Christianity Becomes an African Religion, Islam Overtakes Christianity, and Other Upcoming Changes

Christianity Becomes an African Religion, Islam Overtakes Christianity, and Other Upcoming Changes June 3, 2019

A few years ago, the Pew Research Center published a thorough and intriguing international study of religion, “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050.” Dwight Longenecker, a Catholic blogger here at Patheos, gloated about the conclusions in “The Facts: Atheism is Dying Out.”

Atheist “intellectuals” speak disparagingly about religion and predict that mankind is on the cusp of a new age in which religion will simply disappear as science, technology and reason are in the ascendant.

The facts indicate exactly the opposite. It is religion which continues to grow around the world while the statistics indicate that agnosticism and atheism are dying out.

In journalism, that’s called “burying the lede.” No, that’s not really the story. Let’s explore in more detail how religion will change by 2050.

Christianity has been the 800-pound gorilla on the world stage, but Christianity is losing its edge. In 30 years, Christianity is expected to be only negligibly larger than Islam, with 31.4% of world population vs. 29.7% for Islam, and Islam is projected to be the number one religion by 2070.

Changes in Christianity

Christianity will increasingly become an African religion. Africa is already the largest Christian continent, with slightly more Christians than North America. But by 2050, Africa will have more than twice North America’s Christian population (1.12 billion vs. 516 million).

By 2050, North and South America will increase their Christian populations slightly—about the same as population growth for South America and substantially less than population growth for North America. And Christians in Europe will drop from 75% to 60%.

This global spread of Christianity can be seen visually on a map showing the changes in Christianity’s center of gravity over time. In 33 CE, the center of gravity began in Palestine. Over the centuries, it moved through Asia Minor and Greece, then gradually westward as Christianity spread through Western Europe. By 1700, it was in northeast Italy, by 1800 in northwest Italy, and by 1900 (with the rise in the Christian population of the Americas) in Spain. By 1970, it had moved dramatically south and was in northwest Africa. Today, it’s roughly centered on Timbuktu, Mali, and it’s expected to continue moving southeast into Africa.

The ancient city of Timbuktu is often used to suggest an impossibly remote place. Western Christians may find this metaphor relevant as world Christianity becomes increasingly foreign.

We’ve gotten a taste of this new global, not-necessarily-Western Christianity with the recent changes within the United Methodist Church. The conservative faction, aided by the disproportionately conservative congregations in Africa, imposed an anti-gay agenda that threatens to split the church. Yes, global Christianity is increasing, but will American Christians like how that affects their church?

Changes in Islam

The Muslim fraction of Europe will almost double by 2050 to 8.7%. Islam in North America will continue to be tiny, with 2% of the population.

In Africa, however, Islam will more than double to 960 million. The big winner will be Asia, with 1.74 billion Muslims in 2050. The top four Muslim states will be India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

Changes in Unaffiliated

The number of people unaffiliated with any religion (the “Nones,” which includes atheists) will increase, but as a percentage of the global population, this group will decrease, from 16% to 13%.  This is the statistic that Longenecker was gleeful about.

But there’s more to the story. For most religious groups, the difference between those switching in (adopting the religion) roughly matches those switching out. Christianity, however, is the big loser here, with a net loss of 66 million by 2050. The Unaffiliated will see a net increase of about the same amount. Christianity may not be that sticky a meme after all.

Changes in the United States

Christians sometimes scold me for focusing almost exclusively on Christianity. If I’m going to attack anything, these Christians want me to attack Islam. But the focus of this blog is on Christianity in the U.S. That’s why, for me, the story is the percentage increase of Nones in the U.S., not the percentage decrease in the world. (In the same way that the U.S. lagged Europe’s shaking off of Christianity, the world as a whole may, in its turn, follow this trend.)

Consider projected changes in Christianity vs. Unaffiliated (Nones) in the United States.

Graphic copyright 2015, Pew Research Center. Permission to reprint graphic provided by Pew Research Center.

Unlike changes in worldwide statistics, Christianity in the U.S. is the big loser (78% to 66%) and Unaffiliated the big winner (16% to 26%). That is, the Unaffiliated category is now winning the only race that one can be proud of winning, the intellectual debate in the marketplace of ideas.

While Christianity can win a demographic race as long as Christians make more babies, movement by intellectual migration does not favor Christianity.

Concluded in part 2.

“I don’t understand how you don’t believe in God.”
Well, you know how you don’t believe in Zeus?
Like that.
— Ricky Gervais

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 5/11/15.)

Image from Wikimedia, CC license

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Lex Lata

    1. Good discussion of the data and trends, Bob, except that you failed to take into account the return of Jesus any day, now. But so did the secular progressives at Pew, so that’s not solely your fault. 🙂

    2. “Atheist ‘intellectuals’ speak disparagingly about religion and predict that mankind is on the cusp of a new age in which religion will simply disappear as science, technology and reason are in the ascendant.”

    What? Talk about a strawman. I can’t think of a single atheist writer or speaker who’s predicted anything of the sort. Some may have certain hopes roughly along those lines, but categorical predictions? Absurd.

    • I’ve seen comments along that line historically. Voltaire (though he was a deist) thought the Bible a century from his time would not be used anymore from what I recall. More recently though I don’t know that anyone’s made such a prediction.

      • Lex Lata

        Interesting. And I recall Jefferson predicting that Unitarianism would become the biggest denomination throughout the U.S. in fairly short order. Perhaps the energetic religious heterodoxy of the Enlightenment sometimes entailed an overly optimistic vision of Christian orthodoxy in decline.

        • I didn’t know that, but it seems many did yes.

        • I think of the Unitarian-Universalist church today as being very liberal/progressive, but I wonder what the Unitarian church was like in its early days. Perhaps it’s mellowed.

        • Lex Lata

          Given that even atheists and pagans are welcome at most UU congregations with which I’m familiar, I’d say yes, some mellowing has occurred.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Well, they filtered out original sin, predestination, and scriptural inerrancy early enough to get a better shot at relaxed earthly lives …

        • Ignorant Amos

          They have shifted away from the concept of eternal damnation in Hell for eternity too afaicr.

  • abb3w

    I think the Pew extrapolation seems quite conservative — probably linear. The rise of the Nones (from the GSS data) appears to be on a logistic curve relative to cohort with circa a 28 year time constant and 2007 midpoint; if it holds to that trend, by 2050 the number of unaffiliated in the US would be likely somewhere near the 50% mark — about twice the Pew extrapolation.

    Of course, there’s a lot that may happen between now and then.

    • Aloha

      I always trace the crises that promote leaving faith:
      — Catholic sex scandal
      — Evangelical anti-gay scandal
      — Pentecostal money-abuse scandal

      Now we see these scandals just growing and growing and overlapping. We can add to all these the Trump scandal (Christians supporting a horrible government). I do expect to see the rate of dis-affiliation continue to rise.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Well, assuming it to be linear is generally a safe assumption when one wishes (I certainly do) that the slope of the line was increasing.

      • abb3w

        They may be proximate triggers for some individuals, but seem unlikely to be the root cause. The beginnings of the logistic trend in the demographic cohort data seems detectable in the GSS data as far back as the 1974 survey — predating all those.

  • Also, affiliation doesn’t necessarily mean acritic agreement with one’s label: it’s possible we are going to witness an ever-growing rift among more and more distant “Christianities” (arguing more and more bitterly over LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, euthanasia), “Islams” (moderates vs fundamentalists), etc.

    • Already many are Christians “on paper” or culturally only.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Good News!

        😉

  • Brian Curtis

    Long-term, we may need to address the reasons and causes for Christianity’s fading so we can encourage the same trends regarding Islam.

    • There may not be reasons that are generically applicable to Christianity, let alone transferrable to Islam, because it varies so much between denominations and countries. Just as North Americans who leave the Roman Catholic Church may have different reasons than Lutherans in Germany Muslims in Iran will respond to different things compared to Muslims in Indonesia, because the cultures and sects are different.

    • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

      they are completely opposite in approach and practice

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Nonsense.

        Pull the other leg…it has bells on it.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          Oh look, a Frenchman in the middle of Mercia. Gonna throw some more cows at me, mate?

          And yes, they are the complete opposite, idiot. Would you like me to elaborate or are you just going to throw some British balderdash phrases and put your fingers in your ears?

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          at a guess i think he would like you to substantiate your claim that they are complete opposites with some evidence or argumentation, rather than bluster and name calling.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Go ahead, elaborate.

          I don’t believe you *can*, if you’re going to be accurate, precise, and fact-based.

        • But he’s great at insulting, if you’re in the market for a bit of that.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Really?

          He must be new to it…I hadn’t noticed

          😉

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye, but that’s really easy…even I can do a better job of it than that dopey Dime Bar ffs.

        • al kimeea

          beat me to it and you’re not likely to get a reply, you big meanie

      • Brian Curtis

        How so?

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          well, for starters – Islam is fanatical and ritualistic. It mandates daily rituals up to 5-6x a day, while no rituals are mandated for Christianity, with most Christians going to a church once a week. Islam is much more ‘government’ like with its own mandates taxes (jizya and zakat), and emphasis groupthink; wile Christianity is not about organized theocrazy or heirarchy and are instead a personal relationship, given every human has autonomy. Islam is a fanatical extreme version of Judaism (and doubles down on the problems that Deut and Lev dated for themselves), but Christianity is merely the Golden Rule. That’s it. Plus Islam is the only religion on the entire planet stupid enough (because Mo-Mo wasn’t that bright) to claim God wrote their book in first person format.

        • no rituals are mandated for Christianity

          What about Communion?

          Christianity is merely the Golden Rule. That’s it.

          I think “Don’t wind up in hell” is a factor as well.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          What about Communion

          Um. Hi! Did you know that’s called Catholicism?

          And where is “Don’t wind up in hell” in the Bible? Hell isn’t even mentioned in the Bible. There is talk of fire, but only Catholicism (namely theologian Dante Alighieri) and Islam go into expansion on the notion of a realm of hell and demons and eternal punishment. The Jewish Talmud (which isn’t the Torah; and came after Christianity) also expands on lore of angels and demons, but again none of that is in the Gospel. The Gospel literally means “the Good News” for a reason.

        • Um. Hi! Did you know that’s called Catholicism?

          1+ billion Catholics call themselves Christian.

          And where is “Don’t wind up in hell” in the Bible? Hell isn’t even mentioned in the Bible. There is talk of fire

          You are correct. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus comes to mind. Perhaps we can just call the place where the rich man wound up “the bad place.”

          only Catholicism (namely theologian Dante Alighieri) and Islam go into expansion on the notion of a realm of hell and demons and eternal punishment.

          Jonathan Edwards’ fun “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” talked about the bad place. He was a Protestant.

          The Gospel literally means “the Good News” for a reason.

          The carrot comes with a stick. Don’t forget the parable of the sheep and goats.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          Catholicism is a sect OF Christianity and established its OWN rituals. If Christianity is 1, Catholicim is 1a. 1 doesn’t proscribe rituals, 1a does. Get it now?

          ‘The bad place’ could just as easily be Gehenna. Let me also stress again that was a parable.

          John Edwards who? A human?

          As for carrots and sticks, I guess you just stay in bed all day. You do realize everything has incentives, right?

