2020 Census of American Religion reveals long-term decline of white evangelicals

Originally published at: 2020 Census of American Religion reveals long-term decline of white evangelicals | Boing Boing


A good start. After that, I’m hoping for fewer evangelicals in general as time goes on.

Unfortunately, in the short and medium terms this news is going to make white evangelicals double down and go more extreme in the face of what they see as an existential crisis. That means not only more interference in the business of the state, but also more “quiverfull” style subjugation of women and more violence against the secular humanist “heathens” (including more attempted insurrections).

Fundie religion is a plague on humanity.


Yeah, my boomer mom is still very evangelical but all her children are atheists.


Can I get an amen? What about a hallelujah?


I fully expect at least one state in the next decade to seriously table secession (if only a de facto moralistic legislative one) in the hopes of forming Gilead.

They’re already setting the platform in Idaho:

And they’ve already got their High Commander:


What do they call that, an “extinction burst?”

In any case, the decline is welcome news. So glad to hear fewer people are getting grifted by these false prophets.


I’m a Unitarian Universalist. In the PRRI charts, sometimes we’re split out (only .2% of the total) and sometimes we’re not. When we’re not, I wonder if we’re included in “mainline protestant” or “other world religions?”


Sort of off-topic, but when I joined the Army and declared “no religion” they stamped my dog tags with “Protestant/other” anyway. That blue stripe across the middle US is a rash that we can’t cure fast enough.


Showing off your “evangelical math” skills?


That may be what they do, but it won’t really solve the problem of empty pews. From Vox:

Well, they think it’s a crisis. [SBC Executive Committee member] Ronnie Floyd said at this convention that the baptism of teenagers is down 40 percent. He asked the gathered assembly: “Raise your hand if you were ‘saved’ when you were a teenager.” And most people’s hands went up. So they’re panicking, for sure.

Basically, their extreme stances are driving the kids away, forever, and the bubbles they are trying to construct to keep their kids unaware of the greater world aren’t working. Their response: double down on the very thing driving their congregants away.

I don’t have to repeat, but will: this is making them extremely desperate, and extremely dangerous. The have already shown they will try to cling to power by any means necessary.


IIRC it’s Mainline, Quakers get rolled in too. Think it’s because of traditional ecumenical/interfaith relationships rather than ideological connections.

I don’t think they’ll have to cling. Evangelicals were never even the bulk of the religious right, none the less a majority of Americans or American Christians. Catholics as a single denomination are larger than Evangelicals in total. Together with Mormons they’re the vast majority of the religious right. And it was only about a decade ago that Evangelicals eeked passed Mainline Protestant (who are usually left wing) to be a slightly larger portion of Protestants.

Their influence has mostly been down to organization, their reliability as a voting block, and their position as the anointed “Real Christians” among the American right.

So long as there’s enough of them that lock step voting can swing gerrymandered districts, and they can get enough Mormons and Catholics to follow suit. They’ll maintain outsized influence.


Getting involved in divisive politics hurts their cause. They would have probably been better off if they had stuck to Jesus’ teachings rather than the GOP’s.


Their take on Jesus’s teachings require them to be involved in politics. Especially divisive politics.

A lot of the elements of GOP/Right Wing Politics on this front come from Evangelicals, not the other way around.


And yet they’ve never been so powerful. The way the evangelical hypocrites have taken control of state legislatures and state courts is utterly terrifying.


Can’t happen fast enough. Organized religion can be found at the source of just about all of the world’s problems. Personally, I don’t think it’s just the fundies, but that’s probably an argument for another thread.




Idly curious (IOW, I haven’t looked it up or gone digging for an answer myself):

Who’s defining “mainline” vs. “evangelical”? Is there the possibility of an increasing number of people who most would consider as “evangelical” self-reporting as “mainline”?


When I joined in 1995 I asked for ATHEIST but the lady in S1 put down NO REL PREF anyway. She said that it would be a shame if I died and nobody was going to pray for me.

The process to get this changed on my DD 2-1 and DA 2A was kinda complicated, but by the time I retired it was pretty simple. By then JEDI KNIGHT was an option.


Mainline refers to a specific group of Denominations. As a group they’re in part defined by not being part of the Evangelical or Fundamentalist theological traditions.

Both Evangelical and Fundamentalism refer to specific theological trends and movements. Both of which are surprisingly modern (mostly 19th century) and specifically American.

There is some minor cross over. Mostly around Baptist Churches. Most of your old school Baptist denominations, especially majority/traditionally Black Baptist churches are Mainline. But there’s a whole host of Evangelical/Fundementalist Baptist sects. And the Baptist movement was where a lot of the Evangelical movement started and splintered off from.

ETA: There’s also an Evangelical wing of the Presbyterian Church that’s been perpetually on the edge of either leaving, or getting kicked out. They effectively operate independently but are technically still tied to the main organization.

But these categories aren’t sellf reported, they’re established academics categorizations. So a person reports “Non-denominational”, and that’s an Evangelical movement. So they get counted as Evangelical. A person identifies as Episcopalian, and that’s a Mainline denomination. And so forth.


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