March 27, 2013, - 12:01 pm

As US Congregations Shrink, More Churches Turned Into Condos (& Mosques)

By Debbie Schlussel

The continued acceptance of gay marriage isn’t the only sign that America is losing the culture and religious wars. The growing number of former churches (most of them Catholic) being turned into condos is another. I’ve already noted that several Catholic churches and former convents and nunneries in the Detroit area have been bought by Muslims and converted into mosques. That’s sad. Also sad are the growing numbers of churches across America which go out of business and are converted to dwellings. The Wall Street Journal, last year, lauded this “architectural development” as a high brow lifestyle move. But it is, instead, a stark, sad sign of the defeat of Western religion and Western society. On top of being completely disrespectful, it’s tragic.

Is Your Church Now Someone’s Living Room . . .

churchhomeconversions2

or Mosque?

churchtomosque.jpgchurchtomosque2.jpg

While much of the buzz surrounding the new Pope has died down, there are many cultural signs beyond the statistics that illuminate the challenges he faces as Catholicism dies out in places like the United States. I mentioned that when he was Cardinal in Argentina, the country’s active Catholic population shrank to below 20% (Argentina has a 94% Catholic population, but less than 20% are actually religious now, and the rest are lapsed) while its Muslim population doubled. We’ve seen a similar trend in America, and it is largely mirrored throughout the Western world. And the conversion of churches to homes across not only the U.S., but also the Western world is a stark reminder of it. Ask yourself how many mosques you’ve seen close up shop and be converted into condos in America or the UK. I bet you can think of few, if any, examples. And that’s the point here. Western religions are dying while Islam grows and we do nothing to stop the Islamic threat.

While the number of mosques in America has doubled since 9/11, the number of Catholic churches that have closed since then in America is in the thousands and there has been about a 10% shrinkage in the number of Catholic churches in America since the attacks. And that’s just Catholic churches. Other churches are seeing similar numbers, and they are all shrinking, and the number of synagogues is also decreasing. Some synagogues are also being converted to homes, even though it’s technically against Jewish law. You just don’t see this with mosques because, sadly, Islam is winning the war of the minds. You don’t have to play chess to understand that the rest of us are losing the long-term match.

[There are] a number of church-to-home luxury conversions popping up around the country. As dozens of churches close or move to different quarters each year, they’re finding second lives as condo developments and townhouses.

The conversion process is growing more common as shrinking congregations and shifting demographics have made it difficult for some congregations to stay afloat financially. According to a March report from CoStar Group, a real-estate research firm, 138 church-owned properties across the country were sold by banks last year, compared with 24 three years earlier.


Synagogue Now Someone’s Pad . . .

synagoguehomeconversion

The Roman Catholic Church, for example, has closed hundreds of churches in recent years. In 2000, there were 19,236 Roman Catholic parishes across the U.S.; that figure fell to 17,644 by 2012, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, a nonprofit research organization that compiles church statistics. United Methodists have seen the number of churches shrink by about 7% over the past decade or so, with 300 to 400 churches closing or merging each year. In 2000, United Methodists had 35,537 churches, compared with 33,069 in 2011. . . .

In the Boston area, more than a dozen churches have been converted to residential projects over the past decade or so. That’s in part because there has been a steady supply. The Archdiocese of Boston closed 76 parishes in the metro area under a 2004 consolidation plan, selling 38 of those for just over $73 million. (To signify that a church is no longer a church, the archbishop signs a decree that relegates the building to “profane use.”)

One of the churches closed was a Tudor-style church called St. Aidan’s in Brookline, Mass., where John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy were both baptized. It reopened in 2009 as a residential project. . . .

The adaptive reuse of churches has become a popular practice in other countries, like the U.K. In 2006, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that since 2001, about 500 churches in London alone had been converted into homes.

Say good-bye, America and Europe. We won’t see it our lifetime, but a few generations from now it won’t just be the end of the church (and synagogue) and the embrace of gay marriage in Western civilization that will do us in. It will be that the religion whose houses of worship are only growing in number (instead of being converted into upscale places to live)–Islam–will fill the void.

