In this file:

 

·         The 10 Radical New Rules That Are Changing America

There are 10 new ideas that are changing America, maybe permanently…

Money is a construct. It can be created from thin air. Annual deficits and aggregate national debt no longer matter much…

Laws are not necessarily binding anymore…

Racialism is now acceptable…

The immigrant is mostly preferable to the citizen…

Most Americans should be treated as we would treat little children…

 

·         Vermont GOP governor opens up COVID vaccines for those who identify as Black, Indigenous or person of color

Republican Gov. Phil Scott tweeted about the move on Thursday

·         Is Racism Moral Now?
… now there grows a strange new ahistorical “antiracism” racism…

·         Biden to Sign Bill with $4 Billion in Debt Relief for Minority Farmers
With Republicans complaining of discrimination against white farmers, the House passed a coronavirus relief bill on Wednesday that would provide an estimated $4 billion in debt relief for socially disadvantaged farmers…

 

·         U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time

In 2020, 47% of U.S. adults belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque

Down more than 20 points from turn of the century

 

 

 

The 10 Radical New Rules That Are Changing America

 

By Victor Davis Hanson, Tribune Content Agency

via RealClearPolitics - Apr 1, 2021

 

Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution

 

There are 10 new ideas that are changing America, maybe permanently.

 

1) Money is a construct. It can be created from thin air. Annual deficits and aggregate national debt no longer matter much.

 

Prior presidents ran up huge annual deficits, but at least there were some concessions that the money was real and had to be paid back. Not now. As we near $30 trillion in national debt and 110 percent of annual GDP, our elites either believe permanent zero interest rates make the cascading obligation irrelevant, or the larger the debt, the more likely we will be forced to address needed income redistribution.

 

2) Laws are not necessarily binding anymore. Joe Biden took an oath to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." But he has willfully rendered federal immigration laws null and void. Some rioters are prosecuted for violating federal laws, others not so much. Arrests, prosecutions and trials are all fluid. Ideology governs when a law is still considered a law.

 

Crime rates do not necessarily matter. If someone is carjacked, assaulted or shot, it can be understood to be as much the victim's fault as the perpetrator's. Either the victim was too lax, uncaring and insensitive, or he provoked his attacker. How useful the crime is to the larger agendas of the left determines whether a victim is really a victim, and the victimizer really a victimizer.

 

3) Racialism is now acceptable. We are defined first by our ethnicity or religion, and only secondarily -- if at all -- by an American commonality. The explicit exclusion of whites from college dorms, safe spaces and federal aid programs is now noncontroversial. It is unspoken payback for perceived past sins, or a type of "good" racism. Falsely being called a racist makes one more guilty than falsely calling someone else a racist.

 

4) The immigrant is mostly preferable to the citizen. The newcomer, unlike the host, is not stained by the sins of America's founding and history. Most citizens currently must follow quarantine rules and social distancing, stay out of school and obey all the laws.

 

Yet those entering the United States illegally need not follow such apparently superfluous COVID-19 rules. Their children should be immediately schooled without worry of quarantine. Immigrants need not worry about their illegal entry or residence in America. Our elites believe illegal entrants more closely resemble the "founders" than do legal citizens, about half of whom they consider irredeemable.

 

5) Most Americans should be treated as we would treat little children. They cannot be asked to provide an ID to vote. "Noble lies" by our elites about COVID-19 rules are necessary to protect "Neanderthals" from themselves.

 

Americans deserve relief from the stress of grades, standardized testing and normative rules of school behavior. They still are clueless about why it is good for them to pay far more for their gasoline, heating and air conditioning.

 

6) Hypocrisy is passe. Virtue-signaling is alive. Climate change activists fly on private jets. Social justice warriors live in gated communities. Multibillionaire elitists pose as victims of sexism, racism and homophobia. The elite need these exemptions to help the helpless. It is what you say to lesser others about how to live, not how you yourself live, that matters.

 

7) Ignoring or perpetuating homelessness is preferable to ending it. It is more humane to let thousands of homeless people live, eat, defecate and use drugs on public streets and sidewalks than it is to green-light affordable housing, mandate hospitalization for the mentally ill and create sufficient public shelter areas.

