Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, February 07, 2011

The International Religious Climate, from the ground

Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary has put together a fascinating post, in which international readers respond to the following questions:
  1. Where do you live? (Or, if you’re not currently living there, what part of the world is it that you’re familiar with?)
  2. What is church attendance like in your area? Are there many churches? Do they seem to have active memberships?
  3. At a typical social event, how appropriate would it be if a person were to explicitly acknowledge in casual conversation that he or she is a believing Christian? For example, if someone at a party made a passing comment like, “We’ve been praying about that” or “I was reading the Bible the other day, and…”, would that seem normal or odd?
  4. What belief system do the politicians in your area claim to practice? For example, here in Texas almost all politicians at least claim to have some kind of belief in God, regardless of what they may think in private — to openly admit to being an atheist would be political suicide in most parts of the state. Is this the case in your area?
  5. How many families do you know who have more than two children? If a family with four children moved to your area, would their family size seem unusual? What about a family with six children?
  6. What seems to be the dominant belief system of the people in your area?
  7. Do you notice any trends? Do people seem to be becoming more or less religious?
As usual, Jennifer has started an interesting discussion, and the comments are necessary reading.

1 comment:

Mrs. Zummo said...

Thanks for pointing this out. I've been checking in periodically to read new comments. The entries from Europe makes me the saddest, but I have to remember that the Church in Europe has been through tougher times than this (Fall of Rome). Perhaps we will be hanging on through a new type of Dark Age.

I didn't realize how lucky I had it here in the MD suburbs of DC. The parishes are full, and ours has a number of large families. I'd say 3 is the average, but there are a few 6 kid families. One of the most striking differences I've observed from here and TX where I grew up, is the number of people with no religion and no religious education. I don't remember meeting anyone growing up who was nothing, even among the barely practicing.

I don't usually bring up religious topics with people I don't know or in business situations. But if the conversation comes up I try to jump in more than I used to. Usually people are polite and curious, eager to talk about it sometimes. Once a woman I work with periodically said something mildly anti-catholic. She came up to me later and apologized, which I thought was very nice and civil.

It's much harder to come out as a conservative and/or Republican here than a Catholic. Then I might not be invited to the block parties anymore.