That’s already happening. While we are asleep at the switch, dismantling Western civilization at the Supreme Court . . . and the skyline of your city. In the war of architecture, just as in the spiritual war, we are losing.

And guess who’s having the last laugh?

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63 Responses

We’ve seen this destruction of a culture before. It rarely ends well.

JeffT on March 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Debbie,

This is the effect of a post-Christian society.

It should be noted that the only non-Islamic faiths growing rapidly are evangelical Christianity, Mormonism and Orthodox Judaism that maintain high standards and actually demand something of the believers.

What’s happening is that mainline liberal denominations are shrinking rapidly – mainstream Protestantism and liberal Jewish denominations like Reconstructionism, Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism. They’ll disappear in a few generations. The same thing more or less is happening to the Catholic Church because it appears to have no vitality and sense of direction.

I do see a future though for traditional faith in America and around the world. But you’re right there’ll be a long night of the soul before we see the dawn again.

NormanF on March 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    This is the destructive influence of the Suburban culture (?) where there is only a pursuit of a “better” life as defined by a bigger house, as lawn and supposed space for kids to play. There is however, no sense of community, common values and beliefs and sense of purpose as typified in working and middle class urban communities. This subject is too hard to cover in a simple comment but while the first generation of kids to live in suburbia, the 50s) might have played outside, who does that anymore? Kids are herded into “activities” and your next door neighbors may be gay atheist environmental whackos whose adopted kids are being taught that it’s ok to have 2 mommies or 2 daddies as opposed to the conventional model.
    But as I said below, it’s not Islam or any other religion that’s causing this, it’s materialism and the pursuit of monetary success and political correctness rather than a strong belief in one’s cultural values and heritage, of which religion is a part.

    Italkit on March 28, 2013 at 5:25 am

Excellent piece Deborah. Let me just say that Gd will not be mocked without consequences. The Liar in Chief, who supported DOMA until he got elected, had his lawyers in the Supreme Court for oral arguments against DOMA. The lower courts have ruled it unconstitutional and since the Liar in Chief now agrees with the lower court, he has his lawyers arguing that the Supreme Court should not even hear the case.

Let the nation that turns against Gd beware of the wrath that will follow. Geller has now flip flopped on the issue, just like the Liar in Chief, and has aligned herself with those from the radical left. I see her fall coming too…

Observer on March 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm

There exists a moral vacuum in the Church. Islam is filling this void.

Observer on March 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Agree what you’re saying in the piece Debbie, but also from what I’ve read and learned is that NO religion today is growing, so the islamo-apologists dhimmi’s, islam is NOT the quickest growing faith, more and more non-muslims are becoming apostates on a daily basis and either are going into another faith or going into no faith at all. I’ve read that theisim and secularism is increasing, and after looking at some of the photos you linked DS, I’ll be honest, those properties look nice and beautiful and I want to know why those churches and synagogues closed down, could it be that they were preaching politics in their houses of worship and weren’t paying any taxes? Lookit, if you’re preaching politics, endorse a political candidate or a political party, you can no longer be tax-exempt, you have to pay taxes, and if you’re not preaching politics, but just preaching gods words and theism, you don’t have to pay taxes!

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on March 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm

I don’t care if you worship a rock. — Pamela Geller

She’s an atheist Ayn Rand worshiper.

Curious Quisling on March 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Spencer keeps her on a pretty tight leash thats for sure. Anyway, I see Islam getting stronger as Christianity gets weaker. I think when America is no longer a believing and faithful nation, that’ll be about it.

