Survey: One in five Americans has no religion


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.

John Green, a senior research adviser at Pew, breaks the religiously unaffiliated into three groups. First, he says, are those who were raised totally outside organized religion.

Written By: Dan Merica
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  1. I’ve just spent a half-hour reading the comments on the OP site. Ouch! So much stupid in so small a space.

  2. The politicians will probably ignore this group until it reaches 50%. Why? “no religion” is not one group of people. I have heard Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer, and a few others talk about this so many times, but they always seem to dance around the fact that it is not all atheists. 68% still believe in god, 37% are spiritual but not religious, and 1 in 5 share their secrets with an imaginary friend. I would guess some of them “cultural Christians”, but a large percentage of them are mostly likely New Agers.

  3. Those statistics must be devastating for the brain dead…They will probably ignore them, or just assume a liberal conspiracy.

    Makes no difference…they is well and truly on the way out!

  4. On their own, the percentages are often written off, but when you i) compare those with other religions/minority groups that have much more political power and ii) realise that there are 13 million people in that group, it becomes difficult to understand why they are ignored so often.

  5.  True, and of course even if they were all self-identified atheists, they still wouldn’t be, or act as, a single group, because what they have in common (atheism) doesn’t have any necessary connection with any other political positions (though there are broad correlations).

    However it’s worth bearing in mind the following points:
    1) The “no religion” group, whatever their professed new-agery, are at least *functionally* non-religious in that they don’t contribute to the power of organized religion in the US, and thus aren’t among those creating political problems for secularism (except negatively by refusing to speak out against attacks on it).
    2) In the US more than any other developed country, this group is likely to contain closet atheists who are simply socially unable to publicly self-identify as such because of extreme family and peer pressure, fears for loss of work, social standing etc. If declaring oneself to be an atheist led to as few public or private consequences in the US as it does in France, for instance, I’m confident that a large proportion of the “spiritual but not religious” would quite happily self-identify as atheist. “Spiritual but not religious” is simply their default defensive posture in a hostile environment, intended to indicate that, while they don’t identify with a religion, they are nevertheless morally respectable people, i.e. guarding against an assumption of moral depravity by the religious  —  an assumption that no one in France would make in the first place, and so would not require this coded response.

  6.  I would think apart from the sub section labelling the point is that Religion as a powerful and potentially destructive force in modern western society is broken, probably beyond repair.
    The danger was, and in some respects still is, a brain dead group acting, to one, or a set of,  dogmatic positions that attracts the hyenas of the political world canvassing for votes.

    The law of the land is held beholden by the will of the representatives of the ‘people’ and if those representatives get enough grief from their constituency, or more likely from a dedicated group in that constituency, i.e. not even a majority… they will feel moved to agitate for a state  where those vested interests control the flavour.

    The mantra of respect that echoes around the land and the media show exactly where that goes.
    No one dares say boo to the cretinous goose cos no politician wants to be crucified in a sycophantic sensationalist media…nominally controlled by rather flatulent woo drenched pillocks of society that think morality is theirs to define by divine judgement… especially if ambition is driving the political band wagon of the wannabe.

    Pandering to dumbfuckery has never seemed an unthinkable trait in the average ego maniacal wannabe member of parliament, they go where the vote is both ethically and morally, or indeed where integrity is a dirty word.
    A group that takes its position from a rather flimsy fantasy based interpretation of some vague scriptural scribbling 2000 years ago from an agrarian ignorant perspective of morality and ethics  tends to express its innate bigotry and intolerances in no uncertain terms, so vague and wishy washy are the ‘instructions’  it leaves carte blanche in their actions.

    But it seems the ‘theocracy’ that most cults get wet dreams over and actively work for,  is further away then ever according to the figures in this article.

    That I can live with.
    If religion, and therefore the practice of it, is relegated to the mentally challenged personal home life and fellow droolers circle jerking,  I see no reason why they cannot dumb themselves down if that is what they want…what I strenuously object to is these doyennes of tomfoolery attempting to pompously insist on dumbing all of us down along with the rest of society…that is the poisoned chalice.
    Divide and conquer is a valid and successful tactic.
    If that is accompanied by a drying up of the dumb well. so be it and all the better.

    Organised religion is by far worse then the Mafia on steroids.
    A perusal of the modus operandi of the RCC should play ample witness to that statement.
    I think humanity can do without that lunacy, so mote it be 😉

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