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Hispanics are abandoning the Catholic Church Evangelicalism holds greater appeal for aspiring Americans

This religion is not American enough. Credit: Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This religion is not American enough. Credit: Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images


May 23, 2023   5 mins

The Hispanic community in America is thought to be shaped by diehard Catholicism — in pop culture and politics alike. For over a century, Catholic Churches were a place of refuge for new migrants to the United States, who faced violence and exploitation; unlike the State, the Church offered protection, as well as a connection to the lives left behind. But widespread assumptions about Latinos have been overturned recently: once considered reliable Democrat voters, Hispanics came out for the Republicans in 2016 in greater numbers than ever. And this demographic’s religious affiliations, as well as its political ones, have also shifted. They are moving to the polar extremes of American faith: abandoning religion altogether, or becoming Evangelicals.

A survey from the Pew Research Center released last month showed that there is a rapid decline in Catholisism among American Hispanics — tumbling from 67% in 2010 to 46%. “That’s consistent with other Latin American countries, such as Brazil, where large numbers of Catholics have converted to Evangelical Christianity,” says Dr Andrew Chesnut, Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. The “health and wealth” promises of Pentecostalism in particular are driving people across the continent to Evangelical churches. “The interesting difference between Latin America and the United States,” says Chesnut, “is the percentage of religious ‘nones’, which has tripled to 30 percent in 12 years. In Latin America, they’re only usually in the 12-14 percent range.”

Nones are people who have no faith at all, and they are fast swallowing up white Christian America — now firmly a minority. In 1996, the year Bill Clinton was sworn in for his second term as president, almost 65% of Americans identified as white and Christian. Now, only 44% do. In 1990, only 7% of Americans said that they were nones, but that figure has increased four-fold over the last 30 years, largely because of young people. Today, almost half of Gen Z — young adults born from 1997 onwards — say they have no religion.

For a long time, American exceptionalism saw the United States buck the European trend of secularisation. And faith among Hispanics, who tend to come from more religious backgrounds than white Americans, remained particularly strong. Catholicism was seen, even among the young, as part of their identity — but “the inflexibility of the Church to modernise its dogma and doctrine in terms of blessing, same sex marriage, and female clergy really is culturally out of touch with Millennials and Generation Z”, Chesnut says. High-profile sex scandals have also put people off — too much even for the Latino community’s cultural Catholics. People who once ticked the box identifying as Catholic, even if they weren’t regularly attending, are now firmly in the “none” camp. And Hispanics are now abandoning the faith as fast as the rest of the country.

Ryan Burge, author of The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going, suspects that changes in Hispanic faith have to do with how devout your parents were when they came to the United States. “If they are super devout, you’re more likely to stay Catholic,” he says. “If they really weren’t religious at all, you’re much more likely to become a none.” But there is a third way: “If they’re kind of on the fence about religion, then you might become Evangelical.”

The material promises offered by born-again churches are also attractive. A Pew study in 2014 found that 49% of Hispanics who were raised as Catholics but have become Protestants say that an important factor was finding a church that “reaches out and helps its members more”. Moreover, the prosperity gospel preached in Evangelical churches rewards hard work — a philosophy that often appeals to those who’ve signed up to the American Dream, which reassures them that if they put in the effort, they’ll be rewarded. Faith healing is also an attractive offering, given that health care is usually out-of-reach for working-class people in the United State.

Assimilation is often a primary aim. “We’re seeing a rising number of conservative Hispanics jumping the fence from Catholicism to Evangelicalism, because Evangelicalism is a very American religion,” says Burge. Immigrants to the United States often have more malleable identities, and “becoming an Evangelical is a way to jump into the mainstream of your town or city”, says Burge.   Evangelical Churches are a marker of a new life and new identity. Being born again is both a spiritual and actual experience: you’re baptised as a follower of Jesus, and as an American. Some scholars describe conversion to Evangelical faith as a kind of safety mechanism, stemming from the belief that Hispanic immigrants become more American, and less deportable.

The change in the religious landscape reflects a bigger picture in American politics: the stark, and increasingly pronounced, city-rural divide. The “God Gap” is a part of that: if you’re in a big city,you’re likely to be secular; in a rural area, you’re likely to be church-going — or at least religiously-identifying but not attending. Politically, these religious shifts are beginning to have a real impact: the Democrats are making gains in secularising regions, while the Republicans are on the march in places where religion is on the rise.

Hispanics are increasingly adopting the cultural markers once dominated by white Americans — and with that has come a change in party allegiance. In the 2020 election, Hispanic Evangelicals voted almost 50/50 for Trump and Biden, while two-thirds of Hispanic Catholics voted for their co-religionist Biden. In Hispanic-majority Miami-Dade County, which Hillary Clinton won by 30 percentage points in 2016, Biden won by only seven in 2020.  Even more striking is Texas, long vaunted as a state preparing to turn to the Democrats. This would be electorally disastrous for the Republicans: Texas is the second largest state in the electoral college. But along the Texas-Mexico border, in the Rio Grande Valley, the number of votes for Republicans has jumped astronomically. After losing Starr County, in southernmost Texas, by 60 percentage points to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Donald Trump lost it by just five to Joe Biden in 2020. Next door in Zapata County, which Clinton won by 33 percentage points in 2016, voters flipped entirely for Trump. These are counties that identify as almost entirely Hispanic or Latino — and who have long been assumed to be flag-waving Democrats.