 

8) McCarthyism is good. Destroying lives and careers for incorrect thoughts saves more lives and careers. Cancel culture and the Twitter Reign of Terror provide needed deterrence.

 

Now that Americans know they are one wrong word, act or look away from losing their livelihoods, they are more careful and will behave in a more enlightened fashion. The social media guillotine is the humane, scientific tool of the woke.

 

9) Ignorance is preferable to knowledge. Neither statue-toppling, nor name-changing, nor the 1619 Project require any evidence or historical knowledge. Heroes of the past were simple constructs. Undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees reflect credentials, not knowledge. The brand, not what created it, is all that matters.

 

10) Wokeness is the new religion, growing faster and larger than Christianity. Its priesthood outnumbers the clergy and exercises far more power. Silicon Valley is the new Vatican, and Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter are the new gospels.

 

Americans privately fear these rules while publicly appearing to accept them. They still could be transitory and invite a reaction. Or they are already near-permanent and institutionalized.

 

The answer determines whether a constitutional republic continues as once envisioned, or warps into something never imagined by those who created it.

 

(C)2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

source url

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2021/04/01/the_10_radical_new_rules_that_are_changing_america_145514.html

 

 

Vermont GOP governor opens up COVID vaccines for those who identify as Black, Indigenous or person of color

Republican Gov. Phil Scott tweeted about the move on Thursday

 

By Sam Dorman, Fox News

Apr 2, 2021

 

Vermont is opening up coronavirus vaccine eligiblity to anyone over 16 years of age who identifies as Black, Indigenous or a person of color — prompting fierce criticism online for excluding White people.

 

Republican Gov. Phil Scott tweeted about the move on Thursday as states gradually opened eligibility to various populations. So far, the process has tended to focus on people who are vulnerable because of their occupation, age or health status.

 

"If you or anyone in your household identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage, all household members who are 16 years or older can sign up to get a vaccine!" Scott tweeted...

 

... The categories link to a site describing the state's strategy of "working toward equity"...

 

more

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/vermont-governor-vaccine-people-of-color

 

 

Is Racism Moral Now?

 

By Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness

March 28, 2021

 

“Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expediencies, it pollutes air, it constricts equilibrium, it devastates forests, it melts ice caps, it sparks (and funds) wars, it flattens dialects, it infests consciousnesses, and it kills people . . . ”

 

—Damon Young, New York Times contributor

 

“Over the past year, I have, of course, still had to interact with white people on Zoom or watch them on television or worry about whether they would succeed in reelecting a white-supremacist president. But white people aren’t in my face all of the time. I can, more or less, only deal with whiteness when I want to . . . White people haven’t improved; I’ve just been able to limit my exposure to them.”

 

—Elie Mystal, The Nation    

 

Racism is the deductive bias against, and often hatred of, an entire racial group. It is often birthed by dislike of particular individuals of a given group that supposedly justifies, by extension, disliking or indeed hating all of them. The popular reaction against this widespread toxic pathology shown African Americans birthed the anti-slavery movement, the Civil War, the resistance to Jim Crow, and the modern Civil Rights movement.

 

But now there grows a strange new ahistorical “antiracism” racism.

 

One variety encourages holistic hatred, blaming all of one’s own unhappiness, indeed all of the cosmic injustice in the manmade and natural world—the very air, water, and earth—on a white racial collective.

 

Another constructs a purported racial pathology to encourage segregation and separation from all members of the white race, thereby limiting all “exposure” to a toxic people.

 

These are not just the idle critical race theory rants of intellectuals. They now are reified in racially segregated graduations and dorms and in systemic racialist reeducation and confessional workshops in government, the military, and private enterprise. In fact, the new antiracism racism is flagrantly directed at “whiteness”—the obsession of an America gone mad.

 

Barack Obama who, when a senator, filibustered the 2006 Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito now claims, falsely, the filibuster is a racist relic of Jim Crow, which it predated by at least 30-40 years. On the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) vowed to block confirmation of nominees based solely on their white skin color.

 

In violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, the mayor of Oakland just announced race-based grants of $500 per month to be given only to poor “BIPOC” (“black, indigenous, and people of color”) families, excluding the white poor.

