For all the good they do, they are also divisive, sanctimonious, hypocritical, and give license to discrimination.
Imagine, for example, how gay people would be treated differently without churches. We even have court cases defending the right of religious people to violate our basic civil rights based on "religious freedom". Religious freedom is the right to go to your own church or not go, not to punish others for not following your religion.
The author of this article is identified as: "president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview"...and the article originally appeared as an essay of The Heritage Foundation (which is identified as: "A research and educational institution whose mission is to build and promote conservative public policies").
So, paraphrased, the mission of this article is to build and promote a Christian, politically conservative, worldview.
The opening photo is of parish members of a Catholic church (which is a nice ecumenical touch to get the article into a mainstream newspaper, which I assume the Connecticut Post is), but it is obvious that the studies cited were restricted to Protestant Christians and Catholics.
Nothing about Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, or Native American religions (etc.)...and nothing about atheists.
Somehow, I think their "representative sampling" was not actually representative of Americans as a whole, but was carefully constructed to come up with exactly the "right" results and conclusions to fit the agendas of the organizations who sponsored these studies. (I am not sure of what kinds of polling these organizations actually did.)
"Declining church attendance" is very probably an increasing concern for many churches...
...but this does not mean that "declining church attendance" therefore "harms society."
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2018 03:14PM by Tevai.
I believe that a certain part of the population benefits from church attendance. I believe it to be less that 20% from my own observation. For that population I can see the author's point. For the author to not acknowledge that the majority of people would be happier with no church and religion, takes away a lot of credibility. People can and are generous and giving without expecting an invisible Being to reward them when they die.