History UsefulNotes / AmericanChurches

29th Sep '16 6:48:27 AM Medinoc
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* '''Jehovah's Witnesses''', like the LDS Church, are Nontrinitarian, evangelical, and conservative, and are known to come off as strange to the majority of Americans. They are infamous for their [[KnockingOnHeathensDoor door-to-door preaching and proselytizing]] (so much that it even got them [[HollywoodJehovahsWitness their own trope]]), and they keep track of how much time they spend in those activities, trying to be the most passionate and zealous missionaries they can possibly be. They don't observe Christmas, Easter, or birthdays, which they deem pagan in origin, or national holidays like Thanksgiving or Independence Day. They do celebrate the Lord's Evening Meal, held on Passover, which is similar to Eucharist, but they don't believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. They do not participate in the military or warfare in general and refuse to salute national flags, which has gotten them in lots of trouble (especially in public schools, what with the Pledge of Allegiance). They're also famous for refusing to use certain blood products, even if they're dying. This means no blood transfusions or emergency surgery that requires transfusions of blood or blood products from another person. Finally, they feel that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is imminent, and have, in the past, tried to pin down the exact date of the Apocalypse. They stopped doing this when they realize that it was earning them more mockery than converts, but eschatology is still a major part of their belief system.

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* '''Jehovah's Witnesses''', like the LDS Church, are Nontrinitarian, evangelical, and conservative, and are known to come off as strange to the majority of Americans. They are infamous for their [[KnockingOnHeathensDoor door-to-door preaching and proselytizing]] (so much that it even got them [[HollywoodJehovahsWitness their own trope]]), and they keep track of how much time they spend in those activities, trying to be the most passionate and zealous missionaries they can possibly be. They don't observe Christmas, Easter, or birthdays, which they deem pagan in origin, or national holidays like Thanksgiving or Independence Day. They do celebrate the Lord's Evening Meal, held on Passover, which is similar to Eucharist, but they don't believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. They do not participate in the military or warfare in general and refuse to salute national flags, which has gotten them in lots of trouble (especially in public schools, what with the Pledge of Allegiance). They're also famous for refusing to use certain blood products, even if they're dying. This means no blood transfusions or emergency surgery that requires transfusions of blood or blood products from another person. Finally, they feel that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is imminent, and have, in the past, tried to pin down the exact date of the Apocalypse. They stopped doing this when they realize realized that it was earning them more mockery than converts, but eschatology is still a major part of their belief system.
29th Sep '16 6:46:32 AM Medinoc
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* '''Jehovah's Witnesses''', like the LDS Church, are Nontrinitarian, evangelical, and conservative, and are known to come off as strange to the majority of Americans. They are infamous for their door-to-door preaching and proselytizing (so much that it even got them [[HollywoodJehovahsWitness their own trope]]), and they keep track of how much time they spend in those activities, trying to be the most passionate and zealous missionaries they can possibly be. They don't observe Christmas, Easter, or birthdays, which they deem pagan in origin, or national holidays like Thanksgiving or Independence Day. They do celebrate the Lord's Evening Meal, held on Passover, which is similar to Eucharist, but they don't believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. They do not participate in the military or warfare in general and refuse to salute national flags, which has gotten them in lots of trouble (especially in public schools, what with the Pledge of Allegiance). They're also famous for refusing to use certain blood products, even if they're dying. This means no blood transfusions or emergency surgery that requires transfusions of blood or blood products from another person. Finally, they feel that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is imminent, and have, in the past, tried to pin down the exact date of the Apocalypse. They stopped doing this when they realize that it was earning them more mockery than converts, but eschatology is still a major part of their belief system.

to:

* '''Jehovah's Witnesses''', like the LDS Church, are Nontrinitarian, evangelical, and conservative, and are known to come off as strange to the majority of Americans. They are infamous for their [[KnockingOnHeathensDoor door-to-door preaching and proselytizing proselytizing]] (so much that it even got them [[HollywoodJehovahsWitness their own trope]]), and they keep track of how much time they spend in those activities, trying to be the most passionate and zealous missionaries they can possibly be. They don't observe Christmas, Easter, or birthdays, which they deem pagan in origin, or national holidays like Thanksgiving or Independence Day. They do celebrate the Lord's Evening Meal, held on Passover, which is similar to Eucharist, but they don't believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. They do not participate in the military or warfare in general and refuse to salute national flags, which has gotten them in lots of trouble (especially in public schools, what with the Pledge of Allegiance). They're also famous for refusing to use certain blood products, even if they're dying. This means no blood transfusions or emergency surgery that requires transfusions of blood or blood products from another person. Finally, they feel that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is imminent, and have, in the past, tried to pin down the exact date of the Apocalypse. They stopped doing this when they realize that it was earning them more mockery than converts, but eschatology is still a major part of their belief system.
17th May '16 1:36:30 AM Nabi
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* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahai_Faith Baha'i]]''' is a monotheistic religion with millions of followers around the world. Baha'i in America are divided among Persians, many of whom fled the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and the sort of NewAgeRetroHippie-types who might have become Buddhist but preferred something more Abrahamic. The most notable Baha'i in America is none other than Rainn Wilson (playing Dwight Schrute in ''Series/TheOfficeUS''), whose parents were of the second category and raised him in the faith while living in a houseboat off the coast of Washington State.

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* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahai_Faith Baha'i]]''' Bahá'í]]''' is a monotheistic religion with millions of followers around the world. Baha'i Bahá'í in America are divided among Persians, many of whom fled the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and the sort of NewAgeRetroHippie-types who might have become Buddhist but preferred something more Abrahamic. The most notable Baha'i Bahá'í in America is none other than Rainn Wilson (playing Dwight Schrute in ''Series/TheOfficeUS''), whose parents were of the second category and raised him in the faith while living in a houseboat off the coast of Washington State.
5th May '16 10:40:15 AM MsChibi
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Added DiffLines:

* The church that ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' attend. It appears to be [[ChurchOfSaintGenericus an amalgam of most of the aforementioned mainline Protestant churches]], and is in fact called something like American Presbolutheranism. (Though for a while, most of Springfield does become enamored with a megachurch.)
2nd Apr '16 11:07:19 PM MsChibi
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The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a cult simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).

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The government can't decide that your religion is unworthy, isn't right, or is a cult {{Cult}} simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous. To do that, they will go after something else: too many guns and paedophiles at Waco, too much polygamy and forced marriages of young girls to older men at that Fundamentalist Mormon compound in Texas. But if a bunch of adults decide to hold Satanic services involving devil worship, short of finding something actually ''illegal'' going on, there ain't a damn thing the government can do to stop it. So if you want to start a cult that says the world is cube-shaped and your deity is a talking lizard, you're A-OK (legally, anyway, which will not stop people from laughing at you; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).
26th Mar '16 9:13:15 PM KYCubbie
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* '''Evangelical churches''', as defined by TheOtherWiki, are Protestant churches that are distinguished by four key traits -- a focus on personal conversion (becoming "born again"), spreading the message of Literature/TheBible (evangelizing), placing high stock in Biblical authority, and a focus on Jesus' death and resurrection. Examples of such churches include most subgroups of Baptists, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Presbyterian Church of America [[note]]Not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which is mainline Protestant.[[/note]]. They usually adhere to conservative social values, and are very often [[TheFundamentalist fundamentalist]]. [[note]]As always, there are exceptions to every rule. A number of more liberal, mainline churches call themselves evangelical (such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), and a substantial minority of individual evangelicals, particularly younger ones, reject Biblical literalism.[[/note]]\\

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* '''Evangelical churches''', as defined by TheOtherWiki, are Protestant churches that are distinguished by four key traits -- a focus on personal conversion (becoming "born again"), spreading the message of Literature/TheBible (evangelizing), placing high stock in Biblical authority, and a focus on Jesus' death and resurrection. Examples of such churches include most subgroups of Baptists, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Presbyterian Church of in America [[note]]Not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which is mainline Protestant.[[/note]]. They usually adhere to conservative social values, and are very often [[TheFundamentalist fundamentalist]]. [[note]]As always, there are exceptions to every rule. A number of more liberal, mainline churches call themselves evangelical (such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), and a substantial minority of individual evangelicals, particularly younger ones, reject Biblical literalism.[[/note]]\\