But Hispanics here, unsurprisingly, feel the threat of deportation more keenly than most, given their proximity to the border. That anxiety often manifests as a preoccupation with job security, and one’s place in the community — ideas central to the conservative worldview.

“Hispanics who are conservative culturally, socially and religiously are moving into places around the Rio Grande Valley,” Burge says. “And they’re really changing the political and social culture of those places.” Religiosity, like Republicanism, has massively increased in the region. In 2010, about 33% of Starr County claimed they were part of a religious congregation. By 2020, that number was 73%. Conservative Texas Democratic congressman Henry Cuellar describes the region as “homogenous, deeply religious, pensively patriotic, socially conservative, and it’s hurting economically.” In other words, naturally Republican.

Whether the conservative or the Evangelical turn came first is difficult to say, but they often go hand in hand, motivated by the same feeling: that the liberal, secular world is closing in on people with conservative values. And given the GOP is so clearly losing the demographic battle, it has been willing to accept Hispanics — particularly evangelical Hispanics — as all-American patriots. Though Catholicism has historically been tied to Hispanic identity, for first and second generation migrants who feel compelled to prioritise assimilation over their heritage, a fork in the road is clear: become a non-believing, big-city Democrat, or a small-town Evangelical Republican.


Elle Hardy is a freelance journalist who’s reported from North Korea and the former Soviet Union. She is the author of Beyond Belief: How Pentecostal Christianity Is Taking Over the World.

ellehardy

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Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago

Did the editors knowingly schedule this piece for publication a week before Pentecost? Ouch!

Anyway, we are now dealing with large numbers of people who are shockingly ignorant of the Gospel and the basic tenets of Christianity. Historically this level of ignorance has provided fertile ground for conversion. For example, mass conversion occurs frequently throughout the Acts of the Apostles: “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. . .”

As for the Catholic Church being “culturally out of step” with millennials and gen z and whoever else, I don’t believe it. Those supposed young people who say they won’t go to Mass because of the Church’s stance on gay marriage or ordination of women “never had faith to lose and they know it,” to paraphrase Christian songwriter Bob Dylan.

Yes, I understand that many people say they support so-called gay “marriage”, abortion, cohabitation before marriage, “remarrying” after divorce and so on; but they can’t honestly say they’ve considered the reasons behind the Church’s wisdom in these and other matters.

But the reasons will soon become clear, like it or not. For example, lo and behold, ordination of women is turning the Episcopal church into a lesbian social justice church.

My prediction: sooner rather than later the “small but fervent” Catholic Church will wax mighty. . .

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

Yes, I understand that many people say they support so-called gay “marriage”, abortion, cohabitation before marriage, “remarrying” after divorce and so on; but they can’t honestly say they’ve considered the reasons behind the Church’s wisdom in these and other matters.
I can honestly say that’s rubbish. Many of us have, and utterly reject the profound inhumanity perpetrated by Catholicism on those it seeks to subject to its peculiarly insidious brand of authoritarianism.
Preying on people’s fears for centuries, it’s being found out by those with open minds and humane hearts. This not the same as Christianity, not at all. It will not prevail.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I agree Steve although some Catholics do have faith in Christ I have found and not just religion. But these days look at some of the so called Church of England’s doctrine. Certainly anti bible but again as with the Catholics not all. One cannot always judge by the label. Christ knows who are His.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I agree Steve although some Catholics do have faith in Christ I have found and not just religion. But these days look at some of the so called Church of England’s doctrine. Certainly anti bible but again as with the Catholics not all. One cannot always judge by the label. Christ knows who are His.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

In other words, despite the huge amount of evidence of conversion away from Catholicism in the Americas (and you add Ireland and many other countries) – you don’t believe it!

I don’t know whether the comment about women clergy is misogyny, homophobia or both, but of course exactly the same could be said of the over representation of gay men in the traditional Anglican church. I thought it was your acts that mattered, not who you were?

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Not quite. What I don’t believe is the good professor’s claim that the reason young people aren’t Catholic is due to the Church being “culturally out of step” on two issues, namely ordination of women and so-called gay marriage.

My comment was neither misogynistic nor homophobic.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Acts that matter? Quite the opposite my friend.
If it were acts that mattered, any actor could achieve redemption. It’s what is in your heart that matters to God. A really, really nice, generous, loving, volunteering unrepentant homosexual is still a sinner, just like the rest of us.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Of course, but faith will have works if you read James. There were ex homosexuals etc. in the Corinthian church but no longer. It is true that some struggle more than others but resting one’s identity on it is not a christian thing to do.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Of course, but faith will have works if you read James. There were ex homosexuals etc. in the Corinthian church but no longer. It is true that some struggle more than others but resting one’s identity on it is not a christian thing to do.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Not quite. What I don’t believe is the good professor’s claim that the reason young people aren’t Catholic is due to the Church being “culturally out of step” on two issues, namely ordination of women and so-called gay marriage.

