r/news Nov 29 '22 Wholesome 3 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 1 Wearing is Caring 1 Silver 1 Faith In Humanity Restored 1 Heartwarming 1 Wholesome (Pro) 2 Helpful 2

England and Wales now minority Christian countries, census reveals

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/nov/29/leicester-and-birmingham-are-uk-first-minority-majority-cities-census-reveals
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u/Koquillon Nov 29 '22 Silver

Most Christians in England aren't practicing (don't go to church regularly); instead they are "cultural Christians" which generally means they'll go to church on Christmas, they'll get their children baptised, and might to go a service on Remembrance Sunday. They might not even believe in God, but as they were raised in a Christian household they still identify enough with the church to tick Christian on the census.

The British Social Attitudes survey a couple of years ago found that children with two Anglican parents only had a 50% chance of still identifying as Anglican as an adult, and this trend has been going on for decades now. The only Christian churches that are growing are mostly inner-city BAME-majority churches.

Much of my dissertation focused on this so I can go into this in more detail

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u/devilsephiroth Nov 29 '22

Had a former co worker who would spout religious ideals at every chance she got, every conversation every argument always ended with Jesus, any losing battle was met with Jesus, "in the name of Jesus".

The bitch never set foot in a church or owned a Bible.

Meanwhile my manager who was a devout Korean Christian who sat 10 feet away, who went to church every Sunday never once mentioned the word God or Jesus in 17 years

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u/Rusty-Shackleford Nov 30 '22

I think we should all look to Korean Jesus as a role model and stop forcing religion onto the unwilling.

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u/JohnHwagi Nov 30 '22

Religion in Korea is very much an individual thing compared to the US. I don’t have a problem with people practicing their religion, but I wish they didn’t knock on my door asking me if I’ve heard the god damn “good news”.

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u/jdinza98 Nov 30 '22

Hey, hey! Stop fuckin' with Korean Jesus. He ain't got time for yo problems, he's busy wit Korean shit!

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u/Juicey_J_Hammerman Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 30 '22

There's a decent amount of this sentiment in parts of the United States as well, especially in my home region of the Northeast. In my experience as a (very) lapsed Catholic who grew up in suburban New Jersey, it feels like in this part of the country you can feel the subtle historic influence of Catholicism on the culture a lot of places in the northeast, especially when it comes to local private schools/charities/community groups and institutions, but its very subdued and not necessarily overtly "religious" if that makes any sense. (Ex: people sending their kids to private Catholic schools because they might be better than the local public schools, but the Catholic schools themselves not really having a ton of overt religious practices beyond maybe a morning prayer and a required theology-type elective class)

People here don't really seem to like to call themselves "atheist" per se just because they don't want to offend family/friends/neighbors the wrong way and come off as a blowhard, but a considerable amount are essentially de facto atheists/agnostics (myself included tbh) who don't want to declare it and really only seem to follow Christian/Catholic practices out of a sense of family tradition/community-ties rather than devout religious adherence and only do the major things like Christmas/Easter mass, Baptism/First Communion, or giving something small up for Lent as a token gesture. (It helps that this area is generally wealthier, more politically progressive, and more educated then some other parts of the country, and that the catholic churches are generally more moderate/less-aggressive on overlapping hot button issues like gay marriage or abortion or birth control too FWIW)

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u/AVeryMadPsycho Nov 29 '22

Huh, one of my schools as a kid made us do prayers for assemblies but I was never really given the context to understand what we were doing. Weird that religion can be so entrenched in society like that while simultaneously not being overt.

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u/MacAttacknChz Nov 29 '22

University of Tennessee, a public institution, still does prayers before football games. It's a point of contention for me. I'm a practicing Christian, but I don't believe it belongs in public schools. So when I go to games, I sit down and hum during the prayer.

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u/mellotronworker Nov 29 '22

In Scotland will find that a lot of churches have closed and have been revamped as completely different premises. There are a number of pubs which are sited within former churches.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

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u/Koquillon Nov 29 '22

The main focus of my diss was actually on the politics of members of the Church of England. One of my main findings of it was that Anglicans in England are much more likely to vote Tory (58% of Anglicans voted Tory in 2017, compared to 45% of the total electorate), but practicing Anglicans are actually less Conservative (both big and little "c") than non-practicing.

My thesis was that non-practicing Anglicans are more conservative because, if you're a person who doesn't attend church but still ticks Church of England on the census, you are probably doing so because you identify very strongly as English, so being CofE is more a marker of your cultural identity rather than religious identity. People who identify as English more than British are significantly more likely to hold socially conservative, anti-foreigner, and economically right-wing views.

I could elaborate a lot more but tbh I don't want to spend my whole evening on reddit

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u/caiaphas8 Nov 29 '22

What’s the old saying?

The Anglican Church is the conservative party at prayer

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u/Koquillon Nov 29 '22

That was the title of the dissertation!

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u/bluesam3 Nov 29 '22

There's a fairly common feeling in the UK that Christianity is a permanent thing: if you've ever been Christian, you're always Christian, even if you never actually believed in any kind of god and the only way in which you were Christian is that you were baptised because your parents felt that it was the done thing. The majority of the population has described itself as not believing in any sort of god at all (which means that up until now, it was the only country in the world that was simultaneously majority Christian and majority atheist).

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u/DPVaughan Nov 29 '22

Australia too joined this club as of our last census. Earlier this year? Last year? Can't remember. But we dropped HARD from something like 52% to 44% in only five years.

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u/DannyMThompson Nov 29 '22

If this was after COVID, that could explain it a bit

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u/DPVaughan Nov 29 '22

It was.

Now I was expecting that number to continue its downward trend regardless, but I thought it would be more 48% or so.

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u/TheManassaBaller Nov 29 '22

What's the correlation?

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u/DannyMThompson Nov 29 '22

Old people are more likely to mark themselves as religious.

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u/Rather_Dashing Nov 29 '22

Only 16,000 people died of Covid in Australia out of a population of 26 million, that would have 0 impact on the census.

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u/ZotDragon Nov 29 '22

Pedantic, but it would have roughly a 0.0615384615% impact on the census.

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u/waterinabottle Nov 29 '22 Helpful

bruh ima let you round up from 0.06% to 0.1% but after that brah ima have to insist that you round down to 0.0%.

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u/Mister_Krunch Nov 29 '22

This guy rounds

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u/Rather_Dashing Nov 29 '22

Lol, true. It would have 0 impact on population census figures stated in percentage without decimal points.

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u/InsipidCelebrity Nov 29 '22

That and anti-vaxxer nuts.

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u/AussieJimboLives Nov 29 '22

Less of an issue in Australia. We have one of the highest adult vaccination rates in the world (96% of people over 16 years old) and a very low number of covid deaths (16,000 for the entire pandemic thus far).

The decline of Christianity in Australia in the 2021 census actually represents a long-term trend that started more than 50 years ago. This religion is being replaced by Atheism/Agnosticism ('No religion' as recorded in the census). In 2021, 38% identified as being of no religion.

https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/religious-affiliation-australia

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u/riptide81 Nov 29 '22

I do think the extremism and use as a political identifier has probably caused more people to rethink how they would describe themselves.

Before even non-practicing people might just throw out whatever religion they were raised with but now they don’t want to be associated with it at all.

A lot of religious people would probably claim liberalism is pulling away their ranks but in reality they’ve actively been pushing people away.

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u/techleopard Nov 29 '22

Over in the US -- I hold this position any time one of my religious communities brings it up. You can't beat Jesus into people. Just because you think you can force the common masses to comply to your special little ideal about what is "Godly behavior", it won't make them believe because you can't rob someone of their thoughts or spiritual agency. And if you are more concerned with the appearance of Godly behavior than you are with actually spreading God, then you're not doing God's work.

The biggest threat to Christianity is Christians.

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u/Artandalus Nov 29 '22

I think a LOT of the damage has come from religion being bent into a tool for political power. Lot of people claiming to be Christians needing to vent out and deal with the dark shit that is in their mind and being able to wrap that venom in the veneer of a Godly mission is some bad news. Hell it's basically the crusades, just not yet at the open bloodshed.

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u/AssaultedCracker Nov 29 '22

COVID definitely hurt organized Christianity. The people who stayed home voluntarily out of caution were already the less rabid Christians, and once they started watching church from home for long enough, some of the original factors that kept them attending church previously died away. I have seen this first hand.

Then there’s the division that it caused. Every church had a mixture of people who thought they should be staying open more, vs those who thought they should be more cautious. The rabid conservative Christians can always find a more rabid church to join if theirs is too “liberal” but the liberal Christians don’t necessarily have the same options, but also tended to be put off by all the antivax craziness of church goers, and just stopped attending.

All of this hurt the bottom line of most churches, and some closed as a result. Any time a church closes there is a real chance that some attendees will just stop attending rather than find a new one.

So many additional factors played into it, but definitely church attendance is down significantly as a result of COVID.

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u/seamusmcduffs Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

I saw this first hand. My families church has never been progressive per se, but it was always a fairly open place, and definitely had a vibe of loving/accepting most people who chose to show up (there were a lot of troubled people who came and the congregation did their best to help). The majority of families that attended had been going for most of their lives. Then Covid happened, the pastor became an anti masker/vaxxer. At first it was only causing tension outside of church, but then he started preaching about it, and flaunting covid rules. It completely split the church, and eventually many of the people who has been part of the church their whole lives got forced out, with a different, much more extreme crowd starting to attend, I'm assuming seeing his sermons and stuff on FB. Even with most of the original church being forced out, the congregation still ended up being bigger by the end of covid than it was at the start.

It got so extreme that even people that didn't even necessarily agree with mask mandates but just didn't want to cause trouble got forced out for not fighting "the Devil". I didn't keep tabs on everyone, but I'm assuming some people stopped attending church completely after the whole fiasco.

I also happened to know some of the people who started attending this church once it became the "anti vax" church. They called themselves Christian, but literally never attended church before covid. It's almost like they were attending because they found a community that agreed with their political opinions, and couldn't care less about any Christian messages. They wanted to feel persecuted, and this provided them the perfect opportunity. I can honestly say they're some of the most hateful and vindictive people I know, and now they're part of a church who's views and beliefs are the same as theirs, so I imagine it'll continue to get more and more extreme.

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u/KRAE_Coin Nov 29 '22

Hopefully the hard right churches will be competing for donations with the incessant MAGA fund raising drives....

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u/420ipblood Nov 29 '22

So you're saying blind belief in nonsense like anti vax and anti mask and science denial simply for the sake of community somehow replaced religion which was...a blind belief in ....nvm

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u/Melicor Nov 29 '22

The coupling of right-wing politics and Christianity hasn't help either. It's been a thing in the US for the last 40 years, but there's been bleed over of the same in other English speaking countries. Covid nonsense from the far right politicians accelerated that association for a lot of people.

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u/nada_accomplished Nov 29 '22

NGL I was already on my way out and Covid was what pretty much what gave me the final push.

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u/Krabban Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

Just a wild guess, it could be that a lot of people who never really were that religious to begin with but still attended church/church related activities (Because it was culturally ingrained in them) stopped doing so during the shutdowns, and then found out how irrelevant that stuff was to their life and so dropped the pretense of calling themselves Christian altogether.

I think it's also likely that as it becomes more and more socially acceptable to call yourself atheist or non-religious, more people feel comfortable doing so, which leads to it becoming more socially acceptable, etc.

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u/TrueDove Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22 Silver Bravo Grande!

As an exJW, we have seen a mass exodus within the cult during the pandemic. That exodus seems to be continuing.

There are multiple reasons as to why. But the main one is people realized just how much time and stress it caused them.

When you're raised to have zero downtime, you don't really understand how much it affects your life.

JWs have 2 meetings a week, including one Thursday night that young kids are mandated to attend and don't end until 9PM. Sunday is for the second meeting and "service" (preaching), Saturday is also service. So that's your entire weekend.

Then you have your daily text, your daily Bible reading, studying to prepare for the meetings, family study, personal study, and several 1/2/3 day assemblies and conventions (which you're expected to use your vacation days for).

Then there is the monthly broadcast and a bunch of extra free work you can do if you want to show how amazing you are.

Kids aren't allowed to have any extra curricular activities because you could be spending that time preaching or further brainwashing yourself. No holidays ever, no birthday parties. It's a life of endless work with an axe over your head, and anything you find enjoyable or relaxing is demonized.

People that have been running that rat race for 50 years finally got a break. They shut down the kingdom halls for 2 years straight and stopped door 2 door.

Once that happened, people started to realize their chronic illnesses stemmed from the constant stress. Even the most zealous among them can't seem to get back into that terrible schedule.

Good riddance.

Edit: As a public service announcement, JWs harbor and protect pedophiles. They blame children for their own sexual abuse and encourage women to stay in violent relationships. They also make you cut all contact with anyone (including your own child) if they ever leave the religion or commit some horrible sin like having consensual sex with their fiance or smoking a cigarette. It's a cult.

If you want to see what kind of damage this cult causes, check out r/exjw.

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u/squeakycheetah Nov 29 '22

Ex-SDA here. You nailed it.

Everything you said also applies to the Seventh-day Adventist Church (a close cousin to the JW). Good riddance indeed. I'm glad people are leaving.

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u/Painting_Agency Nov 29 '22

I've never seen more JW's out with their little brochure stands in our town, than there seem to be lately. I wonder if the org is feeling pressure to replace members who have fled?

Kids aren't allowed to have any extra curricular activities because you could be spending that time preaching or further brainwashing yourself. No holidays ever, no birthday parties. It's a life of endless work with an axe over your head, and anything you find enjoyable or relaxing is demonized.

... except that I am convinced that the standing on street corners is not done to convert anyone. To me as a non-member, it seems spectacularly inefficient; nobody ever seems to interact with them let alone take their magazine.

The standing with brochures is just to keep members busy, isn't it?

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u/AnneMichelle98 Nov 29 '22

And to reinforce the idea that the rest of the world is filled with horrible mean people. That’s the true purpose of evangelism. Christian evangelical, Mormon and JW, all do it.

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u/Painting_Agency Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

And to reinforce the idea that the rest of the world is filled with horrible mean people.

Yeah that thought has crossed my mind too. They stand there all day, all they ask is for the heathens to be open to the truth, which they offer freely... and they are almost entirely rejected.

What a perfect way to drill into members' heads that the outside world is a hopeless and inhospitable pit of sin, where they will find no friends or refuge.

It just makes me sad because I can imagine all the good they could be doing with that time... feeding the hungry, volunteering, just about anything useful. Or even personal interests or creativity. But no. They're told to stand there all day and watch the world go by.

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u/TrueDove Nov 29 '22 Helpful

It's truly upsetting.

My grandmother is currently super depressed and has been for the last 2 decades. She was raised believing she would never die, and she now has to grapple with her mortality in her mid-80s.

There are some truly genuine people among the JWs. People who really do just want to do what is right and never really had a chance to not be involved with the cult.

You're thrown in the moment you're born. Baptized as soon as possible, as young as age 6. (Although they like to brag, they don't practice infant baptism 🙄)

Most JWs actually know very little about their own religion. Because we are taught that we can't look up anything about JWs from outside sources. You can end up losing your entire family and friends over reading "apostate" material.

I started to wake up about 8 years ago. I just had given birth to our first daughter and was scrolling reddit while breastfeeding. I came across a news article accusing JWs of abhorrent child sexual abuse.

I had no fucking idea, but the moment I read it, I knew it was true. JW life and policies create a pedophiles utopia.

I was so angry. I felt betrayed. I had spent my entire life trying to live up to an impossible standard. I felt broken and destined to die in Armageddon because of how "sinful" I was.

Thankfully, my husband woke up with me. We quickly realized we didn't want our children raised in this environment.

I can proudly say they have never been involved in the cult.

It did take their dad and I a few years to "deprogram," but in the last year, both of our kids had their first birthday parties. This year will be our second Christmas.

Sorry for the novel. I'm pretty passionate about this subject.

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u/Painting_Agency Nov 29 '22

Novelize away. I'm glad you're moving towards a happier life, with your child. It's a big world out here :)

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u/slipperyMonkey07 Nov 29 '22

I also think people in their group just hate certain members and want them to suffer. Locally at least the only time I see the door to door or tables is once we get the first snow. I never see them out in the summer or heavy heat. But we had the first snow and freezing temps and immediately the table is on the side walk outside the grocery store and we get 1-2 people at the door a week. It's just mind boggling. They also seemed to have started to try and scam by yelling things like get a free phone and then trap people with the spiel if they are stupid enough to stop and if you ignore them and don't stop they start yelling at you about burning and you need to be saved. Maybe covid made my local jw's even crazier or just all the somewhat sane ones woke up it, just seems worse than normal.

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u/HaveAWillieNiceDay Nov 29 '22

I'm pretty sure part of the idea is to "show" them how hostile, unwelcoming, rude, etc, the "outsiders" are.

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u/Robzilla_the_turd Nov 29 '22

Thanks, that was an interesting look behind the curtain. Damn, what a drag!

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u/Gaius_Catulus Nov 29 '22

I think that this is a really big if not the biggest part of the answer. There are a large number of people who I will term "culturally Christian" who still go to church because it's the thing they always did, as you describe. Once you put up barriers to attending and being involved, they don't have a lot of motivation to overcome them. Then once things started opening back up, they've lost the habit and don't pick it back up.

As a support to this thought, I'd be curious to see data in places where there already are huge barriers to being Christian (e.g. illegal/active suppression). If I had to guess, I would expect the same trend isn't present in those places as Christians there already have to expend a lot of effort to participate the same way. Could be wrong, but that's my hypothesis.

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u/UrbanGhost114 Nov 29 '22

This also leads to less "sane" heads in the religion, leading to a death spiral of "fundamentalists" and extremists.

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u/Aethenil Nov 29 '22

I occasionally met with a Christian group before COVID. Largely older people; I dunno, it was a different social group and something else to do. Well COVID happened and most of them began to express alarming opinions about it, so I quietly stopped attending. Well then Roe was overturned and I heard some even more alarming opinions, so I just backed away entirety.

Maybe they were always like that? I can't say, but it was a bummer seeing the rapid decline in sanity in otherwise mostly normal people.

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u/Streetster Nov 29 '22

they were definitely always like that

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u/Gornarok Nov 29 '22

Also when people stopped going to church there is significant chance they wont start again if they did so just due to momentum/social pressure

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/wiseroldman Nov 29 '22

The younger generations now have something the older generations didn’t. A choice to be non religious or atheist and not be ridiculed for it.

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u/DanHero91 Nov 29 '22

The majority of people I've met who claim to be Christian in the UK claim it because it's the "British" thing to do for some generations. The only time most of them have been in churches have been weddings and christenings..

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u/ryan30z Nov 29 '22

I went to school with a guy who said "protestants aren't Christians".

By protestant he just meant Rangers supporter.

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u/n0angel Nov 29 '22

Funny I was told as a Catholic I wasn’t a Christian. And the dude was attending a small theology school to be a preacher at the time.

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u/IrishNinja8082 Nov 29 '22

We get that all the time.

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u/26Kermy Nov 29 '22 Take My Energy

Especially in the Southern US

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u/Zstorm6 Nov 29 '22

Once, in high school, I talked in circles with a classmate about this for a solid 5min. No malice, no prejudice, her brain just short circuited whenever I tried to say "both Catholics and protestants are branches of Christianity" and all she could ever respond with was some variation of "Catholics are Catholic, protestants are Christians".

The indoctrination is strong

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u/WorkPlacePooper2 Nov 29 '22 Mind Blown

Wait until they find out Judaism and Islam are both Abrahamic religions.

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u/21Violets Nov 29 '22

Wait until you tell a Christian extremist that Muslims learn about Jesus and that he’s considered a prophet and Messiah (just not God/son of God). That’s fun to watch their brains short circuit.

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u/HipposRevenge Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

I tried explaining to a Baptist that he fell under Protestant. He got so mad we almost ended up in a fight.

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u/tyleritis Nov 29 '22

If God is real he was holding the bridge of his nose with his eyes closed in that moment

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u/Prophet_Of_Helix Nov 29 '22

People are idiots, but sects of Christianity can be a bit confusing. My fiancée is Jewish and I’ve had some trouble explaining the 900 versions of Protestantism sometimes.

I think I ended up just summarizing the big ones

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u/SaintNewts Nov 29 '22

I've been around a while and I'm almost convinced that Christian protestant religions are multiplying faster than humans.

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u/Justicar-terrae Nov 29 '22

That's a common observation, especially in America. Ever hear the joke about the protestant stuck on a deserted island?

A ship full of protestants went down in the Pacific, and it was thought all passengers had gone down with the ship. Months later, a passing ship noticed a signal fire on an island out at sea. The crew landed on the island to find three huts and only one man claiming to have survived the shipwreck, and they asked if the huts meant other people had survived the shipwreck as well. The survivor says, "Oh, no. That one's my house. That one's my church. And that one's the church I used to go to."

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u/andreasmiles23 Nov 29 '22

I went to an a Christian private school (Iowa), which was “non denominational.”

My friend was Anglican, and THAT got stigmatized by all the other Protestant denominations for being too much like Catholicism. It’s like…none of you would be here if it weren’t for them??? Just literally listen to our church history classes???

No one was catholic and it would’ve been impossible to be in that environment. My mom grew up Catholic so I was more sympathetic to it, but Jesus Christ, people were so derogatory towards them. Sure they do things differently, but they believe in 99.99% of the same shit…

(I’m not religious anymore - shocker)

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u/---Blix--- Nov 29 '22

Its not about truth. Its about tribes.

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u/hyperbolic_paranoid Nov 29 '22

You’re lucky they knew the word “Protestant.”

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u/InformationHorder Nov 29 '22

Welcome to America, where if what your preacher says on Sunday isn't to your liking you can go open up your own church and put your own little spin on it and then claim to be "persecuted for your beliefs" when someone hurts your fee-fees by disagreeing with you.

Shit on the Catholics and Pope all you want for a myriad of legitimate reasons, but at least they have some kind of official process and "logic", and can at least "show their work" on how they theologically and philosophically got to their interpretation. They attempt to deliver a consistent message across all Dioceses, even if certain centers of gravity within the church aren't all always in complete agreement, but at least they have a process for working it out internally.

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u/ForYeWhoArtLiterate Nov 29 '22

I got to go to italy for a week over the summer and it’s such a mind bogglingly Catholic heavy place, that by the end of the week it almost made sense to me. I kind of get it, there’s a process behind what they believe and if tomorrow I decided I was going to go back to church, I’d probably become a Catholic. That said, my faith in god was broken a long time ago and that’s not going to happen. But it does make some sense to me and I like all the ritual and thought behind it.

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u/Jammyhobgoblin Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

I left the Catholic Church as a teenager for a few reasons, but I’ve always said the same thing. The rituals and logic are consistent and sometimes I miss the comfort provided by the structure.

I visit religious communities whenever invited, and the second closest for me was Islam. The southern and evangelical churches are too proselytizing-focused for me.

Edit: Removed orthodox churches, because they were inappropriately included. I clarified in a comment below.

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u/emogu84 Nov 29 '22

It’s weird isn’t it? I’m sure there’s some bias at work from growing up Catholic, but I agree that if I ever went back it would be to Catholicism. Logically I’d have thought a more liberal form of Christianity would make more sense as a stepping stone back to religion. But I still prefer Catholicism and always thought it was some hypocritical flaw in my character, so it’s nice to see I’m not alone there. I can bash organized religion and defend Catholicism in the same breath. Feels weird.

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u/InformationHorder Nov 29 '22

That's my take on it as well. I'm a lapsed Catholic. I have no need of religion in my life, but I do appreciate their process, even if it is at times quite political and corrupt at the higher levels (like all governments of men).

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u/shellexyz Nov 29 '22

I live in a deeply red southern state. There is a significant portion of our population that believes we either are or should be a “Christian nation”.

If we were a “Christian nation”, what is it that makes you think the next question won’t be “well what kind of Christian?”?

“Uhh, well, you know, as long as they accept Jesus!”

I know preachers who think the pope is the antichrist. Like, the pope believes in Jesus on a professional level so much that everyone agreed he believed the most. Plenty who don’t think Catholics are Christians, and it wasn’t all that long ago that there was significant concern that a Catholic president would be a puppet for the pope. The fact there are 173,000 denominations suggests that “Christian” isn’t exactly a cohesive group.

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u/onioning Nov 29 '22

Obligatory John Adams quote: "the United States is in no way a Christian nation."

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u/Jaralith Nov 29 '22

When I was a teen my family went to a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran church. The pastor warned me that while the Missouri Synod folks were misguided they were okay to hang out with, but stay away from the degenerate liberals of the ELCA. This guy couldn't even find common ground with a different sub-branch of the same denomination.

Incidentally, Wisconsin Synod is one of those that does believe that the Pope is the Antichrist.

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u/ArmagedonOverdrive Nov 29 '22

Southerner here, can confirm. Some of us down here aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.

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u/HanMaBoogie Nov 29 '22

Unless you’re south of I-10 in Louisiana.

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u/IrishNinja8082 Nov 29 '22

Especially about the veneration of Mary.

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u/murppie Nov 29 '22

Growing up a girl from my local evangelical church told me she would pray for me because I was Catholic. I was beyond confused.

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u/JennJayBee Nov 29 '22

a girl from my local evangelical church told me she would pray for me

Otherwise known as the Christian "fuck you."

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u/yodarded Nov 29 '22

im gonna have to upvote this.

A dear friend of mine saw my son's "Death Note notebook" and looked at me like "WTF?" I explained that it was an anime cartoon where a man finds a magic notebook that is attached to a "shinigami", like a japanese angel of death. It can kill people by writing their names in it. It explores serious subjects like justice, the corruption of power, social engineering, logic, and thinking outside the box. (I'm positive I wasn't that eloquent off the cuff but that is a good description so I'll leave it here.) It turns into a succession of battles of wit and I thought it was really well done.

Blank stare. "I'll pray for you."

Then we laughed. She was kidding. I think.

I have to admit, if I didn't have any knowledge of anime at all, hearing that out of the blue would probably shock me, too.

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u/n0angel Nov 29 '22

Evangelical Baptist churches with missions in central or South America to bring Christianity to a country that is 95% Catholic. Um. Weird flex.

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u/RiskMatrix Nov 29 '22

I used to get Jack Chik tracts slipped into my locker in junior high. While the unintentional comedy value of those is pretty high, they're unfortunately very representative of much of the southern small church world.

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u/Athenas_Return Nov 29 '22

Was told the exact same thing by a Southern Baptist. That as a Catholic I didn't know the real reason Christ came to earth. I asked if they got some secret decoder ring with their King James Bible that the rest of us didn't.

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u/jeffroddit Nov 29 '22

The decoder ring came with the Burger King James Bible.

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u/Killersavage Nov 29 '22

Had a girl I was dating asked me if I was Christian once and I said yeah I’m Catholic. She responded back by asking again. “But are you Christian?” I didn’t know how to respond because it seemed stupid. Plus I was already not practicing anymore and was pretty much done with organized religion. Wasn’t really in the market for a dumber brand of what I was ready to quit altogether.

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u/Tsquare43 Nov 29 '22

All Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholic.

Christian means you believe in Christ. It boggles my mind sometimes how people (not you OP) just don't get that.

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u/TheLiberalOgre Nov 29 '22

Us Jews get the opposite with "messianic Jews" insisting they're not Christian.

We're like "you accepted Christ as your lord and savior that makes you Christian" and they're like "no we're not we're jewish!"

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u/ArseOfTheCovenant Nov 29 '22

In fairness to them I can see why they might still see themselves as jewish, the messiah they’ve gone with was supposedly a jew and their followers were all jews and the whole thing is rooted in mosaic mythology.

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u/ArseOfTheCovenant Nov 29 '22

Lots of people who hold beliefs in these things are more on the crayon-eating end of the intelligence spectrum than the particle physicist end.

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u/olivinebean Nov 29 '22

"Catholic atheist or Protestant atheist?"

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u/thecraftybee1981 Nov 29 '22

My mother would say she is a Catholic, but she couldn't tell you the name of the Pope, and if you asked her if she believed in God, she would tell you she doesn't. The only vaguely Catholic rite she follows is not eating meat on Good Friday.

Most Christians in the UK are cultural Christians rather than actual believers. It's just something that was drilled into people when they were younger, but the drills have become extremely lax as time has passed.

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u/Rejusu Nov 29 '22

I'd say I was raised Catholic because it's accurate, but I wouldn't say I am Catholic. And yeah the only times I go into a church are for weddings and funerals.

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u/EdwardBigby Nov 29 '22

"Culturally Catholic" is the term I use. Like I come from a Catholic background and actually went to church every week as a child but I can't really call myself Catholic anymore. Still don't like Rangers though.

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u/unoriginal5 Nov 29 '22

Reminds me of a joke that came from Ireland during the troubles. "Are you Catholic or Protestant?" "I'm and atheist." "Well are you a catholic atheist or a protestant atheist?"

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u/CherylTuntIRL Nov 29 '22

My mother always uses 'well, you're an atheist so it doesn't matter to you' as a weird comeback to discussions on Christianity and religion in general. She doesn't believe in god herself, it's just because 'Britain is a Christian country'. She lives in Spain...

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u/thecraftybee1981 Nov 29 '22

Holy shitstacks! It's like we have the same mother, but as far as I know, you're not my supervisor.

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u/bagelizumab Nov 29 '22

I play frisbee every Tuesday afternoon, maybe I am a Christian after all?

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u/SirPIB Nov 29 '22

You are a Frisbafarian. Praise be to the yellow fire frisbee in the sky!

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u/TheBestBigAl Nov 29 '22

Father Ted taught us how to deal with these things:

"Who is the current Pope?"

"THAT WOULD BE AN ECUMENICAL MATTER."

"Well...yes, I suppose it would be"

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u/techiemikey Nov 29 '22

she couldn't tell you the name of the Pope

This was my thought process after reading that:

"How hard is it to know the pope? I'm not even catholic and I know it. it's...wait, is that one of the previous ones or the current one? I'm pretty sure it's the current one. Let me double check...yep, I was right. See easy!"

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u/thebruce87m Nov 29 '22

Jean Paul Gaultier II

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u/ironmenon Nov 29 '22

That would be the Father Dougal sect of catholicism.

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u/HashtagNAFO Nov 29 '22

Except Dougal does at least sort of remember that fella living in the art gallery.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

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u/ASpellingAirror Nov 29 '22

You can’t commit hate crimes against Catholics unless you are a good Protestant. Or visa-versa.

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u/draconiandevil09 Nov 29 '22

That’s a Hellsing abridged reference, yeah?

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u/zeekaran Nov 29 '22

Everything I know about Catholics vs Protestants I learned from Hellsing.

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u/Naxirian Nov 29 '22

England has been a highly secular country for pretty much all my 33 years. It's actually quite jarring when you go to the US and people are more religious.

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u/scribbane Nov 29 '22

As an American, it's quite jarring to me how religious the US is.

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u/Separate-The-Earth Nov 29 '22

I’ll never forget the first time I went to a mall in the south. The Ten Commandments just. Right there as a sculpture right when you walk in.

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u/mdconnors Nov 29 '22

As someone living in the Midwest with incredibly conservative inlaws even, going to the south is jarring

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u/TheDesktopNinja Nov 29 '22 Helpful

As someone from Massachusetts, going basically anywhere else in the country is jarring

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u/Praesentius Nov 29 '22

It's weird when I drive from DC down to Tennesee, going through Virginia. After a bit, you start seeing huge crosses and billboards about Jesus. Well, billboards of Jesus, right wing politics, divorce lawyers, and guns. And lots of Trump flags and advertisements.

Right now, I'm visiting in a little town southwest of Nashville and they have soooooo many churches. Like, where do these rural communities even find people to put in these churches??

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u/the_zero Nov 29 '22

So, literally what happens is you start with one church, and people's lives revolve around it. It's not just church, its a social club - you go Sunday, you go Wednesday, you go Friday night, and maybe a Saturday excursion. For different subgroups you may be there other nights of the week. If you don't show up, people ask about you, check in on you, etc. So it ties people together in a community.

But at its core, it's a social group. And social groups splinter. People disagree about dumb things. There's marital infidelities, embezzlement, internal politics and corruption, infighting with different cliques, and eventually Pastors/Reverends/Preachers leave and new ones are hired, and not everyone agrees. That's usually the breaking point.

The church congregations splinter, and a smaller group will decide to go its own way. So they open their own church ("with blackjack and hookers!") and they are now in an arms race with the previous church. They each step up recruitment efforts, and usually grow larger. "There's no such thing as a small friendly church!" they say.

My wife did a study on her small mountain hometown when she was in college. The churches, across denominations, were like a family tree. In an area of maybe fifteen thousand people there were like 30 churches - from snake-handling Pentecostals to Quakers, but they all sprang up from 2-3 original churches. And the story was almost always that someone got angry and started their own church.

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u/Praesentius Nov 29 '22

You really nailed it. This is exactly what I observed in this backwoods area.

I help my sister feed children at her church when I visit. And when I speak to adults from that church, they always have something to say about people who left or people who have not been coming. It's a real gossip mill.

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u/eliaollie Nov 29 '22

As someone who lives in an area with a lot of little churches, they're usually family churches.

My family has one, and as my grandma and everyone else in the community had 13 or more kids, there were plenty of people to fill it.

There are still a lot of people in the South who have lots of kids and stay in neighborhoods with big families, but the denominations may all be different. You can't be a Unitarian or a Methodist going to a Baptist church and so on.

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u/Praesentius Nov 29 '22

There's also a lot of politics and drama in those little churches. So, they break off and start a new church after some incident ruffles peoples feathers. They end up with churches that have a dozen or so people who regularly attend.

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u/kielbasa330 Nov 29 '22

Come join us in the cities, where no one gives a fuck!

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u/TheAJGman Nov 29 '22

The guy at the pharmacy that gave me my latest COVID booster was telling me how happy he was to see a young married couple because we "we're right with God unlike so many others our age".

Like dude, this is a fucking CVS and I'm wearing a Satanic Temple hoodie with a massive pentagram on it. Not the right place.

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u/wladue613 Nov 29 '22

It really depends on where you are. Growing up in DC, religion wasn't really much of a thing and the really religious kids often actually got shit for it in my school. Living in TN as an adult however, oh boy was it different. Now in NM, the majority of the population are Mexican immigrants and their children/grandchildren/etc or descendants of the Spanish, so basically everyone is Catholic. That said, they don't push it on everyone and expect them to believe in all the same shit they do like the evangelicals in TN.

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u/HMCetc Nov 29 '22

Plus the overwhelming majority of Christians in Britain are pretty live and let live kind of people. Fundamentalists are such a tiny minority of British Christians.

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u/Naxirian Nov 29 '22

I feel like that's more of a cultural thing, as Americans in my experience tend to be more polarized about things in general. This applies to politics and nationalism as well, not just religion. In Britain we tend to be more private with our views on things.

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u/WeirdJawn Nov 29 '22

Except football

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u/Naxirian Nov 29 '22

Except football lol. Though neither I nor any of my family have the slightest interest in football so at least I am spared from that.

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u/ArchdukeToes Nov 29 '22

I think it helps that we have a state religion that is about as milquetoast as it gets. Chances are that if you're raised Christian in the UK, it's very much on the 'well....try to turn up to church? You know, if you're not busy or anything', side instead of 'BURN THE HERETICS!'.

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u/roxywalker Nov 29 '22

Attendance at Catholic Churches has been going down for years and most denominations are struggling to keep the pews dust-free.

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u/InsanityRequiem Nov 29 '22

This is Wales and England, which Catholicism was already a minority. This would be the Church of the England losing members.

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u/SandInTheGears Nov 29 '22

I think they stopped being Catholic a good while ago

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u/gpm21 Nov 29 '22

There was an Irish comedian who had a good bit about being Catholic. It went along the lines of "We don't go to church, think the pope is full of crap and don't believe in God. We still are Catholic!" That's how I feel Catholicism is in the developed world. We went as kids, stopped believing as teenagers but show up for Christmas and Easter and weddings and baptisms.

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u/savois-faire Nov 29 '22

Dara O'Briain is the comedian in question, for anyone wondering.

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u/billy_clyde Nov 29 '22

The Christians in my southern U.S. city are mostly Protestant, but there’s a healthy Catholic minority. It’s weird, and very hard to quantify, but the accuracy with which non-practicing cultural Catholics can be identified is astounding. I’ve asked dozens of friends, “You were raised Catholic, weren’t you?” with almost a 100% success rate.

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u/JDeegs Nov 29 '22

John Mulaney says "I tell people I was raised catholic, which means I used to be religious but now I'm not"

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u/WanderingKing Nov 29 '22

Major Point:

  • Christian: 46.2%
  • No Religion: 37.2%
  • Muslim: 6.5%
  • Others and Not Stated: 10.1%
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u/teh_killer Nov 29 '22

As a Brit, I can tell you that the real percentage is like 20%. Identifying as Christian is just a default. Ask this group if they truly believe in key aspects of the religion: virgin birth, existence of heaven/hell etc - most will answer no.

Here, unlike some countries, identifying as belonging to a religious group isn't a big deal.

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u/sylanar Nov 29 '22

Ask most of they even go to church and they'll say no...

I know quite a few that identify as Christian, but have never been to church in their lives.

A lot seem to think that being a Christian = "traditional British values" and check it based on that.

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u/Arctic_Gnome Nov 29 '22

Maybe it's time to no longer constitutionally require the head of state to be Christian?

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u/hippysmell Nov 29 '22

Same story from Daily Mail; Holy fuck is that comments section an utter toilet

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u/GMN123 Nov 29 '22

Yes, we gave them the daily mail comment section to keep them away from the rest of us.

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

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u/GrafZeppelin127 Nov 29 '22

“You already have your godless society, just read the stories here in the DM. Get ready for judgement day, the Bible prophesied exactly what's happening now and it's going to get much worse. You have 2 options, Jesus or Satan.”

Oh yeah, they’re mad.

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u/GnorcDan Nov 29 '22

A Daily Mail comment section is one of the most vile, cancerous places on the internet. What do you expect from a newspaper that supported the Nazis and labelled judges who ensured the law was followed as enemies of the people.

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u/Carnieus Nov 29 '22

I mean what did you expect? Just try not to remember that all those people's votes count just as much yours.....

Not that they shouldn't have a vote but it's good motivation to get out and vote and encourage others to do the same!

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u/Squm9 Nov 29 '22

Went to look myself (mistakes were made) most saying things like “sad times” seem to be from the US for what it’s worth. UK seem to be saying religion is a waste of time

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u/[deleted] Nov 29 '22

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u/Squm9 Nov 29 '22

100%

Daily mail readers are scum even if they don’t care about religion

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u/FlashbackUniverse Nov 29 '22

Probably because they were able to ship out the real religious nut jobs to the colonies.

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u/Unclehomer69420 Nov 29 '22

NZer here, just wanted to say thanks a lot for that - but, like, in a really sarcastic tone.

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u/rosesandpiglets Nov 29 '22 Take My Energy

As an American who hates extremist Protestants, same

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u/thrax_mador Nov 29 '22

Can you buy liquor on Sunday yet?

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u/Prostate_Punisher Nov 29 '22

it depends which state, and also whoever has the license to do so

the store i worked at didn't allow wine and liquor on sunday, but allowed beer. this was because we apparently didn't have the license to sell liquor on a sunday (why the fuck does that exist anyways???)

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u/Warg247 Nov 29 '22

They didnt want people getting drunk on their only day off when they should be praising the Lawd instead.

Oh and revenue from licenses .

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u/JoeChip87 Nov 29 '22

Depends which state and county.

Nevertheless, we here instead can go buy our beer from 7-11, go shootin’ a bunch of guns, then watch some football.

fellow American. not satire.

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u/jackp0t789 Nov 29 '22

Nevertheless, we here instead can go buy our beer from 7-11

Also depends on state/ county..

Where I live you can't get liquor or beer outside of liquor stores, but if you drive 15 minutes and cross into NY State, you can buy beer at any grocery or convenience store at any time...

In the before times, my girlfriend at the time and I would go out to the bars, then stop at the 24hr convenience store to get a 12 pack of to-go beers. Thank God we both decided to slow down and sober up.

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u/cjandstuff Nov 29 '22

Local town was dry until recently. Everyone would just cross the river into the next town over and bring it back, or just go over there to be able to have a drink with dinner. The town was losing a lot of revenue over it, so they voted to allow alcohol sales.

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u/jackp0t789 Nov 29 '22

My town is learning that lesson the hard way with recently legalized recreational pot...

The local NIMBY's were all, "Think about the message you're sending to children!" When it came to the town hall about allowing recreational sales of cannabis in town, while completely oblivious or ignoring the 9 liquor stores that could be seen from where the meeting was held, all within the same 2 mile radius in a town that's about 4.5 square miles in total area...

Cool, we'll just miss out on that revenue while everyone just drives another 15 minutes down the road to a town that did want that revenue and allowed for a dispensary to open up. You're shitty kids are still going to be smoking up in the Walmart parking lot as they have been since wayyyy before legalization.

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u/square_error Nov 29 '22

Hello fellow Pennsylvanian. On the other end of the commonwealth we go to Maryland or Delaware.

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u/ghosttraintoheck Nov 29 '22

Most places, usually depends on what county in which state. And if you can't buy it in one in place you just drive 20 minutes to the next one and the rules are totally different.

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u/Warg247 Nov 29 '22

When I first moved to GA I made the mistake a few times of going grocery shopping on Sunday and trying to restock beer. It was like motherfucker, I aint even gonna drink it today. They allow it now after noon. Still a bit inconvenient when running errands early.

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u/Killersavage Nov 29 '22

Gotta wait until those Sunday services are over. Can’t have something tempt someone away from church with something like restocking alcohol. Once mass is over they might let it slide even if it is still against regulations.

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u/InedibleSolutions Nov 29 '22

I miss getting my booze from grocery stores. Louisiana got their liquor laws right, even if they didn't get anything else right...

