Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two from the MCJ comboxes on church
Editing out most of the mainline-bashing. (This blog’s POV is Catholic. ’Nuff said.)

On church and the sexes:
Ma observed that if the choir ever became 60/40 that would be the end of a mixed choir. “There’s a critical balance,” she observed. “Once you get too many women the men leave. Men don’t like hen parties.”
On the rise and fall of immigrant religion:
Recently a Lutheran whose name I can’t recall penned an article describing the demographics in 3 phases:

1. Immigration phase–plenty of Lutherans coming off the boat = growth.
2. Prolific phase–Immigration trickles, but Lutheran families still having 4-6 children. Most stick with the faith = less growth, but at least replacement.
3. Decline phase–Lutheran families now having 0-2 children, those children jumping ship in the face of concessions to Leftist moonbattery = down the toilet.
That’s pretty good, Scott W., only the Lutheran experience as you well describe it reminded me much more of the American Orthodox and American Greek Catholic (who are Slavs not Greeks) one, because all are ethnics, than the Episcopal. The WASP Episcopalians haven’t been immigrants for about 250-300 years! Eastern Christians haven’t had a big sellout to Modernism (Vatican II hardly affected the Greek Catholics, thank God) but they’re still losing people like crazy as the old die, the young move away from the old ethnic towns and marry out/assimilate, and the Orthodox convert fad fizzles (about 60% don’t stay – the reason for most of the few conversions is still somebody marrying into an ethnic group, just like My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Makes me wonder how the conservative Lutherans (non-mainliners; confessional Lutherans with distinctive semi-Catholic theology and practices) such as the LCMS and, much in the news lately because of former member Michele Bachmann, WELS are faring. (Both German churches AFAIK; they came over reacting to theological compromise in their homeland.) I think you’ve pretty much nailed the Scandinavian-American Lutherans who are now mainliners and sort of merged with the Episcopalians.

The Greeks, the Russians and the Roman Catholics are staying afloat in America thanks to immigration. There’s always been some Greek, the Russian has been since the fall of Communism and Roman Catholics get lots of members on the books who are from Mexico, so their numbers don’t nosedive, even though, as the Anti-Gnostic and others have pointed out, many such newcomers are irreligious or at least non-churchgoing and there’s attrition to evangelicalism.

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