Atheism vs. Christianity, Islam and right-wing ideology

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In the modern era, atheists traditionally have belonged to the secular left in terms of their politics (see: Atheism and politics).

According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power."[1] See also: Atheism and communism

Decline of atheism relative to Christianity and Islam

In 2011, atheist Jacques Berlinerblau declared: "The Golden Age of Secularism has passed."[2]

See also: Atheism vs. Christianity and Atheism vs. Islam and Desecularization

In 2012, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) reported that every day there are 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day and 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day.[3][4]

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported:

Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass."[5]

Growth of fundamentalist Christianity/Islam and conservative Christianity in the world/West

See also: Growth of evangelical Christianity

At a conference. Professor Eric Kaufmann who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London wrote: said of religious demographic projections concerning the 21st century:

Part of the reason I think demography is very important, at least if we are going to speak about the future, is that it is the most predictable of the social sciences.

...if you look at a population and its age structure now. You can tell a lot about the future. ...So by looking at the relative age structure of different populations you can already say a lot about the future...

...Religious fundamentalism is going to be on the increase in the future and not just out there in the developing world..., but in the developed world as well.[6]

Projected growth of evangelical Christianity in Asia

See also: Asian atheism

Razib Khan points out in Discover Magazine that "most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed “Confucian societies.” It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian."[7]

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia among whites.[8] See: Western atheism and race

Justin Long, citing statistics from Operation World states:

From 146 million in 2010, evangelicals grow to 1.2 billion, or 24% of Asia’s 4.3 billion by 2100. Evangelicals are, in this model, predicted to slip from 3% per annum growth today to 1.5% per annum in 2100, due to the projected fall in population growth. This, too, seems a fairly realistic projection. While there are significant gains in the number of evangelicals in China, growth in other places in Asia is presently fairly flat.[9]
Chinese atheism and the growth of Christianity in China

See also: Growth of Christianity in China and East Asia and global desecularization

In front of the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

China has the world's largest atheist population.[10][11]

According to Slate, "Protestant Christianity has been the fastest growing religion in China."[12] Evangelical Christianity is especially growing sharply in China.[13]

On November 1, 2014, an article in The Economist entitled Cracks in the atheist edifice declared:

Officials are untroubled by the clash between the city’s famously freewheeling capitalism and the Communist Party’s ideology, yet still see religion and its symbols as affronts to the party’s atheism...

Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China’s Christian population the largest in the world. Mr. Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire.[14]

European desecularization

See also: European desecularization in the 21st century

Concerning the future of religion/secularism in Europe, professor Eric Kaufmann wrote:

We have performed these unprecedented analyses on several cases. Austria offers us a window into what the future holds. Its census question on religious affiliation permits us to perform cohort component projections, which show the secular population plateauing by 2050, or as early as 2021 if secularism fails to attract lapsed Christians and new Muslim immigrants at the same rate as it has in the past. (Goujon, Skirbekk et al. 2006).

This task will arguably become far more difficult as the supply of nominal Christians dries up while more secularisation-resistant Muslims and committed rump Christians comprise an increasing share of the population.[15]

Projected growth of evangelical Christianity in Europe according to Operation World

Justin Long, citing statistics from Operation World states:

Europe. From 18 million today, this model projects growth to 26 million evangelicals by 2100. The annual growth rate will decline along with the falling population AGR, which is projected to hit its peak ‘low’ rate of -0.246% per annum around 2075. Since the evangelical AGR will not be as slow as the population’s, Europe will actually become more evangelical (by percentage of the population): rising from 2.5% in 2010 to 4% in 2100 in this model.[16]
Projected growth of Islam in Europe

Due to the growing number of Muslims moving into secular Europe/Western World and the ideological differences between the atheist worldview and the Islamic religion, there has been growing tension between atheists/secularists and Muslims - particularly between militant atheists and militant Islamacists.

See:

Secular leftism is expected to decline in the 21st century

See also: Decline of the secular left

As noted above, historically the largest advances of the secular left has been through utilizing the power of the state (see: State atheism and Atheism and communism). For example, secular leftists use the power of the state to promote evolutionary ideology and to censor creationist/intelligent design models of origins (See: Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Atheist indoctrination).

Although the secular left has made some significant recent gains in the culture war (for example, the legalization of homosexual marriages in many Western nations), the historian Martin Van Crevel points out that sovereign states are losing power/influence due to technology democratizing access to information, welfare states increasingly failing, fourth-generation warfare being waged against countries and sovereign states increasingly losing their ability to maintain internal order.[17]

In the United States, the secular left has lost significant ground in the culture war relating to abortion and many states are restricting access to abortion.