 

The latest multibillion-dollar stimulus/farm aid bill is targeted for all those in need—as long as they are not white. The latter are all ineligible.

 

The new antiracism racism, whatever its original intentions, unfortunately exhibits the historical telltale signs of its noxious genre: an a priori negative stereotyping of all whites that can then be applied to individuals deemed undeserving because they are white. It is a deductive doctrine used to justify racial bias and racial preferences, to enhance careers and profits, and to excuse and contextualize racist language and behavior.

 

Antiracism’s implicit defense is that the nonwhite have less power to act out their biases than do whites, while it “rights” an historical wrong. Therefore even crude antiracists cannot be harmful racists. Consult the government data on hate crimes, however, and one learns some non-white groups have a greater proportional tendency to commit such crimes against others than so-called whites. And how has a white lower-middle-class generation, born in the post-Civil Rights movement and the age of affirmative action, continued to enjoy so-called white privilege?

 

The Convenient Vocabularies of Whiteness

 

Notice how the term “white racism” began metamorphosing into “white supremacy.” The latter is a linguistic means of stating, without evidence, that “they” control everything and thus there is little need for demonstrable examples of white racism.

 

But “supremacy” itself proves a problematic rubric. What does one do when Asian Americans as a group make far more per capita than do whites? Or the 44th president of the United States was black—as is the current vice president? Or both the recent Democratic and Republican candidates for lieutenant governor in South Carolina, the first slave state to secede from the Union, were black?

 

After all, a true “Islamic supremacy” state such as Iran or Saudi Arabia, does not allow a Christian or Jew access to such power in their country. A racially supremacist nation such as we see in communist China cannot allow a black or white immigrant to be premier—any more than can North Korea. Even South Korea or Japan may not any day soon see a Korean president or Japanese prime minister of Mexican or Irish ancestry.

 

And yet “white supremacy” itself is devolving into “white privilege.” The newer term no longer requires proof that all whites are always supreme—only that they all, by use of the collective “white,” enjoyed innately unfair advantages over all others based solely on their race.

 

But finally “white privilege” will itself prove an unsustainable rubric, given the clear privileges enjoyed by millions of non-white Americans in business, politics, popular culture, sports, entertainment, the professions, and among the elite. Surely one should not have to argue that a white Dayton, Ohio tire-changer is innately blessed in a way an unfortunate Eric Holder or Jay-Z purportedly is not?

 

So “white privilege” is now morphing into just “whiteness” in a malignant stereotyping hauntingly reminiscent of the 1930 theories of insidious “Jewishness,” a term denoting a mythical and underhanded power that warped and “controlled” Western Europe—even as no believable charge could be leveled against individual Jews.

 

Infectious “whiteness” supposedly is what explains why the privileged Meghan Markle is unhappy with, or rather furious at, the royal family and the psychodramatic injustices allegedly done to her—as the former royal couple lecture the public on its sins from their $14 million Montecito estate.

 

The “whiteness” conspiracy similarly explains why multibillionaire Oprah Winfrey, who interviewed the couple from her nearby $90 million estate, not long ago was—or so she complained—treated rudely by a clerk in a Swiss boutique who committed the mortal sin of not recognizing Oprah, and thus not purportedly retrieving a $38,000 crocodile bag out of its secure case quickly enough to Oprah’s liking.

 

“Whiteness” often towers over even 5’11” Michelle Obama. Even as First Lady, when incognito in a Target store, she complained that a much shorter white woman did not recognize her and asked her, a taller stranger, to help lift down an item from an upper shelf—a phenomenon that millions of Americans encounter weekly.

 

Racist White Male Mass Shooters Everywhere?

 

It took the media and the Left about a nanosecond, and without any evidence other than a grainy video, to falsely label the recent Colorado mass shooter—later revealed as a Trump-hating Syrian-born Muslim—a “white supremacist.”

 

And it only took a second for the online mob and media to use his now falsely assumed identification to fuel a grand indictment against all “white men” in general—in the same old, same old unapologetic Duke lacrosse, Covington Catholic kids, and Jussie Smollett style.

 

Next, the Colorado mass murderer was immediately lumped in with the recent Georgia mass killer—as if that monstrous shooter was, unquestionably, a similar white supremacist. The two together proved a “pattern” of systemic white violence, most notably against Asian Americans.

