Skip to main content

Americans are fleeing religion

Despite the evident diversity of the United States, all too often - as similarly in other multi-cultural countries - America sees itself as a Christian country.   Leaving to one side whether that is a correct, or indeed appropriate, characterisation, a Pew Research Centre survey just released would suggest that Americans are fleeing religion.

"I recently attended a wedding where the bride and groom shared Chinese, American and Eastern European roots. Their parents were raised Catholic, Lutheran and Jewish. But the wedding itself, both ceremony and reception, were completely, utterly, 100% secular. God was not invited; no religious ritual made an appearance.

Welcome to the new America.

I thought this scene might just be representative of my family and circle of friends, but no — it speaks to a broad and deep shift in the American religious landscape, as meticulously catalogued by the report issued today by the Pew Research Center. This survey, conducted in 2014 through telephone calls with more than 35,000 adults, is a follow up to a survey similar in size and scope conducted in 2007.

In the intervening seven years, the share of Americans who identify as Christian has declined by nearly 8%, while the share who claim no religious identity — the unaffiliated or, in demographic parlance, the “nones” — increased by nearly 6%, amounting now to 22.8% of the U.S. population.

There are, according to Pew, now more unaffiliated Americans than either Main Line Protestants or Catholics. If the “nones” were a religious denomination, they would be the second largest in America, just after evangelical Christians. Imagine the political implications if this trend continues — and it is likely to continue, for two reasons.

First, although a majority of Americans still identify as Christian, the decline in their number is widespread, occurring among the young and the old, black and white, well educated and not so well educated, in all regions of the country. Don’t think these numbers are driven by a bunch of disaffected white elites in the Northeast; it’s a broad-based trend.

Second, the unaffiliated skew young and younger. Only 11% of the Silent Generation (born 1928 to 1945) identified as having no religion, while among Younger Millennials (born 1990 to 1996) 36% put themselves in that category.

“It is likely that we will see a secular left coalesce into a movement in the way that 30 years ago we saw the religious right coalesce politically,” David Campbell, political science professor at Notre Dame University, told me. “I am not sure that it will have the same clout because the left lacks a religious infrastructure and it’s more of a challenge to mobilize the troops. But the group and the movement are here to stay.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Donald T: First seduced..... then betrayed!

All those supporters of Trump - who, heaven's only knows, got him headed for the White House - are in a for more than a rude awakening and shock.   Whatever Trump "promised" is just not going to happen....as Paul Krugman so clearly spells out in his latest op-ed piece "Seduced and Betrayed by Donald Trump" in The New York Times.

"Donald Trump won the Electoral College (though not the popular vote) on the strength of overwhelming support from working-class whites, who feel left behind by a changing economy and society. And they’re about to get their reward — the same reward that, throughout Mr. Trump’s career, has come to everyone who trusted his good intentions. Think Trump University.

Yes, the white working class is about to be betrayed.

The evidence of that coming betrayal is obvious in the choice of an array of pro-corporate, anti-labor figures for key positions. In particular, the most important story of the week — seriously, people, stop focusing on Trum…

Snooping..... at its worst

The Brits have just brought in legislation which allows for unprecedented "snooping" in a Western democracy - says Edward Snowden.   Let truthdig explain....

"On Tuesday, the United Kingdom instated the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, a piece of legislation described by whistleblower Edward Snowden as “the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy.”

The law, informally known as the “Snooper’s Charter,” spent over a year in Parliament before it was passed. The Guardian reported:

"The new surveillance law requires web and phone companies to store everyone’s web browsing histories for 12 months and give the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to the data.

It also provides the security services and police with new powers to hack into computers and phones and to collect communications data in bulk. The law requires judges to sign off police requests to view journalists’ call and web records, but the measure has been descri…

A "Muslim Register"

Outrageous is the word which immediately comes to mind - the idea of a  Muslim Register which Trump has floated.     And how and by or through whom would this Registry comes into being?    Let The Intercept explain.....

"Every American corporation, from the largest conglomerate to the smallest firm, should ask itself right now: Will we do business with the Trump administration to further its most extreme, draconian goals? Or will we resist?

This question is perhaps most important for the country’s tech companies, which are particularly valuable partners for a budding authoritarian. The Intercept contacted nine of the most prominent such firms, from Facebook to Booz Allen Hamilton, to ask if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry, an idea recently resurfaced by Donald Trump’s transition team. Only Twitter said no.

Shortly after the election, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty wrote a personal letter to President-elect Trump in which she offered her congratulation…