The Birkbeck College, University of London professor Eric Kaufman wrote in his 2010 book Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? concerning America:

High evangelical fertility rates more than compensated for losses to liberal Protestant sects during the twentieth century. In recent decades, white secularism has surged, but Latino and Asian religious immigration has taken up the slack, keeping secularism at bay. Across denominations, the fertility advantage of religious fundamentalists of all colours is significant and growing. After 2020, their demographic weight will begin to tip the balance in the culture wars towards the conservative side, ramping up pressure on hot-button issues such as abortion. By the end of the century, three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the 'Redeemer Nation' to evangelize the world. Already, the rise of the World Congress of Families has launched a global religious right, its arms stretching across the bloody lines of the War on Terror to embrace the entire Abrahamic family.[18]

Decline of the secular left and demography and religious immigration

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, using a wealth of demographic studies, argues that there will be a significant decline of global atheism in the 21st century which will impact the Western World.[19]

See also: Global atheism

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population. The demographic disparity between the religious, growing global South and the aging, secular global North will peak around 2050. In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British. [20]

Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[21]

Emergence of the alt-right

See also: Alt-right

The Alt-right, or alternative right, is an emerging faction of the right-wing that opposes unrestrained multiculturalism, un-"skilled" immigration, and globalization.[22][23] The alt-right has emerged as one of the central opponents of the Establishment. The alt-right movement's central theme is as follows:[24]

The alt-right is not defined by any particular school of thought, but by the neoliberal school of thought it rejects. The alt-right, in the simplest terms, is an unapologetic purging of liberal idiocy.

"The origins of the alternative right can be found in thinkers as diverse as Oswald Spengler, Joseph Sobran, H.L Mencken, Julius Evola, Sam Francis, and the paleoconservative movement that rallied around the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan.[25] The French New Right also serve as a source of inspiration for many leaders of the alt-right.".[26] Contemporary alt-right authors include Jared Taylor, Steve Sailor, Richard Spencer, Paul Kersey, Razib Khan, and Milo Yiannopoulos.[27]

Leading alt-right websites include Radix Journal, Countercurrents Publishing, The Unz Review, Taki Mag, The Right Stuff, and Red Ice.[28][29][30][31][32][33]. More mainstream "alt-lite" websites include Breitbart and The Gateway Pundit.

Decline of the secular left in Europe in the 21st century

See also: Desecularization and politics

Between the years of 2021 and 2050, a tipping point is expected to occur in Europe as a whole and then secularization will plateau followed by a long term trend of desecularization).

Brexit was a major defeat to British secular leftists. In June 2014, Forbes reported that it is undeniable that politically right wing parties are ascendant in Europe.[34]

In 2010, Kaufmann reported that the rate of secularisation flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France.[35]

American culture war, Donald Trump's election, demographics and expected tipping point after 2020

See also: American atheism and liberal and Culture war

The United States 2016 presidential election was a major defeat for secular leftism. Donald Trump was a vocal opponent of political correctness during his presidential campaign.

According the agnostic, British professor Eric Kaufmann by the end of the 21st century, "three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the 'Redeemer Nation' to evangelize the world."[36]

Eric Kaufman wrote in his 2010 book Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? concerning the United States:

High evangelical fertility rates more than compensated for losses to liberal Protestant sects during the twentieth century. In recent decades, white secularism has surged, but Latino and Asian religious immigration has taken up the slack, keeping secularism at bay. Across denominations, the fertility advantage of religious fundamentalists of all colours is significant and growing. After 2020, their demographic weight will begin to tip the balance in the culture wars towards the conservative side, ramping up pressure on hot-button issues such as abortion. By the end of the century, three According to Cybercast News Service: "An analysis by the Cybercast News Service compared the location of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics with population data from the U.S. Census in 2000. The results appear to bolster the charge that the organization targets black communities."[37] See also: Atheism and social justice and Western atheism and racequarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the 'Redeemer Nation' to evangelize the world. Already, the rise of the World Congress of Families has launched a global religious right, its arms stretching across the bloody lines of the War on Terror to embrace the entire Abrahamic family.[38]

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States.[39] It performs nearly 200 times more abortions than referrals for adoption.[40] Founded by eugenicist and atheist Margaret Sanger, it is taxpayer subsidized and tax-exempt status and receives federal funding to promote and provide birth control.