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          Christianity is the blanket name for all people who accept the risen Christ as their lord and savior, Catholics are indeed a sect, as is what ever flavor you subscribe to, you are all Christians, you just have different opinions on the source material and requirements.

          It’s like all people that play 3rd Ed D&D are D&D players however the way they play is very different to the D&D players who play 4th ED, They don’t get to claim that players of different editions are not players of D&D. They might not agree with the changes, and think their version is better but that is beside the point.

          Now i know you don’t like this, as it shoots massive holes in your arguments but that really is an internal problem for Christians to solve, once you have worked out which version of your god is the right one come and tell us. Shouldn’t take much more than another couple of millennia should it?

        • epeeist

          Um. Hi! Did you know that’s called Catholicism?

          Shows how much you know, here is a picture from the Anglican cathedral in Canterbury

          https://static.canterbury-cathedral.org/cathedral/main/center/2016/09/Canon-CI-HC.jpg

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias
        • epeeist

          Irrelevant, the Cathedral is Anglican and Anglicans take communion. This being so your claim that communion is Catholicism is false.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          Okeydokey, derpy daddy. I’d continue, but I forget there’s a tyrant hiding in the rafters around here. This could have been so much fun to pounce on. I had to actually stop myself.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          in short tho, you’re totally conflating a lot there, especially using an example of ONE SPECIFIC LOCATION simply continuing the CULTURAL TRADITION of that ONE SPECIFIC LOCATION that was established BY CATHOLICISM. It is not backed up by the Gospel, as they Gospel’s witnesses said there shall be no rituals. As for ‘Church of England’, they sound like they’re right next door to the Unitarians.

        • epeeist

          in short tho, you’re totally conflating a lot there, especially using an example of ONE SPECIFIC LOCATION

          Let’s do some basic logic here. You claimed that communion was synonymous with Catholicism, in which case all I needed to do was show one counter-example in order to falsify your claim. This I have done.

          Now the example I used was from a cathedral built before the English reformation, at which time all existing churches would have been Catholic. I could of course used an example from Church of England churches built after the reformation, these would never have been Catholic. For example my local parish church was built in 1832 and has the following on its web site:

          Sunday
          Morning Worship

          This is a small, friendly, worshipping community whose service alternates between Morning Prayer and Holy Communion using Common Worship.

          In other words, your claim is shown, once again to be false.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          I suspect that Ilpalazzo may be logic proof, logic resistant at the very least

        • epeeist

          *Sigh*, they usually are aren’t they.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          He seems an interesting fellow in a lot of ways, claims to not be a christian, just thinks they are the best choice as a glue to hold society together, and clearly has a massive problem with muslims. If you can be bothered have a scroll down his comments, they are truly fascinating.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Ilpalazzo is a Liar for Jebus™…if I were betting.

        • Surely not! Next you’ll be saying that skl is one, too.

        • Surely not. I sense that he’s the kind of guy who seeks the truth and would be happy to say “I was wrong; thanks for correcting me.”

          /s

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          i completely agree, i am not winking, i simply have something in my eye

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          May I borrow a couple truckloads of that for the south forty, plz?

          😉

        • Ignorant Amos

          I thought that the Christian ritual of communion aka the Eucharist, predated Christianity. Wasn’t it the ritual instigated by the apostle Paul in a Jewish sect and then adopted by later Jews of that sect that eventually became Christians…centuries prior to Catholicism?

          I think what we have here in this one is an L1A1 moonbeam.

        • epeeist

          I thought that the Christian ritual of communion aka the Eucharist, predated Christianity.

          You have the better of me there. I have only come across it in association with Christianity.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, technically the earliest partakers in the ritual were known as a Jewish sect of Christ Followers. They were Jews.

          http://www.votf.org/Prayerful_Voice/Eucharist-Origins.pdf

          These Jews, along with the later Gentile followers. became the Christians. Catholicism came much later again.

          But there is enough reason to think that if the ritual was originally Pauline, he adopted and adapted it from earlier Pagan rituals of bread and wine. Possibly Mithraism, which was very popular at the time and earlier, as practiced by the Cilician pirates of Asia Minor, not a stones throw away from Tarsus.

          According to Plutarch, the Cilician pirates were the first to celebrate the mysteries of Mithras. When some of these were resettled in Apulia by Pompey, they might have brought the religion with them, thus sowing the seeds of what would in the latter part of the 1st century AD blossom into Roman Mithraism.

          And we all know who is alleged to have came from there?

          Typically, the Mithraic meeting place was a medium-sized room, furnished with solid platforms on the longer walls. On these ‘side-benches’ the initiates reclined for the cult meal, which was their principal ceremony.

          This cult meal was both an actual feast and a ritual memorial, unlike the Christian eucharist which developed solely into a sacramental ritual. In the Eucharistic sacrament, Christians memorialise Christ’s self-sacrifice by partaking of Christ’s body and blood in the form of bread and wine.

          The Mithraists in their cult meal memorialised the feast which Mithras and the Sun shared as they reclined on the hide of the bull sacrificed by Mithras in the sacred story. One needs only add, because of rampant misinformation, that the actual killing of a bull played no part in Mithraic ritual.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/paganshadowchrist_article_01.shtml

          Or it is all just a big coincidence that the various mystery cults competing at the time developed their various ritual meals independently.

        • Pofarmer

          My understanding is that bread and wine rituals were pretty common in ancient Rome. It also has a lot in common with the Jewish passover meal.

        • NS Alito
        • So much for your promise to piss off.

          I fear that your intelligence won’t get the pedestal it deserves here.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You seem to be claiming color photography existed in 1867?

          Or just being a snarky failing-attempt-to-be-wise acre?

        • NS Alito

          And where is “Don’t wind up in hell” in the Bible?

          The actual contents of the Bible has very little to do with most modern Christians. They don’t know what the “Sin of Sodom” is, they pray in public, they embrace the “Ten Commandments” that they can’t list while ignoring the vast majority of OT laws, they think many Shakespeare quotes and cultural adages are Biblical verses, and they don’t know how the Bible was contructed.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Also baptism & last rites?

          Prayer?

        • Exorcisms? Weddings?

        • epeeist

          Christianity is merely the Golden Rule.

          Golden Rule you say? The Golden Rule that is present in, for example Brahmanism (“This is the sum of Dharma: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you”) or Buddhism (“Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful”) or Taoism (“Regard your neighbour’s gain as your gain, and your neighbour’s loss as your own loss.”).

          Does it even require religion? Socrates is recorded as saying, “Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you.” and Epictetus “What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others.” as well as the Stoic Seneca, “Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your superiors”.

          Why do we need Christianity if the Golden Rule is so prevalent?

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          I love this argument where people seem to confuse that the central tenant of Christianity being the Golden Rule with the idea that Christianity ‘created’ the Golden Rule. You mention Brahmanism, and Buddhism also having the Golden Rule, but does Brahmanism and Buddhism not have other components?
          As for ‘require religion’, that depends on what ‘religion’ means, as you’re kinda hinting that ‘religion = ritual’, instead of ‘religion = belief beyond what can be seen’. So tell me, have you ever heard of the religion of GodenRulism? Me neither.
          Nonetheless, it is a central, if not primary, tenant of Christianity. And I’ve never advocated the ‘need’ for Christianity, so that’s an irrelevant if not rhetorical question to ask me. The ‘need’ is moreso understanding of what Christianity teaches, instead of the usual conflation of ‘all abrahamic religions are the same’, whether that means giving Islam a pass based on Christianity, or misidentifying Christianity’s doctrine based on Judaism’s doctrine or more specifically Catholicism’s interpretation of the Gospel.

        • epeeist

          I love this argument where people seem to confuse that the central tenant (sic) of Christianity being the Golden Rule with the idea that Christianity ‘created’ the Golden Rule.

          It was you who asserted “Christianity is merely the Golden Rule.” I never said that it was a creation of Christianity.

          You mention Brahmanism, and Buddhism also having the Golden Rule, but does Brahmanism and Buddhism not have other components?

          Christianity has other components? In which case it cannot be merely the Golden Rule can it?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Central tenet, it isn’t even in the top 12 for many Christians.

          1. Jesus Christ is the Only Way To Eternal Salvation With God the Father
          2. We Are Saved by Grace Through Faith – Not by Works
          3. Jesus Christ is the Son of God
          4. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ
          5. Resurrection of Jesus Christ
          6. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
          7. The Doctrine of the Trinity
          8. The Holy Bible is the Inspired and Infallible Word of God
          9. Baptized With the Holy Spirit at Salvation
          10. Renewed – Regenerated By Holy Spirit
          11. The Doctrine of Hell
          12. The Return of Jesus

          According to Paul, the truth of the Resurrection is the central tenet of Christianity. No Resurrection, no Christianity.

          And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:17

        • This is a helpful angle. Another approach is to look at the faith statements of Answers in Genesis, Christian colleges and seminaries, Christian podcasters and ministries, etc. These would be brief distillations of the key points. I don’t remember the Golden Rule being in any that I’ve seen.

          Seems to me that “turn or burn” is a lot more central.

        • Communion is a major ritual, and others are often added too.

          Many Christian churches have a hierarchies, and theocracy is also not unknown.

          There’s far more to Christian beliefs than the Golden Rule.

        • Pofarmer

          If Christianity were actually the Golden rule, most people wouldn’t have a problem with it, now would they?

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          Half would. Half wouldn’t. That’s how the world works.

      • Raging Bee

        They both look almost exactly the same to the people they both hate.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          you mean they look identical to a rabid village idiot, like yourself.

        • Jennny
        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias
        • Kit Hadley-Day

          set dressing is irrelevant, both are highly authoritarian, rely on magical thinking and make promises that cannot be substantiated. so to anyone not motivated to find differences, in order to try and prove that one is bad and the other good, they are both look the same (both bad).

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          waitaminute, O wild Oscar!

          “next your going to be telling us that Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship with a sky wizard.”

          Is… this what is known as… projection?

          “rely on magical thinking and make promises that cannot be substantiated”
          ” it’s a relationship with a sky wizard”

          *YOU’RE* going to be telling us that?

          Goodbye, good luck and may the good lord take a likin to ya, because I’m not going to be sniped by Lee Harvey with this conversation in his sights.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          Is their a point somewhere in this post? Do i need to add ‘projection’ to the words that you either do not understand or have redefined? As to the rest it appears to be at best a half thought, not sure what the whole would look like.

          ‘because I’m not going to be sniped by Lee Harvey with this conversation in his sights.’ I am intrigued by what you mean by this, i guess you are referring to the the assassination of president Kennedy but i have no idea what you are attempting to allude to.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          atchway 4 odsmay 0_0”

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          I will take that as a no then

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias
        • Kit Hadley-Day

          I rarely see pig latin in written form particularly mixed up with phone speak, seems a weird way to attempt to communicate, however as you are still not making any discernible point the answer would appear to still be no

        • Michael Neville

          Et Latine vehementer suspicor enim superior est quantum ad tua.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          illay owslay?

        • Michael Neville

          Sorry, you ignorant twit, I was writing in real Latin, not pig latin.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          No shit you elitist jackass. I was mocking your “derpy derp! Lookit mah REEL latin!”.
          Here let me reiterate “Sorry, you ignorant twit, I was writing in Pig Latin, not real Latin.”

