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The Church has lost its voice in the US

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  • Originally posted by hedrick View Post
    ...I cited the book not because of its description of the morals of born-again Christians, but because of their results on how people view Christians..."
    From my perspective, we shouldn't evaluate Christianity on exclusively American branding and experience.

    In my country, Australia, I'd suggest Christianity is highly regarded, especially by non-christians (eg: Muslims, Hindus, Jews etc). I believe that has a lot to do with our history and social structure. For instance: our conservative governments have had a policy of outsourcing certain social services to various Christian organisations (largely because they have the administrative resources, experience and know how to make such a success). Rarely, has outsourcing in these services been to secular entrepreneurs. Historically, in colonial times and in the infancy of our federation, the RCC took the lead in delivering "free" education and "free" medical services, aged care etc, so we have a weird system whereby certain public institutions are divided between the government and religious institutions (albeit the later are government funded these days). The upshot is that even though in Oz society Christianity is declining as a population force (mainly because of immigration trends) in everyday life everybody in the country ends up drawing on a Christian resource (whether they know it or not. Imo, they mainly know it).

    Your post made me curious concerning the state of Christianity in Australia. Official Stats confirmed my own (local) suspicions. The growth churches are the "social" churches = the Pentecostal movement & the Uniting Church. The RCC has some growth amongst conservative youth. All other denominations are in decline (though I suspect the EOC might experience some growth due to an influx of Greek immigrants to Melbourne (once billed as the largest Greek populated city in the world. I think these days it ranks 3rd or 4th. 15 years ago I was told it ranked 2nd, the old people returning to Greece to retire on a generous Australian pension)).

    Gay rights: The Uniting Church in Australia is pro gay, and the Pentecostals seem to have moderated their position to be comparable with that of the RCC and most other conservative Christian churches = hate the sin, love the person.

    Another possible factor in non-christian peoples higher regard for Christianity in Oz than in the USA, is that religion is largely separated from our politics. There are a couple of obscure parties that very few vote for. I think there is only one dupe that made it into the senate (family first?), possibly two. In any case they have no voice, at least none that any sensible person pays attention - to get some press the guy is often outrageous (a total crank).
    Last edited by apostoli; 07-17-2015, 01:00 AM.


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