Religion and the left
furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Wed Jun 3 09:05:10 PDT 1998
>The perception that America is so very religious may not be quite
>accurate. The statistic, for ex, that half of all americans go to church
>every week comes from a gallup poll -- this would mean there has been no
>decline in church going since the fifties. But another organization
>(forget which one) came up with a very different figure by using a
>different method. Instead of directly asking people if they went to
>church the previous Sabbath, thus eliciting the socially-approved
>answer, they simply asked people to keep diaries of how they spent their
>week. By the method, only 26% reported going to church. This represents
>a big decline in religious observance since the fifties -- which is kind
>of what you'd expect, isn't it, given all the water that's gone under
>the bridge since then.
Again, what Americans say isn't what they do. Waking up early in the
morning every Sunday may not be overworked Americans' favorite pastime.
And during the 30s, when Americans were more class-conscious, only a
minority (30 % or so) went to church.
Also, most regular church-goers now may be _the elderly_ (who have time)
and professional higher-income people who can take time off on Sundays.
Lots of lower-income working-class people work on Sundays and their work
and other schedules don't easily fit into the church calendar.
Those lbo-talkers who have been talking about religion and the Left should
go to various places of worship--churches, mosques, temples,
etc.--regularly and see the age of worshippers. Many of them are pretty
old, especially in the mainline Protestant churches. (That's something many
pastors are concerned about.)
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