    Delano on March 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      “Spencer keeps her on a pretty tight leash thats for sure.” – Delano

      Er . . . isn’t it the other way around, she keeps “Slobbert” on a “pretty tight leash”? At least, from other articles by Debbie, that seems to be the case from how I’ve read it. Anyway, of late, from what I’ve been gathering, “Scamela” seems to be pandering to the homosexual lobby (which is, in many ways, as supremacist in their own way as the “Islamic supremacists” she keeps railing about – they want their particular Greenwich Village / San Francisco values to totally replace traditional Judeo-Christian morality) by putting out a bunch of dubious ads in certain areas (such as San Francisco) quoting Islamic leaders viz their stoning gays to death, etc. (including Iranian dictator Ahmadinejad’s boast of his country having no gays) – and accused of being “homophobic” herself. As if!

      ConcernedPatriot on March 27, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    This is another reason why Debbie doesn’t like Scamela.

    And you should NOT be giving traffic on here to her website!

    NormanF on March 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      Oh is that what it is? Then delete my comments. No big deal. Get it? GOOD!

      Observer on March 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

We do live in a secular society nowadays. How long will it last? Whether one is Christian or not, there a great of truth in the Temptation Parable in the New Testament when Jesus is challenged on his faith – he replies: “Man does not live by bread alone but by the words out of the mouth of the Living G-d.”

In other words, we live our faith! Sadly, its something that no longer has resonance in our Western World as those who pretend that the consequences of the decline of religion and faith have no consequences at all, they shall reap the whirlwind. Or their descendents will. There is an equivalent Hebrew proverb that says that the fathers will put their children’s teeth on the edge. While I don’t believe in the ancient notion of inherited guilt, there is also truth to the proverb in the sense that the welfare of future generations rests with us.

And few us have been doing the job we should have done in the first place.

NormanF on March 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Very well said NormanF!

    Delano on March 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

If Islam was not the one gaining in all of this, I confess that I’d be rather ambivalent about churches becoming dwellings. Not that I celebrate the disintegration of organized religion, just that it wouldn’t be as alarming.

But I do think that organized religion itself becoming more and more Liberal has a lot to do w/ shrinking congregations.

Infidel on March 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Infidel,

As I noted, the religions that are shrinking tend to be socially and politically liberal.

After all, who needs G-d when He approves of everything that’s happening in the popular culture?

Such people can do without organized religion or they can go for the Real McCoy – and many of them in fact do just that whether its conservative Christianity, Orthodox Judaism – and yes, Islam – that demands something more than just feel-good sermons dressed up for what passes for religious devotion these days.

NormanF on March 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Don’t kid yourself Sean R –

So there are so many Christians lapsing that even the record numbers of conversions to Islam can’t keep the overall total numbers of believers from falling?
Nice synagogues and churches closing because they started trying to be politically relevant?
Well why do you think that’s happening?
Because western religious leaders are so devout?

Secularism is finished because quite simply the opposition has more motivation and they have the numbers.

The problem is that growing up in the western world the idea that secularism could fail in many cases never even enters the mind as a serious thought.
Unless you’re listening to a atheist banging on about some televangelist and most people don’t even have long enough attention spans for that.

Well it has already failed, epically.
Just take a look at the Arab spring if you want to see what it’s accomplished and all the goodies that lie in store for us. The future was yesterday, suckers missed it.

Frankz on March 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Christians don’t worry about this and it isn’t alarming from a theological point of view.

“Its easier to thread the eye of a needle than it is to pass into Heaven.”

And historically, true Christian believers have been a minority. The relapsi are not so much a problem as they’re proof of the fact that most people don’t look upon Heaven as a desirable place to spend eternity.

Otherwise, religion wouldn’t be hitting rock bottom in the Western World.

NormanF on March 27, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Norman I basically agree, societies don’t long outlive their religions.
There were some flimsy ideas about creating new kinds of societies but they are dust now like the Greeks.

Frankz on March 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I did not know that about Scamela. It just adds more weight to how illegitimate she is. I appreciate the heads-up. I don’t pay her any attention but many on Twitter do and it’s good to know more of her folly when my eyes see some of her stuff (that they never would) due to my Twitters-feed.

