Religion – some basic facts and figures

As of 2015, there are an estimated 4,200 different religions in the world. Listed below are the largest and best-known religions by the date each was formed:

                                              Start date       Membership

Judaism                                   2000BC               17 million

Hinduism                                1500BC          1,000 million

Buddhism                                 523BC              500 million

Chinese Folk Religion             270BC              400 million

Christianity                                 30AD            1,900 million

Islam                                          622AD            1,600 million

No Religion                                                           775 million

Atheists                                                                 150 million

All others – including Tribal religions, Shikhism, Taoism, Baha’I, and Shinto etc. have approximately 150 million followers.

One really interesting data point is that there are only 17 million Jews in the world. Six million live in Israel, six million live in the USA and the remaining 5 million are spread throughout the world.

Many of the major religions noted above are subdivided into separate sub-groups (eg. there are 34,000 different forms of Christianity). Many religious sub-groups have long-term disagreements with each other which has led to violence and war (eg: in Islam there are on-going wars between the Sunni and Shia; in Christianity there were many wars between Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox Catholics, Protestants, and Lutherans).

 

The new President Donald Trump

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States on November 8, 2016. The day before the election, virtually every poll predicted that he would lose to Hillary Clinton by 3-4%, but Trump’s coalition of white, uneducated, working class men – particularly in the rust belt states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin (all formerly Democratic states) gave him the upset victory. Even though Clinton won the popular vote by approximately 2.8 million votes, she lost the state-determined Electoral College vote 306 – 232. Clinton got considerable support from African Americans, Latinos, college educated people and those who lived in major urban centers, but she did not energize these people (or millenniums) to the same degree that Obama did 4 years earlier.

Trump appealed to voters with a nationalist “America First” policy and his “Let’s Make America Great Again” slogan. Because he was always likely to say something bizarre and controversial he received unprecedented free media coverage at the many rallies he held across the country. During these rallies his campaign promises were constantly repeated to the point where the public became intimately familiar with them. In fact, during the final days on the campaign trail, he promised his supporters that “every dream you ever dreamed for your country” will come true if he becomes president. Here’s a partial list of those promises (most which are supposed to be put into effect in the first 100 days).

  1. Build a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for the wall.
  2. Create a Deportation Task Force and deport 2-3 million illegal aliens.
  3. Repeal Obama’s executive orders on Immigration (DACA) and backgrounds checks for guns.
  4. Repeal and replace Obamacare
  5. Ban Muslims from entering the USA (later modified to ban immigration from terror-prone countries and implement “extreme vetting”.)
  6. Kill the Transpacific Trade Partnership deal which encourages free trade with Asian countries
  7. Renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement – which created free trade with Canada and Mexico.
  8. Revoke the Nuclear deal with Iran.
  9. Revoke the Paris Climate Change Accord which was agreed by 190 countries and stop all funding to the UN which in any way supports Climate Change measures.
  10. Stop US companies from re-locating their plants to Mexico (or other countries) by imposing a tax on their goods when they try to bring them back into the US.
  11. Reduce the top marginal tax rate from 39% to 33%.
  12. Reduce corporate taxes from 35% to 15%.
  13. Impose term limits on members of Congress.

 

For a complete list of his own “100 Day Contract with the American Voter” – see this link:

https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/_landings/contract/O-TRU-102316-Contractv02.pdf

Notably, he also promised to:

  • Grow the economy by at least 4% per year
  • Cut the federal budget by 20%
  • Eliminate the $19 trillion public debts within 8 years
  • Create 25 million new jobs
  • Dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Protection Act
  • Prosecute and imprison Hillary Clinton (something he backed away from within 5 days of the winning the election).

For a complete list of his 282 promises (in his own words), see this link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/i-will-give-you-everything-here-are-282-of-donald-trumps-campaign-promises/2016/11/24/01160678-b0f9-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html?utm_term=.2c7b4d7e93e2

I was not a Trump supporter, but he did get elected, so he deserves a chance to make good on his promises. Let’s see how he does.