3.09.2009

America's 3rd Largest Religion


...is no religion. And it's growing in popularity. According to today's U.S. Today article which is currently running in the U.S. (today):
So many Americans claim no religion at all (15%, up from 8% in 1990), that this category now outranks every other major U.S. religious group except Catholics and Baptists. In a nation that has long been mostly Christian, "the challenge to Christianity … does not come from other religions but from a rejection of all forms of organized religion," the report concludes.
These levels now qualify as epidemic proportions. Branded as a Christian nation, America is slowly giving up that fad. And guess what? We're all still moral creatures. Funny that, eh?

6 comments:

Matthew said...

Good point. Still, it wont stop the religious right or ignorant from making the claim.

Cleanser said...

We're not ALL moral creatures -- but the amoral people are split pretty evenly between all belief structures :)

The skepTick said...

Ahh...I remember giving Randi a tour one time and making some off handed skeptical comment. He stopped and corrected my all inclusive language. Words mean a lot and he demands precision. Well...not 'demands'...'requires' is more like it...or maybe 'wants'...or, well you know what I mean. Or maybe you don't. I'm not sure. Check out 'Randi Speaks' on last week's Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast and you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, I've since taken on that lesson and I appreciate (really) comments that keep me from straying into casual off-handedness.

One thing, though...it's really difficult to crack a joke with Randi, especially when you have to explain why it's necessary that it be a 'blonde' that screws in the lightbulb!

Kim Roberts said...

Dear Skeptick. Why are you so encouraged by numbers? Having a majority or even a large minority doesn't give a belief substance, it just means one has plenty of company. That is true whether you are religious or non-religious.

The skepTick said...

Religion is like sports and the faithful are its fans. I don't particularly follow sports or, as you might say, the 'substance' of sports. What name do you give someone who doesn't follow sports? What name do you give someone who isn't a fan of music or an aficionado of fine wine?

These numbers tell me that religion is losing its fan base and confirms my interpretation that the substance of religion is similar to the substance of football, poetry, and, dare-I-say, the Jonas Brothers. I'm not anti-sports and I'm not anti-Jonas Brothers. But imagine a world where overzealous fans make it their mission to convert you to whatever it is they're a fan of. How would you take it if you're constantly told something really bad will happen to you if you don't praise the Redskins every week, go to there games, and join in on the tailgate parties. I doubt you'd care very much for suspicious eyes turned on you if you don't pray in Joe Gibbs' name.

So these people who are in the 3rd largest 'majority' are non-fans of religion, and what kind of majority is that? Believers neither need to convert them nor have disdain for them...they can just let them be. While I may be in the company of those who don't like sports, their only common thread is that they don't like sports, and that's not much of a cohesive force to keep them unified. What the poll really shows is that more and more people are choosing to be individual...secular individuals where religion doesn't even come into the picture.

Kim Roberts said...

Dear Skeptick, I think you've been bugged by too many people who claim to be Christians. You're sounding like you've been nagged to death.

In reality you're free to believe what you want to. At the risk of sounding dramatic I think these might be my last words to you (though I've been wrong before). I might stop speaking but God won't. Not because of some threat of bad things happening to you, but because he loves you very much and because of that he is very persistant. He has good intentions toward you and I hope one day you discover this to be true in your experience. You can chalk this up to cheap religious sentiment but you would be wrong.