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* The '''Seventh-day Adventist Church'''is a Christian denomination holding Christians are still bound by the Ancient Testament laws such as the dietary restriction (i.e. no 'unclean meats')[[note]]Vegetarianism is advised to members.[[/note]] and the Shabbat or seventh day rest.[[note]]So much that some of their theologians believe a National Sunday Law mandating Sunday rest will be passed in the End Times.[[/note]] Like the Jehovah's Witnesses, they have a history of predicting that the end is near, and in fact began as a splinter group from the Millerite movement, based on two failed predictions by the preacher William Miller. It frowns on alcohol, jewelry and smoking. The church has over 17 million members, among whom a mere 7% reside in the U.S. Its worldwide educational and health system is second only to that of the Catholic Church.

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* The '''Seventh-day Adventist Church'''is Church''' is a Christian denomination holding Christians are still bound by the Ancient Testament laws such as the dietary restriction (i.e. no 'unclean meats')[[note]]Vegetarianism is advised to members.[[/note]] and the Shabbat or seventh day rest.[[note]]So much that some of their theologians believe a National Sunday Law mandating Sunday rest will be passed in the End Times.[[/note]] Like the Jehovah's Witnesses, they have a history of predicting that the end is near, and in fact began as a splinter group from the Millerite movement, based on two failed predictions by the preacher William Miller. It frowns on alcohol, jewelry and smoking. The church has over 17 million members, among whom a mere 7% reside in the U.S. Its worldwide educational and health system is second only to that of the Catholic Church.


After the 9/11 attacks, many Muslims support the Democratic Party.[[note]]Before the attacks, most Muslims voted Republican due to their affluence and social conservatism.[[/note]] Even so, they tend to be rather well-integrated compared to their European counterparts, having a higher average income and educational attainment than the national average. The first Muslim member of [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Congress]] is Keith Ellison, an African-American Democrat from Minnesota elected in 2006; he was followed by another African-American, Andre Carson (Democrat of Indiana), after a special election in 2008.[[note]]Significant controversy rose from the American right over Ellison's election and subsequent use of the Quran in his oath of office. There were claims that it was (or [[ThereShouldBeALaw should be) prohibited. In actual fact, there are no laws dictating office holders be sworn in on any book at all, and trying to prohibit the use of the Quran in this (or any other holy book) would be against the Constitution.[[/note]] They have since been joined by the first two Muslim women in Congress, both Democrats elected in 2018–Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the Detroit-born daughter of Palestinian immigrants, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia and came to the US as a teenager.

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After the 9/11 attacks, many Muslims support the Democratic Party.[[note]]Before the attacks, most Muslims voted Republican due to their affluence and social conservatism.[[/note]] Even so, they tend to be rather well-integrated compared to their European counterparts, having a higher average income and educational attainment than the national average. The first Muslim member of [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Congress]] is Keith Ellison, an African-American Democrat from Minnesota elected in 2006; he was followed by another African-American, Andre Carson (Democrat of Indiana), after a special election in 2008.[[note]]Significant controversy rose from the American right over Ellison's election and subsequent use of the Quran in his oath of office. There were claims that it was (or [[ThereShouldBeALaw should be) be]]) prohibited. In actual fact, there are no laws dictating office holders be sworn in on any book at all, and trying to prohibit the use of the Quran in this (or any other holy book) would be against the Constitution.[[/note]] They have since been joined by the first two Muslim women in Congress, both Democrats elected in 2018–Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the Detroit-born daughter of Palestinian immigrants, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia and came to the US as a teenager.



* '''Agnostics''' are people who are open to or undecided on the idea of an afterlife and/or a higher power, but who don't ascribe to any one religion. Tend to get lumped in with atheists by some religious communities, despite the difference (there is also overlap for some individuals). Most common in the Northeast and the Pacific Northwest.

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* '''Agnostics''' '''UsefulNotes/{{Agnostic|ism}}s''' are people who are open to or undecided on the idea of an afterlife and/or a higher power, but who don't ascribe to any one religion. Tend to get lumped in with atheists by some religious communities, despite the difference (there is also overlap for some individuals). Most common in the Northeast and the Pacific Northwest.


* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahai_Faith Bahá'í]]''' is a monotheistic religion with millions of followers around the world. 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 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.

