Why Are Many Americans Abandoning Religion? A Lot of the Credit Goes to Pastors

By Hemant Mehta

Why are you an atheist or agnostic?

The obvious answer might be because you don’t believe in God. Or maybe you don’t think anyone can know if God exists.

Becka A. Alper of the Pew Research Center, using data obtained late last year, just published an analysis looking specifically at the reasons “Nones” gave for why they don’t belong to an organized religion… and the responses are all over the place.

The first question gave everyone a list of options for why they were “unaffiliated,” and they could pick from several options.

First, let’s just look at the atheists. No surprise here: 89% of them said that their disbelief in God was an important reason they weren’t part of any organized religion. That was followed by 77% of atheists who said they “question a lot of religious teachings” and 63% who said “religion is irrelevant to me.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. @OP – Becka A. Alper of the Pew Research Center, using data obtained late last year, just published an analysis looking specifically at the reasons “Nones” gave for why they don’t belong to an organized religion… and the responses are all over the place.

    I would guess that the responses would be “all over the place.”, if people were asked why they don’t believe in fairies, or join organised trips to magic wishing wells!

    There are no “default” unevidenced beliefs! – Just indoctrinated self-replicating memes, many of which were widespread in the past, but have since gone extinct!

  2. Before we give the pastors too much credit, can we also consider that, although many are undeniably irritating, a lot of that is down to their entrenched opinions. Atheists, secularists and others with rational viewpoints which have become more vocal and visible have forced pastors to respond to questions on previously ‘sacrosanct’ areas.

    This reveals their archaic and dogmatic nature and the inability of religion to adapt to modern norms and pastors will continue to appear unreasonable, bigoted and condescending to anyone who is not fully engaged with religion.

    So a fair amount of credit ought to be bestowed on atheist authors, bloggers and the like for forcing them into that corner.

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