 

All of these narratives, which are still floating around and widely accepted, are false.

 

It mattered little that the prior Georgia “white supremacist” mass-murderer was a disturbed psychopath and sexual deviant. In an initial questioning, the FBI found him unhinged rather than acting out a racist agenda. Sexual deviance rather than racism more likely fueled his attacks on massage parlors, where he killed six Asian and two white women, and seriously wounded a Hispanic male.

 

As far as the deviant Atlanta shooter being illustrative of an epidemic of white-inspired, anti-Asian-American crimes, the majority of such hate crimes against Asians have not been found, by a variety of metrics, to have been committed inordinately by whites. Indeed, in many surveys, African American males are proportionally more likely to commit such hate offenses against Asians. Nor do whites commit hate crimes in general disproportionally. Nor in the case of mass shootings, are whites “overrepresented” in the data.

 

The First Stone

 

Barack Obama was also quick to inflame the dramas—in the fashion of his unfortunate Trayvon Martin commentaries—by weighing in falsely that racism was one of the Georgia shooter’s stimulants.

 

Meena Harris—a Dr. Seuss canceller, Kamala Harris’s niece and campaign advisor, and the would-be Harris family memorialist—before the Colorado shooter had even been identified, immediately tweeted out: “The Atlanta shooting was not even a week ago. Violent white men are the greatest terrorist threat to our country”

 

Note the Harris logic: a suspect mows down ten innocents, and presto “white men are the greatest terrorist threat to our country”—never mind that the shooter turns out to have been a Syrian Muslim who emigrated to America in the early 2000s. The subtext of Harris’ thoughtless comments is something like “and we better do something about those white people.”

 

Her later “apology” for her judge-jury-executioner disinformation tweet proved far worse than her original libel: “I deleted a previous tweet about the suspect in the Boulder shooting. I made an assumption based on his being taken into custody alive and the fact that the majority of mass shootings in the U.S. are carried out by white men.”

 

Aside from the fact that Harris offered no apology for her lie, and had no compunction in stereotyping an entire group on the false assumption that the murderer was white, she also was entirely misinformed about her data. Again, according to most information on mass murderers, there is no evidence that whites are more likely proportionally to be the culprits than are members of other racial categories. In terms of interracial violent crime, whites both proportionally and in absolute numbers, are more likely, in comparison to both blacks and Hispanics, to be victims than perpetrators.

 

Why have we given up on the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr, that content of character rather than the color of our skins will arbitrate how we treat other individual Americans in a multiracial United States? And is the rejection of that vision the foundation of the new racism?

 

The Utility of Anti-Racism

 

What is driving this new antiracism racism? Cui bono? After all, a number of ethnic groups enjoy higher per capita income than whites. The number of white poor in absolute numbers is larger than any other impoverished minority group. The two most common interracial marriage profiles are white and Hispanic, and white and Asian.

 

For one thing, the new antiracism racialism is driven mostly by elite, white, progressive, careerists. Yet why, in white bastions like Silicon Valley or Manhattan, is there an explosion of elite private academies and a mass flight from the public schools? Is there real integration inside the nation’s richest and bluest ZIP codes, where support for public charter schools is low but high for teachers’ unions?

 

Medievalism offers some guidance. If a guilty party still wishes to enter woke heaven—or more mundanely to get a promotion or avoid being fired—but is reluctant to sacrifice his own privileged and tribal ways, he can still find cosmic recompense through the abstract: our version of a contractual endowment to the Church that once erased away usury or profligacy.

 

In other words, very privileged, very wealthy white people virtue signal anger over “white supremacy” as both a psychological and practical way of squaring the circle of their own largely unbothered separate and segregated lives. The irony is that by doing so, those with privilege castigate those without it.

 

By dreaming up an ever-growing vocabulary of clingers, deplorables, irredeemables, chumps, dregs, and Neanderthals for the white underclass, the elite—both black and white—squares the circle of owning an estate on the cliff above Martha’s Vineyard, or a D.C. mansion.