        • Daddy gets an early Christmas present today.

        • Greg G.

          Was it a new 8-Ball?

        • Michael Neville

          I see, you’re ignorant regarding Latin and somehow that’s my fault. Not impressed by your feeble attempt at trolling.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          your actual Latin was irrelevant. As was your proud display.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          >”feeble attempt at trolling”
          >butts into a conversation and sees Pig Latin
          >then goes to say “I strongly suspect that my Latin is far superior to yours.”
          >whines because I don’t give a flip about your superiority (aka supremacist) complex

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias
        • Greg G.

          Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias took two years of Pig Latin in high school.

        • I have it on good authority that his Ganymede book, his opus, is a Pig Latin-English dictionary. I hear it will knock the critics on their asses.

        • Greg G.

          The Ookbay of Anymedegay.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Not knocking the critics on their swine?

          😉

        • Heck, it’ll knock them onto livestock of all sorts.

          Sadly, LV-420 is in timeout, so we we’ll never get to hear more.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s a bit unfair on the ignorant. At least we have the potential to learn something. Unlike that knuckle-dragging cretinous dolt.

        • He’s referring to me. Now that it’s clear to all that he’s the only one smart enough to have figured it all out, he’s now certain that I will ban him. Because the Truth can’t get out, or something.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Sooooooo….I guess he thinks he’s Colonel Nathan Jessup, then?

          “YOU CAN’T *HANDLE* THE TRUTH!!!”

          😉

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          ahhh, that makes sense, i assume he is used to christian sites where the slightest movement out of lock step is met with the ban hammer, that explains his sniping reference, the rest still appears to be gibberish.

        • Greg G.

          I think getting banned is his goal.

        • epeeist

          And then he can move on and claim victory after declaring how nasty atheists are.

        • Greg G.

          They do that anyway.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          mart yrba ting…

        • Yeah, must be a bitch being the only one with the truth and censors like me determined to shut down the Truth.

        • Kodie

          Someone new might not realize their comment was pre-moderated by the overlords.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          Not really, thw crowd here is the “Give us Barrabas” type anyway.. I can take comfort in knowing you’ll all die horribly and painfully.

        • thw crowd here is the “Give us Barrabas” type anyway.

          One wonders why you waste your time here.

          I can take comfort in knowing you’ll all die horribly and painfully.

          Are you sure you’re not a Christian?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          So, you claim to be a ‘prophet’?

          You know what your book prescribes for *false* prophets, now don’t you…

        • Greg G.

          I would take the mythical Jesus over the mythical Barabbas any day.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          as would I

        • Susan

          I can take comfort in knowing you’ll all die horribly and painfully.

          Yay! Three cheers for your narcissistic comfort.

          You have no reason to claim that anyone (let alone all of use) will die horribly and painfully..

          But just imagining it gives you comfort. Because that’s all you’ve got.

          You can’t carry on an argument to save your life.

          Forking eyesore.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias
        • Greg G.

          Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias is behind the 8-ball and doesn’t seem to have figured it out.

        • He’s been hit into the timeout pocket.

          Now he can go tell his friends, if he has any, that his stuff was just too incandescent for us to handle.

        • Greg G.

          He made it so hot, he might have set Saturn ablaze.

        • And yet LV420 claimed to be a Zoroastrian, didn’t he? I wonder where his assurance comes from.

        • epeeist

          I can take comfort in knowing you’ll all die horribly and painfully.

          Well that didn’t take long did it. Whenever we get theists here and their assertions are going badly for them (they rarely make actual arguments) they always descend to ad baculum (that’s real Latin by the way).

        • ad baculum (that’s real Latin by the way).

          Or ad-way aculum-bay in Pig Latin Latin.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          Revealing yourself to be a sociopath is a new low.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          hey now, we all have our flaws. Never said I was perfect.

        • I will pray Eldath, Goddess of springs, pools, waterfalls, druidic groves, and peace, for you.

        • Thanks4AllTheFish

          “I can take comfort in knowing you’ll all die horribly and painfully.”

          Whatever gives you comfort and joy,…

          Help yourself to cookies before you go.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Says the privileged white man b**thurt because he’s losing his privilege and having to deal with being equal (or LESS THAN equal considering how puerile and impotent is his rage)

          Cry me a river, snowflake.

    • Kit Hadley-Day

      Sadly the simple truth is remove the need for religion, so improve general living conditions, and improve education. that is what is making religion lose it’s grip on the ‘western’ world and that is what will loosen it else where. While individuals may have many reasons for leaving, when you are looking at population trends that what is needed.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      I think islam *is* undergoing the same thing…their version of the Protestant Reformation, but in the accelerated motion dictated by the Internet Age.

  • epicurus

    From the books I’ve read on Christian history, they all pretty much agree that any growth occuring since the latter half of the 20th century has been, and will continue to be, in the southern hemisphere and of the pentecostal (and charismatic variations) variety.
    I assume this will entail less empahsis on the hair splitting presbyterian/baptist theological study and arguments, and more on personal experience and, frankly, magic (not that they won’t use the bible to push an agenda, like, say killing witches and homosexuals).

    • And especially Prosperity Gospel crap, without ignoring literalism.

    • And possibly anti-logic, as some Pentecostals think that logic is “worldly wisdom”, which is considered bad.

  • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

    eh… they say that, yet it is has been Islam ruling Africa for nearly 1000 years. Third worlders tend to follow the religion that offiers financial and community benefits. The Hispanics were fanatical about Catholicism, but now they’re becoming more and more muslim. Christianity definitely isn’t an African religion – I think in the West there’s a lot of Christians who don’t ‘come out’ given how vitriolic athiests in the West are, thinking Christians are all like Wetsboro Baptists and Christianity like Handmaid’s Tale

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      The Hispanics were fanatical about Catholicism, but now they’re becoming more and more muslim.

      I call monkeyshines. Latinos / Meso-South Americans are going more evangelical xtian, according to every survey *I’ve* seen.

      • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

        you’re not exactly coming off as more than a joke full of cliches.. ‘monkeyshines’?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I gather you missed the memo about the NewSpeak filters that Patheos is instituting?

          I have no use for being stuck in moderation.

          Also, language is both fun and delicious. If you don’t find it so, not my problem, my circus, nor my monkeys.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          hey I know all about the Disqus limbo, but you don’t see me going bananas to bypass it.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          When all you’re doing is spitting venom and pathetically attempting to malign and belittle, you don’t NEED many words.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          I actually consider it a challenge to both deliver the point in the manner i wish and avoid the censor, hooray for the adaptability of the English language. I like monkeyshines but prefer shenanigans

        • Kodie

          Not me, I have to talk to and around kids and parents quite often, so I come here to relax. It’s safer than driving.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          well that’s fair, i am not against robust use of language, but i hate going into moderation so i make a game of avoiding it.

      • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

        their ‘piety’ is higher due to the higher temperatures. Becoming ‘more evangelical’ means more ‘fanatical’, which makes it easier for them to become ‘more muslim’ since Islam is, as Voltaire called it, fanaticism. Catholicism is closer to Islam in its structure and rituals, while Christianity itself has zero rituals, and definitely does not proscribe monasticism. It’d be nice to think they’ll stay Christian south of the border, but as many westerners have fallen victim, so to will they by the dawah deceivers. I’m already seeing muslims saying how the giant Christ the Redeemer statue is a testament to Islam, for some weird reason.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          ALL authoritarian religions claim everything good for themselves, while dishonestly vilifying ANY competition whatsoever, and enforcing it with mob violence whenver they can implement such.

          Since both xtianity and islam are authoritarian (besides being abrahamic), there’s little reason for them to try to do anything else.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          oh jeez, are you really that much of a dhimmi that you’re playing along with the ‘Abrahamic’ bs that Islam made up?
          1) Christianity is not ‘authoritarian’. There is simply the Golden Rule, and has separation from government by saying “render unto Caesar that which is his”. There are no rituals, heirarchy or organized institution.
          2) Judaism is authoritarian, but not expansive. It’s doctrine is specifically for a group of people in a specific spot called Israel. Islam’s doctrine calls for global expansion and domination.
          3) Christ certainly did not villify others, as the Parable of the Good Samaritan pointed out. The only people he ‘turned away’ or ‘will turn away’ are those who claimed miracles in his name, namely the Anti-Christ/ false prophet.. which leads to

          4) ‘Abahamic Faiths’ is a made up term BY Islam in order to con itself as ‘canon’ and deceive folks like you. Y’see, Christianity didn’t ‘split’ at the time of Abraham. It is a chronological reformation and covenant, preserving Judaism’s Torah as the Old Testament. Islam doesn’t do this. In fact, it doesn’t even simply pick up at ‘Abraham’ despite it’s muddled link to Ismael of that story. Mohammed was an illiterate con artist with a sugar momma named Katja, when the money ran up he decided to claim prophethood. The Quran not only gets the previous lores mind-numbingly wrong, it goes on retcon and rewrite the ENTIRE LORE going so far as to claiming Adam was a muslim. Judaism refers to Ismael as the hand against humanity, and Christianity warns of a false prophet (particularly in conjunction with the end of Days). If you want to accept Islam as a ‘canon abrahamic faith’, then you have to realize where that means it fits in.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          ‘ Christianity is not ‘authoritarian”

          that is the singular most stupid thing i have read on this thread and it is in stiff competition from your other posts, next your going to be telling us that Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship with a sky wizard. You clearly don’t know that the word authoritarian means, go look it up and then defend that statement.

          ‘There are no rituals, heirarchy or organized institution’

          What version of Christianity are you in that there are no prayers, no priests, no mass (or group worship) and no churches? Let me predict that Scotsmen are going to march into view really soon.

          ‘Christ certainly did not villify others’

          So why do so many Christians feel it’s fine to do so. It’s almost like you don’t actually act like the hero of your book.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          >” it’s a relationship with a sky wizard”
          eh.. what? No that would a complete opposite of my stance.

          >”What version of Christianity
          Those are sects, which ARE “versions” / interpretations of Christianity. I’ve never really said humans got it right. After all, humans are inherently flawed and limited by what their senses can convey to them in a carbon-based brief existence.

          >”So why do so many Christians feel it’s fine to do so.
          That’s kinda funny, what with you talking about No True Scotsman and all.. when you’re maybe pointing at 10-20% of Christians (and that’s a generous grouping, given Westboro Baptist Church is less than 0.000001% of all Christians)

          As for *my* book? I’m certain you’ve not read the Book of Ganymede.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          So if all humans are flawed, how can you know that your flavor of Christianity is right, you are also flawed and subject to error, perhaps you are wrong about the Catholics and they have it right.

          So many (that number being more than a couple) of Christians think it is fine to be judgmental and vilify others, glad we agree, now just point out what makes them definitely wrong about their interpretation of scripture and you may have a point.

          You are correct not only have i not read the ‘Book of Ganymede’ but it would appear that the internet has not heard of it either, is it self published?

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          Can I ask you a question, just honestly. Can you read ok?

          I only ask because you started off with “your flavor of Christianity” and all..

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          ‘Can I ask you a question, just honestly. Can you read ok?’

          Thank you for asking, my reading is just fine.

          So are you not a christian then? If so I am sorry that I missed that. I just assumed that anyone making the statements you have must have a motivated reason for doing so.