My comment was neither misogynistic nor homophobic.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Acts that matter? Quite the opposite my friend.
If it were acts that mattered, any actor could achieve redemption. It’s what is in your heart that matters to God. A really, really nice, generous, loving, volunteering unrepentant homosexual is still a sinner, just like the rest of us.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

I was steeped in religion in a Catholic orphanage. The pope and all that. I didn’t even know that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Mary seemed to take precedence. Religion can be so dead when it is not real.

Last edited 11 months ago by Tony Conrad
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

Yes, I understand that many people say they support so-called gay “marriage”, abortion, cohabitation before marriage, “remarrying” after divorce and so on; but they can’t honestly say they’ve considered the reasons behind the Church’s wisdom in these and other matters.
I can honestly say that’s rubbish. Many of us have, and utterly reject the profound inhumanity perpetrated by Catholicism on those it seeks to subject to its peculiarly insidious brand of authoritarianism.
Preying on people’s fears for centuries, it’s being found out by those with open minds and humane hearts. This not the same as Christianity, not at all. It will not prevail.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

In other words, despite the huge amount of evidence of conversion away from Catholicism in the Americas (and you add Ireland and many other countries) – you don’t believe it!

I don’t know whether the comment about women clergy is misogyny, homophobia or both, but of course exactly the same could be said of the over representation of gay men in the traditional Anglican church. I thought it was your acts that mattered, not who you were?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

I was steeped in religion in a Catholic orphanage. The pope and all that. I didn’t even know that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Mary seemed to take precedence. Religion can be so dead when it is not real.

Last edited 11 months ago by Tony Conrad
Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago

Did the editors knowingly schedule this piece for publication a week before Pentecost? Ouch!

Anyway, we are now dealing with large numbers of people who are shockingly ignorant of the Gospel and the basic tenets of Christianity. Historically this level of ignorance has provided fertile ground for conversion. For example, mass conversion occurs frequently throughout the Acts of the Apostles: “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. . .”

As for the Catholic Church being “culturally out of step” with millennials and gen z and whoever else, I don’t believe it. Those supposed young people who say they won’t go to Mass because of the Church’s stance on gay marriage or ordination of women “never had faith to lose and they know it,” to paraphrase Christian songwriter Bob Dylan.

Yes, I understand that many people say they support so-called gay “marriage”, abortion, cohabitation before marriage, “remarrying” after divorce and so on; but they can’t honestly say they’ve considered the reasons behind the Church’s wisdom in these and other matters.

But the reasons will soon become clear, like it or not. For example, lo and behold, ordination of women is turning the Episcopal church into a lesbian social justice church.

My prediction: sooner rather than later the “small but fervent” Catholic Church will wax mighty. . .

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago

I think there’s a tendency for Writers to romanticize the emotional/spiritual aspects (pathos) of Christianity and downplay the common sense rationality (logos).

Unlike many countries, the US Framers separated Church and State not to decrease religiosity but to prevent the State from imposing one interpretation. This decentralization led to the creation of many Sects and Denominations that rapidly multiplied and spread throughout communities and became the backbone of American middle class life. There were certainly rifts especially between Protestants and Catholics but JFK, the specter of Communism and the emergence of secular radicalism of the 60’s did a great deal to bring Protestants and Catholics together under a common banner.

But around that time a Kierkegaard-like movement arose in some Protestant Evangelical circles along with Catholic and Protestant churches promoting Liberation Theology. Today there is a large rift within the Church as these movements have grown to promote a new doctrine centered around Self-Identity, Critical Consciousness and Liberation from an Evil World.

During Covid, Churches were shuttered and conveniently deemed “superspreader sites.” As in every Revolution, Crisis is the time when the Gnostics pounce and attempt to dismantle the Institutions from within. However, many traditional churches have recognized this and are breaking off from their Progressive Counterparts. That a nearly 2000 year old document could predict future heresies is either Divine Prophecy or masterful psychoanalysis paired with unmatched deductive logic.

Whether newly immigrated Hispanics choose Catholicism or Evangelicalism is much less relevant than whether they choose Scripture or Political Praxis masquerading as the message of Christ.

Last edited 1 year ago by T Bone
Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago
Reply to  T Bone

Great post. Having done a little American history at school (Cold War politics) I had thought that JFK – as a Catholic – divided the country more in the sense that now Catholics had a party rather than voting along issue lines.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Slightly before my time but I have read repeatedly that the Kennedys were hated because they were Catholics (and very rich). Catholicism does have this way of causing negative reactions.

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Fair point. If I had to write it again I would be more specific and reference the National Unity after his assassination.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Politics were the other way round back then. Catholics and the ethnic vote were generally more socially conservative and so was the democratic party. The Democrats were the blockers of civil rights, the party of the South, they invented the Jim Crow laws and opposed abortion rights. The Republicans regarded abortion as a private family matter, were more secular and more socially liberal in many ways (often in a patrician kind of way which was often misconstrued). That has flipped. And it’s easy to see the Democrats as having always been the social liberals. Some are quite shocked to find out that the Party they support has a far different history than they thought it did.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Slightly before my time but I have read repeatedly that the Kennedys were hated because they were Catholics (and very rich). Catholicism does have this way of causing negative reactions.

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Fair point. If I had to write it again I would be more specific and reference the National Unity after his assassination.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
1 year ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Politics were the other way round back then. Catholics and the ethnic vote were generally more socially conservative and so was the democratic party. The Democrats were the blockers of civil rights, the party of the South, they invented the Jim Crow laws and opposed abortion rights. The Republicans regarded abortion as a private family matter, were more secular and more socially liberal in many ways (often in a patrician kind of way which was often misconstrued). That has flipped. And it’s easy to see the Democrats as having always been the social liberals. Some are quite shocked to find out that the Party they support has a far different history than they thought it did.

Damian Mooney
Damian Mooney
1 year ago
Reply to  T Bone

Great post. However, not to nit-pick, the First Amendment only constrained the federal government re. an established church. It did not necessarily apply to states. For example, Congregationalism had state support in Massachusetts until 1833. Subsequent Supreme Court rulings changed this exception clause (using the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868).
Meanwhile, it is interesting, to say the least, that JFK (not a paragon of Catholic sanctity) was the first Catholic president elected (1960).
Finally, public schools were (at least until recently) de facto, generically Protestant. Thus the setting up of specifically Catholic schools in opposition to these public schools, without state support, is worth noting.

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago
Reply to  Damian Mooney

Good additions. Cheers.

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago
Reply to  Damian Mooney

Good additions. Cheers.

C Ross
C Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  T Bone

“In the beginning was the pathos?”

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Many of these religions have the word plus traditions. The trouble is many times the traditions trump the word.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago
Reply to  T Bone

Great post. Having done a little American history at school (Cold War politics) I had thought that JFK – as a Catholic – divided the country more in the sense that now Catholics had a party rather than voting along issue lines.

Damian Mooney
Damian Mooney
1 year ago
Reply to  T Bone

Great post. However, not to nit-pick, the First Amendment only constrained the federal government re. an established church. It did not necessarily apply to states. For example, Congregationalism had state support in Massachusetts until 1833. Subsequent Supreme Court rulings changed this exception clause (using the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868).
Meanwhile, it is interesting, to say the least, that JFK (not a paragon of Catholic sanctity) was the first Catholic president elected (1960).
Finally, public schools were (at least until recently) de facto, generically Protestant. Thus the setting up of specifically Catholic schools in opposition to these public schools, without state support, is worth noting.

C Ross
C Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  T Bone

“In the beginning was the pathos?”

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Many of these religions have the word plus traditions. The trouble is many times the traditions trump the word.

T Bone
T Bone
1 year ago

I think there’s a tendency for Writers to romanticize the emotional/spiritual aspects (pathos) of Christianity and downplay the common sense rationality (logos).

Unlike many countries, the US Framers separated Church and State not to decrease religiosity but to prevent the State from imposing one interpretation. This decentralization led to the creation of many Sects and Denominations that rapidly multiplied and spread throughout communities and became the backbone of American middle class life. There were certainly rifts especially between Protestants and Catholics but JFK, the specter of Communism and the emergence of secular radicalism of the 60’s did a great deal to bring Protestants and Catholics together under a common banner.

But around that time a Kierkegaard-like movement arose in some Protestant Evangelical circles along with Catholic and Protestant churches promoting Liberation Theology. Today there is a large rift within the Church as these movements have grown to promote a new doctrine centered around Self-Identity, Critical Consciousness and Liberation from an Evil World.

During Covid, Churches were shuttered and conveniently deemed “superspreader sites.” As in every Revolution, Crisis is the time when the Gnostics pounce and attempt to dismantle the Institutions from within. However, many traditional churches have recognized this and are breaking off from their Progressive Counterparts. That a nearly 2000 year old document could predict future heresies is either Divine Prophecy or masterful psychoanalysis paired with unmatched deductive logic.

Whether newly immigrated Hispanics choose Catholicism or Evangelicalism is much less relevant than whether they choose Scripture or Political Praxis masquerading as the message of Christ.

Last edited 1 year ago by T Bone
Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
1 year ago

Woke Catholicism under Pope Frankie is not very appealing to any demographic. Those who approve of his approach aren’t likely to be Mass attenders or even Catholics. So the Church will keep losing adherents just like the C of E.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

There are virtually two Church of Englands at present. One will find out which is which when they visit them. One is woke the other true Christian. The Woke ones tend to not use the scriptures so much although they may pick scriptures that back them but always out of context. They certainly wouldn’t preach the end of ROMANS 1.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

There are virtually two Church of Englands at present. One will find out which is which when they visit them. One is woke the other true Christian. The Woke ones tend to not use the scriptures so much although they may pick scriptures that back them but always out of context. They certainly wouldn’t preach the end of ROMANS 1.

Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
1 year ago

Woke Catholicism under Pope Frankie is not very appealing to any demographic. Those who approve of his approach aren’t likely to be Mass attenders or even Catholics. So the Church will keep losing adherents just like the C of E.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago

An interesting article on the religious makeup of Latinos. However, I think that the author mixes up Pentecostalism and Evangelical, using the terms together and then describing evangelicalism as a prosperity gospel which “rewards hard work”. I’m not sure this is right. Evangelicals might well say hard work is part of your dedication to living a godly and honest life enabling you to give more charity but that is a far cry from the “bags and jags” of pentecostal preachers with private jets, multiple houses etc. weaned from their flock.

Last edited 1 year ago by Milton Gibbon
James Stangl
James Stangl
11 months ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

You beat me to it in pointing out the confusion between Pentecostalism and Evangelical Protestantism. Frankly, I think that the author muddled up a lot, and I wonder if she’s yet another secular “none” whose understanding of Christianity comes from taking some world religions courses in college.

Evangelical Christians are traditionally about the primacy of the Bible, personal conversion, the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and evangelism. As such, they have been a big tent movement, present in many denominations. Pentecostalism and the health & wealth “gospel” are a much different kettle of fish.

As a member of an evangelical Reformed church, I would strongly dispute the notion that evangelical churches preach a prosperity gospel; true evangelical churches preach the one true Gospel, summarized in John 3:16.

Last edited 11 months ago by James Stangl
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  James Stangl

The prosperity gospel is certainly not within the charismatic churches. The doctrine comes from the scriptures but has been taken out of context through coveteousness.

James Stangl
James Stangl
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I was imprecise in implying that Pentecostalism = prosperity gospel. That’s a heresy that can infect any denomination. It’s a false gospel that takes passages from Scripture out of context and promises health, wealth, and no suffering in this life. Quite different from what Jesus promised (tribulation in this life, life eternal with Him for believers).

James Stangl
James Stangl
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

I was imprecise in implying that Pentecostalism = prosperity gospel. That’s a heresy that can infect any denomination. It’s a false gospel that takes passages from Scripture out of context and promises health, wealth, and no suffering in this life. Quite different from what Jesus promised (tribulation in this life, life eternal with Him for believers).

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  James Stangl

The prosperity gospel is certainly not within the charismatic churches. The doctrine comes from the scriptures but has been taken out of context through coveteousness.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Apparently Pentecostalism is the fastest growing denomination in south America. Not Catholicism apart from maybe Mexico.

James Stangl
James Stangl
11 months ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

You beat me to it in pointing out the confusion between Pentecostalism and Evangelical Protestantism. Frankly, I think that the author muddled up a lot, and I wonder if she’s yet another secular “none” whose understanding of Christianity comes from taking some world religions courses in college.

Evangelical Christians are traditionally about the primacy of the Bible, personal conversion, the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and evangelism. As such, they have been a big tent movement, present in many denominations. Pentecostalism and the health & wealth “gospel” are a much different kettle of fish.

As a member of an evangelical Reformed church, I would strongly dispute the notion that evangelical churches preach a prosperity gospel; true evangelical churches preach the one true Gospel, summarized in John 3:16.

Last edited 11 months ago by James Stangl
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Milton Gibbon

Apparently Pentecostalism is the fastest growing denomination in south America. Not Catholicism apart from maybe Mexico.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago

An interesting article on the religious makeup of Latinos. However, I think that the author mixes up Pentecostalism and Evangelical, using the terms together and then describing evangelicalism as a prosperity gospel which “rewards hard work”. I’m not sure this is right. Evangelicals might well say hard work is part of your dedication to living a godly and honest life enabling you to give more charity but that is a far cry from the “bags and jags” of pentecostal preachers with private jets, multiple houses etc. weaned from their flock.

Last edited 1 year ago by Milton Gibbon
Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

My belief is that enthusiastic Christianity is the main road to the middle class, do not pass Go.
And as a racist-sexist-homophobe of the worst kind, I welcome Hispanics into the ultra-MAGA party of armed insurrectionists.

Robert Hochbaum
Robert Hochbaum
1 year ago

Hey – you forgot transphobe. 🙂

Robert Hochbaum
Robert Hochbaum
1 year ago

Hey – you forgot transphobe. 🙂

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

My belief is that enthusiastic Christianity is the main road to the middle class, do not pass Go.
And as a racist-sexist-homophobe of the worst kind, I welcome Hispanics into the ultra-MAGA party of armed insurrectionists.

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
1 year ago

My Salvadorean domestic assistant in Toronto is evangelical. The church is small, personally helpful, and organizes her social life. As an immigrant that is more important than theological minutiae, although the church is clearly salvationist

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
1 year ago

My Salvadorean domestic assistant in Toronto is evangelical. The church is small, personally helpful, and organizes her social life. As an immigrant that is more important than theological minutiae, although the church is clearly salvationist

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

Have a point to make?
There’s a study that will support it. No question. Whatever narrative you choose to chase…there’s a ‘scientific something’ … with “twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one”… to ‘prove’ it.
American Religiosity is Declining! ‘Nones’ are proliferating. The Church is dying.
Strange, really, when you consider that — according to a different Pew Poll — 81% of all Americans believe in God…and 83% believe in an Afterlife.
What we witness is not so much the post-modern triumph of secularism as it is the deterioration of specific Church allegiance. These are markedly different things. Prof. Chesnut suggests that the causal push for the decline has been “the inflexibility of the Church to modernise its dogma and doctrine in terms of blessing, same sex marriage, and female clergy”. But if that were the case wouldn’t it be counter-intuitive for incoming ‘traditional’ Catholics to migrate from their family Church to the much more radically religious, the hard-line, Christian Evangelical?
The Catholic Diaspora is due NOT to the reluctance of the Church to ‘modernize’ but the feeling that Modernization (post-Vatican II) has already gone too far. Staunch Catholics, True Believers, Multi-Generational Communicants are not looking for ‘feel-good’ churches with their therapeutic Deism and catalog of social services; they are looking for God (even the Old Testament God). They are looking for direction, and law, and standards, and a stalwart Faith.
Homosexuality, in such a place is a violation of Divine and natural law. Women absolutely cannot be priests. Salvation is something to be earned, not assumed. And the Tridentine Mass brings us closer to God.
The pendulum of Belief is swinging….but not towards Modernity.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

Have a point to make?
There’s a study that will support it. No question. Whatever narrative you choose to chase…there’s a ‘scientific something’ … with “twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one”… to ‘prove’ it.
American Religiosity is Declining! ‘Nones’ are proliferating. The Church is dying.
Strange, really, when you consider that — according to a different Pew Poll — 81% of all Americans believe in God…and 83% believe in an Afterlife.
What we witness is not so much the post-modern triumph of secularism as it is the deterioration of specific Church allegiance. These are markedly different things. Prof. Chesnut suggests that the causal push for the decline has been “the inflexibility of the Church to modernise its dogma and doctrine in terms of blessing, same sex marriage, and female clergy”. But if that were the case wouldn’t it be counter-intuitive for incoming ‘traditional’ Catholics to migrate from their family Church to the much more radically religious, the hard-line, Christian Evangelical?
The Catholic Diaspora is due NOT to the reluctance of the Church to ‘modernize’ but the feeling that Modernization (post-Vatican II) has already gone too far. Staunch Catholics, True Believers, Multi-Generational Communicants are not looking for ‘feel-good’ churches with their therapeutic Deism and catalog of social services; they are looking for God (even the Old Testament God). They are looking for direction, and law, and standards, and a stalwart Faith.
Homosexuality, in such a place is a violation of Divine and natural law. Women absolutely cannot be priests. Salvation is something to be earned, not assumed. And the Tridentine Mass brings us closer to God.
The pendulum of Belief is swinging….but not towards Modernity.

Venerabledom
Venerabledom
1 year ago

As Chesterton pointed out – The problem with Christianity is not that it be has been tried and found wanting, but that it has been found difficult and left untried.

Catholicism isn’t easy, precisely because it sticks closely to the founding ideology of Jesus and the Apostles he commissioned to be sent to their certain death. Easier to listen to a guy in s as suit tell you to worship America, guns and money then leave your things and follow me.

Venerabledom
Venerabledom
1 year ago

As Chesterton pointed out – The problem with Christianity is not that it be has been tried and found wanting, but that it has been found difficult and left untried.

Catholicism isn’t easy, precisely because it sticks closely to the founding ideology of Jesus and the Apostles he commissioned to be sent to their certain death. Easier to listen to a guy in s as suit tell you to worship America, guns and money then leave your things and follow me.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

It seems that pundits must use gang colours (Democrat/Republican, Catholic/Evengelical/atheist) to identify the categories they wish to talk about. There’s a whole polling industry built on classifying people.
And yet people are hosts of individuals that may step outside the lines drawn to describe them. I guess the true lesson is that contemporary politics or contemporary religion(s) do not cater for their supporters well and people may quietly seek alternatives. It must be a worry for the Powers That Be and their media lackeys.