They are also responsible for the growth of what are often called [[http://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/Megachurch megachurches]]. While a more traditional church will have from a few dozen to a few hundred parishioners return every week, with "extracurricular" services largely limited to Sunday schools, bake sales and grade schools for some of the larger ones, a megachurch has a few thousand or even tens of thousands, and its services will often be more comparable to a rock concert than an old-time congregation. Megachurches are likely to have their own [[UsefulNotes/AmericanEducationalSystem K-12 schools]], fitness centers, day cares, shops selling Christian merchandise (some of it likely pertaining to, or created by, the head pastor/minister), and ministries targeting various {{subculture}}s, making them one-stop shops for born-again suburbanites. The trend began in the middle of the twentieth century and is associated with the rise of the Religious Right and the growth of the evangelical and Pentecostal movements, as they tend to focus on conversion and personal morality/salvation. These churches have been the target of criticism by both Christians and non-Christians alike, for drawing parishioners away from traditional churches, for their "big box" feel and perceived focus on consumerism, their use of secular business models to bring in worshipers and dollars, and their tax-exempt status.[[note]]These churches bring in millions of dollars annually, tax free, and their leaders also get tax breaks. It has caused some friction. Think "money changers in the temple".[[/note]]

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They are also responsible for the growth of what are often called [[http://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/Megachurch megachurches]]. While a more traditional church will have from a few dozen to a few hundred parishioners return every week, with "extracurricular" services largely limited to Sunday schools, bake sales and grade schools for some of the larger ones, a megachurch has a few thousand or even tens of thousands, and its services will often be more comparable to a rock concert than an old-time congregation. Megachurches are likely to have their own [[UsefulNotes/AmericanEducationalSystem K-12 schools]], fitness centers, day cares, shops selling Christian merchandise (some of it likely pertaining to, or created by, the head pastor/minister), and ministries targeting various {{subculture}}s, {{subculture}}s,[[note]]though a surprising number of megachurches largely ignore singles as a targeted subculture[[/note]] making them one-stop shops for born-again suburbanites. The trend began in the middle of the twentieth century and is associated with the rise of the Religious Right and the growth of the evangelical and Pentecostal movements, as they tend to focus on conversion and personal morality/salvation. These churches have been the target of criticism by both Christians and non-Christians alike, for drawing parishioners away from traditional churches, for their "big box" feel and perceived focus on consumerism, their use of secular business models to bring in worshipers and dollars, and their tax-exempt status.[[note]]These churches bring in millions of dollars annually, tax free, and their leaders also get tax breaks. It has caused some friction. Think "money changers in the temple".[[/note]]
15th Mar '16 9:25:26 PM pratchettgaiman
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* '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}} Jews]]''' are primarily concentrated on the East Coast (particularly the New York and Washington areas, where they make up a double-digit percentage of the population in some counties), South Florida (where many of them go to retire), and California, with small enclaves elsewhere in the country. They tend to pull for the Democrats in large numbers -- the only Democrat since [[UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]] who earned less than 70% of the Jewish vote was Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956 -- and usually have social views more liberal than the American mainstream.[[note]]They were heavily involved in the CivilRightsMovement, and it was a Jewish woman who wrote ''The Feminine Mystique'', the book often credited with kick-starting the second wave of feminism.[[/note]] In America, as in most other places, Jews are OnceAcceptableTargets -- antisemitism was prevalent in America as late as TheGreatDepression (during which time populist radio host Father Coughlin blamed the Jews for the stock market crash), but slowly began to fade after the atrocities of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII were brought to the surface. Today, antisemitism is significantly less common, and most Jews have turned to worrying about their children marrying non-Jews (which could result in their grandchildren not being considered Jewish, depending on the sect of Judaism they follow) and an overall push to assimilate and become like their Christian neighbors.

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* '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Judaism}} Jews]]''' are primarily concentrated on the East Coast (particularly the New York and Washington areas, where they make up a double-digit percentage of the population in some counties), South Florida (where many of them go to retire), and California, with small enclaves elsewhere in the country. The US has the world's second biggest Jewish population, after only Israel, with about 5-6 million. They tend to pull for the Democrats in large numbers [[note]] Jews are the second most loyal constituency to the Democratic Party, after only African Americans [[/note]] -- the only Democrat since [[UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]] who earned less than 70% of the Jewish vote was Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956 -- and usually have social views more liberal than the American mainstream.[[note]]They were heavily involved in the CivilRightsMovement, and it was a Jewish woman who wrote ''The Feminine Mystique'', the book often credited with kick-starting the second wave of feminism.[[/note]] In America, as in most other places, Jews are OnceAcceptableTargets -- antisemitism was prevalent in America as late as TheGreatDepression (during which time populist radio host Father Coughlin blamed the Jews for the stock market crash), but slowly began to fade after the atrocities of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII were brought to the surface. Today, antisemitism is significantly less common, and most Jews have turned to worrying about their children marrying non-Jews (which could result in their grandchildren not being considered Jewish, depending on the sect of Judaism they follow) and an overall push struggle over whether to preserve traditional Jewish culture or assimilate into American society. That said, antisemitism is still the most common form of religious hate crime, and become like their Christian neighbors.certain antisemitic tropes have been incorporated into either paranoid conspiracy theories or radical anti-Israel rhetoric ( in both cases, often by changing the word "Jews" to "Zionists" in claims that Jews drink blood, secretly control the world, etc.)
24th Jan '16 11:05:07 PM TheRedRedKroovy
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** The '''Temple of Set''' was one of the first of many offshoots from the Church of Satan, founded by Michael Aquino in TheSeventies because he and several other members basically felt that Anton [=LaVey=] was little more than a carny huckster who wasn't interested in genuine spirituality and occultism. These days, one of the most common places where you're likely to see the Temple of Set mentioned is in conspiracy theories about the above, mainly due to the fact that Aquino was also a Lieutenant Colonel in [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks US Army]] intelligence who co-wrote a paper on psychological warfare with the ominous title of ''[=MindWar=]''. This was frequently held up as 'proof' that Satanists had successfully infiltrated the Pentagon, and that ''[=MindWar=]'' (which was actually about [[https://flowofwisdom.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/mindwar-mindwar_co_authored_by_michael-aquino.pdf neutralizing enemies through diplomacy and psy-ops]] without going to war) was a blueprint for Satanic mind control and world domination.

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** The '''Temple of Set''' was one of the first of many offshoots from the Church of Satan, founded by Michael Aquino in TheSeventies because he and several other members basically felt that Anton [=LaVey=] was little more than a carny huckster who wasn't interested in genuine spirituality and occultism. These days, one of the most common places where you're likely to see the Temple of Set mentioned is in conspiracy theories about the above, mainly due to the fact that Aquino was also a Lieutenant Colonel in [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks US Army]] intelligence who co-wrote a paper on psychological warfare with the ominous title of ''[=MindWar=]''. This was frequently held up as 'proof' that Satanists had successfully infiltrated the Pentagon, and that ''[=MindWar=]'' (which was actually about [[https://flowofwisdom.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/mindwar-mindwar_co_authored_by_michael-aquino.pdf neutralizing enemies through diplomacy and psy-ops]] without going in order to minimize the damage done by war) was a blueprint for Satanic mind control and world domination.
24th Jan '16 11:00:58 PM TheRedRedKroovy
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* '''The Church of Satan''' was founded in TheSixties by Anton [=LaVey=] in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco. Sources state that there are about 10-20,000 official members of the Church of Satan in the United States, and there are possibly tens of thousands more who adhere to the philosophy or one of its offshoots. Despite their name and reputation, they [[NonindicativeName do not actually worship Satan]], being an atheistic organization rooted in a mix of pseudo-[[Creator/FriedrichNietzsche Nietzschean]] philosophy[[note]][=LaVey=] claimed inspiration from UsefulNotes/{{Objectivism}}, but his philosophy is significantly different.[[/note]] and the theatrics of Creator/AleisterCrowley and other occultists. They chose the name because they feel that Satan, the original rebel in Christian theology, is a role model for people to look up to, and that the Christian message of tolerance, humility, and egalitarianism is self-destructive for both individuals and society. The Church of Satan is not to be confused with...