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* '''[[http://en.'''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahai_Faith Bahá'í]]''' is a monotheistic religion with millions of followers around the world. 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 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.



** '''The Worldwide Satanic Church of Evil''', which is ''not'' a real church -- although that hasn't stopped thousands of UrbanLegends. Since time immemorial, many religious groups have claimed that there is an evil cult that performs occult rituals, human sacrifice, and other evil acts.[[note]]The Church of Satan actually did perform Black Masses during their heyday, but they were purely for show and to spark controversy.[[/note]] Fear of Satanism turned into a moral panic back in TheEighties following the publication of ''Michelle Remembers'', a book purporting to be an expose of an underground, worldwide Satanic organization with millions of members performing horrific acts on children. The ensuing panic over "[[UsefulNotes/ConspiracyTheories Satanic ritual abuse]]" did lasting damage to the daycare industry (which was hit hard by dozens of allegations of Satanic abuse) and social services (which jumped onto the Satanism bandwagon early, and saw a huge backlash once Satanic abuse became discredited), and even saw Procter & Gamble forced to change its logo following accusations that its original logo was Satanic (they would be awarded $19 million in damages from the people who spread the rumors, which had caused their stock to plummet).

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** '''The Worldwide Satanic Church of Evil''', which is ''not'' a real church -- although that hasn't stopped thousands of UrbanLegends. Since time immemorial, many religious groups have claimed that there is an evil cult that performs occult rituals, human sacrifice, and other evil acts.[[note]]The Church of Satan actually did perform Black Masses during their heyday, but they were purely for show and to spark controversy.[[/note]] Fear of Satanism turned into a moral panic back in TheEighties following the publication of ''Michelle Remembers'', a now thoroughly discredited book purporting to be an expose of an underground, worldwide Satanic organization with millions of members performing horrific acts on children. The ensuing panic over "[[UsefulNotes/ConspiracyTheories Satanic ritual abuse]]" did lasting damage to the daycare industry (which was hit hard by dozens of allegations of Satanic abuse) and social services (which jumped onto the Satanism bandwagon early, and saw a huge backlash once Satanic abuse became discredited), and even saw Procter & Gamble forced to change its logo following accusations that its original logo was Satanic (they would be awarded $19 million in damages from the people who spread the rumors, which had caused their stock to plummet).


After the 9/11 attacks, many Muslims support the Democratic Party.[[note]]Before the attacks, most Muslims voted Republican due to their affluence and social conservatism.[[/note]] Even so, they tend to be rather well-integrated compared to their European counterparts, having a higher average income and educational attainment than the national average. The first Muslim member of [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Congress]] is Keith Ellison, an African-American Democrat from Minnesota elected in 2006; he was followed by another African-American, Andre Carson (Democrat of Indiana), after a special election in 2008.[[note]]Significant controversy rose from the American right over Ellison's election and subsequent use of the Quran in his oath of office. There were claims that it was (or [[ThereShouldBeALaw should be) prohibited. In actual fact, there are no laws dictating office holders be sworn in on any book at all, and trying to prohibit the use of the Quran in this (or any other holy book) would be against the Constitution.[[/note]]

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After the 9/11 attacks, many Muslims support the Democratic Party.[[note]]Before the attacks, most Muslims voted Republican due to their affluence and social conservatism.[[/note]] Even so, they tend to be rather well-integrated compared to their European counterparts, having a higher average income and educational attainment than the national average. The first Muslim member of [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Congress]] is Keith Ellison, an African-American Democrat from Minnesota elected in 2006; he was followed by another African-American, Andre Carson (Democrat of Indiana), after a special election in 2008.[[note]]Significant controversy rose from the American right over Ellison's election and subsequent use of the Quran in his oath of office. There were claims that it was (or [[ThereShouldBeALaw should be) prohibited. In actual fact, there are no laws dictating office holders be sworn in on any book at all, and trying to prohibit the use of the Quran in this (or any other holy book) would be against the Constitution.[[/note]][[/note]] They have since been joined by the first two Muslim women in Congress, both Democrats elected in 2018–Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the Detroit-born daughter of Palestinian immigrants, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia and came to the US as a teenager.


