We’re Losing Our Religion

The fastest growing religious group in America? Those with no religion at all. Dan Merica reports for CNN:

The fastest growing “religious” group in America is made up of people with no religion at all, according to a Pew survey showing that one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion.

The number of these Americans has grown by 25% just in the past five years, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The survey found that the ranks of the unaffiliated are growing even faster among younger Americans.

Thirty-three million Americans now have no religious affiliation, with 13 million in that group identifying as either atheist or agnostic, according to the new survey.

Pew found that those who are religiously unaffiliated are strikingly less religious than the public at large. They attend church infrequently, if at all, are largely not seeking out religion and say that the lack of it in their lives is of little importance.

And yet Pew found that 68% of the religiously unaffiliated say they believe in God, while 37% describe themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious.” One in five said that they even pray every day…

[continues at CNN]

,

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Found it!  It was in a heat blister shaped like the Virgin Mary on the wall behind the stove!
     
    But seriously, I wish there was a commonly used and understood word to describe the communal spiritual experience that didn’t invoke the sordid pragmatic shenanigans the way the word “religion” does.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Found it!  It was in a heat blister shaped like the Virgin Mary on the wall behind the stove!
     
    But seriously, I wish there was a commonly used and understood word to describe the communal spiritual experience that didn’t invoke the sordid pragmatic shenanigans the way the word “religion” does.

    • Littlemisteramerica

      Humanist

      • MindAtPlay

        The word humanist is, at least in my world, linked to a view based in the european enlightenment thinking, cartesian thinking and a very antagonistic view towards nature, spirituality and feeling, it regards nature as dead matter and humans as the only important aspect of the universe, in my opinion the atheist humanist cult is very far from the communal spiritual experience, at least for anyone with the realisation that the community we are a part of stretches far outside humanity.

      • MindAtPlay

        The word humanist is, at least in my world, linked to a view based in the european enlightenment thinking, cartesian thinking and a very antagonistic view towards nature, spirituality and feeling, it regards nature as dead matter and humans as the only important aspect of the universe, in my opinion the atheist humanist cult is very far from the communal spiritual experience, at least for anyone with the realisation that the community we are a part of stretches far outside humanity.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Found it!  It was in a heat blister shaped like the Virgin Mary on the wall behind the stove!
     
    But seriously, I wish there was a commonly used and understood word to describe the communal spiritual experience that didn’t invoke the sordid pragmatic shenanigans the way the word “religion” does.

  • Jake

    Religion is just another word for control.  

  • Jake

    Religion is just another word for control.  

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    20% non-religious in America population is an extremely conservative estimate.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    20% non-religious in America population is an extremely conservative estimate.

  • emperorreagan

    I think churches stagnated and forgot that they had to provide some sort of value to the community if they wanted people to keep coming.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      The analogy of the appeal of organized religion to theatre may not be inaposite here:

      1.  The Catholics are just FABULOUS with stage design and costumery.

      2.  The Jews really know how to write an emotionally compelling narrative of conflict/defeat/escape

      3.  Hindu directors can be counted on to get the most out of an ensemble cast

      4.  The Muslims . . . The Muslims . . . Okay, I’ve got nothing here.  I don’t see anything special about Islam whatsoever.  Not even any especially annoying faults peculiar to themselves.  But then again, every epic needs a few extras.

      5.  The Protestants, an affable, even-tempered folk of phlegmatic Northern European derivation, are God’s own ushers, valets and washroom attendants

      The only major organized “religion”, if you can even call it that, that just doesn’t contribute to the experience would be the Buddhists.  With all their moaning and groaning about Samsara and the dolorous cycle of rebirth and the folly of carnal existence, Buddhists are nothing more than professional critics.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      The analogy of the appeal of organized religion to theatre may not be inaposite here:

      1.  The Catholics are just FABULOUS with stage design and costumery.

      2.  The Jews really know how to write an emotionally compelling narrative of conflict/defeat/escape

      3.  Hindu directors can be counted on to get the most out of an ensemble cast

      4.  The Muslims . . . The Muslims . . . Okay, I’ve got nothing here.  I don’t see anything special about Islam whatsoever.  Not even any especially annoying faults peculiar to themselves.  But then again, every epic needs a few extras.

      5.  The Protestants, an affable, even-tempered folk of phlegmatic Northern European derivation, are God’s own ushers, valets and washroom attendants

      The only major organized “religion”, if you can even call it that, that just doesn’t contribute to the experience would be the Buddhists.  With all their moaning and groaning about Samsara and the dolorous cycle of rebirth and the folly of carnal existence, Buddhists are nothing more than professional critics.

      • emperorreagan

        So since the protestants (I believe) were the big losers in this latest survey, I guess God is just laying off the washroom attendants.  It’s weird when you’re trying to pee and they’re hanging out with the hand lotion anyway.

      • emperorreagan

        So since the protestants (I believe) were the big losers in this latest survey, I guess God is just laying off the washroom attendants.  It’s weird when you’re trying to pee and they’re hanging out with the hand lotion anyway.

  • dancingbean

    the new religion is nontheisistic christianity basically. instead of “god” and “jesus” and “10 commandments” you have “democracy” and “justice” and “freedom”. idealism, as mencius moldbug calls it. the true percentage of non-religious people in the united states is much, much smaller than what’s stated above.

  • dancingbean

    the new religion is nontheisistic christianity basically. instead of “god” and “jesus” and “10 commandments” you have “democracy” and “justice” and “freedom”. idealism, as mencius moldbug calls it. the true percentage of non-religious people in the united states is much, much smaller than what’s stated above.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    what the survey shows is that young Americans
    are dropping useless religious labels
    like they did in the EU decades ago
    people aren’t losing a religion they never had
    they’re losing meaningless labels

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    what the survey shows is that young Americans
    are dropping useless religious labels
    like they did in the EU decades ago
    people aren’t losing a religion they never had
    they’re losing meaningless labels

  • DrDavidKelly

    Hardly surprising … religion isn’t very relevant anymore now that we have science. It still acts a good excuse for people to get together though, that sense of community is about all that religion has left to offer.

  • DrDavidKelly

    Hardly surprising … religion isn’t very relevant anymore now that we have science. It still acts a good excuse for people to get together though, that sense of community is about all that religion has left to offer.

  • Karmammylady

    Good.

  • Karmammylady

    Good.