 

The Clintons, the Bidens, and the Obamas can live guilt-free and in splendor on the metaphorical barricades, faced off against the less virtuous, Bible-thumping, racist losers who never got with it and learned to code or follow the fracking rigs. This morality offset credit is the racial equivalent of the climate activist John Kerry’s carbon-spewing private jet, so necessary to ferry him from one green conference to another.

 

Call it exemption, penance, indulgence, or any other variety of medieval quid pro quo, but the white elite’s virtue signaling is as easy to spot as it is pretentious, opportunistic, and hypocritical.

 

Just as deploring whiteness or confessing to “unearned” privilege exempts the concrete behavior of white elites, so too does it exempt elite blacks from addressing existential crises in the black community that transcend white racism.

 

Or is it more troublesome than that? Do elites claim that it is racist to suggest the elite woke should at least channel some of their outrage and concern to the mass killing of the urban young (so often African American youth), the pandemic of fatherless black households and illegitimacy, and inordinate rates of criminality? Meghan Markle, as one of the new self-appointed voices of the oppressed, seems more fixated on royal insensitivities than she does on the soaring murder rate in Chicago.

 

There were other catalysts that shipwrecked the King dream and are supplanting it with Balkans-style tribalism and intersectional hatred. Under Barack Obama, the new idea of “diversity” came into its own. The old binary of white/black and the ecumenical effort to heal the legacy wounds of slavery, Jim Crow and de facto discrimination suddenly invited in a host of new participants, many of them with little record of discrimination, economic inequality, or historical grievance.

 

Diversity, in other words, redefined the victimized as those with a claim on non-whiteness and on the basis of superficial appearance expanded those with purported grievances from 12 percent of the population to over 30 percent.

 

Suddenly the impoverished undocumented Oaxacan, subject to years of maltreatment in his native Mexico, became a victim deserving American reparatory consideration the moment he crossed by his own volition into the United States.

 

So did the children of the multimillionaire Punjabi cardiologist, now dubbed “Asian” as if Indians, too, were indistinguishable from Japanese and Chinese-American who had experienced historical discrimination inside the United States. The Brazilian aristocrat, the one-third “this” and the one-eighth “that” brought millions into the equation, including Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Ward Churchill, Alec Baldwin’s wife, and legions of other socially constructed diverse people.

 

Class: The Forgotten, Ecumenical Divide

 

The explosive gains in bicoastal wealth in tech, corporations, entertainment, media, the professions, and sports increasingly rendered less important the connections between class and race. A LeBron James, by traditional class definitions, was a privileged near-billionaire elite who often shilled for the Chinese government—not a victimized truth-teller entrusted to lecture us about the pathologies of whiteness. So as the nonwhite were now often elites, racial identity became more, not less emphasized, to avoid the perception that prior racial victims were now class beneficiaries or even oppressors.

 

Soon some minorities began questioning the racial fides of other, usually more conservative Latinos and blacks—inventing all sorts of philological categories such as “white Hispanic” and “multiracial whites.” They were reminiscent of the old white racists of the past who had strained to detect “white blacks” who successfully passed into white society, and thereby threatened to expose the entire absurdity of racial castes. After claiming that race was not a construct but immutable, the Left began contextualizing and rebranding and re-cataloging Trump-voting Cubans, George Zimmerman, and any who did not meet their own benchmarks for racial authenticity.

 

Soon we were left with the silliness of multimillionaire CNN anchor Don Lemon pontificating, without evidence, that “the biggest terror threat in this country is white men,” or the far richer, Colin Kaepernick, of mixed ancestry, raised by two white parents, and previously fined for using the N-word on the playing field, now scapegoating his athletic descent onto a white racist society that ruined his career, even as “it” enriched him beyond the imagination of 329 million other Americans.

 

There are inequalities in the United States. Many of them dovetail with racial differences. But 21st-century cause-and-effect remains unclear. And the chief dividing line in the age of bicoastal globalism is now class—the new-old word we dare not speak.

 

In truth, the Mexican American tractor driver in Gilroy has more in common with the white auto-mechanic, and both with the black truck driver, than any of the three has with the woke Jorge Ramos, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, or the Antifa and Black Lives Matter hierarchy.

 

America is not a sinful racist mess, but a great experiment as the only multiracial, self-reflecting, and self-critical democracy in history that did not—yet—descend into tribal chaos and violence.