Last edited 1 year ago by AC Harper
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

How on Earth else would you talk about them? We inevitably have to classify to make sense of the world. (Science does rather a lot of this!). Yes, we should always be aware of the simplifications involved, but your comment amounts to that there isn’t (and never has been) any such thing as a devout Catholic, a true-blue Tory, or communities who are tribal Labour.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

We do categorise people, but to argue that ‘this group of people’ do ‘this kind of behaviour’ without qualification is to engage in stereotypes (and some would argue racism).
And as the article shows people, and groups of people, can change their stereotypical alliances – and that is a surprise if you have a simplified view of those stereotypes.
I don’t claim that there is no predictive value in stereotypes (as you think I said) but one size does not fit all and we should not assume it does.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

We do categorise people, but to argue that ‘this group of people’ do ‘this kind of behaviour’ without qualification is to engage in stereotypes (and some would argue racism).
And as the article shows people, and groups of people, can change their stereotypical alliances – and that is a surprise if you have a simplified view of those stereotypes.
I don’t claim that there is no predictive value in stereotypes (as you think I said) but one size does not fit all and we should not assume it does.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

How on Earth else would you talk about them? We inevitably have to classify to make sense of the world. (Science does rather a lot of this!). Yes, we should always be aware of the simplifications involved, but your comment amounts to that there isn’t (and never has been) any such thing as a devout Catholic, a true-blue Tory, or communities who are tribal Labour.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

It seems that pundits must use gang colours (Democrat/Republican, Catholic/Evengelical/atheist) to identify the categories they wish to talk about. There’s a whole polling industry built on classifying people.
And yet people are hosts of individuals that may step outside the lines drawn to describe them. I guess the true lesson is that contemporary politics or contemporary religion(s) do not cater for their supporters well and people may quietly seek alternatives. It must be a worry for the Powers That Be and their media lackeys.

Last edited 1 year ago by AC Harper
Roxanne Deslongchamps
Roxanne Deslongchamps
1 year ago

Gen Z’s do have a religion : it’s called wokism, and its priesthood is social media.

Roxanne Deslongchamps
Roxanne Deslongchamps
1 year ago

Gen Z’s do have a religion : it’s called wokism, and its priesthood is social media.

Margaret F
Margaret F
1 year ago

For decades the hierarchy in the American Catholic Church thought they could take European ethnic Catholics for granted and devalue their traditions and devotions. They thought they could get away with it because new Catholics were streaming across the southern border and would take their place. LOL Not only do the immigrants not support the parishes or have vocations, they don’t even fill the pews. As far back as the 1970s people could see that the new immigrants only came to Mass for baptisms, first communions, etc. And in yet another instance of Gresham’s Law, this eventually became the norm for the entire American Church. The Catholic Church is dying in America, just when it is needed the most.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago
Reply to  Margaret F

The Catholic Church does not appear to be dying in America, though it is fair to say that immigration is what’s “keeping it going” for now.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago
Reply to  Margaret F

The Catholic Church does not appear to be dying in America, though it is fair to say that immigration is what’s “keeping it going” for now.

Margaret F
Margaret F
1 year ago

For decades the hierarchy in the American Catholic Church thought they could take European ethnic Catholics for granted and devalue their traditions and devotions. They thought they could get away with it because new Catholics were streaming across the southern border and would take their place. LOL Not only do the immigrants not support the parishes or have vocations, they don’t even fill the pews. As far back as the 1970s people could see that the new immigrants only came to Mass for baptisms, first communions, etc. And in yet another instance of Gresham’s Law, this eventually became the norm for the entire American Church. The Catholic Church is dying in America, just when it is needed the most.

Darwin K Godwin
Darwin K Godwin
1 year ago

Here in Spain, the overwhelming majority of recent Latino immigrants are evangelical. I have trouble believing they convert upon arrival because they want to fit in with the host country. I disagree with the author. I would postĂșlate that the two counties in Texas that are in the process of flipping to the Republicans are not doing so because Hispanic immigrants are trying to secure their station in the United States, rather, it is the encroaching evidence of dissatisfaction and resulting religious transformation that is taking place in the Southern hemisphere.

Darwin K Godwin
Darwin K Godwin
1 year ago

Here in Spain, the overwhelming majority of recent Latino immigrants are evangelical. I have trouble believing they convert upon arrival because they want to fit in with the host country. I disagree with the author. I would postĂșlate that the two counties in Texas that are in the process of flipping to the Republicans are not doing so because Hispanic immigrants are trying to secure their station in the United States, rather, it is the encroaching evidence of dissatisfaction and resulting religious transformation that is taking place in the Southern hemisphere.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 year ago

This article makes a number of good points, and I would add one, if I may. Many Hispanics simply don’t find the Catholic church sufficiently Christian. There has always been, in the minds of so many catholics, too much emphasis placed on Mary, the saints, the clergy, the rituals, the pomp , the whole Romsn Empire aspect of the Church. Where is Christ in all of this? He was a simple and humble man, not an emperor (which is essentially what the pope is). The grandeur of the church ‘s history is irrelevant to common people, they want Jesus Christ, and the rest of the tra-la-la of Catholicism can be put aside.They want to experience a close and loving relationship with the one they consider their savior. And the lack of emphasis on the Bibe within the Church is another serious shortcoming. I attended Catholic school for 10 years as a kid and we never once referred to the Bible in class. We never discussed it. Most Catholics are semi-literate or not literate at all about what is considered the word ( and the law) of God. The laws of the Church, however, are always present in Catholic discussion. I understand completely this turning away from a church which hardly ever seems to offer people what they need.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 year ago