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* '''The Church of Satan''' was founded in TheSixties by Anton [=LaVey=] in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco. Sources state that there are about 10-20,000 ten to twenty thousand official members of the Church of Satan in the United States, and there are possibly tens of thousands countless more who adhere to the philosophy or one of its offshoots. Despite their name and reputation, they [[NonindicativeName do not actually worship Satan]], being an atheistic organization rooted in a mix of pseudo-[[Creator/FriedrichNietzsche Nietzschean]] philosophy[[note]][=LaVey=] claimed inspiration from UsefulNotes/{{Objectivism}}, but his philosophy is significantly different.[[/note]] and the theatrics of Creator/AleisterCrowley and other occultists. They chose the name because they feel that Satan, the original rebel in Christian theology, is a role model for people to look up to, and that the Christian message of tolerance, humility, and egalitarianism is self-destructive for both individuals and society. The Church of Satan is not to be confused with...


Added DiffLines:

** The '''Temple of Set''' was one of the first of many offshoots from the Church of Satan, founded by Michael Aquino in TheSeventies because he and several other members basically felt that Anton [=LaVey=] was little more than a carny huckster who wasn't interested in genuine spirituality and occultism. These days, one of the most common places where you're likely to see the Temple of Set mentioned is in conspiracy theories about the above, mainly due to the fact that Aquino was also a Lieutenant Colonel in [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks US Army]] intelligence who co-wrote a paper on psychological warfare with the ominous title of ''[=MindWar=]''. This was frequently held up as 'proof' that Satanists had successfully infiltrated the Pentagon, and that ''[=MindWar=]'' (which was actually about [[https://flowofwisdom.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/mindwar-mindwar_co_authored_by_michael-aquino.pdf neutralizing enemies through diplomacy and psy-ops]] without going to war) was a blueprint for Satanic mind control and world domination.
24th Jan '16 2:13:13 AM KYCubbie
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* '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} Buddhists]]''' make up 1-2% of the American population. About 75-80% of American Buddhists are Asian, while most of the rest are white converts (although, as noted below, not entirely white). This latter group is typically stereotyped as consisting largely of {{New Age Retro Hippie}}s and {{Granola Girl}}s, while the former group is usually stereotyped as... well, Asian. There have been precisely three Buddhists in Congress, all Democrats: Mazie Hirono, a non-practicing ''Issei''[[note]]immigrant from Japan[[/note]] Japanese-American from Hawaii, and Hank Johnson, a Black convert from Georgia (yeah, it's kind of weird) were elected in 2006; Colleen Hanabusa, a practicing ''Yonsei''[[note]]fourth-generation—i.e., great-grandchild of the original immigrant(s)[[/note]] Japanese-American from Hawaii was elected in 2010.[[note]]For the record, the reason there aren't more Buddhist congresspeople despite the relatively large number of Asian representatives is that most Asian American politicians are Christians.[[/note]] Probably the most prominent Buddhist in the U.S. is golf superstar Tiger Woods (child of a black father and Asian mother, but with white and American Indian heritage as well).

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* '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} Buddhists]]''' make up 1-2% of the American population. About 75-80% of American Buddhists are Asian, while most of the rest are white converts (although, as noted below, not entirely white). This latter group is typically stereotyped as consisting largely of {{New Age Retro Hippie}}s and {{Granola Girl}}s, while the former group is usually stereotyped as... well, Asian. There have been precisely three Buddhists in Congress, all Democrats: Mazie Hirono, a non-practicing ''Issei''[[note]]immigrant from Japan[[/note]] Japanese-American from Hawaii, and Hank Johnson, a Black convert from Georgia (yeah, it's kind of weird) were elected in 2006; Colleen Hanabusa, a practicing ''Yonsei''[[note]]fourth-generation—i.e., great-grandchild of the original immigrant(s)[[/note]] Japanese-American from Hawaii was elected in 2010.[[note]]For the record, the reason there aren't more Buddhist congresspeople despite the relatively large number of Asian representatives is that most Asian American politicians are Christians.[[/note]] Probably the most prominent Buddhist in the U.S. is golf superstar Tiger Woods (child of a black father and Asian mother, but with white and Native American Indian heritage as well).



** Although two state governors are the American-born children of Indian immigrants, neither is a Hindu (or Muslim, Buddhist, or Sikh, for that matter). Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is Catholic, and Nikki Haley of South Carolina is Methodist.

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** Although two one current and one recent state governors governor are the American-born children of Indian immigrants, neither is a Hindu (or Muslim, Buddhist, or Sikh, for that matter). Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is Catholic, and Nikki Haley of Current South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is Methodist.Methodist, and Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana from 2008 until being term-limited out in 2016, is Catholic.
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