their political house of worship.
[T]hose who felt that they and their clergy disagreed over Trump in September were the most likely to report leaving that house of worship by November.
More specifically, for 20 years, liberal to moderate evangelicals have been leaving their churches because they disagree with the Christian right. This is important because it allows us to recognise that this sorting process is plural, local, and continual. It is not something owned by the left or right, but a regular and expected part of life in all religious organisations.
Are these patterns troubling? Observers’ opinions differ. Religious institutions have long been practice grounds for skills later turned toward politics. On the one hand, if people are leaving houses of worship because of political disagreements, they may not be learning the skills needed to talk across differences and participate in politics.
Personally, I hope that Trump and the evangelicals who showed their moral bankruptcy by supporting him ultimately hasten the demise of Christianity.  I look forward to the day when Christians are a minority in America and begin to experience the vile mistreatment they have dished out to others for centuries.  Karma could prove to be a major bitch.   

No comments: