New polling has revealed that church membership is at an all-time low in America.
50% of Americans described themselves as members of a religious congregation in response to questioning from Gallup. The survey didn’t specify if individuals were members of Christian churches, including those who were members of synagogues, mosques and other religious organizations.
Although having half of its population connected to religious groups is high compared to other First World nations, the share of the United States’ population that has been members of church groups has declined significantly.
Similar polling in 1998 found that 70% of Americans belonged to churches and other groups, revealing a 20% decline in just as many years.
Gallup’s surveying revealed the biggest decline in institutional church membership among Catholics. 63% of Catholics described themselves as church members in 2016, compared to 76% in 1998.
Such a decline may be a sign of Catholicism in America experiencing similar demographic changes to mainline Protestantism, which lost a great deal of its practitioners to Evangelical Christianity and irreligion since 1990.
The polling implies that significant portions of self-described Christians and Catholics are willing to identify themselves with their religion without affiliating with an institutional church group.
This could be a sign that organized Christianity is facing a loss of credibility among Americans, likely in part due to a seemingly endless Catholic clergy pedophile scandals.
City of Denver Unanimously Votes to Rename Columbus Park “La Raza Park”
There might come a time when nothing in the US is named after Christopher Columbus.
The Denver City Council unanimously voted to rename Columbus Park last week Monday, and now it will be named “La Raza Park.”
“La raza” is Spanish for “the race,” which has connotations with Latino identity politics. A Denver Post article tells us that the phrase “viva la raza” (long live the race) was the “rallying cry of the Chicano movement in the 1960s and ’70s.” The Chicano Movement encouraged Mexican ethnic and cultural solidarity with a particular emphasis on their indigenous heritage. The movement, however, rejected assimilation and thus the term “Mexican-American,” essentially branding themselves as the Hispanic version of the Black Power movement.
Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval claims that the unanimous vote was an act of officially naming a park that has “always” been unofficially called by its new name. “La raza is a word of unity and about celebrating community,” she said without a hint of irony.
The reason for officially renaming the park is about what you’d expect, namely because Christopher Columbus is irredeemably associated with colonialism and genocide and is thus not fit to be honored in any way, shape, or form.
Arturo Gonzalez, a retired professor, said that “Mexican Chicanos and Indigenous peoples have suffered genocide over the last 500 years. We live with that trauma. We continue to live with that trauma.”
Renaming parks, buildings, and schools that were previously named after so-called “problematic” or “white supremacist” historical figures is nothing new, of course, but the practice has accelerated over the past several months due to the hysteria following the George Floyd riots.
Big League Politics has covered many instances of this phenomenon. One of the most recent instances included a San Francisco school district renaming Abraham Lincoln High School because black lives apparently “didn’t matter” to him:
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