This article makes a number of good points, and I would add one, if I may. Many Hispanics simply don’t find the Catholic church sufficiently Christian. There has always been, in the minds of so many catholics, too much emphasis placed on Mary, the saints, the clergy, the rituals, the pomp , the whole Romsn Empire aspect of the Church. Where is Christ in all of this? He was a simple and humble man, not an emperor (which is essentially what the pope is). The grandeur of the church ‘s history is irrelevant to common people, they want Jesus Christ, and the rest of the tra-la-la of Catholicism can be put aside.They want to experience a close and loving relationship with the one they consider their savior. And the lack of emphasis on the Bibe within the Church is another serious shortcoming. I attended Catholic school for 10 years as a kid and we never once referred to the Bible in class. We never discussed it. Most Catholics are semi-literate or not literate at all about what is considered the word ( and the law) of God. The laws of the Church, however, are always present in Catholic discussion. I understand completely this turning away from a church which hardly ever seems to offer people what they need.

Bruce Cartland
Bruce Cartland
11 months ago

This

“Catholicism was seen, even among the young, as part of their identity — but “the inflexibility of the Church to modernise its dogma and doctrine in terms of blessing, same sex marriage, and female clergy really is culturally out of touch with Millennials and Generation Z”, ”

Contradicts

“Whether the conservative or the Evangelical turn came first is difficult to say, but they often go hand in hand, motivated by the same feeling: that the liberal, secular world is closing in on people with conservative values.”

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Better than following The Rev. Lynch Mason-Dixon and the Chapel of the St Nascar the Holy Bigot.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Better than following The Rev. Lynch Mason-Dixon and the Chapel of the St Nascar the Holy Bigot.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago

Catholicism has a way of upsetting people, probably because it is an unelected government containing only men. Unelected governments are not considered to be good on UnHerd. The Catholic Government attracts greed, encourages bad (sexual) behaviour and gets involved in politics. In Italy it is a political party.

Catholicism is also a religion and a negative criticism is deemed to be anti-religious or anti-Christian. Often, when the Catholic Government is treated negatively, the Christians defend it because they have to do so to justify their faith.

It is confusing. In the past, the Jesuits have tried to take over the secular world – notably in France. There are many stories of Pius Xll conspiring with Hitler. All of these stories detract from the religious nature of the organisation. Should the Catholic Government have a voice in secular affairs?

IMO, the organisation needs to modernise and quickly.

Last edited 1 year ago by Caradog Wiliams
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

As a practicing Roman Catholic, and living in a village with an extraordinarily wonderful Anglican woman Parish Priest, I just cannot understand our church’s reluctance to appoint women and married priests, not least after the paedophile scandals, and having attended a Benedictine public school in which the community deliberately covered up the predatory paedophilia of one housemaster, albeit eventually expelling him.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago

As an Anglican who is against women priests (priestesses) it is the belief that women can’t sanctify the host that means pro-transubstantiationists – to coin a horrific phrase – aren’t able to have a woman officiating in a Roman Catholic (or catholic) mass. I don’t believe in transubstantiation but I think that is the stumbling block.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Ampleforth, plus the closure of St Benet’s Hall, Oxford?

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago

Women priests and married priests would make priesthood much less of a sacrifice, and therefore less appealing to the heroic men we want to lead us.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago

As an Anglican who is against women priests (priestesses) it is the belief that women can’t sanctify the host that means pro-transubstantiationists – to coin a horrific phrase – aren’t able to have a woman officiating in a Roman Catholic (or catholic) mass. I don’t believe in transubstantiation but I think that is the stumbling block.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Ampleforth, plus the closure of St Benet’s Hall, Oxford?

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago

Women priests and married priests would make priesthood much less of a sacrifice, and therefore less appealing to the heroic men we want to lead us.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

The modernisation has been the bloody knife that killed the Catholic church.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

As a practicing Roman Catholic, and living in a village with an extraordinarily wonderful Anglican woman Parish Priest, I just cannot understand our church’s reluctance to appoint women and married priests, not least after the paedophile scandals, and having attended a Benedictine public school in which the community deliberately covered up the predatory paedophilia of one housemaster, albeit eventually expelling him.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

The modernisation has been the bloody knife that killed the Catholic church.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
1 year ago

Catholicism has a way of upsetting people, probably because it is an unelected government containing only men. Unelected governments are not considered to be good on UnHerd. The Catholic Government attracts greed, encourages bad (sexual) behaviour and gets involved in politics. In Italy it is a political party.

Catholicism is also a religion and a negative criticism is deemed to be anti-religious or anti-Christian. Often, when the Catholic Government is treated negatively, the Christians defend it because they have to do so to justify their faith.

It is confusing. In the past, the Jesuits have tried to take over the secular world – notably in France. There are many stories of Pius Xll conspiring with Hitler. All of these stories detract from the religious nature of the organisation. Should the Catholic Government have a voice in secular affairs?

IMO, the organisation needs to modernise and quickly.

Last edited 1 year ago by Caradog Wiliams