Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Catholic Defender: The Secular Threat

According to the Pew-Research report (18 December 2013), a Religion and Public Life Project, is just off the printing press.

This study was based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans aged over 18.

The Pew Research reveals some serious concerns.

For the Catholic Church there is good news and their is bad news.  Which would you prefer first?

I'll give the bad new first.  According to the survey, roughly one-third of those surveyed identified themselves as former Catholic.  This would mean that nearly 10% of all Americans would statistically fall in as a former Catholic.  This would clearly be the second largest group in the survey.

Clearly that is not good news but it is not anything unexpected.  We have seen this the past few years.

The good news is that the Catholic Church is relatively stable because of the numbers of people converting to Catholicism each year.  That is about 2.6% of the population.

Another positive aspect that was not covered in this survey was the importance of many Catholics who are returning to the Faith.  I myself would fall into that category as well as many more.  The basic result for the Catholic Faith in the overall percentage who claim to be Catholic remains stable.

Apologetics from Deepertruth, Catholic Answers, Catholics Come Home, Defenders of the Catholic Faith (DCF) and many other good Catholic Apologetics last year helped to bring home more than 300,000 fallen away Catholics.  That is a step in the right direction.

Currently. about 25% of all Americans classify themselves as Catholic and that has been the mid-line for some times.  Catholics hover around one in four Americans.

The survey also raised an important factor that has been developing is the influx of Hispanic peoples coming to America.

The Catholic Faith for the past few years have been receiving great Catholic Converts such as Steve Ray, a former Non-Denominational/Baptist Minister.  They have had a great impact in reaching other Protestant Ministers of all Denominations.

EWTN, A Catholic Television Network based in Alabama features a show, "The Journey Home" that interviews many prominent  conversion stories.

It is good to see the Catholic Faith being stable, but the problem of anyone leaving the Faith continues to be a challenge. 

Protestantism, according to the survey seems to be on an obvious decline.  Americans aged 70 and older 62% claimed Protestantism which is about six-in-ten people.  The same survey shows that Americans aging 18-29 represents about 43% which is about four-in-ten.  What was not questioned was the decrease in the mainline Protestant churches who are classified as liberal.

Church attendance radically drops from those denominations that have accepted women priests and pastors, who have embraced Gay marriage, embraced Gay ministers.  Those who accept abortions on demand are in decline.  Some of the "mega" churches (Non-Denominational) along with the Catholic Faith have been the recipients of many of these people.

According to the results of the survey, the general pattern shows a "decline in the number of Protestants and the growth of the unaffiliated population may continue."

 The following are the basic highlights of the report:
  • Men are significantly more likely than women to claim no religious affiliation. Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation, compared with roughly 13% of women.
This pattern seems to reveal a problem that is not new, men for a good while have not been supporting their role as a Father and leader of their family.

This very problem is a major reason their Children have abandoned the Catholic Faith.  When the Man is leading his family being a responsible Catholic, their Children embrace the faith well over 90%.  When everything depends on the Mother and the Father is out of the picture, only about 30% of the Children hold onto the Faith.

Among people who are married, nearly four-in-ten (37%) are married to a spouse with a different religious affiliation. (This figure includes Protestants who are married to another Protestant from a different denominational family, such as a Baptist who is married to a Methodist.) Hindus and Mormons are the most likely to be married (78% and 71%, respectively) and to be married to someone of the same religion (90% and 83%, respectively).

This is an issue that many Catholics find themselves.

Many who do convert to the Catholic Faith come from those who married a spouse who was Catholic.

St. Paul speaks about this issue 1 Corinthians 7:12-16.

  • Mormons and Muslims are the groups with the largest families; more than one-in-five Mormon adults and 15% of Muslim adults in the U.S. have three or more children living at home.
This reveals that Catholics in general have accepted the attack on marriage and motherhood.

The use of Artificial Birth Control and Abortion is problematic for a large sector of the Catholic population.

The Church has not done well in presenting the gospel message in this area as have the secularists pushing the culture of death.
  • The Midwest most closely resembles the religious makeup of the overall population. The South, by a wide margin, has the heaviest concentration of members of evangelical Protestant churches. The Northeast has the greatest concentration of Catholics, and the West has the largest proportion of unaffiliated people, including the largest proportion of atheists and agnostics.
This highlight shows my previous response.  The Northeast is overwhelmingly liberal and many of the Catholics there voted for the Democratic Party who espouses the far-ultra left.

This is a serious problem that the Catholic Church has to come to terms with in the Northeast.  The hierarchy cannot compromise the gospel for political expediency.
  • Of all the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States, black Americans are the most likely to report a formal religious affiliation. Even among those blacks who are unaffiliated, three-in-four belong to the "religious unaffiliated" category (that is, they say that religion is either somewhat or very important in their lives), compared with slightly more than one-third of the unaffiliated population overall.

The Black family has been largely attacked by the progressive liberal.

The NAACP continues to espouse the ultra-left which pushes for abortion, gay rights, and the attack on fatherhood.