 

 

About Victor Davis Hanson

 

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won and The Case for Trump.

 

source url

https://amgreatness.com/2021/03/28/is-racism-moral-now/

 

 

Biden to Sign Bill with $4 Billion in Debt Relief for Minority Farmers

 

By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming

Agriculture.com - 3/11/2021

 

With Republicans complaining of discrimination against white farmers, the House passed a coronavirus relief bill on Wednesday that would provide an estimated $4 billion in debt relief for socially disadvantaged farmers. The financial assistance comes at the end of a generation-long campaign dating from the so-called Pigford settlement of 1999, in which the USDA acknowledged decades of bias against Black farmers in its farm loan and other assistance programs.

 

President Biden said he would sign the $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill on Friday at the White House. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the package, which includes $16 billion in public nutrition and agricultural aid, “provides historic debt relief to Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and other farmers of color who for generations have struggled to fully succeed due to systemic discrimination and a cycle of debt. We cannot ignore the pain and suffering that this pandemic has wrought in communities of color.”

 

Debt relief and a related $1 billion to improve access to land, resolve “heirs property” issues, and provide legal aid to socially disadvantaged farmers was the largest component of the food and agriculture portion of the bill. The USDA would be obligated to pay 120% of the amount due on loans made directly to minority farmers or by private lenders through USDA loan guarantee programs. The additional 20% would cover taxes associated with debt relief, said proponents...

 

more

https://www.agriculture.com/news/business/biden-to-sign-bill-with-4-billion-in-debt-relief-for-minority-farmers

 

 

U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time

 

·         In 2020, 47% of U.S. adults belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque

·         Down more than 20 points from turn of the century

·         Change primarily due to rise in Americans with no religious preference

 

by Jeffrey M. Jones, GALLUP

Mar 29, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup's eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.

 

U.S. church membership was 73% when Gallup first measured it in 1937 and remained near 70% for the next six decades, before beginning a steady decline around the turn of the 21st century.

 

As many Americans celebrate Easter and Passover this week, Gallup updates a 2019 analysis that examined the decline in church membership over the past 20 years.

 

Gallup asks Americans a battery of questions on their religious attitudes and practices twice each year. The following analysis of declines in church membership relies on three-year aggregates from 1998-2000 (when church membership averaged 69%), 2008-2010 (62%), and 2018-2020 (49%). The aggregates allow for reliable estimates by subgroup, with each three-year period consisting of data from more than 6,000 U.S. adults.

 

Decline in Membership Tied to Increase in Lack of Religious Affiliation

 

The decline in church membership is primarily a function of the increasing number of Americans who express no religious preference. Over the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion has grown from 8% in 1998-2000 to 13% in 2008-2010 and 21% over the past three years.

 

As would be expected, Americans without a religious preference are highly unlikely to belong to a church, synagogue or mosque, although a small proportion -- 4% in the 2018-2020 data -- say they do. That figure is down from 10% between 1998 and 2000.

 

Given the nearly perfect alignment between not having a religious preference and not belonging to a church, the 13-percentage-point increase in no religious affiliation since 1998-2000 appears to account for more than half of the 20-point decline in church membership over the same time.

 

Most of the rest of the drop can be attributed to a decline in formal church membership among Americans who do have a religious preference. Between 1998 and 2000, an average of 73% of religious Americans belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque. Over the past three years, the average has fallen to 60%.

 

Generational Differences Linked to Change in Church Membership

 

Church membership is strongly correlated with age, as 66% of traditionalists -- U.S. adults born before 1946 -- belong to a church, compared with 58% of baby boomers, 50% of those in Generation X and 36% of millennials. The limited data Gallup has on church membership among the portion of Generation Z that has reached adulthood are so far showing church membership rates similar to those for millennials.

 

The decline in church membership, then, appears largely tied to population change, with those in older generations who were likely to be church members being replaced in the U.S. adult population with people in younger generations who are less likely to belong. The change has become increasingly apparent in recent decades because millennials and Gen Z are further apart from traditionalists in their church membership rates (about 30 points lower) than baby boomers and Generation X are (eight and 16 points, respectively). Also, each year the younger generations are making up an increasingly larger part of the entire U.S. adult population.

