Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Rising Numbers of Those With No Religious Affiliation

The face of Christianity provided by today's GOP supporting evangelical Christians
If one listens to the bloviation of the professional Christian crowd, one hears much about keeping America a "Christian nation" even though such was never the case and the Founding Fathers went to great lengths to avoid any type of state religion.  What one will also hear is a great many lies and witness hypocrisy of epic proportions, especially in the era of Trump/Pence when evangelical Christians demonstrate their moral bankruptcy as they remain loyal supporters of a man devoid of morals and decency.  One of the results, in my view, is the accelerating rate at which Americans are leaving organized religion and Christianity in particular.  Why would anyone truly moral want to be associated with the likes of Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Tony Perkins or the Catholic Church hierarchy which puts protecting predators and Church wealth ahead of the welfare of children and youths.  A piece in Scientific American looks at the continued increase in the "Nones."  Here are excerpts:

In recent years much has been written about the rise of the “nones”— people who check the box for “none” on surveys of religious affiliation. A 2013 Harris Poll of 2,250 American adults, for example, found that 23 percent of all Americans have forsaken religion altogether. A 2015 Pew Research Center poll reported that 34 to 36 percent of millennials (those born after 1980) are nones and corroborated the 23 percent figure, adding that this was a dramatic increase from 2007, when only 16 percent of Americans said they were affiliated with no religion. In raw numbers, this translates to an increase from 36.6 million to 55.8 million nones.
[T]hey are . . . . a significant voting block, far larger than Jews (4.7 million), Muslims (2.2 million) and Buddhists (1.7 million) combined (8.6 million) and comparable to politically powerful Christian sects such as Evangelical (25.4 percent) and Catholic (20.8 percent).
This shift away from the dominance of any one religion is good for a secular society whose government is structured to discourage catch basins of power from building up and spilling over into people's private lives.
[T]hese nones are not necessarily atheists. Many have moved from mainstream religions into New Age spiritual movements . . .  What's going on here? . . . . In a paper in the January 2018 issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science entitled “How Many Atheists Are There?”, Will M. Gervais and Maxine B. Najle, both psychologists at the University of Kentucky, contend that there may be far more atheists than pollsters report because “social pressures favoring religiosity, coupled with stigma against religious disbelief..., might cause people who privately disbelieve in God to nonetheless self-present as believers, even in anonymous questionnaires.
From this analysis, they estimated, with 93 percent certainty, that somewhere between 17 and 35 percent of Americans are atheists, with a “most credible indirect estimate” of 26 percent.
If true, this means that there are more than 64 million American atheists, a staggering number that no politician can afford to ignore. Moreover, if these trends continue, we should be thinking about the deeper implications for how people will find meaning as the traditional source of it wanes in influence. And we should continue working on grounding our morals and values on viable secular sources such as reason and science.

As I have noted before, I believe that it will be the evangelical Christians and the Christofascists, not liberals, who will kill Christianity in America.

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