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Sunday, July 22, 2012

AMERICANS ARE GETTING LESS RELIGIOUS

On this Sunday, I thought I'd share a survey from the Pew Center, reported by Cathy Lynn Grossman (left, a USA Today reporter), which showed that, while there are more Catholics in the United States than any other denomination, Nones (those with no religion) rose to #2 with 19%, the highest ever.  More specifically, Nones are atheists, agnostics and those who don't believe in a deity.

According to another survey, by Barry Kosmin (left), who created the term,  in 1990 Nones were only at 6%.   The Nones tend to be younger, single and better educated.  The key to more Nones, though, will be switching, the process of growing up in a "religious" home and arriving at your own opinion when you grow up.  Another Pew poll showed that 10% become Nones.  This percentage is growing.

In 2009, Harvard professor Robert Putnam (left) mentioned that 30 to 40% of younger Americans are Nones.  With David Campbell, he co-authored a new book, American Grace.  Putnam indicated that research led by Ed Diener found that economically developed nations are much less likely to be religious, while religion is widespread in countries with more difficult circumstances.  People of developed nations are dropping out of religion because they find meaning and wellness elsewhere.  This why I wrote a chapter on religion in SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, wondering why so many Americans believe in an afterlife.  

Mark Chaves is quoted to say:

Americans famously say they believe in some variation of God.  Over 90% do.  But it used to be 99% decades ago.  The change is slow, but we can see it coming.

Churchgoing in America is dropping.  While these are the official numbers:

  Ireland 46%
  USA 43%
  Italy 31%
  Denmark 3%
  Norway  3%

Seven Startling Facts indicate that fewer than 20% of Americans, in fact, go to church.  There are six more, and one of them highlights Hawaii as the ONLY state where church attendance (only 13.4%, mind you) rose more than our population in the period from 2000 and 2004.  Hawaii??

I have just opened The Magic of Reality, a 2011 book by Richard Dawkins.  This one has large letters and illustrations, and is really heavy (in weight).  Why did I not buy the e-version?  Don't know. This is his first effort at writing for the whole family, so his normal intellectual level is compromised.  This blog site, too, attempts to make the information understandable to an intelligent 5th grader, many who  know more than too many adults.  Read about my discussion with him a few years ago.
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