Blacks will vote overwhelmingly more than 90% for the Democratic Party.  Their religious commitment is second to their political will.
  • Nearly half of Hindus in the U.S., one-third of Jews and a quarter of Buddhists have obtained post-graduate education, compared with only about one-in-ten of the adult population overall. Hindus and Jews are also much more likely than other groups to report high income levels.

This is a very important statistic.  This survey shows that much of the general public have accepted the liberal mentality that wealth should be dispensed from the rich to give to the poor.

The incentives to move a head and make something of yourself is disappearing.  People are being raised with a right to food stamps mentality.

Our Country have clearly shifted over to a Socialistic State and freedom is being trampled.  The Constitution is being reduced by a political will that empowers the Government that ultimately enslaves the masses.
  • People not affiliated with any particular religion stand out for their relative youth compared with other religious traditions. Among the unaffiliated, 31% are under age 30 and 71% are under age 50. Comparable numbers for the overall adult population are 20% and 59%, respectively.
This highlight reveals the impact that many young people have accepted the secular atheistic beliefs rejecting religion.

Children being taught that evolution is a fact of science as opposed to a theory, when religion is not given freedom in public schools, the results are obvious.

This is the goal of the secularist who want to push for Abortion and Gay marriage.  They want to take Christ out of public life.  This is where the Democratic Party derives it's war on Christianity.
  • By contrast, members of mainline Protestant churches and Jews are older, on average, than members of other groups. Roughly half of Jews and members of mainline churches are age 50 and older, compared with approximately four-in-ten American adults overall.
This is a serious problem and an obvious evidence of decline.  I am so thankful that the Catholic Faith was not in that picture.

There are a lot of youth who are searching for the truth and the Catholic Faith is attracting many because of it's tradition, liturgy, history, and foundation.

It is the one true faith.  I recently spoke with a 16 year old teenager who was unaffiliated with any church.  He told me that his Mother was raised Catholic, but had not been practicing for many years.

A couple of days ago, this young man thanked me for helping him to see the Catholic Faith.  His Mother went to Mass with him the past two weeks and they are excited about it.
  • In sharp contrast to Islam and Hinduism, Buddhism in the U.S. is primarily made up of native-born adherents, whites and converts. Only one-in-three American Buddhists describe their race as Asian, while nearly three-in-four Buddhists say they are converts to Buddhism.

This movement began to change in the late 1960's when the Beatles and the Beach Boys began to follow Eastern Mysticism.

After the Beach Boys would play their concert, they would turn the stadium lights down and present Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who would then preach to the young people the ways of Transcendental Meditation and the way to Eastern Mysticism.

As a result of these appearances  it is approximated that nearly 1,000,000 young people became followers.

Many young Americans began to follow the Krishna movement.

Another group that has grown recently is the Wicca Witchcraft groups, there are "neo-Pagans" and Pagans.

Much of this interest developed with the widespread interest in the Harry Potter books and movies.
  • Jehovah's Witnesses have the lowest retention rate of any religious tradition. Only 37% of all those who say they were raised as Jehovah's Witnesses still identify themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses.
This highlight reveals a sad truth that people eventually discover.

The Jehovah's Witnesses have no real foundation.  They were founded by Charles Taze Russell in the later 1870's incorporated in 1884.

They have many early false prophecies claiming the second coming of Christ.

They have no foundation.  That is a serious problem that all Protestantism has because they each have men as their founders and have lost that Catholic foundation.

Catholics in the past have been vulnerable to those visitors knocking on the door.  That might be changing today as more Catholics are discovering their roots.
  • Members of Baptist churches account for one-third of all Protestants and close to one-fifth of the total U.S. adult population. Baptists also account for nearly two-thirds of members of historically black Protestant churches.

What this survey doesn't tell you is that there are 31 Baptist Denominations totally distinct from one another.  That is a sad consequence of division within the Baptist Communities.  When you add them all up together, they are a large group.

Protestantism in general, especially many of the Non-Denominational "mega" churches compete with everyone else much like a business.  For one of these churches, a convert is a potential support with monetary value.  That is how they pay for their expensive stage shows and bands.

Compare what the average Protestant Minister makes in his salary compared to the Catholic Priest.  It is night and day.  Many of your Protestant Pastors have a 6 digit income, have more bodyguards that your Government representatives.  It is more than souls, it is about profit.

The Catholic Priest in comparison lives with a very modest income, Religious Order of Priests take vows of poverty.  The Diocesan Priest may have a car and a rectory, but that is provided by the Church Community. 

The entire Catholic structure is all about the worship of God, it is Community driven.  The Protestant has far more considerations because they have to compete to appeal to followers and their support.  That is why 44% of Protestants in the Pew-Research Survey revealed that they have "church-hopped" because they move where they might like the music, the preaching, the youth programs better.  They drift to what might be more popular.  The gospel of wealth sells a lot of material.

For Catholics, our response to all of this is the greater need to activate fathers to take their leadership role in leading their family.  That Catholics change their political support for those running for office that defend the Culture of Life.  That promotes the Constitution of the United States and the defense of religious freedom.  That we take back our educational places of higher learning that will stand up for Christmas and religious freedom.

We do this, we would go far in turning around the direction America has been declining towards.  Pray for the United States of America.

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