ATHEISM: “The Utility of Religion” / Atheist Experience / Tracie Harris and Clare Wuellner ☮

Tracie Harris & Clare Wuellner

ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS: “Gallup: Church Membership Has Dropped Sharply Over the Past Two Decades” ☮

Even Americans who identify with a specific religion aren’t necessarily choosing to join a church, synagogue or mosque.

Americans are increasingly unlikely to become formal members of churches and other religious congregations, a new Gallup report has found.

The number of U.S. adults who officially belong to a church or other religious institution has plummeted from 70% in 1999 to 50% in 2018, according to the study published on Thursday.

The decline in church membership dovetails with a concurrent decline in weekly church attendance. There has also been a well-documented rise in religious “nones” ― people who describe themselves as atheistic, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” The percentage of American adults who say they have no religious preference doubled from 8% in 2000 to about 19% in 2018, according to Gallup.

Even among Americans who say they are part of an organized faith tradition, however, Gallup found that church membership has declined. At the turn of the century, 90% of all U.S. adults were affiliated with a religious group and 73% of those religious people belonged to a church or other faith institution. Currently, about 77 percent of all American adults identify with a religion and only 64 percent of those adults are members of a church or other faith institution. That means roughly 1 out of 4 adults today call themselves religious without being members of a church, synagogue or mosque.

The data suggests to Gallup that Americans’ relationship with organized religion is changing.

Continue reading . . .

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” / The Intercept ☮

What if we actually pulled off a Green New Deal? What would the future look like? The Intercept presents a film narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and illustrated by Molly Crabapple. Set a couple of decades from now, the film is a flat-out rejection of the idea that a dystopian future is a forgone conclusion. Instead, it offers a thought experiment: What if we decided not to drive off the climate cliff? What if we chose to radically change course and save both our habitat and ourselves? We realized that the biggest obstacle to the kind of transformative change the Green New Deal envisions is overcoming the skepticism that humanity could ever pull off something at this scale and speed. That’s the message we’ve been hearing from the “serious” center for four months straight: that it’s too big, too ambitious, that our Twitter-addled brains are incapable of it, and that we are destined to just watch walruses fall to their deaths on Netflix until it’s too late. This film flips the script. It’s about how, in the nick of time, a critical mass of humanity in the largest economy on earth came to believe that we were actually worth saving. Because, as Ocasio-Cortez says in the film, our future has not been written yet and “we can be whatever we have the courage to see.”

Subscribe to our channel: https://interc.pt/subscribe Read the article from Naomi Klein: