A Nation of "Nones"

The Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life recently released a new study that found that nearly 20 percent of Americans are religiously unaffiliated or "nones".

The study found that keeping religion and government separate is of concern to a majority of the “nones,” 67 percent of whom said they felt that churches and religious organizations are too involved with politics. The unaffiliated now represent the largest “religious” bloc of registered Democratic voters, comprising 24 percent. Sixty-three percent of “nones” leaned Democratic and 26 percent leaned Republican.

According to the report:

  • Seventy percent of the religiously unaffiliated do not have an absolute believe in God.
  • From 2007-2012, the “nones” have risen from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults.
  • Eighty-eight percent of the “nones” say they are not looking for a religion indicating their ties with religion are permanently broken.
  • The “nones” are comprised of: atheists (12%), agnostics (17%), and nothing in particular (71%).

What implications does the rise of the nones have for America politically? What do the numbers really mean? How can nones organize for better representation by lawmakers? And how should the religiously affiliated approach the "nones"?

The Secular Coalition staffers offer their opinions on the newest findings on the increasing number of Americans who don't have, and don't want, religion.




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