According to Cybercast News Service: "An analysis by the Cybercast News Service compared the location of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics with population data from the U.S. Census in 2000. The results appear to bolster the charge that the organization targets black communities."[41] See also: Atheism and social justice and Western atheism and race and Evolutionary racism

Collapse of atheism in the former Soviet Union

See also: Collapse of atheism in the former Soviet Union

A Soviet propaganda poster disseminated in the Bezbozhnik (Atheist) magazine depicting Jesus being dumped from a wheelbarrow by an industrial worker as well as a smashed church bell; the text advocates Industrialisation Day as an alternative replacement to the Christian Transfiguration Day. see: Militant atheism

In 2003, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard published a paper by Assaf Moghadam entitled A Global Resurgence of Religion? which declared:

As the indications leave little doubt, Russia is showing clear signs of a religious resurgence. In fact, all seven criteria by which change in religious behavior and values are measured here confirmed that Russia is experiencing what could be called a religious revival. Since 1970, the nonreligious/atheist population has been on steady decline, from 52% in 1970 to 33% in 2000. Further, the percentage of this population is projected to decrease even further, possibly reaching the 20% mark in 2025. Between 1990 and 1997, belief in God has risen from 35% to a whopping 60%, while belief in the importance of God has climbed to 43% in 1997, up from 25% in 1990. More people have been raised religious in Russia in 1997 (20%) than at the beginning of the decade (18%), and 8.39% more Russians believed religion to be important toward the end of the 1990s, when compared to 1990. “Comfort in Religion” has also sharply increased within this time period, from less than 27% to over 46%. Finally, more and more Russians attend church services more regularly in 1997 than they did in 1990.

In the three Eastern European countries that were included in the WVS survey on belief in God, a drastic rise could be witnessed of respondents who answered this question in the affirmative. In Hungary, the percentage of believers in God jumped from 44% to 58% from 1981 to 1990, even prior to the collapse of the former Soviet Union. In Belarus, the number of people who believe in God nearly doubled over the course of the 1990s, from 36% to 68%, while in Latvia this figure almost quadrupled, from 18% to 67% in the same time period. Similar trends held true when it came to the importance of God, where there was a sharp rise in all three countries.[42]

Growth of Protestantism in Russia

A large number of missionaries operating presently operating in Russia are from Protestant denominations.[43]

According to a survey conducted at the end of 2013, 2% of surveyed Russians identify as Protestants or another branch of Christianity.[44]

Russia Watch in an article entitled Is Russia Turning Protestant? wrote:

Russia’s Justice Ministry has registered 14,616 Orthodox parishes, 4,409 Protestant parishes, and 234 Catholic parishes. But Anatoly Pchelintsev, a religion specialist and professor at the Russian State Humanitarian University, estimates that for every registered Protestant congregation, there are at least two unregistered ones.

Pchelintsev, who edits the Religion and Law publication here, concludes that Russia has about 15,000 Protestant congregations, roughly equal to the number of Russian Orthodox ones. He says the number of Catholic parishes is roughly the same as the official number.

In Siberia, long a land of dissenters and discontents, there are believed to be more Protestants in church on Sunday mornings than Russian Orthodox. On one recent visit to Khabarovsk, the second largest city of the Russian Far East, I went to a packed Baptist church, only a kilometer from a sparsely attended Russian Orthodox Cathedral. The massive Cathedral had been built with federal funds.[45]

Evangelicalism and Russia

According to the Christian Broadcasting Network:

The Orthodox Church's biggest competitors are the evangelical, charismatic congregations, which are experiencing tremendous growth.

"So many Russians are leaving the Orthodox Church and joining the charismatic churches and they don't like it," Ryakhovski said.

Ryakhovski gave CBN News a document produced by a leading Russian research group and backed by the Orthodox Church. The paper was titled, "Ways to weaken the potential of neo-Pentecostal sects and to help their victims."....

Once a persecuted minority, evangelical Christians in Russia and the surrounding countries that once made up the former Soviet Union, are now exerting more influence in society by displaying what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.

"People are looking for meaning, they are looking for authentic lifestyles, authentic relationships," Sipko told CBN News. "And so in the midst of all the economic and social changes, we have the opportunity to demonstrate what a personal relationship with Jesus is like."[46]

Berger's The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics

Peter L. Berger is an Austrian-born American sociologist best known for his work in the fields of the sociology of knowledge/religion, the study of modernization, and various theoretical contributions to sociology.