          If you are not a christian why are you just regurgitating bad apologetics?

          If your reference to the ‘Book of Ganymede’ was supposed to clue me into what you believe in then I confirmed that i have not even heard of it, so perhaps a little more information might be useful.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          All solar systems are generally binary, meaning two sons. Jupiter should have been a sun, and perhaps with the increasing heat of the existing sun, it may one day ignite Jupiter. Or likely, a probe we send will explode that will cause a chain reaction. It isn’t fully developed, hence why it hasn’t been completed, and maybe never be completed.
          “Regurgitating bad apologetics”? I could easily say you are regurgitating bad arguments and lazy relativism. I defend Christianity because it literally is the simplest to coexist with, since some sort of social shared belief is foundational to long lasting socieities – but as a misanthrope I know that what goes up must come down as well. So humans are doomed to cyclical bouts of unison and conflict – with of course, conflict being the only true constant for reality.
          But as I said, my ‘book’ isn’t complete, but the true threat is Islam, and the West is in a position it was in many times before, caused by a schism within, pushed to polar extremes to where they fight each other, and while they are recovering from the wounds, in comes the Islamic hordes. I don’t want that to happen even tho it looks to be in the cards of things to come.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          ‘All solar systems are generally binary, meaning two sons. Jupiter should have been a sun, and perhaps with the increasing heat of the existing sun, it may one day ignite Jupiter. Or likely, a probe we send will explode that will cause a chain reaction. It isn’t fully developed, hence why it hasn’t been completed, and maybe never be completed. ‘

          what a fascinating statement, i mean it has precisely nothing to do with our conversation and i have no idea if it is true but fascinating all the same.

          If you think my arguments are bad then provide counter arguments, So far most of what you have said (accept the funky space theory) is stuff that i have read many times elsewhere.

          ‘I defend Christianity because it literally is the simplest to coexist with’

          if you agree with it’s tenets and you don’t think that evidence and reason are important then that may be true, but then why would you not be an adherent?

          ‘social shared belief is foundational to long lasting socieities’

          interesting point, but given all the downsides to believing in superstitions and the thought stopping required, then superstitious religion may not be the best shared social belief to hang your hat on, humanism may be a better approach.

          ‘in comes the Islamic hordes.’

          you are aware that we are no longer in the 14th century? the specter of barbarian hoards descending on civilization is not a thing in the modern world. If this is really your worry then you should want to fight against religion in all it’s forms, it’s not like the Christians are any better when given unfettered power. Even Buddhists quickly turn to brutal fascism if given the opportunity.

        • Greg G.

          I haven’t seen the cover of The Book of Ganymede so I cannot judge it by that but I would likely have a better opinion if I did. I have seen samples of the knowledge base and thought patterns of its author so I doubt the book would even be suitable as a doorstop. Saying that binary solar systems have two sons might be a tpyo but saying that the sun might ignite Jupiter shows a deep misunderstanding of combustion and fusion.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          I suspected as much, as astrophysics is not my thing i did not want to just come out and call shenanigans. I also suspect the assertion that most solar systems are binary is questionable, not least because we simple can’t see most of them, even if every one we can see (except our own) is binary we may just be in an odd clump.

        • Greg G.

          I also suspect the assertion that most solar systems are binary is questionable, not least because we simple can’t see most of them, even if every one we can see (except our own) is binary we may just be in an odd clump.

          epeeist provided a link that shows that claim is also wrong https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2019/06/christianity-becomes-an-african-religion-islam-overtakes-christianity-and-other-upcoming-changes-2/#comment-4488775690 :

          https://www.space.com/1995-astronomers-wrong-stars-single.html

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          well slap me with a wet haddock, i am surprised that someone talking with such fervor and such disdain for other could possibly have been completely wrong,

        • Greg G.

          He seems to have decided that he knew everything he needed to know so there was no need to learn anything new and that he should correct everybody who thought differently than he does.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          so your standard issue fundy then. Just with a slight weird bend to his religion.

        • epeeist

          All solar systems are generally binary, meaning two sons. (sic)

          You really do like making universal statements don’t you. And once more you are wrong.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I see a bunch of fervent but unsourced and unsupported assertions.

          Why not try to back up some of your drivel, with, say….FACTS? Or at least decent citations?

        • Michael Neville

          All solar systems are generally binary, meaning two sons. Jupiter should have been a sun, and perhaps with the increasing heat of the existing sun, it may one day ignite Jupiter. Or likely, a probe we send will explode that will cause a chain reaction. It isn’t fully developed, hence why it hasn’t been completed, and maybe never be completed.

          As they say in Wikipedia:

          https://i.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/facebook/000/001/865/wikipedian_protester.jpg

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias
        • Uh, yeah. The idea of Jupiter as not quite a star is well known. What MN was trying to get out of you, I think, was evidence for your startling claim that somehow our sun will ignite Jupiter. Or that a probe explosion could ignite Jupiter. Or that we’d deliberately send one to attempt to do so.

        • Michael Neville

          Neither of those links gives a hint that the Sun will turn Jupiter into a star nor that a probe explosion will do anything. But nice try. At least you did show that Jupiter was almost a brown dwarf, something I’ve known for years.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          /snark=ON

          Oh, heavens to pete! You KNOW that it won’t be the Sun’s radiation! It’ll be all the black obelisks from 2001 diving into Jupiter and increasing it to ignition density!

          /snark=OFF

        • Greg G.

          No, the part about all solar systems generally having two sons [sic]. You were given a link that showed that most stars are single red dwarfs and that binary stars are less likely to have stable orbits for planets. Also, cite something about something we send causing Jupiter to explode or the sun igniting Jupiter.

          That is not how things work.

        • Wronger than wrong. The estimated median fraction of binary and multiple stars is one third of the total, with very high-mass stars being much more likely to be that than low-mass ones.

          Jupiter will never ignited because “of the Sun’s increased heat”, or a “exploding probe than will cause a chain reaction”. Congratulations for this latter fail

        • Ignorant Amos

          Thanks.

          I didn’t know any of that, but a still knew the knuckle-dragging halfwit was talking a loada ballix. Still, nice to have my assumption reinforced.

        • Greg G.

          There are over 45,000 different denominations of Christianity and that number is increasing. Christianity is a foam of bubbles with each bubble thinking it represents all of Christianity, except for the ones that other bubbles are not True Christians™.

          So why do you think your bubble is the one that is right?

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          1) You’re quoting verbattim someone else’s conclusion of a study from one organization – a study whose results are, at present day “404 File Not Found”. https://gordonconwell.edu/resources/Center-for-the-Study-of-Global-Christianity.cfm

          So you just stated something as fact from one source that doesn’t even exist to back you up on it.

          2) That dispersion of many denominations is due to cultural differences. Every denomination is essentially culture of the people + devotion to Christ. Unlike the idiotic Mooslims who think each “version of the Bible” changes the content of the books (when it is simply just WHICH books contained are considered canon); each denomination isn’t about “changing” the content of the Bible, but rather their own agreed social arrangement with it. So as the other monkeys in the thread are quick to screech about “There are rituals!” they fail to comprehend yet again that the denominations are their own interpretations. But whatevs.

          3) Why do I feel like my observation is more fleshed out (note how I don’t say “right”, mr extremist?) is mainly due to the fact that the internet is now available, thus information and varying viewpoints are easier to ascertain, with libraries much more accessible. Just this conversation here would be impossible. If I were limited with just who’s around me, I’d be stuck with Little Lord Fauntleroy and his banhammer.

        • Greg G.

          1) You’re quoting verbattim someone else’s conclusion of a study from one organization – a study whose results are, at present day “404 File Not Found”. https://gordonconwell.edu/r

          So you just stated something as fact from one source that doesn’t even exist to back you up on it.

          Here’s the link:

          http://www.internationalbulletin.org/issues/2015-01/2015-01-028-johnson.pdf

          Are you taking English lessons from David Barton? He couldn’t use “verbatim” properly in a sentence but at least he spelled it correctly.

          2) That dispersion of many denominations is due to cultural differences.

          No, it isn’t. You see lots of independent churches in the same city and small towns with little cultural diversity.

          But Jesus prayed that all the believers would agree in unity that would be so impressive that the rest of the world would believe. That turned out to be the greatest prayer failure of all time.

          Why do I feel like my observation is more fleshed out

          Because you are at the bottom end of the Dunning-Kruger scale and it is obvious. You have no idea how much you don’t know and how much of what you think you know is wrong. Practically everything you say is wrong. You have shown that you are incapable of doing a reasonable internet search. You should have no hope of learning because of your arrogance impairment.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          >”You see lots of independent churches in the same city and small towns with little cultural diversity.” Looking at a MODERN map, while ignoring the cultural history and makeup

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          >”Because you are at the bottom end of the Dunning-Kruger scale and it is
          obvious. You have no idea how much you don’t know and how much of what
          you think you know is wrong”

          LOL that’s quite a projection on ya buddy, especially since we’re only basically discussing a handful of subjects, but namely Christianity and Jupiter. You are on the high end of self-righteous bullsh*t meter as well, as I’m hear talking about things and you’re instead grandstanding on a pedestal bringing up made made mythological tests, and your mythological results of a person you hardly know on that mythical scale.

          Seriously, could you project your own stubbornness even more glaringly?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Love it!

        • Ignorant Amos

          1) You’re quoting verbattim someone else’s conclusion of a study from one organization – a study whose results are, at present day “404 File Not Found”. https://gordonconwell.edu/r

          So you just stated something as fact from one source that doesn’t even exist to back you up on it.

          It’s telling that you already knew the source that you think Greg was referencing.

          Is it your assertion that the source never existed? Or the figure of 45,000+ is erroneous? Or that Greg and everyone else that witnessed the source is lying? Or that the thousands of hits on Google that cite the source, including numerous Christian websites, are lying?

          http://twelvetribes.org/articles/why-are-there-45000-denominations

          http://www.apologeticsindex.org/195-denominations

          https://theway21stcentury.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/how-many-christian-denominations-worldwide/

          Or is it that you are just a feckin’ prick? Yeah, that’ll be it, you’re just a great big massive prick.

          2) That dispersion of many denominations is due to cultural differences. Every denomination is essentially culture of the people + devotion to Christ. Unlike the idiotic Mooslims who think each “version of the Bible” changes the content of the books (when it is simply just WHICH books contained are considered canon); each denomination isn’t about “changing” the content of the Bible, but rather their own agreed social arrangement with it. So as the other monkeys in the thread are quick to screech about “There are rituals!” they fail to comprehend yet again that the denominations are their own interpretations. But whatevs.

          It must take a special kind of numb-nuts to be ass asinine as you with just the one head. Because you apparently don’t know Jackshite.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymf_UjgOJsU

          3) Why do I feel like my observation is more fleshed out (note how I don’t say “right”, mr extremist?) is mainly due to the fact that the internet is now available, thus information and varying viewpoints are easier to ascertain, with libraries much more accessible. Just this conversation here would be impossible. If I were limited with just who’s around me, I’d be stuck with Little Lord Fauntleroy and his banhammer.

          Sponiiing, spoiiiingty, spoiiiingity, spoiiiing, spoiiiing, spoiiing!!!…there goes another lorry load ffs.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          It is my own ‘book’. In essence, my response was telling you my ‘book’ is ‘my own’, essentially smacking away your determination to claim the Gospel is “my book”

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          I did not determine that the gospel was your book, If you are christian then i assume that you believe that the bible is the received word of god, it is the only place we learn about the Christ so if you don’t believe in the bible i am not sure where you are getting any of your info.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          er what? “The received word of God”.. ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Hi!

          that’s the Quran you’re referring to. That religion is known as Islam.

          (psst.. Bible is written in third person chronicle format)

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          The quran is the recording of the ‘alleged’ words of god as spoken by his ‘prophet’ Mohammed. The bible is the recording of the ‘alleged’ words of god as spoken by his ‘prophet’ Jesus. they have different literary styles but that makes no difference as to what they supposedly contain.

          If you don’t think that the bible is the received word of god, why would you trust it? it has virtually no third party authentication and contains things that are impossible (given our understanding of how reality works), if it where not a religious book it would be considered at best a historical fiction (something like the Sharp novels) at worst a flat out fantasy.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The quran is the recording of the ‘alleged’ words of god as spoken by his ‘prophet’ Mohammed.

          It’s worse than that. The Qu’ran was allegedly the spoken word of the angel Gabriel. Who got it from Allah. It’s at least third hand hearsay. Worse still, it was cobbled together in a hotch potch fashion from nothing that can be verified genuine well after Mo was toast.

          The bible is the recording of the ‘alleged’ words of god as spoken by his ‘prophet’ Jesus. they have different literary styles but that makes no difference as to what they supposedly contain.

          According to Christians, Jesus is the source of the the contents, being Yahweh incarnate, trouble is, no one that heard him wrote it down, and the eejit didn’t think it prudent to do so itself, so all we have is made up nonsense.

          If you don’t think that the bible is the received word of god, why would you trust it? it has virtually no third party authentication and contains things that are impossible (given our understanding of how reality works), if it where not a religious book it would be considered at best a historical fiction (something like the Sharp novels) at worst a flat out fantasy.

          Exactly. Is it because he is stooopid?

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          again……… no.
          the Gospel is the accounts of WITNESSES chronicling events they claim to have seen, and because there are a group of them, they are validating each others accounts.

          The Quran is suppoedly fully written book BY God, FULLY ‘transmitted’ to the angel Jibril on the first night, who would then give a new verse to Mohammed that would generally excuse whatever breaking of previously established rules he’d make up. Like when he broke his own ‘4 wives only’ rules. Even Aisha called him out as being a con artist, saying “God moves hastily to please you”.

          You ask why would anyone trust it, yet you presented that you can’t tell significant differences, yet I found significant differences, so why would I trust anything you say?

          Welcome to the human race 🙂

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          the gospels are at best 2nd hand retellings of the accounts of people who claim to have seen the events that took place, and they are not independent by any measure, they clearly crib of each other and another unknown document, hence why, outside of religion, they are not considered to have much in the way of historical value, that and all the fantasy elements they contain, from thematic, the heroes journey, all the way to outright magic.

          The quran is a like wise, at least, second order recording of the alleged stories recounted by Mohammed, non of it was recorded in his life time. So they are far more similar than they are different, unless you are motivated by something other than simple facts to assume one is better than the other, which you clearly are.

          I am not asking you to trust me, i am not making an argument from authority, and claiming that i am the authority. The question is who is right, not if we like each other. Feel free to fact check me, google is your friend.

        • Ignorant Amos

          …the Gospel is the accounts of WITNESSES chronicling events they claim to have seen,…

          Bwaaaahahaha! Ya dopey Dime Bar….two armadillo’s.

          The Quran is suppoedly fully written book BY God, FULLY ‘transmitted’ to the angel Jibril on the first night, who would then give a new verse to Mohammed that would generally excuse whatever breaking of previously established rules he’d make up. Like when he broke his own ‘4 wives only’ rules. Even Aisha called him out as being a con artist, saying “God moves hastily to please you”.

          Anno…ridiculous isn’t it? And when you get enough nous to enable you to fully understand that the reasons you think it is so ridiculous, then you just might comprehend why we all take the Christian nonsense in the same light. Perhaps then, you might be welcome to the rational thinking bit of the human race. A say might, because I think you might be too far gone for recovery from the god virus.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          the Gospel is the accounts of WITNESSES chronicling events they claim to have seen

          Unlikely, considering the amount of time that elapsed between the purported ‘events’ and when we can date the earliest fragments of xtian bible writings.

          And NOT ONE of the ‘gospels’ is even claimed, by any reputable scholar, to be anything other than anonymous writings stealing valor by using a disciple name.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          When you walk like a duck, and swim like a duck, and quack like a duck, there’s a HIGH probability, statistically, that you’re a duck.

          I think, in fact, that you’re a LYING duck…

        • I believe this joker has said that he’s Zoroastrian.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          i think we may have discovered a philosophy so rare as to defy categorization, he really is all over the shop

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          When you deny reality, as you’re doing here, it’s easy for you to claim to be justified in whatever you want to propound.

          HISTORY says that Islam is one of the 3 ‘religions of the book’, and until YOU can provide evidence demonstrating that all the scholarship on the topic, quite a bit of which is from fervent xtians, is wrong, I’m going to go with the consensus of the experts on the subject.

        • Phil

          “Christ certainly did not villify others” You are certainly adept at it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias is talking ballix anyway.

          Jesus vilified the Pharisees and the money changers.

          And of course the OT is full of folk vilified by Jesus in his third person of the Trinity guise.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Samaritans, Roman soldiers, women with sick kids who weren’t of ‘Jesus’ tribe, etc.

          Jebus vilified a LOT of others.

        • Thanks4AllTheFish

          “Christ certainly did not villify (sic) others, as the Parable of the Good Samaritan pointed out.”

          Then why is it called the Parable of the Good Samaritan? This implies that Samaritans were generally seen to be not so good.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          because it is a story of a Jewish man who was by the side of the road in need of help, but everyone would just ignore him and walk by, and it was a Samaritan who put aside the fact that it was a Jew and helped the man.

      • I have seen reports on Hispanics converting to Islam as well.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Interesting.

          Can you send me a link, please? Percentages?

    • Raging Bee

      Christianity definitely isn’t an African religion…

      Christianity definitely started in Judea, which was definitely right next door to the greatest nation in Africa, Egypt. That makes it much more “African” then “Western.”

      I think in the West there’s a lot of Christians who don’t ‘come out’ given how vitriolic athiests in the West are…

      There’s plenty of decent, non-militant, non-bigoted Christians who don’t come out (much), but that’s because of other Christian bigots, not atheists. Seriously, there’s churches on every block in every city and town here, and nowhere near enough stereotypical meanie atheists to burn them all down.

      • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

        Ah, I think I found the village idiot. You’re conflating geography with adherance. Fun fact! Guess what was goin on in Egypt during that time period? Oh! Hey! Thar it is! Good ol “HELLENISTIC ERA”. You know bout that thar time period? See buddy, that there wuz a time when ol GREEKS were flourishin across the Nile. But hey, ifn it’s on that contin’nt, I reckon it must all be sub-saharan Congo African, right?

        And your second paragraph proves my point. Not to mention the lefty’s embrace of both Handmaid’s Tail and Ramy prove my point.

        • I think I found the village idiot.

          A little constipated today? Or are you always an asshole?

          If you’ve got useful things to add to the conversation and you can find a way to express them in a moderately civil way, you’ll be welcome here. Otherwise, not so much.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias
        • I have no idea what it means. You need to write so stupid people can understand.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          really? a bit slow tonight, eh?

        • Yup. Explain.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          Ok, let me help you out. ‘Wah’ is typically an expression to mock someone who is whining or crying about something, usually something petty. Joe Walsh played on it in his song “Life’s Been Good To Me So Far” – where at the end of the song there’s “Uh oh! Here comes a flock of Wah Wahs!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnSIUc2KX-M). Bruce Willis used the phrase “Somebody call the Wambulance” in the film “The Kid” in 2000 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3djX-XHAcY) and the TV show Modern Family used it some more (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Fo-Jckl_MU ) , which brings me chronologically to Mercy’s voice line (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK1WsBQqET4 )

        • Thank you for that thorough discussion. I’ll sleep more soundly tonight with that resolved.

          But the concern from my prior comment remains: are you always an asshole? If you’ve got useful things to add to the conversation and you can find a way to express them in a moderately civil way, you’ll be welcome here. Otherwise, not so much.

          My first impression is that you’re a waste of time, but that impression could easily be mistaken. I’m asking you to clarify why you’re here and what you hope to achieve.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          and I invoked the ‘wahmbulance’ because for your moral grandstanding a public display of petty emotional distress. An asshole to one is a genius to another. You’ve now made it obvious tho, that this really isn’t so much about your emotional baggage – as you could easily deduct for yourself and put me in your personal ‘asshole’ category and then not waste time by responding – but rather this is your public invocation for potentially banning me. Do I antagonize? Sure. Because I am a Zoroastrian, I believe that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so sometimes I must be the equal and opposite reaction to some of the – what I consider – ‘tired tropes’ of the anti-Christians. But whatevs..

        • “Public invocation”? I have no other way of communicating with you. As for potentially banning you, yes, that’s what we’re talking about.

          Zoroastrians must antagonize? Maybe you can shake things up and be the sage Zoroastrian who shares his knowledge with others like a teacher. No?

          What’s weird is that every time I get to this point with a commenter who’s crossing the line, I feel obliged to clarify the problem and encourage them to be a useful contributor. And I can’t remember a case where they’ve appreciated the input and then acted on it. I imagine you’ll be the same, but that’s your call. Feel free to surprise me.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          In that case, I won’t respond further knowing there’s potentially a trigger happy fascist moderator lurking about…

          forgive me if I laugh at your anecdotes about how you opine that ‘every single’ person you’ve been emotionally damaged by – 0% of them responded to your power demonstrations in the way you’d like them to. That almost remind me of the definition of insanity. Perhaps the problem isn’t with the commenters you detest, but rather your inability to remain neutral, and your penchant for power displays?

          It’s worth analyzing, tho I’m sure this struck the final nerve with you and I don’t imagine my comments will still be here by morning. But feel free to prove me wrong.

        • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viJcqGQC7y8

          on a side note, I’m kinda not surprised to find we live in the same city.

        • And my quest for thoughtful critique continues.

        • Raging Bee

          What’s a “whambulance” for? Fans of Wham who can’t deal with George Michael getting busted?

          Seriously, do you even HAVE a point?

        • Raging Bee

          *Yawn* Another idiot calling “lefty’s” idiots without offering any corrective information of his own.

          And BTW, the OP never said Christianity was “African” in origin to begin with. Looks like the mention of Africa got you too triggered to process what you read…

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Hmmm, then why didn’t you make that clear sooner?

          Were you TRYING to trip somebody up so you could make nasty snarky comments? (but of course…)

        • Be realistic, bro. If you aren’t clairvoyant, you’ve only yourself to blame if you misunderstand LV-420.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          It’s fun to get somebody to actually admit it, invoking Col. Jessup again:

          “DID YOU ORDER THE CODE RED!”
          YOU’RE DAMNED RIGHT I DID!!

          😉

    • Joe

      “I think in the West there’s a lot of Christians who don’t ‘come out’ given how vitriolic athiests in the West are”

      Well, that’s not true.

  • Norman Parron

    Atheist think religion is coming to an end??? Sorry but I have never underestimated the power, breath nor depth of human st00pidity, gullibility, or terror of death. Religion will always be here as long as people are people.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      “As long as there are tests, there will ALWAYS be prayer in schools…”

      😉

      • Norman Parron

        Strange too, as I always found cheating many times more effective than prayer!

        • Greg G.

          Prayers for forgiveness are more effective than prayers to not get caught cheating.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Prayer is when you’re too unprepared to cheat…like Ben Carson claimed prayer allowed him to pass a medical test in college that he was woefully unprepared for…and he BRAGGED about it, dammitsomuch!

        • Now, that’s the guy I want as my doctor.

    • Kit Hadley-Day

      I don’t want people to stop having religion, i just want them to stop being able to use it as a club against other people. If people need religion to get through the night, then that’s what they need.

  • Reading this, the claims of a Fundy I bring here who gloats about Christianism overtaking Islam are laughable, as usual on that kind of people. Assuming the world is still around by those years,

    As a random note, it seems Wicca/Neopaganism keeps being minoritary.

    • Ficino

      They’re saying global warming will lead to civilization’s collapse around 2050.

  • skl

    Unlike changes in worldwide statistics,
    Christianity in the U.S. is the big loser (78% to 66%) and Unaffiliated the big
    winner (16% to 26%). That is, the Unaffiliated category is now winning the only
    race that one can be proud of winning, the intellectual debate in the
    marketplace of ideas.

    That depends on your definition of winning. I see this as saying
    Christianity was winning, 78 -16, in 2010, and will still be winning, 66-26, in 2050.

    • Do I really need to spell it out for you? The trend is against Christianity because it loses the intellectual debate.

      But thanks for trying to add to the conversation.

      • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

        and when you run them all off, good luck with the ‘intellectual debate’ with the cult of an illiterate pedo. They get oppression victim points that get to outweigh your ‘intellectual debate’, and you’ll end up dhimmi’ing up and placating them, and next thing you know, you’ll be going to Al-Versity.

      • Ilpalazzo // LV-420zymandias

        and when you run them all off, good luck with the ‘intellectual debate’ with the cult of an illiterate. They get oppression victim points that get to outweigh your ‘intellectual debate’, and you’ll end up dhimmi’ing up and placating them, and next thing you know, you’ll be going to Al-Versity

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          What on earth makes you think that Christianity losing ground means that Muslims must be gaining? that may be true in poor countries where religion is pretty much a way of life, but in the more developed countries, as is clear from the graphic, the Nones are the ones taking up the losses from Christianity. Not to mention we have been arguing with ignorant illiterate Christians for centuries, and managed to not only hold our own but batter you lot back from a position of almost complete power, what tricks do you think the muslims are going to pull that you guys haven’t? Is there magic thinking more compulsive than yours? are there threats more compelling? can they get their version of your god to actually respond to prayer? what are they going to do that Christianity has not tried?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Awwww…I think I see somebody martyrbating with ‘fatwah envy’.

          Nope, YOUR KIND don’t have control of secular society, and we’ll fight to *your* last breath to stop you (nothing violent, just until YOUR KIND succumb to biological inevitability, unfulfilled, with your dying breath)

      • Ignorant Amos

        But thanks for trying to add to the conversation.

        Keyword there being “trying”…but as yet an expert at failure.

    • Anri

      Given that you are peddling god’s perfect message while being led by a flawless omnipotent deity, losing market share from 3/4 to 2/3 means that you guys must really truly suck.
      Like deep incompetence here.
      Total fail.

      Let me see if I can explain to you why this might not be a win for your particular flavor of sky daddy in a way that might be hard for even you to bury your head in the sand about:
      If Christianity drops from 3/4 acceptance to 2/3 acceptance, does that mean – per you – that,
      A) Fewer people go to hell, or
      B) More people go to hell?
      And which of these is the Win Condition for Christianity (again, per you), remind me?

      Does that help clarify things for you?

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Your assertion is the equivalent of the (bad) business plan of:

      “We can lose money on every unit but make it up on volume!”

      You’re losing…the simple fact that you’re losing *slowly* doesn’t change that.

  • Aloha

    I’m not sure that fecundity is the answer to religious permanence. It’s just too likely that your kids will go in a different direction.

    Some families dedicate themselves to sheltering and indoctrination, via home-schooling and limited contact with outsiders … but even that is sometimes restricted by the government. There are many people wanting more supervision of homeschoolers, and of course, mass media reaches even isolated kids (usually, not always).

    Islam has stronger mechanisms to prevent the next generation from leaving the religion. Christians usually have to accept their kids’ defection.

    • Evangelical Christians anguish over college, given the rates of Christian kids going in and agnostics or atheists coming out. You’d think that that would tell Christians something about how well their dogma withstands rational critique (and therefore how reasonable it is to believe in), but they don’t want to go there.

      • The church I grew up in tried to ban college, due to their fear of the stats of how white Evangelicals tend to lose their faith in college. All they did was to bash logic. They didn’t like the idea of our learning to question everything.

        (I have heard Catholics and black Protestants have higher rates of maintaining their faith in college, as do Jews.)

        • Jack the Sandwichmaker

          And please don’t remember how Luther questioned Catholic dogma, or each wave of new church leaders questioned what had come before. Don’t you dare think that means you can question what WE tell you.

      • skl

        You’d think that that would tell Christians something about how
        well their dogma withstands rational critique…

        More like how well dogma withstands dogma.
        Specifically, how well (Christian) dogma withstands (Liberal) dogma.

        Everyone knows colleges indoctrinate with Liberal dogma.
        Some Liberals even say so:

        “But can we please admit that many four
        year colleges do in fact attempt to indoctrinate
        students?”

        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/02/admit-it-american-colleges-do-indoctrinate-students/253607/

        Usually the dogma delivered by the one who gives the grades wins.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          i am sorry that your religious myths cannot withstand the fire of critical thinking.

          Actual supportable facts are not dogma, and expecting someone to learn the accepted syllabus to pass a test on that syllabus is not indoctrination.

          Look at all the people in places like the Discovery Institute who managed to get doctorates from real places, not the diploma mills that religious types prefer, and still manage to believe in nonsense, so much for that liberal indoctrination.

          ‘Usually the dogma delivered by the one who gives the grades wins.’ so you think grades are more important than your immortal soul? because if you really believe the religious gumph that’s the stakes. It’s almost like when there are real life consequences vs promises of jam tomorrow, reality makes for a better bet.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I was unaware that US colleges are stack full to the brim with the liberal atheist minded being converted from religion. //s

        • Ignorant Amos

          You never cease to amaze me at how much more to the next level of cretin that can be attained.

          Do you ever read the links you cite in support of your nonsense?

          Rather than quote mine the hyperbole bit for full effect, and embarrass yerself in the process, try reading the whole article in context ya Dime Bar. It doesn’t support you in the way you are asserting.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Then why are religions losing adherents in the parts of the world with a strong safety net and lack of despair?

          Face it, religion only flourishes when people will accept a false hope in the absence of any other.

        • abb3w

          Everyone knows colleges indoctrinate with Liberal dogma.

          “It is known.”

        • ildi

          Usually the dogma delivered by the one who gives the grades wins.

          CAKE OR DEATH?

        • Michael Neville

          But we’re all out of cake. So the choice is: …or death.

        • ildi

          I’ll have the chicken, then!

        • Greg G.

          Were we supposed to take only one slice? I took enough to live 12 centuries.

      • epicurus

        That infantile and unrealistic “God’s not dead” movie probably helped reinforce a sterotype for many university fearing Christians.

        • I Came To Bring The Paine

          Or perhaps reinforced the stereotype that many Evangelicals are university-fearing.

        • epicurus

          Good point

      • Jack the Sandwichmaker

        I thought they openly acknowledged that reason is the enemy of faith

        • It’s tricky. They can’t totally dispense with reason (a la Martin Luther) if they want to use science-y arguments. What I see is them simply being hypocritical–using reason when it suits them and trumping it with faith when it doesn’t.

        • Bravo Sierra

          Yes. Compartmentalizing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Conversely, The Enemies of Reason are…“those areas of belief that exist without scientific proof, yet manage to hold the nation under their spell”…which includes Faith.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Enemies_of_Reason

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Ol’ Martin Luther himself insulted and maligned reason, IIRC.

      • I find the focus on college to the exclusion of all else amusing, because I got through college without a scratch to my faith and yet deconverted in my late twenties, and know quite a few like me. Sometimes it’s twenties, sometimes it’s thirties, forties, fifties, etc. But I think a common thread is slowly understanding that the world doesn’t work the way we were taught, and I think that’s devastating to Christianity’s message. It could be found in school, in college, or later in life, but for all my sincerity and indoctrination I honestly don’t know how I could have been stopped from finding it out eventually.

        • I hope that the internet, ebooks, and other new technology helps spread the not-Gospel.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Maybe the Not-spel?

          😉

        • MR

          But I think a common thread is slowly understanding that the world doesn’t work the way we were taught

          Wow! That right there.

        • Michael Neville

          Not only did Christianity not work the way we were told it worked, but the excuses given for it not working were quite shabby.

        • Ficino

          Yes, when I was in college I got saved! And I found a big, new circle of friends in InterVarsity. Same for a while in grad school, until … it all stopped making sense. But the tight sense of community in my undergrad experience kept me from entertaining any doubts at that point.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        My guess is that the kids are already nonbelievers going IN to college, but are under their parents’ thumbs, and financially dependent on those selfsame parents.

        A college graduate with a good degree can, with difficulty, make his/her own way in the world without parental financial support, and so they can express themselves more honestly.

        IMHO, YMMV, etc.

        • abb3w

          Possibly true in some cases. Exposure to competing ideas is another factor. Combining exposure to new ideas combined with the decreased dependence on (conformism contingent) parental resources makes expressing new ideas seem unsurprising.

      • abb3w

        You’d think that that would tell Christians something about how well
        their dogma withstands rational critique (and therefore how reasonable
        it is to believe in), but they don’t want to go there

        They prefer to infer that the schools are engaged in secular/atheist indoctrination, rather than infer that their dogma competes poorly.

        • Whatever they need to do to sleep better at night. Ignoring the truth will only work against them.

      • You’d think that that would tell Christians something about how well their dogma withstands rational critique (and therefore how reasonable it is to believe in), but they don’t want to go there.

        There are certainly apologists who understand this problem. I don’t think they have anything new to offer, but their solution generally seems to be about trying to pound in the traditional apologetic defenses of Christianity, and convincing them that these answers are good.

        It may be that the only defense that Christianity has is to heavy indoctrinate their kids, and give them rehearsed answers to the problems. The thing is that anybody who bothers to look under the hood will be shocked at how bad the answers are. There’s a reason that the growth of the religious nones has been explosive lately: Christianity can’t easily compete on an intellectual playground.

        • Seeing it from the standpoint of Christian leaders, it’s possible that carefully rehearsed and indoctrinated responses from the best Christian apologists will keep at bay the common sense attacks from agnostic/atheistic 18-year-old fellow students. But yeah, if those Christian kids do any digging or get into a discussion with a well-read professor, their faith is at risk.

      • Bravo Sierra

        I think that’s also why some Christians are so supportive of defunding primary and secondary public schools and public universities. And even Christian colleges have been known to leave Christians with uncomfortable questions about their beliefs. I had a professor at the local Christian college who told an anecdote about his own father being reluctant to send him off to Christian school back in the sixties.

        • epeeist

          I think that’s also why some Christians are so supportive of defunding
          primary and secondary public schools and public universities.

          Presumably the same reason that the Taliban and Boko Haram attack schools.

  • Jennny

    I really and truly don’t want this to sound patronising or demeaning, but if you live in one of the many poor countries in Africa or elsewhere, your options are limited to ameliorate your life. If you become ill in a place where healthcare needs payment, it’s customary to borrow from family or friends or your church or die. My DH has visited very poor places in West Africa and had said to him ‘X-tianity here is a mile wide, but an inch deep.’ That is completely understandable IMO. Here is an article about Nepali hindus converting to x-tianity because they then got healthcare and their sick babies survived. I’m sure I’d do the same in similar desperate circumstances. I quote from the article I link to below:
    ‘The growth of Christianity is driven by motivations that appear to have more to do with health, discrimination and poverty than pure belief. And behind the conversions, critics say, is the presence of well-funded foreign missionaries.’
    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/aug/15/they-use-money-to-promote-christianity-nepal-battle-for-souls

    • Kit Hadley-Day

      i don’t think you are being patronizing, just accurate. Religion is most attractive to the poor and the desperate. Countries that have higher rates of poverty and worse welfare will be more religious as the people turn to anything that promises them jam tomorrow. Additionally in these countries government likes that religion will keep the poor in line.

    • Good point. You’ve read about Gregory Paul’s work? https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/christianity-lead-better-society-2/

      He hypothesizes that poor social conditions provide fertile ground for religion (third world). Said another way, good social conditions make religion unnecessary (northern Europe).

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      I’ve heard such converts referred to as ‘rice xtians’.

      And why not? If they want the benefit, they’ll mouth the words to get it…since those who have it are too mean-spirited to just provide it out of innate goodness.

    • Phil

      ” If you become ill in a place where healthcare needs payment, it’s customary to borrow from family or friends or your church or die”
      “X-tianity here is a mile wide, but an inch deep”
      “Christianity is driven by motivations that appear to have more to do with denying women’s health, discrimination and poverty than pure belief”

      Almost sounds like the US

      • Jennny

        I’m a passionate supporter of social healthcare here in the UK, our NHS is wonderful. I can’t get my head around information like I read in today’s Guardian newspaper – someone in a poor area of Ohio saying she had worrying symptoms but couldn’t afford to see a doctor, or that a month in hospital can cost a year’s salary. Churchill said democracy is the worst form of government till one looks at all the rest. I feel that strongly about social healthcare. It’s almost obscene to me that in the most developed country in the western world, folk die because they can’t afford medical treatment.

        • someone in a poor area of Ohio saying she had worrying symptoms but couldn’t afford to see a doctor, or that a month in hospital can cost a year’s salary.

          USA! USA!

          Oh, wait. After a second reading … never mind.

  • Doubting Thomas

    It could be interesting to see what Christianity becomes in Africa given the traditional animism practiced there. Some of the OT sacrificial directives might come into vogue again.

    Not a jot or tittle…

    • epeeist

      It could be interesting to see what Christianity becomes in Africa given the traditional animism practiced there.

      I was in Madagascar last year, there is syncretism between Catholicism and animism.

      • Sample1

        Ostensibly because there is some of the divine truth, imperfectly known, in animistic religions or so the easy-to-vary explanations for theology can twist.

        When the Chilean miners were trapped underground back in 2016, surface Catholics prayed to the devil of the mountain for help too. They have a local name for that spirit which escapes me but yeah, when one’s mind is open to magic be it organized or not, desperation will find a way to make a better pretzel.

        Mike, excommunicated (free lessons).

    • RichardSRussell

      For a relevant precedent, see “Virgin of Guadalupe”.

    • RichardSRussell

      Really, for God’s sake? I try posting “For a relevant precedent, see ‘V¡rg¡n of Guadalupe’.” and the Cross Examined blog tells me I need to wait for approval?

      • Michael Neville

        That’s because v*i*r*g*i*n is on the list of several hundred naughty words that Patheos or Disqus decided was necessary to implement.

        • RichardSRussell

          Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of sXYZch, or the right of the people peaceably to XYZemble, and to peXYZion the government for a redress of grievances (but your ISP might).

        • And now I’ll never be able to read the First Amendment without giggling.

          Thank you.

        • RichardSRussell

          Back when CNN.com used to encourage user participation, they had an even more stick-up-the-ass attitude about forbidden words. I haven’t had a chance to bitch about them since they shut their forums down, but maybe it’s time to revive this blog posting from half a dozen years ago and put it to a new use: https://richardsrussell.livejournal.com/133379.html

        • RichardSRussell

          Here’s another one for you, Bob:

          Back when CNN.com used to encourage user participation, they had an even more stick-up-the-AHEM attitude about forbidden words. I haven’t had a chance to BADMOUTH about them since they shut their forums down, but maybe it’s time to revive this blog posting from half a dozen years ago and put it to a new use: https://richardsrussell.livejournal.com/133379.html

        • They actually publicized their list? Somehow I figured it would be secret.

        • RichardSRussell

          Oh, they didn’t publish it. We users had to figure it out by trial and error. But we cooperated with each other, because we sure as hell weren’t getting any help from the website owner (unlike your own enlightened attitude).

        • Raging Bee

          Just wait till he gets to the Second!

      • Each time I approve a comment, I delete that “naughty” word from the Sacred List as necessary, so hopefully things will continue to improve. It’s a long list, and I’ve simply overlooked words like the dreaded v-word. You can now talk about virgins without fear of censorship.

        I think.

  • John Merritt

    I don’t know if it has been already noted…but that Pew chart for the US is totally bogus.

    Those numbers for 2050 are about where the US is now! According to PRRI, Pew (ironically) and others, the US unaffiliated “Nones” are above 25% in 2018 and the US Christian population is already down to about 66 or 67 %.

    So by 2050, due less religious younger people in the US replacing older generations of Christians….the numbers will be much better for the unaffiliated and much worse for the Christians!

    I like Pew, but I do wonder how they got those absurd 2050 numbers.

    • Pew does a good job when Pew does what Pew is an expert at: Gathering statistics, usually from surveys. Projecting statistics into the future is hard to do, and depends on getting a number of variables correct. I’m not surprised that they got something wrong.

    • The chart is from 2015, a few years ago, but that hardly addresses your point. Yes, I’ve seen numbers like 25% Nones today as well.

      Off the top of my head, one possible explanation is that a certain population will respond differently based on the wording of questions or the order of questions. Maybe the Pew question set being different would explain it.

      • Pofarmer

        So, just a note. Both of my older sons are now dating, well, midwestern girls. My oldest had to go 4 hours away to college to meet a girl 45 minutes from home, but that isn’t a-typical. But. I don’t think either of the girls identifies as atheist, but they certainly aren’t religious, and they are seriously turned off by the religious bent in politics right now. How common is this? I don’t know. My oldests girlfriend the other night said “Well, I didn’t expect him to be more liberal and I certainly didn’t expect to find an atheist.” But, to them, atheism is just a thing. No big deal. Whatever. I don’t know how many young kids share this view, as there are certainly many that don’t. But they are starting to get shut down.

        • A helpful anecdote. If Christianity can be turned from a meddlesome busybody into just a cultural practice, something pleasant you do on Sunday with your friends and don’t impose on anyone else, that would be a good start.

        • Pofarmer

          Honestly, that’s more what it seems like from my youth before the Evangelicals and the Religious Right. It was more a way to build community. Now, it tears communities apart.

    • abb3w

      The GSS still has the Unaffiliated slightly under 25% as of 2018. So does the PRRI report from 2017 (“America’s Changing Religious Identity”), and I’m not finding a more recent number from them. The 2018 estimate from Gallup was 20%. I’m not finding a more recent estimate from Pew than their 2015 religious landscape survey, which put the estimate at 22.8%.

      Based on the GSS trend, the fraction of unaffiliated seems likely to cross the 25% threshold at some point this year (although the next GSS sample won’t be until 2020, and not published in 2021), and there may well be an outlier survey from some other outfit that already indicates such; however, I’m not finding one yet.

      • Damien Priestly

        PRRI does have 2018 data out …

        http://ava.prri.org/#religious/2018/States/religion/m/national

        Unaffiliated: 25.5%
        Christian: 66% (Approx.)

        • abb3w

          Thank you; that’s indeed one data point over 25%.

        • epeeist

          PRRI does have 2018 data out …

          I’d like to see their questionnaire. Here in the UK the 2011 census figures were 25.1% none and 59.3% Christian based on the question, “What is your religion?”. However the 2016 British Social Attitudes survey gives 53% none and 41% Christian based on the question, “Do you regard yourself as belonging to any particular religion? IF YES: Which?’.

          And my usual proviso, these are what people report, not what they do. The estimate is that only 6% of the population take part in services each week, far less than even the 41% figure.

  • RichardSRussell

    I keep hoping for the center of Christianity to be somewhere in the Atlantic Trench.

    • Bravo Sierra

      That reminds me of a joke about lawyers.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        ‘A Good Start’??

  • Pofarmer
    • Greg G.

      “People in the year 950 didn’t have a lot to do, so they sat around fires telling stories,” explained Haukur Bragason, a young, well-coiffed Ásatrú priest who was attending the blót. “They were the Netflix of old times.”

      IOW, the root of all religion.

      • Pofarmer

        It’s all fun and games till somebody starts sacrificing a Virgin.

    • I thought I remember another recent Icelandic religion that did nothing but accept each congregant’s obligatory religion tax and then give it back to them.

      • Pofarmer

        They seem very practical.

  • On a related note, I responded to a Catholic blogger’s post that gullibly swallowed a report saying that 100,000 Christians were being martyred each year. When I used my “reading with comprehension” superpower, it became clear that these people weren’t killed for being Christian, they were Christians who happened to be killed. (The majority were in the civil war in the Congo.)

    • Ignorant Amos

      .Indeed.

      And the poor buggers that got caught up in the crossfire at Béziers, where those good Christian Catholics set about the wholesale genocide of the Cathars (another one for that prick Reynolds).

      When they discovered, from the admissions of some of them, that there were Catholics mingled with the heretics they said to the abbot “Sir, what shall we do, for we cannot distinguish between the faithful and the heretics.” The abbot, like the others, was afraid that many, in fear of death, would pretend to be Catholics, and after their departure, would return to their heresy, and is said to have replied “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius – Kill them all for the Lord knoweth them that are His” (2 Tim. ii. 19) and so countless number in that town were slain. ~ Caesarius of Heisterbach

  • Milo C

    I have a naive hope that Africa of the future will have greater access to education, technology and globalization which will reverse the Christian plague-bloom there. I did not check to see if the predictions account for those things.

    • Some parts of Africa went from nothing to cell phones, bypassing land lines. Maybe they can cut out a few steps toward enlightenment as well.

  • You were moderating for misspelling “nekkid.”

  • Thanks4AllTheFish

    Actually, it’s from Luke 10:25-37.

