As alot of religions find themselves in a downward spiral , & many are following the trend of not following any faith. More advertisements are going up on billboards, subways and on the side of buses. According to the organization Secular Student Alliance, they exist to assist teenagers who want to be free-thinkers and how to help them express themselves.
What do you think the future of Freethinking will be with the younger generations? Do you think Atheism will become more accepted and "popular" with the younger crowd? If so, will we be expecting religions to panic and start up-ing the antie to prevent this from happening? Desparate ppl do desparate things...and from what I can see "out there", ppl of faith are starting to worry....
One of the huge signs of atheism in my school was in a genealogy, when my teacher was talking about carbondioxide and how it causes hallucinations. He followed up by saying "careful, if you breath in to much you'll start believing in god". Almost everyone of the 30 or so students started laughing hysterically.
Christianity is RAPIDLY disappearing around the world - everywhere but here in the land that "God favors above all others" - The United Holy States of America. And be assured, it will gradually wither away here, as well. But why the hell (small "h") is it taking so damned (in the secular sense) long?
Among the great changes of the 17th century was the freeing of minds from religious stricture; that's because the new regime of science revealed to people a way of understanding the world without the tyrannical mind control imposed by the Catholic, then, increasingly, the protestant churches. Protestants, in particular, had been under the thumb of John Calvin and his brutal suppression of the prideful individual to God's demand for religious servitude and blind obedience (OR ELSE!!). But, as knowledge of the natural world spread, Europeans began to reject Calvinism for more humane brands of religious faith, such as Anglicanism and others that offered a gentler, kinder deity in place of the one that, essentially, sent everyone to Hell. The Calvinist, Puritan Presbyterians didn't like the fact that they were losing adherents and so packed up their bags to head for the wilds of America where they could re-establish such charming practices as witch-burning and male dominion. Since then, European countries have been drifting further and further away from religion. Even in Britain, less than half the population now regards itself as religious. In Scandinavian countries, Christianity is almost non-existent - essentially a shrinking cult. In short: science awakened in Europe first, so Europe is shedding the shackles of religion sooner.
But eventually, the scientific and industrial blossoming in Europe reached the shores of New England. Among its subsequent effects was the abandonment, once again, of reactionary, paternalistic forms of religion. So, as before, the Calvinists packed up and moved - this time to the American south, where they eventually became Southern Baptists. To this day, the southern states are the bastion of the most repressive religious paradigms. Further, they believe it their right and duty to impress their beliefs and practices on the rest of the country through rabid evangelism. Neither is it a coincidence that this is where slavery was condoned and championed by the church; and where, even today, racism is so ingrained in the psyche of Christians that many of their churches are de facto exclusionary - open only to white people and dominated by male clergy; after all, God is a "He," isn't he? It is also the home of most of the "tea partiers," which, at their core, are racist religious zealots who are enraged that a black man would dare think himself superior to the lowliest white man.
But that is slowly changing. Despite the ability of politicians from the south and rural midwest to force their beliefs through infiltration of the political process, churches are closing every day. A recent survey conducted by Trinity College, no less, indicates that the percentage of Americans who self identify as Christians has declined by 11% in the last two decades. This is a trend, albeit a slow one so far, that will irresistibly spread. Increasingly, there are scientific studies, such as a newly released one from the University of California at Berkeley that has produced a new genetic tree of descent for primates that makes it impossible for anyone with an iota of intelligence not to see that HUMANS EVOLVED from ancestral primate forms. The lineages are right there in the genes; and genes, like pictures, don't lie. Religious extremists will continue to deny evolution, and as they do, their ignorance will be more plain for everyone to see. Even The Catholic Church has been forced to admit that evolution is true. In fact, ironically, some of the best instruction in the Theory of Evolution emanates from Catholic schools. The Pope said it's okay, so the priests and nuns obey, if sometimes less than enthusiastically. One of the reasons for the longevity of Catholicism is its ability, when push comes to shove, to change and adapt to reality. Not so, fundamentalist Christianity. Those people will cling to the very end to their outdated and repressive ideology. When the country at large finally awakens to the realization that, politically and morally, homosexuality is NOT a sin, and that people who love each other, regardless of sexual orientation, have a right to legalize their unions in exactly the same manner as everyone else - AND THEY WILL - it will be accompanied by yet more defections from hate-based religious paradigms.
It won't happen in my lifetime, and probably not in yours, but it WILL happen! science-revealed truths will gradually eat away at fear-based religious ignorance and servitude. For example: the longer science is able to prolong the lives of people (maybe for many decades, if the newest discoveries bear fruit), the less will the fear of death weigh on people's minds. And what is the purpose of ALL religions after all? It is to assuage the paralyzing fear of what awaits us beyond the grave.* As this stranglehold wielded by religion loosens its grip on the ability to frighten us, Reason will gradually supplant medieval superstition.