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If your preacher/priest/deacon/whatever can't be a better entertainer than the clowns on The NFL Today he/she isn't trying very hard.

However, I take your point. When I was a teenager and my family still attended St. Michael's I hated it, because I'd gotten up at 0500 to deliver the Sunday Washington Star and crawled back into bed about 0700, only to have my father come in at 0830 to get me up to shower and put on my shirt and tie. I nodded off during Father Scannell's sermons.

Ken Muldrew

I wonder if people who watch preachers on TV go to church. Do the televangelists get them fired up and keen on going to meeting, or do they replace the need? I guess I'm wondering about this because so much of television is directly aimed at satiating the human need for social processing. We get simulated human communities that allow us to engage in gossip, peer evaluation, blame-fixing, and general busibodiness without ever leaving the comfort of our home. Is *televised* religion the ultimate opiate of the people?


Let's just try this on...maybe more people have lost patience/reverence/faith with organized religion. Maybe the appearance of books explaining atheism on the bestseller lists, the recent admission of a Congressman that he is an atheist, the broad-based trend in survey after survey that atheism and agnosticism is growing in numbers...maybe it all fits. Maybe, just maybe, people are choosing unaffiliated due to thoughtfulness and not laziness.


I agree that part of the falling away from church-going is because of impossibly busy working lives -- not much time or energy is left over for proper socializing, let alone socializing with a dose of morality thrown in.

But I think part of it is also, religion's claims, especially with respect to sexual morality, have been losing traction since the 60's. It really is simply absurd to believe that an Almighty God cares whether and whom you fuck in the ass, especially if they're the same gender as you, and will send you to hell for it.

It's absurd. I'm glad more people are seeing that.

But whatever the reason for it might be, it's not a negative trend if the end result is that people believe in fewer idiotic things.


I'd lay odds that, in keeping with Maha's point, if you tracked the viewership of Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar with church affiliation, suddenly, you'd see this neat little inverse proportion at work.

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