I post a lot about how badly religion is in decline worldwide, how much the Southern Baptists are hurting for members, how Catholic private schools are closing because nobody wants to go there, but there’s an element that I haven’t touched on yet that I think is extremely important, in fact, maybe more important than those other topics combined.
Churches are losing a ton of their clergy as well. Estimates place the loss in just the past 40 years at just over 300,000 fewer priests and nuns in the Catholic Church alone. The areas most hard hit are the U.S., Europe and the South Pacific, where religious adherence continues to tumble.
Catholic orders like the Jesuits, from whom Pope Francis comes, have been cut almost in half and among the nuns, groups like the Clarissa Order have fallen more than 25%. While the Catholic Church has seen some growth in third-world countries, this is not enough to offset the general losses they’ve seen across the board.
Yet it’s not just a Catholic problem. Statistics compiled among churches in the Southern Baptist Convention have revealed disturbing losses in several key areas, including membership, average attendance, baptisms and total monetary giving. There was an overall increase in the number of churches last year, but a dramatic drop in the number of overall members. They have more churches but less people in them. Overall, they declined by more than 100,000, down 0.7 percent to 15.9 million members. Primary worship attendance declined 3.1 percent to 5.97 million Sunday worshipers. The number of overall clergy is also down across the board.
So where are they going? It’s not like former priests and nuns are just moving to other religious organizations, no, there is a massive move away from religion in general. Organizations like The Clergy Project are popping up all over the place to help pastors who no longer buy into the religious bullshit to transition to secular life and secular jobs. There are now nearly 500 former-clergymen and women who have rejected religious belief and are now trying to find work beyond the religious veil. Unfortunately, there are probably thousands of priests and nuns worldwide who no longer believe the nonsense they are peddling, but who feel they have no options and are trapped within the ministry. I hope that as time goes on, groups like The Clergy Project will get increasing publicity and can attract these poor men and women who need help transitioning into reality.
Religion is failing and it’s not going down slowly, the closer we look, the more unstable the whole house of cards appears. I feel that there will be a watershed moment where all the people who claim to believe, but do so for social reasons, will fall away and religion will become a minority position. The more science learns, the less reason there is to believe in imaginary friends in the sky, we’ll be left with a relative few who are too irrational to deal with the real world and we may have to put up with them for a generation or two, but it’s all going down and the religious recognize it as inevitable, just like they understand that their hatred of homosexuality is doomed to fail.
Let’s all help them along in their trek into obscurity, shall we? If you know anyone in the clergy that’s struggling to keep projecting the bullshit from the pulpit, let them know that they have options. The less people spreading the nonsense, the better.