    “People living in the Second Temple era of Judaism had plenty of reasons to dislike those from other nationalities. In fact, dislike of “the other” was woven deeply into the tribal history of the people of Israel, divided as they were between competing kingdoms and bloodlines. The Old Testament often spoke of loving your neighbor but hating your enemy. Jesus directly contradicted that in a bold move which pitted his message against the message of an underlying theme of ancient culture:

    You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (emphasis mine)

    Jesus had an irritating habit of telling stories in which a foreigner behaved better than people from his own nationality. The most famous of them all is his Parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:25-37). In that story, two religious people—who ordinarily would be the heroes in stories like this—just walk right by an assault victim fighting to stay alive on the side of the road. They were likely too concerned about becoming “unclean” to sully their hands helping the poor unfortunate victim.

    Then Jesus introduces a Samaritan into the story, almost certainly eliciting jeers from the audience, who quickly became horrified when they realized he was about to make the dirty foreigner the hero to the story. Jesus had been asked who qualifies as a “neighbor” since we are to love our neighbor, and he turned that question on its head by suggesting that even those who were seen as enemies could “out-love” and “out-compassion” God’s own chosen people. What an incendiary story to tell! Again, it’s no wonder they wanted this guy taken out. That part I completely believe. ” –Neil Carter – ‘Godless In Dixie ‘
    SOURCE

    • Greg G.

      Actually, it’s from Luke 10:25-37.

      Luke mostly follows the order of Mark from the baptism until the journey to Jerusalem. From Luke 10:1 to Luke 18:14, he is basically following the topics of the Deuteronomy trip to Jerusalem and tangents to similar topics in other writings.

      Deuteronomy 7 is about showing no mercy to the Canaanites but Luke flips that topic around and invents a parable from 2 Chronicles 28:15.

      Luke 18:15 picks up at Mark 10:13.

      • Thanks4AllTheFish

        What I know about the Bible, you could fit in a thimble. I’ll bow to your expertise.

      • Thanks4AllTheFish

        “An albino Nubian”? Well, that’s just silly!

        Hilarious!

  • Greg G.

    Wasn’t there some comments like the fourth box in this forum recently?

    https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/comments.png

    • I remember it being a biggish deal with Popular Science did that. I don’t remember NPR doing it, but I can sympathize with the motivation. Biased commenters would like to turn a news article into an opinion piece.

  • Pax Christus

    Christianity isn’t “losing the battle of ideas”, atheists simply have far more propaganda in Western countries. Don’t pat yourself on the back for having better apparatuses of spreading misinformation to Westerners.

    • In the US, you pretty much have to be a Christian to get elected to public office. A difficult cross to bear, I’m sure, but Christian politicians seem to be holding up pretty well.

      Atheists can spread misinformation better? What Christian routes of misinformation do you have in mind? Say what you will about Fox News, they’re very successful in getting out a biased, conservative, largely Christian message.

      Tell me more about the atheists and their routes of misinformation. When I think about the national atheist organizations (American Atheists, American Humanist Association, etc.) what comes to mind are good-hearted organizations that are pretty much ignored by the atheists and secularists whom they serve. But maybe I’m missing something. Or perhaps you’re thinking of Europe.

      • Pofarmer

        Just when I think I’ve read the dumbest comment on the innerwebs………

        • epeeist

          Nah, dumb is upvoting your own post and thinking nobody will notice…

    • epeeist

      Christianity isn’t “losing the battle of ideas”, atheists simply have far more propaganda in Western countries.

      Ah yes, we have propaganda stations in each and every town (sometimes more than one), we have almost all US politicians pushing our message. We have education committees attempting to put our doctrine in schools. There are book stores and radio stations dedicated to spreading atheism.

      Oh wait, that would be Christianity.

      • Pax Christus

        > Ah yes, we have propaganda stations in each and every town (sometimes more than one)

        You say this in an attempt to be ironic but you in fact do have these things – they’re called secular public schools. And their attendance, unlike churches, is mandatory for all children.

        • epeeist

          You say this in an attempt to be ironic

          Ironic? Possibly, but I was simply pointing out that with all the churches, religious politicians, educations committees, book stores, radio and TV stations pushing the religious message you are still unable to hold on to hearts and minds.

          you in fact do have these things – they’re called secular public schools.

          So are you saying that those who manage public schools are pushing atheism, or that it is the teachers who are doing so? If the latter, would this be across the curriculum or in particular subjects?

          Assuming that schools are pushing an “atheistic agenda”, what do you propose should be done about this?

        • Yeah, and …?

          Show me a public school that teaches an anti-Christian message, and I will be as outraged as you. But if the simple facts that a school teaches don’t support your prejudice–maybe the school teaches biology or doesn’t support the “America is a Christian nation” lie, for example–then you might want to wonder why your beliefs are so easily skewered by reality.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And their attendance, unlike churches, is mandatory for all children.

          Huh…??? Where are ya talking about? The US?

          Wise up. Mandatory my arse.

          In the United States, the Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a fundamental right to direct the education of their children. The right to homeschool is not frequently questioned in court, but the amount of state regulation and help that can or should be expected continues to be subject to legal debate.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeschooling_in_the_United_States

          While religious education is compulsory in the UK.

          Guess where the highest population of non-believers per capita resides?

    • Kodie

      Christianity is a ridiculous superstition, yet it succeeds by bullying atheists out of the public square. Do you feel good about that?

      • Pax Christus

        You’re talking nonsense. If anything, most modern censorship has come from and continues to come from the political left. Christians have little to do with any of it and are more often than not on the receiving end.

        • epeeist

          If anything, most modern censorship has come from and continues to come from the political left.

          An interesting assertion, you can of course back it up.

          Christians have little to do with any of it and are more often than not on the receiving end.

          And the same goes for this.

          One of the things to be aware of on this site, is that bare assertions tend to get heavily challenged. The legal maxim, “He who avers must prove” is something you need to bear in mind.

        • Censorship? What pastors or right-wing pundits are censored? Give examples.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Four days…and all we hear here is crickets.

          ETA hear

        • And he was making so much sense, too.

          (Pax Christus is quiet for his own reasons. Anonymous is in timeout. FYI.)

        • Ignorant Amos

          Anonymous is in timeout. FYI.

          Ah, right. A didn’t know that, thanks. Still, having a poke at his nonsense is still fun.

          Ave been busy gallivanting about the place. I took she that must be obeyed away for a few days for her birthday to visit her sister in Co. Mayo. Her sis lives not far from one of the worlds few Dark Skies Park. The frustrating thing is when we visit, the weather is always bad ffs.

          http://www.mayodarkskypark.ie/

          The Guinness was exceptional though. Guiry’s Bar voted best bar in Ireland 2019.

          https://www.guirysbar.com/

          So a wee bit of a consolation for the terrible weather and no stargazing.

        • I’d never heard of a Dark Skies Park. Interesting. Yeah, I guess Ireland as a location does have its weather downsides.

          Isn’t Guinness the same in any bar?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Isn’t Guinness the same in any bar?

          Whaaa??? Philistine.

          Nope. Now there are all sorts of theories, myths, urban legends, and truths as to why it tastes different in different locations…and I don’t know the truth of it myself, but there are nicer pints in some locations than others. I’ve tried it in many places around the world and I’ve had some pints a lot better than others.

          Of course these things are subjective, but when it becomes inter-subjective, then there must be something interesting.

          I chuckled at this comment on one “Best Pint of Guinness” blog…

          The Crown Pub, Belfast.

          During the troubles, this is one of the only places that didn’t get bombed as it’s a stunning pub and could never be replaced. That’s the rumour anyway… It’s Belfast’s oldest pub.

          https://www.theceltictimes.com/index.php/guinness-in-ireland

          The Crown Bar lies on the same street directly opposite the most bombed hotel in the world.

          The Europa Hotel is a four-star hotel in Great Victoria Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Opened in 1971, it has hosted presidents, prime ministers and celebrities.

          It is known as the “most bombed hotel in Europe” and the “most bombed hotel in the world” after having suffered 36 bomb attacks during the Troubles.

          The photo in this Wiki is taken from The Crown Bar, so I don’t think there was much concern for the integrity of that pub…rumour alrite.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_Hotel,_Belfast

          That pints of Guinness differ, holds to different pubs even within my home town. Saying that, the same applies to other draught beers too.

          There’s some more useless information for ya Bob.

        • I am indeed a philistine when it comes to beer. I’m not a fancier. And that’s a big deal in the Seattle area, which is (apparently) a big deal in the microbrew world.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When it comes to alcohol, am pretty versatile and have an eclectic array of libations in which I enjoy partaking.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m gonna guess discussing beer with a Irishman isn’t going to go in my favor. Lol.

        • Sample1

          I’m not a whisky drinker but Guinness never disappoints! That said, it’s interesting how a situation can make a beer taste better than it is. I’ll never forget a beer I had with a friend after a long deer hunt at the end of the day as we made it to the shore from the mountain. It wasn’t a fancy beer, but we had some homemade “monster” chocolate chip cookies with walnuts and I’ll tell you, that beer was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. But if I went to store today, I would choose other beers over it easily.

          You know what I’m saying.

          Mike

        • Ignorant Amos

          The old black & white war movie “Ice Cold in Alex” springs to mind.

        • epeeist

          The frustrating thing is when we visit, the weather is always bad ffs.

          I have visited Kielder and the observatory a number of times. Never had a clear night.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Annoying to be sure.

          Mayo is a 4 hour drive one way. Hopefully we’ll hit lucky at some point.

        • epeeist

          Yeah, the observatory is a 3 hour drive for me, the latter part of which is down single track roads with wandering sheep. But yes, someday I will get lucky, hopefully in the late autumn when there is just a chance of the Northern Lights.

          The Yorkshire Dales are an easier trip, I was there a short while back before all the rain

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1a6e834ffd20fe496dc656f83f7374bb3d4c47d6082a4bdb108f186fa5301fff.jpg

        • I’ve seen ads for vacation stays in Iceland and elsewhere to see the northern lights, but that does sound iffy. There’s lots of dark in the winter but also lots of clouds.

          I had friends who went to Fairbanks (same latitude as Reykjavik). Lining up clear skies and active northern lights was frustrating, they said.

        • epeeist

          Iceland is on my To Do list, either October or February. I just need to get my wife to agree…

          At that time of year there is around about an 80% chance of seeing the lights on any night.

        • epeeist

          I want to take photographs like these

        • MR

          “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

        • Pretty cool.

          The photo of the colorful moon in the clouds made me think of this book. Have you seen it? I got my copy in high school. He explains (and introduces) lots of natural phenomena–sun dogs, 22-degree halo and other arcs around the sun, glories, etc. Maybe something to put on your list for Father Christmas.

          https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51LUTGOp8JL._SX376_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Sun dogs? Yeah, right…that’s what the skeptics said about the Miracle at Fatima….pfffft!

        • epeeist

          Pax Christus, opened a Disqus account on June 5th, has made 3 comments all on Cross Examined, last post was 5 days ago.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • MR

          It was pretty awkward for him when right after he said this it was the religious blog that started censoring everyone. D’oh!

        • Pofarmer

          For that matter, the majority of Catholic blogs on patheos either don’t allow comments or are so heavily moderated they might as well not.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not just on Patheos and not just Catholic.