MIAMI (The Wild Hunt) — For years now, Christianity has had declining membership and influence in the “West.” At the same time, Paganism has been growing. Nietzsche may have made his claim that “God is dead” 100 years too early. The revival of Pagan practices may be one of its consequences. The Pew Research Center (PRC) has as one of its core areas of interest, “Religion and Public Life.” It provides extensive reportage on this decline in Christian identity.
TWH –The newest report on global trends in religion from the Pew Research Center, titled “The Changing Global Religious Landscape,” was released early last month. The data within that report suggests that the “rise of the nones” will be reversed by the disproportionately small number of children born to those who don’t identify with a religion, including atheists and agnostics. There are hints that the various Pagan and polytheist religions may increase in absolute number of adherents, but nevertheless result in a smaller percentage of world population. Overall, Muslim women currently have more children than those in any other category, which is a trend predicted to continue at least through 2060, at which time Islam is predicted to have more followers than any other religion on Earth. Data collected in 2010 led to the conclusion that people espousing no particular religious beliefs were more numerous than those of any religion, with the exception of Christianity and Islam.
There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. The Temple of Witchcraft, a religious organization co-founded by author Christopher Penczak, is still encountering difficulties in getting their new building in Salem, New Hampshire the proper zoning so that they can build a parking lot and make improvements. Neighbors say it isn’t about the Witchcraft, just traffic, but at least one neighbor disagrees with the notion of them identifying as a “church” even though no Christian denomination would receive such a challenge. Meanwhile, a new Hindu temple in the same area has been approved, while the Temple of Witchcraft is still having their essential “church”-ness questioned.
Last night, aside from a few hold-outs, a prevailing consensus formed about the election that won President Barack Obama a second term, and kept the Senate in Democratic control despite unfavorable odds: America’s demographics have shifted. “The white establishment is now the minority,” Bill O’Reilly, one of the network’s most famous personalities, said earlier this evening. “The demographics are changing: It’s not a traditional America anymore.” Minutes later, former Gov. Mike Huckabee would slam his own party for failing to reach out to non-white voters. “I think Republicans have done a pathetic job of reaching out to people of color,” Huckabee said during an appearance on Fox. “That’s something we’ve got to work on. It’s a group of people that frankly should be with us based on the real policy of conservatism.”
But the erosion of “traditional” America wasn’t simply about fewer white voters, it was also about women, and younger voters, who defied the ever-popular notion that they are politically apathetic.