What a sad and chilling column. I can tell you the Boston aftermath is INDEED tragic. The church I first went to as a child has long been converted to Condos and a Baptist Church I went to (with a friend who is now a Catholic again) briefly in the 90s is ALSO Condos. And in my town I can think of a gorgeous ex-Temple that is now Condos. All make me sad.

Oh, I also see churches, with their steeples removed and some ugly, un-pointed thing sloppily placed upon where the steeple was used as office buildings. When I *REALLY* think about it it saddens and angers me.

If you can’t see the darkness and disturbing stuff as we slide on down the slippery slope you’re in grand denial. It’s there taunting and creeping you out. See it for what it is.

These are interesting times, indeed.

Skunky on March 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Skunky, urban churches grew up in the communities that lived there; Italian, Irish, German, Polish, whatever. They were built to meet a need and to be the center of the community. Once Americans moved to the suburbs and started driving everywhere, they didn’t need a “neighborhood” church. They could find one they liked and drive there on Sunday. I saw this down South where people would drive miles to go to a mega-church rather than anything “local” to them. It is sad, but ti’s a microcosm of what happend to the fabric of American society and the breakdown of community, family and culture.

    Italkit on March 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

The church I went to from around age 9 until I was about 13 was closed due to a squabble within the denomination, and then was leveled, and a 7/11 and a parking lot built on the site. I can still remember the Sunday school lessons, and a couple of the teachers taught what we Christians call the Old Testament, and in addition to this, we were taught about and kept up to date on what was going on in and around Israel.
The church building, even though it was modern construction, was massively built, with a lot of stone and wood work and stained glass. A lot of memories went under the wrecking ball.

RT on March 27, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    In the Middle Ages, they built beautiful churches that engage the eyes and remind one of the glories of Heaven.

    In my youth, I was privileged to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, popularized in the Hugo novel. It was an unforgettable experience.

    We don’t truly know what it is that we’re losing today.

    NormanF on March 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    RT, it was the “vain disputes” that destroyed your church, not the wrecking ball or the society as a whole. That’s really tragic. Your bible even warns against such behavior. Ten years later, that lovely building might have been used for better purpose.

    Italkit on March 28, 2013 at 5:33 am

Yes, Nature abhors a vacuum Skunky

Frankz on March 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm

This reminds me a little of the downsizing of military bases, and the elimination of so many of them, while international threats to the US are increasing exponentially.

And the same thing — the real estate buzzards are hovering around, figuring out what they can replace the bases with.

And all to often, it is a similar mark of status for a business or residence to be placed on a former base.

So all kinds of fancy real estate while we can’t intervene effectively anywhere in the world, except maybe Panama, and even then…

Little Al on March 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Lucifer, and Siegenthaler are rubbing their hands in glee over their success.

Stalin made damn sure that plenty of his agents got inside of the Catholic Church.

Second Vatican Council was a victory for Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin.

Confederate South on March 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm

How do you folks think this new Pope, this Jesuit, is going to turn out?

RT on March 27, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    RT, the Jesuits are the militant arm of the Church. Gonzaga and Loyola were soldiers in the Spanish army who persuaded the pope that the Church needed an order of monks to spread the gospel but they needed to function with military discipline and tactics. Their Father General is unofficially known as the “black pope” because of the intense influence he wields at the Vatican from the background. I will also note, that Georgetown U is their premier University and GU’s Foreign Service school can count as alumni; Bill Clinton, Prince Turki al Faisal ( they were class mates) and other well and lesser knowns. It’s long been the launching ground for CIA administrative types and other intelligence personnel. It is a prime place from which to launch a career at State. And as you see from the above examples, you don’t even have to be Catholic.
    It should also be noted that the Jesuits are the authors and instigators of Liberation Politics in So. Amer. While this pope claims to be against it, his call to redistribute one’s wealth shows a very different picture.
    If anyone is interested in what will happen with this pope, it’s imperative to understand the Jesuit philosophy and agenda.
    I am not making this up or extrapolating from things I’ve read. I was married to a man who graduated from GU’s College of Arts and Sciences and had attended a Jesuit Honors High school previously. I started college in a women’s school in DC, dated several GU guys and met Clinton, also a freshman, at a Young Democrats shindig where we got an opportunity to discuss our political ideas during LBJ’s candidacy. Scary, even then. I later had some Jesuit college, myself although the majority of my profs were secular. I know enough to be very worried.