*** {{Alchemy}} is a reconstruction of alchemical ideals reimagined as spiritual descriptions rather than practical chemistry.

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*** {{Alchemy}} UsefulNotes/{{Alchemy}} is a reconstruction of alchemical ideals reimagined as spiritual descriptions rather than practical chemistry.


* Much less common than the above, but still prevalent in America, are '''Anabaptists'''. They are the descendants of the Radical Reformation, alongside the Protestant Reformation, who believe that being baptized and joining a church should be a choice, offered [[UsefulNotes/{{Consent}} only to adults who had the knowledge to make such a decision]]. This sounds sensible now, but was pretty revolutionary in the 16th century.\\

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* Much less common than the above, but still prevalent in America, are '''Anabaptists'''. They are the descendants of the Radical Reformation, alongside the Protestant Reformation, who believe that being baptized and joining a church should be a choice, offered [[UsefulNotes/{{Consent}} only to adults who had the knowledge to make such a decision]]. This sounds sensible now, but was pretty revolutionary in the 16th century. In fact, this was the origin of their name: anabaptists literally means "re-baptizers," a pejorative term used by the Catholics for their practice of baptizing adults who had formerly been baptized Catholics as infants. \\



This is not some liberal hippie denomination, but actually the "plain people": UsefulNotes/{{Amish}}, Hutterites, and Mennonites. Each group is distinct from the others, but they all share core beliefs. They're famous for being {{actual pacifist}}s (believing that TurnTheOtherCheek isn't just a suggestion), and also refusing to swear oaths, participate in politics, or drink any alcohol. The more conservative groups dress in plain clothes, keep technology use to a minimum, live in their own separate communities, and refuse to pay into Social Security[[note]]They get away with this by also refusing to accept it. These groups have a long history of providing for their own, and the US government has basically ruled that, since Social Security is essentially designed to force everyone to do what most Anabaptists had already been doing on their own for generations, they can just carry on as they always have and Washington will call it a wash.[[/note]] or even for insurance. More moderate branches, particularly the Mennonites, blend in more with society, though they still stick to their theology. Unusually for a Christian group, Anabaptists have their own language: Low German, also known as [[http://www.mennolink.org/doc/lg/index.html Plautdietsch]].

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This is not some liberal hippie denomination, but actually the "plain people": UsefulNotes/{{Amish}}, Hutterites, and Mennonites. Each group is distinct from the others, but they all share core beliefs. They're famous for being {{actual pacifist}}s (believing that TurnTheOtherCheek isn't just a suggestion), and also refusing to swear oaths, participate in politics, or drink any alcohol. The more conservative groups dress in plain clothes, keep technology use to a minimum, live in their own separate communities, and refuse to pay into Social Security[[note]]They get away with this by also refusing to accept it. These groups have a long history of providing for their own, and the US government has basically ruled that, since Social Security is essentially designed to force everyone to do what most Anabaptists had already been doing on their own for generations, they can just carry on as they always have and Washington will call it a wash.[[/note]] or even for insurance. More moderate branches, particularly the Mennonites, blend in more with society, though they still stick to their theology. Unusually for a Christian group, Anabaptists have their own language: Low German, also known as [[http://www.mennolink.org/doc/lg/index.html Plautdietsch]]. It's worth noting that, as the name implies, this group is the ancestor of the Baptists, who share many of the same beliefs although often to a lesser degree.


* Much less common than the above, but still prevalent in America, are '''Anabaptists'''. They are the descendants of the Radical Reformation, alongside the Protestant Reformation, who believe that being baptized and joining a church should be a choice, offered only to adults who had the knowledge to make such a decision. This sounds sensible now, but was pretty revolutionary in the 16th century.\\

to:

* Much less common than the above, but still prevalent in America, are '''Anabaptists'''. They are the descendants of the Radical Reformation, alongside the Protestant Reformation, who believe that being baptized and joining a church should be a choice, offered [[UsefulNotes/{{Consent}} only to adults who had the knowledge to make such a decision.decision]]. This sounds sensible now, but was pretty revolutionary in the 16th century.\\


