One-fifth of U.S. adults say they are not part of a traditional religious denomination, new data from the Pew Research Center show, evidence of an unprecedented reshuffling of Americans’ spiritual identities that is shaking up fields from charity to politics.
But despite their nickname, the “nones” are far from godless. Many pray, believe in God and have regular spiritual routines.
When a group insists on imposing their religion on our political system, people who want to believe in a higher power don’t tune out politics. They tune out religion. Think I’m kidding?
The study presents a stark map of how political and religious polarization have merged in recent decades. Congregations used to be a blend of political affiliations, but that’s generally not the case anymore. Sociologists have shown that Americans are more likely to pick their place of worship by their politics, not vice versa.
Some said the study and its data on younger generations forecast more polarization.
“We think it’s mostly a reaction to the religious right,” said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, who has written at length about the decline in religious affiliation. “The best predictor of which people have moved into this category over the last 20 years is how they feel about religion and politics” aligning, particularly conservative politics and opposition to gay civil rights.
Here’s a link to the complete study.
- One Fifth of Americans Have No Religious Affiliation (advocate.com)
- US religion survey shows dramatic changes over just two decades (independent.co.uk)
- Young ‘Nones’ Set To Transform The Political Landscape (wnyc.org)
- Study: One-Third Of Adults Under 30 Have No Religious Affiliation (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Report: US Protestants lose majority status (news.yahoo.com)
- Report: US Protestants lose majority status (kansascity.com)
- Report: Americans losing their religion (gazette.com)
- Pew’s religion survey reveals a secular shift away from the religious right | Sarah Posner (guardian.co.uk)
- One in five Americans reports no religious affiliation, study says (washingtonpost.com)
- The Decline of Christianity in the US (slog.thestranger.com)