Nones On The Rise… Is This Us Next???

Amazing article from USA Today yesterday: As Protestants decline, those with no religion gain by  on Oct. 09, 2012, under USA TODAY News

For decades, if not centuries, America’s top religious brand has been “Protestant.” No more.

In the 1960s, two in three Americans called themselves Protestant. Now the Protestant group — both evangelical and mainline — has slid below the statistical waters, down to 48%, from 53% in 2007

Where did they go? Nowhere, actually. They didn’t switch to a new religious brand, they just let go of any faith affiliation or label.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released an analytic study today titled, Nones on the Rise, now that one in five Americans (19.6%) claim no religious identity.

This group, called “Nones,” is now the nation’s second-largest category only to Catholics, and outnumbers the top Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptists. The shift is a significant cultural, religious and even political change.

Count former Southern Baptist Chris Dees, 26, in this culture shift. He grew up Baptist in the most religious state in the USA: Mississippi.

By the time he went off to college for mechanical engineering, “I just couldn’t make sense of it any more,” Dees says. Now, he’s a leader of the Secular Student Alliance chapter at Mississippi State and calls himself an atheist.

Today, fueled by young adults like Dees, the Nones have leapt from 15.3% of U.S. adults in 2007, according to Pew studies.

One in three (32%) are under age 30 and unlikely to age into claiming a religion, says Pew Forum senior researcher Greg Smith. The new study points out that today’s Millennials are more unaffiliated than any young generation ever has been when they were younger.

“The rise of the Nones is a milestone in a long-term trend,” Smith says. “People’s religious beliefs, and the religious groups they associate with, play an important role in shaping their worldviews, their outlook in life and certainly in politics and elections.”

The study comes amid an election campaign where the Republican Party, placed Protestants on their presidential ticket for a century, has nominated a Mormon with a Catholic running mate.

Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court includes six Catholics and three Jews: Whoever wins in November may deal with naming a justice in the next four years.

Rev. Eileen Lindner, a Presbyterian pastor and editor of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, observes, “We are still twice as likely to be affiliated with a religion than Europeans, but there is strong evidence that our religious institutions, as we configured them in past centuries, are playing a less significant role in American life.”

Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptists Theological Seminary in Louisville, saw a welcome clarity in the report, even if he didn’t like the new picture in focus.

“Today, there’s no shame in saying you’re an unbeliever, no cultural pressure to claim a religious affiliation, no matter how remote or loose,” Mohler says. “This is a wake-up call. We have an incredible challenge ahead for committed Christians.”

Wanda Melchert, whose great-grandparents helped found Vang Lutheran Church in rural North Dakota a century ago, sees her church about to shut its doors and become part of a local heritage museum. The congregation worships elsewhere now.

“Out here in the middle North Dakota, religion is still very important and families still teach their children. There’s a strong faith base still here,” she says. But when Melchert looks at the changing national picture of religion, she says, “we’re praying about this. We feel there’s a great need for people to turn back to God. When we lose that, it’s dangerous for our country.”

However, Rev. Martin Marty, a historian of religion and professor emeritus of the University of Chicago, says he wrote a book half a century ago on varieties of unbelief and has long thought that religious cohesion “has long been overstated.”

Says Marty: “The difference is now we have names for groups like Nones.”

Sorry, this just had to be posted…

Florida man dies after roach-eating competition

RoachesRoaches are not known to be unsafe to eat.

The winner of a cockroach-eating competition died shortly after eating dozens of the live insects and worms in Florida, authorities have said.

Edward Archbold, 32, became ill and collapsed at a pet shop where the contest took place in the city of Deerfield Beach on Friday.

About 30 others competed in the event at the Ben Siegel Reptile Store.

Officials are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine Archbold’s cause of death.

‘Unorthodox contest’

None of the other contestants became ill afterwards, the sheriff’s office said.

“We feel terribly awful,” said Ben Siegel, the owner of the shop.

“He looked like he just wanted to show off and was very nice,” he said, adding that Archbold did not appear to be ill before the competition.

A lawyer for Mr Siegel said all the contestants had signed disclaimers “accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest”.

The grand prize for the winner was a python, and Archbold had planned to sell the snake to a friend who took him to the contest, according to the shop owner.

Sorry Cockroach, you are the weakest link, goodbye…

So the Cockroach has worn out his welcome, it would be unfair to keep on him, no one cares, and neither do I…  He isn’t worth the time or the electrons being consumed on the Internet.  He has been thrown out by his former buddies at the Left of Lightwater, Twitter can’t bear him, and no one wants to know, not no one…  So, bye bye, and as they say on the BBC show: you are the weakest link, goodbye…

Spotty Dweeb lowers his trousers on the BBC

Stone Throwing Spotty Dweeb humiliates himself on the BBC

You would have thought if you wanted to be Prime Minister some day that you would figure out how to keep your trousers on.  So, here’s the Dweeb on the BBC railing on about Maggie Thatcher’s Handbag and all th emoney he makes, and not realising that he has no trousers on, just amazing…  On the heels of his endless glorifying of his Comprehensive School and how it qualifies him to be Prime Minister, you would have thought they would have told him that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones…

The Soundbites from last night…

Hark Announces its Top-10, ‘Most Listened To’ Sound Bites from the 2012 Presidential Debate, Round One
SEATTLE (BUSINESS WIRE) – 04/10/2012 17:11

Hark, the world’s largest sound bite platform, announced today its Top-10 list of the ‘most listened to’ sound bites from the first round of the 2012 Presidential Debates, held last night in Denver, Colo. The list was compiled today, after Hark tracked user-listening patterns from the second the debate finished through 8:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time on October 4. It was immediately made available for journalists and bloggers to share with their readers, as well as consumers wishing to share with friends and family via social media.

“Sound bites are the sticky phrase that we will remember not just after the debate, but for years to come,” said Hark CEO David Aronchick. “As the world’s largest sound bite platform, we are proud that our content on Hark can help in the democratic process, by informing voters and assisting those covering the election to tell a more complete story.”

The Top-10, ‘Most Listened To’ Soundbites from the Presidential Debate, Round One:

1. “I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too.” – Mitt Romney

2. “I just want to wish, sweetie, you happy anniversary and let you know that a year from now we will not be celebrating it in front of 40 million people.” – President Obama

3 . “But under Governor Romney’s definition, there are a whole bunch of millionaires and billionaires who are small businesses. Donald Trump is a small business. Now, I know Donald Trump doesn’t like to think of himself as small anything, but. . .” – Obama

4. “Look, I’ve got five boys. I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true, but just keep on repeating it, and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it.” – Romney

5. “Under the president’s policies, middle-income Americans have been buried. They’re just being crushed.” – Romney

6. “I have no idea what you are talking about, I maybe need to get a new accountant.” – Romney

7. “Mr. President, you’re entitled, as a President, to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts.” – Romney

8. “My attitude is, if you’ve got a corporate jet, you can probably afford to pay full freight.” – Obama

9. “Now, does anybody think that Exxon Mobil needs some extra money when they are making money every time you go to the pump?” – Obama

10. “Is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret, because they’re too good?” – Obama