    Italkit on March 28, 2013 at 5:45 am

RT,

AS Debbie wrote earlier this month, the new Pope couldn’t stem the tide of lapsed Catholics in his native Argentina.

How in the world is he going handle this challenge in the papacy? Men in their 70s are not known as innovators in the face of a grave situation.

The Church isn’t keeping its flock and its not attracting new converts. Those are problems that have been known for a long time.

NormanF on March 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    I think the Catholic church is counting on capitalizing on a big event, similar to the way the Democrat party in the U.S. does. That is why that church owns or participates in observatories. They also have a lot of interest in a very important holy site in Jerusalem. Specifically, the location of the old temple that the Romans destroyed. The last pope was quite underwhelming. Ratzinger, who was a former member of the Hitler youth. Now, I’m all for forgiving people for things they did in their past, but for some reason, an ex Nazi as pope, even if he was a kid when he was involved, just don’t do it for me. And, this latest pope, already has a stench following him around regarding his actions, or lack of actions, during what was called the “Dirty war” in Argentina, back in the ’70′s. And the pedophile priest problem is still not being addressed. Some people may find this post offensive, but I find actions like I describe here offensive, and this is part of the reason I am a Christian, but am no longer a Catholic.

    RT on March 28, 2013 at 12:28 am

      I agree, RT, that’s why this very possibly “last” pope is a Jesuit. I further believe there is going to be some sort of synchronicity with Islam to create a Global religion. Islam has the will and is making great inroads but the RCC has the infrastructure in place, especially in the Third World.

      Italkit on March 28, 2013 at 5:48 am

As Adams said (paraphrasing), our Constitution is only for a moral people. It is wholly inadequate for any other. This is why gay marriage will succeed. We are not a moral people anymore. I mean, for f*ck’s sake, we are seriously entertaining the notion that two dudes or two women can get “married”? We should be laughing these people out of the room. It’s a really embarrassing time to be an American. Hell, to be a human being at all.

Matt on March 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Matt, the problem is even more compounded when you have “Conservatives” piping in with the long-tired, eye-rolling question “How does gay “marriage” negatively effect my marriage? Don’t even get me started on pompous “Libertarians either!

    When I hear that dopey question I stop reading and move on. I can’t stand human Myna birds. I also tie in a lot of narcissism with that DUMB query. People are so self-involved they think it’s allllllllll about them. They can’t see the forrest for the trees and society has a hand it what it can devolve into.

    Just look at what harmless smoking laws and attitudes and how it/they grew into a beast. Fools can’t see what will happen down the road. And again, religious people’s views (minus Mooooooooslims, they are illegitimate and always pandered to) are pushed aside and never given credence. Those peeps are always told to “open their minds” and “get with it”.

    I was glad to see someone on my Twitters who I know is not religious and anti-gay AT ALL be pissed and he was blocking all the lemmings who added that pro-gay marriage symbol to their avatar who followed him. He even said he was doing so because he was offended by their herd mentality and not the cause.

    I’m not anti-gay (never have been) but I am anti-trying to destroy a word and institution that you’re trying to bastardize.

    I have NO respect for people too dumb to know where we are heading. Sorry, your ignorance is not an excuse in 2013.

    And as I always say…thoughts, beliefs and values of Conservatives and religious people have NEVER negatively effected my views on gay people BUT the behaviours, beliefs and values of gays has certainly made me less in their corner from the years I was blindly and loyally in theirs. THEY have turned me NOT their detractors.

    Skunky on March 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Has Christianity ever been popular? Jesus called it a “narrow road”, and warned that few would find it. He also warned that his followers would be persecuted.