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. [[note]]A few years ago the Oklahoma Satanists decided to hold a black mass in the Oklahoma City Civic Center. They agreed to change a few of their rituals to comply with local health codes (like using vinegar in place of urine). So they held their service where 28 people participated. Outside, over 250 people picketed the mass.[[/note]] 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 or criticizing you/your beliefs; 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}} simply because people think that it's heretical or blasphemous.blasphemous or crazy. 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. [[note]]A few years ago the Oklahoma Satanists decided to hold a black mass in the Oklahoma City Civic Center. They agreed to change a few of their rituals to comply with local health codes (like using vinegar in place of urine). So they held their service where 28 people participated. Outside, over 250 people picketed the mass.[[/note]] 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 or criticizing you/your beliefs; the First Amendment also guarantees freedom of speech and of the press).


* '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Atheism}} Atheists]] and other non-religious people''' (not a church, but here for completeness) make up about 15% of the American population. Their numbers are highest in the Western states and the Northeast, with the title of "least religious state" often fluctuating between Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the various [[HollywoodNewEngland New England]] states depending on the year and the survey. The vast majority of non-religious people tend to be either liberals (they voted about 71% for UsefulNotes/BarackObama) or libertarians, although there are a few prominent conservative atheists. They have long been an acceptable target in American culture, often being stereotyped as [[HollywoodAtheist bitter, elitist, amoral, un-patriotic]], and [[DirtyCommunists possibly Communist]] (the latter during the Cold War especially, when "In God We Trust" was made the US's national slogan as a political statement against "godless communism"), to the point where it's been [[https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/way-more-americans-may-be-atheists-than-we-thought/ suggested]] that lingering stereotypes have caused pollsters to significantly underreport the actual number of atheists in the US, as many of them would be reluctant to express their non-belief to a stranger.

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* '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Atheism}} Atheists]] '''UsefulNotes/{{Atheis|m}}ts and other non-religious people''' (not a church, but here for completeness) make up about 15% of the American population. Their numbers are highest in the Western states and the Northeast, with the title of "least religious state" often fluctuating between Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the various [[HollywoodNewEngland New England]] states depending on the year and the survey. The vast majority of non-religious people tend to be either liberals (they voted about 71% for UsefulNotes/BarackObama) or libertarians, although there are a few prominent conservative atheists. They have long been an acceptable target in American culture, often being stereotyped as [[HollywoodAtheist bitter, elitist, amoral, un-patriotic]], and [[DirtyCommunists possibly Communist]] (the latter during the Cold War especially, when "In God We Trust" was made the US's national slogan as a political statement against "godless communism"), to the point where it's been [[https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/way-more-americans-may-be-atheists-than-we-thought/ suggested]] that lingering stereotypes have caused pollsters to significantly underreport the actual number of atheists in the US, as many of them would be reluctant to express their non-belief to a stranger.



* '''[[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 heritage as well).
* There are about 1-1.5 million '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Hinduism}} Hindus]]''' in the United States. Most of them are South Asian immigrants who, like their East Asian Buddhist counterparts, have their own stereotypes (such as the AsianStoreOwner and the BollywoodNerd). Hindu gurus had a large influence in the American New Age movement in TheSixties and TheSeventies, when it attracted a number of high-profile Western converts into denominations such as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Most American perceptions of the religion stem from this, and from what is gleaned of the Indian community.
** Although two recent state governors are the American-born children of Indian immigrants, neither is a Hindu (or Muslim, Buddhist, or Sikh, for that matter). Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina from 2011 until resigning in 2017 to become the country's UN ambassador, is Methodist, and Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana from 2008 until being term-limited out in 2016, is Catholic. Jindal was raised Hindu, Haley Sikh however, before converting.

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* '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} Buddhists]]''' '''UsefulNotes/{{Buddhis|m}}ts''' 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 heritage as well).
* There are about 1-1.5 million '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Hinduism}} Hindus]]''' '''UsefulNotes/{{Hindu|ism}}s''' in the United States. Most of them are South Asian immigrants who, like their East Asian Buddhist counterparts, have their own stereotypes (such as the AsianStoreOwner and the BollywoodNerd). Hindu gurus had a large influence in the American New Age movement in TheSixties and TheSeventies, when it attracted a number of high-profile Western converts into denominations such as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Most American perceptions of the religion stem from this, and from what is gleaned of the Indian community.
** Although two recent state governors are the American-born children of Indian immigrants, neither is a Hindu (or Muslim, Buddhist, or Sikh, for that matter). Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina from 2011 until resigning in 2017 to become the country's UN ambassador, is Methodist, and Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana from 2008 until being term-limited out in 2016, is Catholic. However, both were raised in Indian religions before converting to Christianity (Haley as a Sikh and Jindal was raised Hindu, Haley Sikh however, before converting.as a Hindu).



* A skit on ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' showcases the leeway that churches have. A county tax assessor visits a small grocery store to examine the place and estimate its value for property tax purposes. The owner complains about how much his property taxes keep going up, and the assessor notes the bi
!!Examples of American churches in fictiong problem is all of the churches in the area that don't pay property taxes. The owner gets an idea, and as the assessor is leaning over the front counter next to the cash register to write up some notes, the owner says to him, "Stop leaning on my altar!"

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!!Examples of American churches in fiction
* A skit on ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' showcases the leeway that churches have. A county tax assessor visits a small grocery store to examine the place and estimate its value for property tax purposes. The owner complains about how much his property taxes keep going up, and the assessor notes the bi
!!Examples of American churches in fictiong
big problem is all of the churches in the area that don't pay property taxes. The owner gets an idea, and as the assessor is leaning over the front counter next to the cash register to write up some notes, the owner says to him, "Stop leaning on my altar!"


*** {{Alchemy}} is a reconstruction of alchemical ideals reimaged as spiritual descriptions rather than practical chemistry.

to:

*** {{Alchemy}} is a reconstruction of alchemical ideals reimaged reimagined as spiritual descriptions rather than practical chemistry.



** There are some splinter groups of Scientologists, such as Free Zone Scientology, who eschew abusive practices such as shunning or harassing people, and (as the name indicates) give members their services for free rather than charge them. Unsurprisingly, they in turn have been harassed and sued by the mainstream Church (since it copyrighted all Scientology materials).



* '''Unitarian Universalism''' is a religion that began as a fusion of the Unitarian (Christians who believe that God is one, rather than in the Trinity) and Universalists (those who believe all people will be saved) churches, but has drifted somewhat from there. The stereotype of Unitarian believers is [[NewAgeRetroHippie New Age Retro Hippies]], not without some justification. Unitarians are big on social justice and not very big on defining what religious beliefs are required for one to be a Unitarian (indeed, it's not uncommon when talking to Unitarians to hear that one's minister was in fact an atheist). Officially Unitarians believe (according to the "Principles, Purposes, and Sources" of the Unitarian Universalist Association) in 1. The inherent worth of and dignity of every person 2. Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations 3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations 4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning 5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large 6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all and 7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. As Unitarian Universalism is a "creedless" religion, attending Unitarian services is usually rather like experiencing a sampler plate of world religions and spiritual experiences. One of the most famous Unitarians to live was (in)famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

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* '''Unitarian Universalism''' is a religion that began as a fusion of the Unitarian (Christians who believe that God is one, rather than in the Trinity) and Universalists Universalist (those who believe all people will be saved) churches, but has drifted somewhat from there. The stereotype of Unitarian believers is [[NewAgeRetroHippie New Age Retro Hippies]], not without some justification. Unitarians are big on social justice and not very big on defining what religious beliefs are required for one to be a Unitarian (indeed, it's not uncommon when talking to Unitarians to hear that one's minister was in fact an atheist). Officially Unitarians believe (according to the "Principles, Purposes, and Sources" of the Unitarian Universalist Association) in 1. The inherent worth of and dignity of every person 2. Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations 3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations 4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning 5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large 6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all and 7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. As Unitarian Universalism is a "creedless" religion, attending Unitarian services is usually rather like experiencing a sampler plate of world religions and spiritual experiences. One of the most famous Unitarians to live was (in)famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson was also a Unitarian.



