Are You Among the Ranks of the 'Religiously Unaffiliated'?

A Pew Research Report released shows that one in five adults have no religious affiliation.

An Oct. 9, 2012 Pew Report shows that "Nones" are on the Rise. The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion has grown to one-fifth of the total U.S. public and one-third of adults under 30. 

In the last five years, the religiously unaffiliated has increased from just over 15 percent to just under 20 percent among all U.S. adults, with more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics, representing around 6 percent of the U.S. public. Nearly 33 million people say they have no particular religious affiliation. 

The findings of the joint survey conducted by Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life and Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly show that the majority unaffiliated adults ARE religious or spiritual in some way with 68 percent saying they believe in God and 58 percent reporting they feel a "deep connection with nature and earth." A little more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” (37 percent), and (21 percent) admit to daily prayer. 

While the study found a 4.3 percent rise in those listed as "unaffiliated" since 2007, it found that the Protestant population has shrunk by -5 percent. Big factors in the shift seem to be generational replacement and lack of commitment to religion.

The survey found that most of those who are unaffiliated readily admit they are not looking for a religion that "would be right for them" and think that "religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics."

Interestingly, the report shows that aside from possible eternal implications, there is also a "party line" divide. 

Today, the religiously unaffiliated are clearly more numerous than any of these groups within the Democratic coalition (24 percent unaffiliated, 16 percent black Protestant, 14 percent white mainline Protestant, 13 percent white Catholic). By contrast, Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters are only slightly more likely to be religiously unaffiliated today than they were in 2007 (11 percent vs. 9 percent).


The study is extensive with a generous cross-section of demographics used to arrive at its conclusions. But beyond the interesting statistics, what do you think is the reason for the rise in those unaffiliated? Are you among the unaffiliated? Is there anything the Protestant churches can do to make a significant impact? Do you think this is another statistic that will factor into the Presidential election?




Irene Budoff October 15, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I can assure you, from personal knowledge, that a moral and ethical system of beliefs can be taught in other ways than just by the fear of which way one is going in the after life. Nonbelievers aren't coming for your children, your values, or your faith. They are just trying to maintain a semblance of separation between church (whose by the way?) and state. I've heard many a Christian tell me that our country was founded on "judeo-christian" beliefs. I was raised a Jew; personally I don't and didn't care about your public manger scenes (I really doubt many of you were told to take them out of your yards), but this was the part of judeo-christian you all forgot. Interestingly enough, your freedom, according to, I believe, Ben Franklin, ends at your neighbor's door. I would match my moral code to that of anyone else, because it doesn't require reward or punishment for me to do anything. I believe, and you may need to shield your eyes, that for most of the population, a moral and ethical code is an evolutionary way for people to get along. It's what gives us that "warm and fuzzy" feeling when we do for others. Sure, there are uncaring atheists; there are also committed Christians who have murdered. Some of them believe that they will be forgiven if they repent. I'm still ethnically Jewish enough to remember a Talmudic verse: "whoever shall save a life, saves the world entire". Volunteer, give food. Stop worrying about mangers.
Anita French October 15, 2012 at 05:24 PM
I am proudly non-religious and unaffiliated.
Irene Budoff October 15, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Diana, one question: you say you will now vote for Romney. Have you paid attention throughout the campaign season, as you said you were not originally going to vote, to realize that a lot of his programs would hurt poor families and, in particular, poor children? Yes, you MIGHT vote to have them be born (if that position of his remains true), but if they die in childhood from malnutrition, what have you accomplished?
Irene Budoff October 15, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Thank you Anita. I don't feel quite so alone out here!
Diana October 15, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Funny thing, I wasn't one of the middle class poor until Obama became president. His paper funny money that was supposed to help give people jobs, went for infrastructure - thats nice except I'm not into roadways or building homes. Our monies go over seas to help others while we have people starving in this country under president Obama - there are people in the Dakota's that do not have running water or electricity - so tell me how Obama has improved their lives? Irene - my friend is Jewish, raised Jewish and married Jewish. Christians are taught to support the Jewish people and for the most part we follow the ten commandments. Note Obama is not Jewish friendly. As for calling me a liar over the manger scene you must not get out much or since your not Christian it doesn't concern you. Watch how this thread goes.


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