In WW2, for example, Christians were persecuted by both sides, as they will not take up arms. German Christians were in trouble from the moment Hitler came to power as they could not “Heil” him as their saviour. We believe that salvation comes only through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

And Nazi ideology contradicts the teachings in both Hebrew and Christian Greek Scriptures, which say that there is no “unter” and no “uber”. We are all one family.

“The God that made the world and all the things in it, being, as this One is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples, neither is he attended to by human hands as if he needed anything, because he himself gives to all persons life and breath and all things. And he made out of one man every nation of men, to dwell upon the entire surface of the earth, and he decreed the appointed seasons and the set limits of the dwelling of men, for them to seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us.”—Acts 17:24-27.

God made out of one man every nation of men. We are all the children of Adam, with an even closer common ancestor in Noah.

So as the poet, Christopher Logue, said:
“O come all ye faithful, here is our cause
All dreams are one dream, all wars civil wars.”

And aren’t we all living in the shock of that fatal moment in Eden when our first parents cut themselves off from their Creator, their Source of life?

Christianity is alive and well, and the good news of the incoming Kingdom of God is being preached door to door in every nation and every tongue. Though not so much by me at the moment as my knees have reached their sell-by date a bit ahead of the rest of me.

I don’t know what Adam and Eve thought they were doing…

sue on March 28, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Um, sue, Jesus was talking about Judaism. Christianity was started by Constantine at the Council of NIcea, 325 C.E.

    Italkit on March 28, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Hello Italkit, When I say “Christian”, I mean those who follow the teaching in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Constantine was the founder of Christendom, which is a political/religious organisation. And wasn’t he a sun-worshipper till the day he died?

      sue on March 28, 2013 at 11:42 am

        In the Edict Of Milan in 313, he granted religious freedom to ALL religions in the Roman Empire. But Christianity was favored by the imperial family and that made it a unifying force in the late Roman World. The Emperor converted to Christianity on his deathbed but he was protective of the Christians throughout his life. And he helped to define the Christian dogma for the Middle Ages.

        NormanF on March 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

          Hello Norman, but wasn’t and isn’t Christian dogma defined by the reaching in the Inspired Scriptures – both Hebrew and Christian Greek? Nothing needs to be added, and nothing should be taken away.

          sue on March 29, 2013 at 6:23 am

A lot of the church into condos/restaurants etc. are the result of the parish’s members moving from urban environments to the suburbs where they either join an existing church or rebuild. Some of the architecture, especially from the late 19th -early 20th Centuries is worth preserving even if the building’s previous use is obsolete. I am NOT talking about them becoming mosques which happens as those populations move out and Muslims move in. It’s not so much about conversion in the US as population shift.

Italkit on March 28, 2013 at 5:16 am

I have noticed churches to condos in my municipality. I don’t recall that they were Catholic. but definitely, churches are closing in Lower Merion, just west of Philadelphia.

Lower Merion Democrats think of themselves as intellectual and cosmopolitan. oh well….we are have our delusions.

Bob Guzzardi on March 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

Israel also went through this type of readjustment period. The gays should be aware that some of us remember Maccabees and the pagans that defile the altars of the Lord God Almighty and what happened to them

Jonathan Gartner on March 28, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Jonathan, why not direct your attention to your laughable political elite class? I guess doing something about them would be inconvenient, huh?

    Frankly, how is rebuilding the Temple going some 45 years after Israelis have had the ability to rebuild it?

    skzion on March 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm

This is just another symptom of a civilization in decline.
Sadly if things don’t change Western Civilization will totally collapse within 100 years.

I know..people laugh and say “no way” and “we have the greatest military in the World” and “we have the greatest technology in the World”. Yup and so did Rome in 300AD and NO ONE in the Roman Empire could even imagine or foresee what would happen less than 100 years in the future. From the glory of Rome within a 100 years you had the Dark Ages where life spans plummeted, science and knowledge were lost, and they didn’t even have a decent water supply or sewer system.

