Hard to believe that 50 years ago the Protestant establishment in the U.S. consisted of Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, and (from a merger in the late 1950s) the United Church of Christ. Today those groups are diminished and sidelined. For a cogent and firmly-stated analysis of their decline see this oped by Charlotte Allen in the LA Times.

Her diagnosis: the Mainline Churches embraced liberalism and began to wither on the Vine. While she may give too little attention to factors such as low birthrates (which she mentions) and population shifts to the Sunbelt and metropolitan areas (which she does not mention), I think she has identified the major cancer that threatens these churches.