!!Examples on churches of America in fiction
* A skit on ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' showcases the leeway that churches have. A county tax assessor visits a small grocery store to examine the place and estimate its value for property tax purposes. The owner complains about how much his property taxes keep going up, and the assessor notes the big problem is all of the churches in the area that don't pay property taxes. The owner gets an idea, and as the assessor is leaning over the front counter next to the cash register to write up some notes, the owner says to him, "Stop leaning on my altar!"

to:

!!Examples on churches of America in fiction
* A skit on ''Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn'' showcases the leeway that churches have. A county tax assessor visits a small grocery store to examine the place and estimate its value for property tax purposes. The owner complains about how much his property taxes keep going up, and the assessor notes the big bi
!!Examples of American churches in fictiong
problem is all of the churches in the area that don't pay property taxes. The owner gets an idea, and as the assessor is leaning over the front counter next to the cash register to write up some notes, the owner says to him, "Stop leaning on my altar!"



* 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.)

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* 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 "the Western Branch of American Presbolutheranism.Reform Presbylutheranism". (Though for a while, most of Springfield does become enamored with a megachurch. Homer and Bart also once converted to Catholicism.)


** Although two recent state governors are the American-born children of Indian immigrants, neither is a Hindu (or Muslim, Buddhist, or Sikh, for that matter). Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina from 2011 until resigning in 2017 to become the country's UN ambassador, is Methodist, and Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana from 2008 until being term-limited out in 2016, is Catholic.

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** Although two recent state governors are the American-born children of Indian immigrants, neither is a Hindu (or Muslim, Buddhist, or Sikh, for that matter). Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina from 2011 until resigning in 2017 to become the country's UN ambassador, is Methodist, and Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana from 2008 until being term-limited out in 2016, is Catholic. Jindal was raised Hindu, Haley Sikh however, before converting.


* '''[[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 UsefulNotes/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 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 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.)

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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 UsefulNotes/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 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 certain antisemitic tropes have been incorporated into either paranoid conspiracy theories or radical anti-Israel rhetoric ( in (in both cases, often by changing the word "Jews" to "Zionists" in claims that Jews drink blood, secretly control the world, etc.)etc. A new blood libel is also the claim that Jews/Zionists traffic black market organs taken from unwilling "donors"-some of whom are claimed as being murdered for it, like the original blood libel).



After the 9/11 attacks, many Muslims support the Democratic Party.[[note]]Before the attacks, most Muslims voted Republican due to their affluence and social conservatism.[[/note]] Even so, they tend to be rather well-integrated compared to their European counterparts, having a higher average income and educational attainment than the national average. The first Muslim member of [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Congress]] is Keith Ellison, an African-American Democrat from Minnesota elected in 2006; he was followed by another African American, Andre Carson (Democrat of Indiana), after a special election in 2008.

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After the 9/11 attacks, many Muslims support the Democratic Party.[[note]]Before the attacks, most Muslims voted Republican due to their affluence and social conservatism.[[/note]] Even so, they tend to be rather well-integrated compared to their European counterparts, having a higher average income and educational attainment than the national average. The first Muslim member of [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem Congress]] is Keith Ellison, an African-American Democrat from Minnesota elected in 2006; he was followed by another African American, African-American, Andre Carson (Democrat of Indiana), after a special election in 2008.[[note]]Significant controversy rose from the American right over Ellison's election and subsequent use of the Quran in his oath of office. There were claims that it was (or [[ThereShouldBeALaw should be) prohibited. In actual fact, there are no laws dictating office holders be sworn in on any book at all, and trying to prohibit the use of the Quran in this (or any other holy book) would be against the Constitution.[[/note]]


Despite the fact that Hollywood screenwriters often lump Pentecostals and evangelicals together (most likely due to their shared social conservatism), the two groups differ on a great number of theological issues, which has led to some friction between them. Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in faith healing, speaking in tongues, and a continuing tradition/gift of prophecy (think mystics). Evangelicals believe in personal revelation and experience. Both believe in biblical inerrancy/literalism and baptism/rebirth in Christ. Pat Robertson (Charismatic) makes doomsday predictions and believes he speaks with the voice of God. Evangelicals confine themselves to agreeing with him when, ex post facto, he says a certain city was punished for not punishing homosexuality. To confuse things further, there are [[http://www.ancient-future.net/charismatic.html charismatic Catholics]], too.

