February 26, 2008

New York Times: "Now You Don't Know the Rest of the Story"

Many of you have probably read the recently released Pew Forum report on religion in the United States. Many of you may have the read the summary article in the New York Times by Neela Banerjee. Banerjee's story was reprinted in the Pioneer Press today

I, by no means, want to belittle the more disturbing findings of this report (the rise in "unaffiliated") or that the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. owes most of its membership stability to immigration, but the New York Times fails to even mention that 2.6% of the adult Catholic Church membership in the U.S. is from converts. (see below)

Another example of the dynamism of the American religious scene is the experience of the Catholic Church. Other surveys - such as the General Social Surveys, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago since 1972 - find that the Catholic share of the U.S. adult population has held fairly steady in recent decades at around 25%. What this apparent stability obscures, however, is the large number of people who have left the Catholic Church. Approximately one-third of the survey respondents who say they were raised Catholic no longer describe themselves as Catholic. This means that roughly 10% of all Americans are former Catholics. These losses, however, have been partly offset by the number of people who have changed their affiliation to Catholicism (2.6% of the adult population) but more importantly by the disproportionately high number of Catholics among immigrants to the U.S. The result is that the overall percentage of the population that identifies as Catholic has remained fairly stable.--"U.S. Religious Landscape Survey", Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

I'm not surprised that the Times would fail to give the Catholic Church "credit" for much of anything. They've proven time and again they are no friend to Holy Church. However, this is another fine example of the Times forcing a viewpoint by omitting some of the information. The New York Times' stories are frequently reprinted in smaller papers like the Pioneer Press because the smaller papers have cut their newsrooms to the point that they have to do a great deal of reprints for national and international stories. Thus, the distortions and omissions end up spreading far beyond the Empire State.

Let's see what we can do to make that 2.6% number higher, eh?


Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I love this blog - I think it is the very best. Did anyone ever tell you that your blog is extremely well written, very spiritual, and a highpoint in many people's day to day life? The humor is quite lovely too - I have never had such goodhearted, wholesome enjoyment since Irma Bombeck. You're just terrific!

February 26, 2008 11:56 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Awwww...thanks Care-Ter. *big hug* I'm sorry I shot all the bunnies at your house. I feel bad about that now.

February 26, 2008 12:34 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Maybe we should put Cathy and Vincenzo in charge of apologetics to elevate those convert stats?

All newbie Catholics to get their conversion story written up by Cathy, with illustrations by V!

What do you suppose Terry wants? His reversion story written up? Or maybe his entire "Apologia Pro Sua Vita" finished by Cathy?

February 26, 2008 2:19 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ray: I said bring more people to the Church not scare 'em off! LOL! Though, my blog probably does a fine enough job of spreading terror as it is.

I would call Terry's story "Shake Your Rump". It has a nice disco connotation, its kind of sexual, it could be an abusive undertone or connatate running away or coming back, and it's a great tune by the Beastie Boys!

February 26, 2008 3:06 PM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...

I wouldn't look at the New York Time for anything, least of all for information dealing with this type of subject matter.

I heard that next year the NYT are going to offer their publication in rolls, much like Charmin tissue, ready for use.

Cathy, don’t shoot bunnies.

February 26, 2008 4:40 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I have nothing to say.

February 26, 2008 6:00 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...

"All newbie Catholics to get their conversion story written up by Cathy, with illustrations by V!"

LOL! Cathy's writing is amazing, making pics is the easy job. Speaking of conversion stories, I finally saw all of Fr. Corapi's conversion story on EWTN a few days ago. It was in his Lenten Retreat series (Part 1). An awesome example of God's mercy.

February 26, 2008 7:18 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Tom: Fine use for it, I say!

Ter: I'm stunned.

Vin: I think creating those visuals is harder than you let on. We make a good team. My brain, your eyes, who knows? Soon we can take over the world-bwah-ha-ha!

February 26, 2008 7:21 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...

"Soon we can take over the world-bwah-ha-ha!"


February 26, 2008 7:26 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Vin: LOL!

So, which one of us is the brain and which one of us is insane? (Hint: question is a big trap! Run)

February 27, 2008 6:51 AM  

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