The PEW RESEARCH CENTER just released a fascinating report on the state of RELIGION IN 2050. The data is one of a kind. Not only does it include the usual demographic trends and potential schisms, but it embedded the stats in RELIGIOUS IDENTITY, which I hadn’t seen before. And what does it tell us:
That the CHURCH of LIBERAL SECULARIST HUMANISM (called the “Unaffiliated”) should dance ’till dawn about Indiana and any other upcoming victories, because they’re likely to be reduced to mere blips on the long-term spectrum.
If the stats for the upcoming 40 years bear out, we’re going to become a far less TOLERANT SOCIETY and look back at these internecine squabbles over gay catering ethics with a fond smile.
Let’s look at some of upcoming tectonic shifts and then I’ll offer some prescriptive solutions (that will likely offend everyone):
1.) ISLAM and CHRISTIANITY will be at parity in 2050, both housing about 35% of the population under their respective auspices. Sounds ok right? PARITY. Not at all. Because that number is CHRISTIANITY in its death throes and ISLAM in its ascendancy. Also, ISLAM is an incredibly YOUTH-BASED religion with 73% of its population under eighteen, whereas CHRISTIANS are dying out. So even in 2050, you’re witnessing an ACCELERATING ISLAM and a collapsing CHRISTIANITY.
2.) FOR ARGUMENT’S SAKE: Let’s say somehow CHRISTIANITY is able to make up some of it’s lost ground with a huge appeal in CHINA and it’s continued spread through AFRICA. It’s still not an ARGUMENT. CHINA is undergoing it’s own demographic disaster from it’s one-child policy and won’t create enough new CHRISTIANS to resist the ISLAMIC TIDE. AFRICA can always be counted on for a population explosion, but the RADICAL MUSLIMS have an advantage over the CHRISTIANS — THEY’RE KILLING THEM IN DROVES. And this is a problem for CHRISTIANITY because AFRICA is really where it could make up some numbers. One begins to wonder if CHRISTIANITY — for it’s continued survival — should become less a religion of PEACE and go back to the MURDEROUS DAYS President Obama recently chastised it for.
3.) THE UNAFFILIATED. There’s going to be more of them in 2050 too. SOUNDS GOOD. But again. Not so much. They’re going to be REALLY OLD. But it still gets worse —
They’re not going to be able to keep up with MIGRATION PATTERNS, because they’re not REPOPULATING. But let me be more blunt…
The CITADELS OF SECULAR HUMANIST THOUGHT will be facing a mass influx of IMMIGRANTS as their home countries continue to burn to the ground, and many of the newcomers don’t look as favorably on SECULAR HUMANIST THOUGHT.
In fact, they’re GETTING MORE AND MORE RELIGIOUS OVER THE NEXT 40 YEARS, in a direct rebuke to the notion that immigrants absorb their adopted culture.
So in short: The trends are moving towards a MORE RELIGIOUS WORLD…
Now if there’s one thing I dislike more than the SECULAR HUMANIST RELIGION, it’s ACTUAL RELIGION, so I’m going to offer a few ideas to the UNAFFILIATED (of which I’m a particularly jaundiced member) on how to survive:
You’re likely going to have to do SEVERAL OF THE THINGS YOU HATE MOST:
1.) You’re going to have to get comfortable with a DICTATOR to enforce your VALUES. When 60% of your population is non-indigenous and also RELIGIOUS, DEMOCRACY is not going to get you WHAT YOU WANT. A more tolerant world. Ironically, TOLERANCE will have to be doled out with an IRON FIST.
2.) If you don’t want to get comfortable with a DICTATOR, you’re going to have to SEAL OFF THE COUNTRY and stick a fork in IMMIGRATION. Or and this may be even greater anathema —
3.) You’re going to have to DISMANTLE THE WELFARE STATE entirely, so the concept of seeking sanctuary here loses it’s luster.
Or you have another choice. Which may prove EVEN LESS APPEALING:
SECULAR HUMANISM may have to affix itself to CHRISTIANITY and CONSERVATIVES in the name of “SHARED VALUES” to try and make up some of it’s numbers. After all, not all our values are in concert, but there’s a SHARED LOVE OF FREEDOM and HUMANITY. And this awkward shotgun wedding may get you through an extra fifty years or so, but in the long term, you’re likely still going to have to end up adopting ONE or ALL of my proposals.
And I think the SECULAR HUMANISTS know this and are putting their eggs in another basket:
That TECHNOLOGY can somehow BEST all these issues. And you’re right: IT CAN.
But not the way you’re doing it. You need to stop worrying about WATER and GREEN ENERGY and START RACING TO THE MOON and setting up shop.
Stop trying to SAVE THE PLANET. Stop enacting exhaustive legislation against GOOGLE for THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN. Stop with STREAMING VIDEO PLATFORMS.
And start handing over gobs and gobs of money to ELON MUSK, to get that colony on the Moon up and running so all the UNAFFILIATED can live in hope and harmony. Or at least have another chance to take a run at the gay catering scandals in a much harsher climate.
It’s funny. Half the time I wonder: Are we in a chronological interregenum to see which comes first: A RADICAL GROUP finally getting the CHANCE TO USHER IN APOCALYPSE. Or for the SINGULARITY to happen.
Because once again, either option would save the SECULAR HUMANISTS from being faced with choices they outright loathe:
ACTUAL RISK AND FIGHTING FOR THE CONTINUED SURVIVAL OF THEIR VALUES.
Or maybe I’m totally, totally WRONG. The whole point of this blog is to chart the mutation and all it’s surprises. Hopefully, I’ll be surprised.