They're numbers are going down the toilet, and I for one am *thrilled*. These numbers might not indicate a damn thing about rising secularism, or decreased belief in some kind of creator god or even a personal "relationship" type god. It does mean the churches will have less people-crushing money. You can't spend quite as much time and money telling Africans why they should get AIDS instead of wearing condoms while you're busy paying out sex scandals. (Notice, almost every single mention of the Catholic Church in the last few years has been about the sex scandal. I don't think their reputation is going to recover for another twenty years or more.)
And while Ted Haggard is completely heterosexual, the evangelical churches he used to head as President of the National Association of Evangelicals are looking to have a little less gay-bashing cash sitting around, as they fire clergy and close buildings and schools.
Kind of brings a tear to your eye, don't it just? Also, Roy Zimmerman is a demi-god. (Joss Whedon is a god. Oh yeah, I decided to make up my own pantheon. Feel free to make suggestions for other deity!)
Anyway, here's the final piece of happy I wanted to share with you, and the reason for this post's title
Religious leaders say the next year or so will be key in determining which organizations survive the downturn intact. Even if the recession ends soon, religious fundraisers say the angst donors feel will not lift immediately, prolonging the difficulties for congregations, schools and ministries.*Contented sigh* I just get happy thinking about them vying for primacy amongst the new environmental pressures, and the ones found fittest being those that survive. It's such a beautiful analogy, I think I'll use it on the next creationist.