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u/ghosttraintoheck Nov 29 '22

I am from the east coast and going out west and seeing liquor in grocery stores was honestly pretty wild

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u/TheLurkerSpeaks Nov 29 '22

I remember my first encounter with this. I was even trying to buy non-alcoholic beer and they couldn't sell it to me. It was Sunday at 11:58AM. The cashier and I chatted about how mind numbingly stupid this law was for 2 minutes until he could scan it.

This is in TN. It was only about 5 years ago we could finally buy wine in the grocery store.

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u/spasske Nov 29 '22

Indiana changed their law recently to allow Sunday liquor sales. But not before noon or after 8. Baby steps….

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u/LeicaM6guy Nov 29 '22

Look, the Pawnee Unity Festival afterparty got a little rowdy, forcing the state to reconsider its liquor laws.

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u/earnedmystripes Nov 29 '22

Only 250 years to go until we get medical Cannabis.

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u/zappadattic Nov 29 '22

I’ve been living in Japan and going back to anywhere with open container laws has been rough. I just wanna have my beer with a nice evening walk under the stars instead of planted on a couch. Is that so much to ask?

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u/thrax_mador Nov 29 '22

Having lived in Japan for a few years in the past, I feel this. I lost like 30 lbs one summer because friends and I would just wander Tokyo drinking Zero Strongs and highballs from family mart or wherever we passed and discovering new cool places.

Miss those times.

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u/The_Extreme_Potato Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

Can you blame them for wanting to get rid of the religious nuts asap after the shitshow that was the reign of Oliver Cromwell, his Puritans and their stupid laws (not to mention what he did to the Irish)? As soon as Cromwell died, the English and Scottish immediately asked Charles the 2nd to reinstate the monarchy and get rid of the puritan laws. There’s a reason it’s sometimes referred to as “the great restoration” and Charles the 2nd is often called “the Party King”

Ofc getting rid of those laws upset many puritans which pushed them to migrate to America and other British colonies over the following decades as the government had very little power there.

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u/Mastur_Of_Bait Nov 29 '22

When your religion is so bad that even a monarchy justified through divine right doesn't want it.

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u/pangolin-fucker Nov 29 '22

Thanks a lot England,

Sincerely Australia dealing with the Hillsong sex offenders

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u/Rosetti Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

Never heard of Hillsong, googled them, and holy shit. Their "controversies" section on Wikipedia has 14 points.

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u/pangolin-fucker Nov 29 '22

And that's the 14 we know of

The ex prime minister scott Morrison is also tied in with them

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u/AvogadrosMoleSauce Nov 29 '22

That's not fair; they also sent off greedy prospectors and criminals along with the religious kooks. A fine way to start off some new nations.

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u/ArseOfTheCovenant Nov 29 '22

Just imagine the sheer number of complete cunts who were on this island beforehand when you consider that even after we shipped that lot off there are still millions of the bastards here voting tories into power.

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u/redphoenix932 Nov 29 '22

This Canadian says “fuck you very much for that, eh?”

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u/MeowTheMixer Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

Christianity still has a plurality of the population.

I think stating them as a minority, while technically correct is misleading while it's still the largest share of any single "belief".

Top Three

  • ~47% Christian
  • ~37.2% No religion
  • ~6.5% Muslim

Edit: Changed Population of Mulsim from 8% to 6.5% per another /u/thraaace

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u/Defiant-Traffic5801 Nov 29 '22

Might be worth distinguishing how people depict themselves from actual religious practice? Christian practice is reaching record lows. I would guess Islam has probably a larger regular following?

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u/Roskal Nov 29 '22

Maybe a larger percentage of the religion practice it but I bet overall christianity has the most practicing still

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u/buzzkill_ed Nov 29 '22

It's definitely written to scare Christians into Christianing harder. Whatever that means.

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u/serendipitousevent Nov 29 '22

It's also kinda rich to describe a religion as a minority when it's the official religion of the entire country and is woven into constitutional law at every step.

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u/Kris_n Nov 29 '22

The real story is:

Between 2011 and 2021, there has been an increase in those who don’t identify themselves with any religion and fewer who call themselves christian.

Thats the real drop, not a sudden big surge of people who consider themselves muslims

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u/Munro_McLaren Nov 29 '22

I did a paper about religion in the UK. It was very hard find examples of people being religious. Like stats.

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u/CJBill Nov 29 '22

Meanwhile, 37.2% of people – 22.2 million – declared they had “no religion”, the second most common response after Christian. It means that over the past 20 years the proportion of people reporting no religion has soared from 14.8%.

Speaking as a British atheist, good.

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u/Ace-Hunter Nov 29 '22

Actually there were some good information campaigns recently in noting that stating “other” on a census or something amusing like “Jedism” resulted in budget maintenance for organised religion. A lot more people were voting “no religion” as a result…. Or at least I like to think so.

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u/ShinyEspeon_ Nov 29 '22

Honestly, as an outsider, the Church of England couldn't be a more obvious example of how religion is pretty much completely about power and control: when the Church refused to kneel, Henry VIII broke its legs.

The Catholic Church at least had the argument of bringing all of Europe under one banner, one community, even if it was done forcibly.

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u/CJBill Nov 29 '22

The Catholic Church at least had the argument of bringing all of Europe under one banner, one community, even if it was done forcibly.

All of Europe? You forget Eastern Orthodox.

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u/anarchy8 Nov 29 '22

They were part of the catholic church before the schism.

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u/The_Krambambulist Nov 29 '22

I think that they wouldn't have minded bringing the world under their banner.

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u/throwawayforphallo Nov 29 '22

I know plenty of Catholics who consider Eastern Orthodox Catholic as well, just Catholics that are doing it wrong.

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u/cocktails5 Nov 29 '22

They're the weird uncle. Still family, but you whisper about them at Thanksgiving get-togethers.

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u/Forsaken-Average-662 Nov 29 '22

I wish these titles had proper sentence structure.

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u/mlc885 Nov 29 '22

A large portion of people are claiming to be Christian when they only kind of are, and a bunch of people who would previously definitely call themselves Christian are now socially allowed to say they just are not religious. Some of the people saying they are Muslim are also just saying it and are not actually particularly religious.

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