 

Still, population replacement doesn't fully explain the decline in church membership, as adults in the older generations have shown roughly double-digit decreases from two decades ago. Church membership is down even more, 15 points, in the past decade among millennials.

 

The two major trends driving the drop in church membership -- more adults with no religious preference and falling rates of church membership among people who do have a religion -- are apparent in each of the generations over time.

 

Since the turn of the century, there has been a near doubling in the percentage of traditionalists (from 4% to 7%), baby boomers (from 7% to 13%) and Gen Xers (11% to 20%) with no religious affiliation.

 

Currently, 31% of millennials have no religious affiliation, which is up from 22% a decade ago. Similarly, 33% of the portion of Generation Z that has reached adulthood have no religious preference.

 

Also, each generation has seen a decline in church membership among those who do affiliate with a specific religion. These declines have ranged between six and eight points over the past two decades for traditionalists, baby boomers and Generation X who identify with a religious faith. In just the past 10 years, the share of religious millennials who are church members has declined from 63% to 50%.

 

Church Membership Decline Seen in All Major Subgroups

 

As would be expected given the 20-point decline in church membership overall, the Gallup data show declines among all major subgroups of the U.S. population beyond age, with some differences in the size of that decline.

 

Among religious groups, the decline in membership is steeper among Catholics (down 18 points, from 76% to 58%) than Protestants (down nine points, from 73% to 64%). This mirrors the historical changes in church attendance Gallup has documented among Catholics, with sharp declines among Catholics but not among Protestants. Gallup does not have sufficient data to analyze the trends for other religious faiths.

 

In addition to Protestants, declines in church membership are proportionately smaller among political conservatives, Republicans, married adults and college graduates. These groups tend to have among the highest rates of church membership, along with Southern residents and non-Hispanic Black adults.

 

Over the past two decades, declines in church membership have been greater among Eastern residents and Democrats. Still, political independents have lower rates of church membership than Democrats do.

 

The smaller declines seen among conservatives and other subgroups are largely attributable to more modest change among older generations within those groups. For example, conservatives in older generations have shown drops in church membership of between five and 13 points since 1998-2000, compared with the 20-point change among all U.S. adults. However, the influence of generation is apparent, in that church membership is lower in each younger generation of conservatives than in each older generation -- 51% of conservative millennials, 64% of conservative Gen Xers, 70% of conservative baby boomers and 71% of conservative traditionalists in 2018-2020 belong to a church.

 

Hispanic Church Membership

 

Church membership among Hispanic Americans in 2018-2020 was 37%, among the lowest for any major subgroup. Analysis of changes over time in Hispanic adults' church membership is complicated by a shift in Gallup methodology to include Spanish-language interviewing in all surveys beginning in 2011. Church membership rates are significantly lower among Hispanic respondents interviewed in Spanish than among Hispanic respondents interviewed in English. Thus, a comparison of current Hispanic church membership to past membership would overstate the decline by virtue of comparing mixed-language Hispanics today to English-speaking Hispanics, alone, in the earlier period.

 

Implications

 

The U.S. remains a religious nation, with more than seven in 10 affiliating with some type of organized religion. However, far fewer, now less than half, have a formal membership with a specific house of worship. While it is possible that part of the decline seen in 2020 was temporary and related to the coronavirus pandemic, continued decline in future decades seems inevitable, given the much lower levels of religiosity and church membership among younger versus older generations of adults.

 

Churches are only as strong as their membership and are dependent on their members for financial support and service to keep operating. Because it is unlikely that people who do not have a religious preference will become church members, the challenge for church leaders is to encourage those who do affiliate with a specific faith to become formal, and active, church members.

 

While precise numbers of church closures are elusive, a conservative estimate is that thousands of U.S. churches are closing each year.

 

A 2017 Gallup study found churchgoers citing sermons as the primary reason they attended church. Majorities also said spiritual programs geared toward children and teenagers, community outreach and volunteer opportunities, and dynamic leaders were also factors in their attendance. A focus on some of these factors may also help local church leaders encourage people who share their faith to join their church.

 

document, plus links, charts, tables, methodology

https://news.gallup.com/poll/341963/church-membership-falls-below-majority-first-time.aspx