Protestants No Longer The Majority in America
Our friend and counterpart in Switzerland, Anthony Whitehouse, recently posted this item with respect to religious trends in the United States. My comments follow.
Protestants no longer in the majority in America
By Raf Sanchez in Washington
The United States is now only 48 per cent Protestant (Dermot Tatlow)
THE United States does not have a Protestant majority for the first time since European settlement, according to a study which shows that an increasing number of Americans say they have no religious affiliation.
The country is now only 48 per cent Protestant, with one in five of the population saying they no longer adhere to any religion or denomination, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found.
The study by the Washington-based think tank revealed that the US remains a deeply religious country and that church attendance appears to have risen in the past five years.
Of those surveyed who said they had no religious affiliation, believed to represent 33 million people across the whole country, two-thirds said they still believed in God.
Only around six per cent of Americans described themselves as atheist or agnostic, a segment of the population that has grown only marginally in the past five years.
Prof John Green, a researcher at the University of Akron in Ohio, argued that there was now “much less of a stigma attached” to spiritual people who did not identify with a specific denomination.
He told CNN that “a lot of people who were never very religious now feel comfortable saying that they don’t have an affiliation”.
The decline of Protestant dominance is already evident at the highest levels of American government. Barack Obama is the only Protestant candidate on either major party ticket in this presidential election, as Mitt Romney is a Mormon and both vice-presidential candidates are Roman Catholics.
None of the nine justices on the US Supreme Court are Protestant – six are Catholic and three are Jewish.
The trend may also have long-term political implications as people with no religious affiliation were found, overwhelmingly, to support the Democrats.
Pew’s report suggested that this section of voters could become as important to the Democrats’ political base as Christian Evangelicals currently are to the Republicans.
Interesting, and many of us have had a feeling in agreement with this data for quite some time, for several decades in fact. The decline in general morality definitely moves in accordance with the trend of predominant political leanings. That which was once forbidden or shameful somehow gradually becomes acceptable in popular opinion. Those of us born in the 1950s and before have witnessed this gradual degradation of morality. The left-oriented political movement which has all along held the evil objective of the eradication of God in society operated much more quietly until it gained a foothold in popular belief. Now it is able to gain even the support of Christians who unwittingly have allowed conscious thought to come under its mesmeric influences.
But is truth relative to popular opinion, or is it absolute? This is how animal magnetism operates – silently and subtly, with the growing approval of general belief. This kind of data SHOULD be an indicator to alert Christian Scientists of subtle evils at work in societal trends. We can and must challenge these appearances of evil. “See no evil; hear no evil; speak no evil” is NOT the watchword of Christian Science.
Yes, of course, we know that evil possesses no inherent power. But when it is unwittingly allowed to falsely appear as mortal consciousness, incorrectly interpreted as personal identity, it comes to our experience in the clothing of reality. Our job is to dismiss mortal thought, and hence n mortal consciousness, by actively BEing God’s image, and DOing God’s work, for we ARE His representatives – nothing more and nothing less. We are NOT independent human beings capable of our own sense of relative consciousness. THAT is evil’s big delusion. We must dispose of evil’s illusions and delusions which continue to be taken as reality, by consciously handling them. We cannot just keep going along for the ride, with no concern for the evil trends of society because we believe them to be harmless. We must PROVE them powerless. These subtle appearances of evil behave as serpents. Remember, it was the serpent who beguiled Eve. Subtle evil ALWAYS presents itself cloaked in benevolence. Watch out for benevolence! Examine it closely before choosing the method with which it is presented! Wise Christian Scientists, take heed what is going on in human society!
Moses had to take the serpent by the tail before it lost its lying appearance. After handling the serpent mentally, Moses understood that its lying appearance indirectly indicated the presence of the power of God, represented as a rod. What would have happened if Moses had simply thought of the serpent as no real threat, and left it alone? We also must take serpents by the tail. We cannot simply ignore them because they do no appear to be threatening us. These trends are such serpents. Christian Scientists and society, let’s wake up! Examine every thought and belief in close detail metaphysically, especially those that come to us through political or societal opinion. We know how to do this, so let us strive to REMOVE personal and human opinion and the political habits we have learned as human beings, by the application of thorough metaphysical treatment of ALL thought, not simply the thoughts that seem to be threatening us at the moment.
“What can I do about them? I’m only one person?”, you might ask. Daily and continual denial of evil and affirmation of truth is the only way by which we can transform consciousness. We must keep clearly in Mind that Christian Science teaches us of the oneness of Mind. There being only one Mind, there is only one consciousness, the divine consciousness. Every elevation of thought which appears to take place in what we humanly think of falsely as our own consciousness, IS actually removing error from all consciousness. That is what prayer does for the world. So let us exercise it.
How and why does prayer so operate? There is only ONE consciousness. Therefore what seems to you to be your consciousness is actually the individualized representation of the ONE consciousness. Your prayer for the world IS lifting false imposition from the world.
Remember also that, contrariwise, your seeming ambivalence or lack of prayer adds to the false confirmation of error and aids in establishing error’s seeming growth, further confirming the world’s false belief in and experience of the reign of discord. We seem to be in this dream together and we will not see reality until we awaken from it.
The point to be made here is that Christian Scientists must wake up and be aware of the subtlety of evil going on in human consciousness. We must not only correct and examine our own thought, but once this is done, we must consciously pray for the world. There is no other way with which divine consciousness can be realized.