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 . . .

TOXIC MASCULINITY: “How I Unlearned Dangerous Lessons About Masculinity” / TED Talk / Eldra Jackson ☮

In a powerful talk, educator Eldra Jackson III shares how he unlearned dangerous lessons about masculinity through Inside Circle, an organization that leads group therapy for incarcerated men. Now he’s helping others heal by creating a new image of what it means to be a whole, healthy man. “The challenge is to eradicate this cycle of emotional illiteracy and groupthink,” he says.

CHRISTIANITY: “I Don’t Understand” / AronRa

While on a working vacation in Cancun, I had to respond to a couple of State Senators in the Hoosier state pushing a bill to promote Creationism as an alternative to reality in public schools.

WHITE-WING REPUBLICAN CONSERVATISM: “The Ignored Legacy of George H.W. Bush: War Crimes, Racism, and Obstruction of Justice” / The Intercept / Mehdi Hasan ☮

U.S. President George H. Bush addresses the nation from the Oval Office, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 1991 in Washington, after U.S. forces began military action against Iraq. The action has been code named Operation Desert Storm. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)[George H. W. Bush] was a public, not a private, figure — one of only 44 men to have ever served as president of the United States. We cannot, therefore, allow his actual record in office to be beautified in such a brazen way. “When a political leader dies, it is irresponsible in the extreme to demand that only praise be permitted but not criticisms,” as my colleague Glenn Greenwald has argued, because it leads to “false history and a propagandistic whitewashing of bad acts.” The inconvenient truth is that the presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush had far more in common with the recognizably belligerent, corrupt, and right-wing Republican figures who came after him — his son George W. and the current orange-faced incumbent — than much of the political and media classes might have you believe.

Consider:

– He ran a racist election campaign.

– He made a dishonest case for war.

– He committed war crimes.

– He refused to cooperate with a special counsel.

– He escalated the racist war on drugs.

Facts–not uninformed opinions–matter!!!

Read here . . .

Headlines have largely glossed over and ignored other parts of Bush’s legacy. We look at the 1991 Gulf War, Bush’s pardoning of six Reagan officials involved in the Iran-Contra scandal and how a racist election ad helped him become president. We speak with Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan.

“Remembering George H.W. Bush’s Inaction on AIDS at Home While Detaining HIV+ Haitians at Guantánamo” / Democracy Now! / Amy Goodman ☮

 

George H.W. Bush died in Houston on Friday night at the age of 94. Bush was elected the 41st president of the United States in 1988, becoming the first and only former CIA director to lead the country. He served as Ronald Reagan’s vice president from 1981 to 1989. Since Bush’s death, the media has honored the former president by focusing on his years of service and his call as president for a kinder, gentler America. But the headlines have largely glossed over and ignored other parts of Bush’s legacy. We look at the 1991 Gulf War, Bush’s pardoning of six Reagan officials involved in the Iran-Contra scandal and how a racist election ad helped him become president.