Oh and before the fall of Rome it was fashionable to be divorced multiple times, totally OK to be gay, totally OK to have sex with children, and people gave lip service to the Church and almost never went..

But that’s all ancient history and history never repeats itself —right ???

jimmyPx on March 28, 2013 at 11:32 am

The Catholic Church teaches that we are all temples of the Holy Ghost. Location – Location – Location . . .

Rochelle on March 28, 2013 at 11:51 am

Same here … and I live way out West in Nowheresville. Local Presbyterian church is now a clinic for mental problems and they also handle the court mandated whatever the hell it is ….

Jack on March 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Thank you world! The sooner all religions go the way of Zeus and Hera, the sooner we can all get back to living loving, good lives instead of hating certain groups under the guise of piety.

Jilly on March 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Jilly, can you site some examples that illustrate the Utopia you’re looking for?

    If you can’t I’ll just pass you off as another obstinate contrarian know-it-all.

    Skunky on March 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Jilly, when was that time exactly? Was that something you chanted at inmates in one of Mao Zedong’s reducation camps before them were herded off into the fields for sixteen hours of often lethal labor? Or, were you one of those lovely people in the Soviet Union during the 1930′s who informed on their neighbor who prayed. The N.K.V.D. was so grateful for what you did that they allowed you to pillage your former neighbor’s apartment of anything you liked after they had departed with the condemned. Yes, those were the good times Jilly. Those people thought they were pretty wonderful too.

    Worry01 on March 29, 2013 at 3:39 am

I disagree! Whatever people may think about organized religion, excepting Islam, I’d say its made the world a more civilized and serene place.

The loss of the world’s spiritual capital is not something to be taken lightly. Either the world will become pagan or it will become Muslim.

It won’t be the world as we have known it for the past two thousand years.

NormanF on March 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Who says Zeus and Hera are gone? Our language, customs, holidays and architecture is full of those demons referred to as gods. Referring to “luck” or “fortune” are references to pagan goddesses. The U.S. capital has a dome and an obelisk, and all kinds of images and symbols of Apollo and Osiris, etc, on most of the monuments and buildings. You want to see paganism and the occult, take a good look at the symbols on a dollar bill. Most of the ancient gods were the same demons, from the days of Sumer and Accad, all the way through the Roman empire, only sometimes their names were changed by each civilization. If you read the Bible, you will notice that it does not claim that other gods do not exist, it has plenty of instruction not to worship them or go whoring after them. One quote is: Thou shalt not have any other gods before me”. I firmly believe that much of our civilization is still whoring after other gods.

RT on March 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm

When was the last time a bunch of atheists put up an orphanage or hospital without using money provided by the government? And when exactly did disagreement automatically become “hate”? I’m tired of the useless old lefty cliche.

Matt on March 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm

My ancestors worshipped in the east end of London ,where many Jewish families lived at that time. Today the synagogue is a Mosque.
I dont know about how other folks feel but this man feels a bit apprehensive when entering any place of worship ,as if the presence of the worshipped can still be felt there,regardless of whether it is now a mosque or antique store.
Once,I was looking at some pews and stained glass windows in a salvage yard, my mother told me to leave them alone,they will bring bad luck…so who knows?

Aron B on March 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm

How exactly is the “embrace of gay marriage [EOGM]” relevant to this topic? Is the empirical claim represented in 1]?

1] num_of_church_conversions_per_year = b0 + b1*EOGM + … + e_i

Herbert Simon advocated mathematizing arguments to enhance their clarity. How exactly does this embrace affect the dependent variable (num_of_church_conversions_per_year).

skzion on March 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Reality check: The U.S. Supreme Court–somewhat influential body, right?
7 Catholics, 2 Jews.
Western Civ is safe for the time being.