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Despite the fact that Hollywood screenwriters often lump Pentecostals and evangelicals together (most likely due to their shared social conservatism), the two groups differ on a great number of theological issues, which has led to some friction between them. Pentecostals and Charismatics believe in faith healing, speaking in tongues, and a continuing tradition/gift of prophecy (think mystics). Evangelicals believe in personal revelation and experience. Both believe in biblical inerrancy/literalism and baptism/rebirth in Christ. Pat Robertson (Charismatic) makes doomsday predictions and believes he speaks with the voice of God. Evangelicals confine themselves to agreeing with him when, ex post facto, he says a certain city was punished for not punishing homosexuality. To confuse things further, there are [[http://www.ancient-future.net/charismatic.html charismatic Catholics]], too. One group of Pentecostals diverges from mainstream Christianity with its rejection of the Trinity. They are known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oneness_Pentecostalism Oneness Pentecostals]], after their view that God is one. As a consequence, they believe in "Jesus' name baptism", baptizing people in the name of Jesus only. Many also enforce "holiness" standards, i.e. a strict dress code (particularly with women).



* The '''Seventh-day Adventist Church'''is a Christian denomination holding Christians are still bound by the Ancient Testament laws such as the dietary restriction (i.e. no 'unclean meats')[[note]]Vegetarianism is advised to members.[[/note]] and the Shabbat or seventh day rest.[[note]]So much that some of their theologians believe a National Sunday Law mandating Sunday rest will be passed in the End Times.[[/note]] It frowns on alcohol and jewelry. The church has over 17 million members, among whom a mere 7% reside in the U.S. Its worldwide educational and health system is second only to that of the Catholic Church.

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* The '''Seventh-day Adventist Church'''is a Christian denomination holding Christians are still bound by the Ancient Testament laws such as the dietary restriction (i.e. no 'unclean meats')[[note]]Vegetarianism is advised to members.[[/note]] and the Shabbat or seventh day rest.[[note]]So much that some of their theologians believe a National Sunday Law mandating Sunday rest will be passed in the End Times.[[/note]] Like the Jehovah's Witnesses, they have a history of predicting that the end is near, and in fact began as a splinter group from the Millerite movement, based on two failed predictions by the preacher William Miller. It frowns on alcohol alcohol, jewelry and jewelry.smoking. The church has over 17 million members, among whom a mere 7% reside in the U.S. Its worldwide educational and health system is second only to that of the Catholic Church.



* There is significant debate of the number of '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Islam}} Muslims]]''' in the United States, with most estimates ranging from as low as one million to as high as seven million. Two-thirds of the Muslim community is foreign-born, while most of the rest consists of African-American converts (where we get the stereotypical "[[MalcolmXerox black Muslims]]"). Almost one-fifth of [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPrisons American convicts]] are Muslims, most of whom converted to Islam while in prison (again, the "black Muslim" stereotype). They tend to be concentrated on the East Coast, in Detroit, in Houston, and in California.\\

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* There is significant debate of on the number of '''[[UsefulNotes/{{Islam}} Muslims]]''' in the United States, with most estimates ranging from as low as one million to as high as seven million. Two-thirds of the Muslim community is foreign-born, while most of the rest consists of African-American converts (where we get the stereotypical "[[MalcolmXerox black Muslims]]"). Almost one-fifth of [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPrisons American convicts]] are Muslims, most of whom converted to Islam while in prison (again, the "black Muslim" stereotype). They tend to be concentrated on the East Coast, in Detroit, in Houston, and in California.\\


UsefulNotes/The First Amendment has been held applicable to state and local governments since 1925. ''Gitlow v. New York'', 268 U.S. 652. Early in the history of the US, some states did have established churches, but the last had been ended by 1836.

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UsefulNotes/The First Amendment UsefulNotes/TheFirstAmendment has been held applicable to state and local governments since 1925. ''Gitlow v. New York'', 268 U.S. 652. Early in the history of the US, some states did have established churches, but the last had been ended by 1836.


The First Amendment has been held applicable to state and local governments since 1925. ''Gitlow v. New York'', 268 U.S. 652. Early in the history of the US, some states did have established churches, but the last had been ended by 1836.

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The UsefulNotes/The First Amendment has been held applicable to state and local governments since 1925. ''Gitlow v. New York'', 268 U.S. 652. Early in the history of the US, some states did have established churches, but the last had been ended by 1836.

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