The Publisher's Weekly review of his 1999 book The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics declares:

In the 1950s and 1960s, Berger, Harvey Cox and others were fearless proponents of "secularization theory." This theory held that as technology improved and modernity advanced upon culture, religion would begin to decline and we would live, according to Cox, in a "secular city." Cox reversed himself in Religion in the Secular City (1984), declaring that the future of religion lay in grassroots movements such as fundamentalism, Pentecostalism and liberation theology. Now, Berger gathers a number of essays contending that, far from being in decline in the modern world, religion is actually experiencing a resurgence. In his opening essay, Berger asserts that "the assumption we live in a secularized world is false.... The world today is as furiously religious as it ever was." He points out that religious movements have not adapted to secular culture in order to survive but have successfully developed their own identities and retained a focus on the supernatural in their beliefs and practices. Berger then examines the origins, and ponders the future, of this global religious resurgence. ...He also provides a brief overview of the impact of religion on economic development, war and peace, human rights and social justice. Other essayists contribute "Roman Catholicism in the Age of John Paul II" (George Weigel), "The Evangelical Protestant Upsurge and Its Political Implications" (David Martin), "Judaism and Politics in the Modern World" (Jonathan Sacks), "Europe: The Exception That Proves the Rule?" (Grace Davie), "The Quest for Meaning: Religion in the People's Republic of China" (Tu Weiming) and "Political Islam in National Politics and International Relations" (Abdullahi A. An-Na'im). Berger's collection is replete with compelling writing about the relationship of religion and politics.[47]

Pessimism within the atheist movement

See also: Atheist pessimism about the atheist movement and Atheist movement

In 2011, Georgetown University professor and atheist Jacques Berlinerblau declared: "The Golden Age of Secularism has passed."[48]

Eric Kaufmann, an agnostic professor whose academic research specialty is how demographic changes affect religion/irreligion and politics, wrote in 2010:

Worldwide, the march of religion can probably only be reversed by a renewed, self-aware secularism. Today, it appears exhausted and lacking in confidence... Secularism's greatest triumphs owe less to science than to popular social movements like nationalism, socialism and 1960s anarchist-liberalism. Ironically, secularism's demographic deficit means that it will probably only succeed in the twenty-first century if it can create a secular form of 'religious' enthusiasm.[49]

See also

Notes

  1. Investigating atheism: Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
  2. Berlinerblau, Jacques (February 4, 2011). "Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast". The Chronicle of Higher Education/Brainstorm blog. Retrieved on May 29, 2015.
  3. Globally the worldviews of atheism and non-religious (agnostic) are declining while global Christianity is exploding in adherents
  4. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Status of Global Missions
  5. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  6. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  7. Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales, Discover magazine
  8. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  9. When will the world be over half evangelical? by Justin Long
  10. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  11. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  12. When Will China Become the World’s Largest Christian Country?, Slate
  13. In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions
  14. Cracks in the atheist edifice, The Economist, November 1, 2014
  15. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  16. When will the world be over half evangelical? by Justin Long
  17. The Fate of the State by MARTIN VAN CREVELD
  18. Why are 2012 and 2020 key years for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
  19. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  20. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  21. Shall the religious inherit the earth
  22. http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/29/an-establishment-conservatives-guide-to-the-alt-right/
  23. http://theweek.com/articles/641595/how-american-nationalism-coexist-globalism
  24. What is the Alt-Right?, AngryWhiteDude.com, April 12, 2016
  25. https://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/how-2015-fueled-the-rise-of-the-freewheeling-white-nationali?utm_term=.gro5QeAlb#.am3VkM4ZB
  26. An Establishment Conservative’s Guide To The Alt-Right, Breitbart, March 29, 2016
  27. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/05/meet-milo-yiannopoulos-the-appealing-young-face-of-the-racist-alt-right.html
  28. http://www.counter-currents.com/
  29. http://www.radixjournal.com/
  30. http://www.unz.com/
  31. http://takimag.com/#axzz4MpkgjNbs
  32. http://therightstuff.biz/
  33. https://redice.tv/
  34. Europe's Deep Right-Wing Logic By Robert D. Kaplan
  35. Shall the religious inherit the earth
  36. Why are 2012 and 2020 key years for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
  37. http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=%5CSpecialReports%5Carchive%5C200502%5CSPE20050207a.html (Link no longer works.)
  38. Why is the year 2020 a key year for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
  39. http://www.all.org/stopp/rr0404.htm
  40. http://www.lifenews.com/nat3104.html
  41. http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=%5CSpecialReports%5Carchive%5C200502%5CSPE20050207a.html (Link no longer works.)
  42. A Global Resurgence of Religion? by Assaf Moghadam, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University
  43. US State Department Religious Freedom Report on Russia, 2006
  44. 2013 End of the Year Survey - Russia WIN/GIA
  45. Russia Watch, Is Russia Turning Protestant?, 2014
  46. Russian Evangelicals Leery of Orthodox Church
  47. The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, Amazon
  48. Berlinerblau, Jacques (February 4, 2011). "Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast". The Chronicle of Higher Education/Brainstorm blog. Retrieved on May 29, 2015.
  49. Shall the religious inherit the earth? - Eric Kaufmann