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 Americans retreat from formal religion!
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bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2009 :  12:24:32  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This from USA Today, today. (Bolding mine)
By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

Americans who don't identify with any religion are now 15% of the USA, but trends in a new study shows they could one day surpass the nation's largest denominations including Catholics, now 24% of the nation.

American Nones: Profile of the No Religion Population, to be released today by Trinity College, finds this faith-free group already includes nearly 19% of U.S. men and 12% of women. Of these, 35% say they were Catholic at age 12.

FAITH & REASON:
Were Founding Fathers 'Nones?'

"Will a day come when the Nones are on top? We can't predict for sure," says lead researcher Barry Kosmin.

But if Nones, now 22% of all adults ages 18 to 29, continue to gain among young adults, to draw more people "switching out" from denominations and to replace more religious older people, researchers forecast one in five Americans will be Nones in 20 years.

"Trends clearly favor this," Kosmin says. But he also notes, "There could be a Great Awakening (massive Protestant revival) or immigration may bring in more Catholic believers."

Kosmin and Ariela Keysar of Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., directed three editions of the American Religious Identification Survey over 18 years. The 2008 ARIS (pdf), based on a sampling of 54,000 U.S. adults, also burrowed in for a closer look at 1,106 Nones, who answered extra questions about their beliefs and behaviors and views on God.

FROM ARIS:

Most religious groups have lost ground in USA and 'NONES' are now 15% of the population.
The report finds:
  • Not all Nones are alike. Half (51%) still believe in God or a higher power. Nones also are the only major U. S. faith group that's majority male. Even when girls grow up with unbelieving parents, they're more likely to find a faith as adults than their brothers.

    "Women are also less skeptical than men and less drawn to irreligious and anti-religious views. They are more likely to reject a secular upbringing," Kosmin says.
    "There is a lot of 'churning' going on but Nones gain much more from switching (people leaving religion) than from natural growth (children emulating unbelieving parents)," he says.


  • The percentage of atheist Nones who say there's no such thing as God hasn't budged in years.
    "It's not as though dozens of people at the Methodist Church read (atheist Richard) Dawkins and suddenly decided God doesn't exist," says Kosmin.
    "There are so many misconceptions about who the Nones are. They're not New Age searchers or spiritual or even hardened atheists," says Kosmin.
    "They're a stew of agnostics, deists and rationalists. They sound more like Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine. Their very interesting enlightenment approach is like the Founding Fathers' kind: Skeptical about organized religion and clerics while still holding to an idea of God."
One quirky fact: 33% of Nones claim Irish ancestry, although the U.S. Census says only 10% of the USA does. "We have no idea why," he says. "Maybe you could ask (Fox newscaster) Bill O'Reilly.

In some way, researchers found Nones are very much like the overall, largely religious, U.S. population. There's no statistical difference on education, or income or marital status. They are just as likely to be divorced as anybody else.

"Nones are not a fringe group anymore and are now part of Middle America. They're present in every socio-demographic group, Keysar concludes in their report.
Well, 15% is better than none, but one would hope that we would have come a little farther than that from the ignorance of the medieval ages. The legacy of superstition from the Catholic Church (and as refined by Martin Luther) that has crippled rationality in this country for over two hundred years, still prevails.

It is interesting to note that even as adherence to the nonsense of formalized religions begins to diminish, the faith in a Almighty Apparition of some sort still endures.

Why in the world would women cling more tenaciously to religiosity? Observance of relatives, friends, and people in general tends to bear this out, but I have no idea of why this should be so!

One would also think that educational level would affect acceptance or rejection of superstition. Apparently not!

I hope that Paul Geisert, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett don't pick up on this nomenclature in their search for an appropriate label for the New Atheism. "None-Bright" just screams for a "too" to be inserted in place of the hyphen!

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2009 :  12:30:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, it's not such a big deal as far as atheists go. According to the blurb, 15% don't identify with any religion, but just half of those don't believe in a god. So that's just 7% or so. Unless there was a separate option to actually answer "atheist" (in addition to "none") then it doesn't look like non-believers have made much ground in the last few decades.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26000 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2009 :  14:54:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
PZ's not happy about the term "Nones." He may be going a bit overboard.

But then again, the religious freaked out over the word "bright."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2009 :  18:49:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

PZ's not happy about the term "Nones." He may be going a bit overboard.

But then again, the religious freaked out over the word "bright."
Hell, I freaked out over "Brights," and am still doing so. To me, the only thing wrong with Nones is that it's a hominym of Nuns. I don't need no fancy labels, just ones that aren't too insulting. Or that blaspheme my beliefs.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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