Writing for Religion Dispatches about the debate between the Christian faithful and the so-called New Atheists, Davidson Loehr suggests that the “controversy” feels stale and uninteresting. He notes that the Christian church doesn’t represent a pivotal element in many American lives anymore:
Christine Wicker, author of The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, and David T. Stone, author of The American Church in Crisis, are among the authors citing research that shows a dismal picture of American religion:
• Christian churches are losing two million people a year.
• Between just 2000-2005, church attendance declined in all fifty states.
• No matter what people may tell pollsters about their church habits, when you count the bodies in the pews, fewer than 18% of Americans attend any church regularly; 82% don’t.
• When asked to rate eleven groups in terms of respect, non-Christians rated evangelicals tenth. Only prostitutes ranked lower. After the stories of hypocritical preachers and political moralists caught with paid lovers, it might be interesting to ask the prostitutes about that ranking.
Source: Religion Dispatches