Joe Guiney on March 29, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Yes, and Argentina claims to be over 90% Roman Catholic. Roughly 20% of those “Catholics” even bother to attend mass. Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry are professed Roman Catholics. Despite the teachings of their church, they actively support abortion without restriction and Gay Marriage. Are you familiar with the concept of “In Name Only” Joey? Just because you claim to be a member of a faith, does not make it so. You might try reading the actual post and thinking about it before posting such inane comments Joey.

    Worry01 on March 29, 2013 at 3:28 am

It may be very difficult for some to see ‘the church’ as time goes on. But she’ll be there. ‘The Church’ or Bride of Christ isn’t a building anyway. It’s hard to see her in China, for example, but she’s alive and well there, too.

Jewish people held on to their faith and traditions through every trial and tribulation. People all over the world are just now learning that they have Jewish ancestry. I think there are far more Jewish souls on Earth than have been numbered or can be numbered. And if Muslims stopped raging long enough to consider this, then they might want to reconsider how G-d works to guide and protect His treasure here on Earth.

To the extent that people of faith hold on to their faith and traditions, and highly value their families and children, they will survive and thrive, if not materially, then at least in ways that are lasting and pleasing to G-d.

I’m thankful for my ancestors who held on through the trials and tribulations.

Aurora on March 29, 2013 at 9:27 am

Thank you, Debbie, for writing this piece. It is a real blessing.

Aurora on March 29, 2013 at 9:31 am

THE ANSWER IS EASY: PAINT ALL THE CHURCHES/SYNAGOGUES WITH PIGS BLOOD

USE THE PIGS BLOOD AS A PAINT ADDITIVE.

PUT A NICE PLAQUE ON EACH BUILDING ALERTING ALL POTENTIAL CONGREGANTS TO THE FACT THAT THE CHURCH/SYNAGOGUE IS LITERALLY PAINTED WITH PIGS BLOOD.

IT WILL ACT AS A NATURAL PEST REPELLANT

THE ISRAELIS DETERRED SUICIDE BOMBERS FROM THEIR BUSES BY PLACING BAGS OF LARD ON THEM.

ST MARK’S BONES WERE SMUGGLED OUT OF ALEXANDRIA AFTER THE MOOSELIMB CONQUEST BY HIDING THEM AMONG PIGS.

Archie on April 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I no longer belong to any denomination nor do I attend a non denominational church because of the changes in Biblical interpretation and contemporary worship styles. Most churches have become entertainment centers. They are always in the process of becoming more cool. I know many other Christians who feel the same. In other words, the evangelical churches are becoming too liberal. The Catholic church has remained pretty much consistent in their beliefs and because of that many Catholics are leaving because of their stance on abortion and probably also the scandals, which I just think is an excuse.

Janis on April 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm

And Jesus Christ said, “Upon this rock I will build me church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The church is the body of Christ. Those of this body are the baptized, blood-washed, sanctified, chosen, Holy Ghost filled believers who are saved by grace, through faith.

In The Name Of God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Ghost,Amen!

s. nelson on September 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I’m sure polytheistic Romans felt the same way when they saw others convert to christianity, thus consigning their civilisation into the Dark Ages.

Ian on January 3, 2014 at 8:05 am

A big factor here is demographics and birthrate.

For the last few hundred years the Catholic church as mainly grown through the high birth rates of it’s members.
Having 10 kids is now gone and therefore the main source of the Catholic church’s membership.
The exact same thing with the liberal Protestant denominations.

Evangelicals and Mormons have higher birthrates and are successfully converting new believers.
Dig into the statistics and you’ll find that by far the majority of churches closing down are liberal or Catholic.

The main source of Muslims is also the birthrate.
Some people convert into it, but the staying power of new Muslim converts is very low in the West. The sales pitch for Islam is great. Sounds very good. Who doesn’t want universal love and brotherhood, but the reality of Islam can only be hidden for awhile.
When the “kill anybody that isn’t Muslim” part is preached the average Westerner wonders “What in hell did I get mixed up in” and splits.

Steve G. on January 6, 2014 at 5:55 pm

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