Turtles all the way down

Survey: More people not tied to a religion

Posted by doctore0 on October 9, 2012

I can not understand how anyone can be religious in this day and age… religion is obviously total bs 🙂


There was a time when Jim Peterson felt like the odd man out.

After all, having no religious affiliation in a country populated by believers can feel isolating at times.

“It’s not that I was discriminated against,” says Peterson, 67, of Tampa. “But indirectly, maybe so, because I felt it was best to keep silent about it. If you’re around people who are hostile or fearful about how you feel about religion, then it’s sometimes best to just not bring it up.”

But in a new survey released today by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, it appears Peterson has no reason to feel lonely.

One-fifth of the American public — and a third of adults under 30 — are now crossing off the “none” box under religious affiliations. That’s the highest number ever in Pew polling.

And it’s a rapid growth. Just five years ago, about 15 percent of the American population claimed no religion. Now that number is slightly less than 20 percent. They comprise a diverse group: more than 13 million atheists and agnostics, and about 33 million who say they have no particular religious affiliation.

Don’t confuse “none” with no belief, says Pew senior researcher Greg Smith.

Of the nation’s 46 million unaffiliated adults, about two-thirds say they believe in God (68 percent), and feel a deep connection with earth and nature (58 percent). At least one-third consider themselves “spiritual,” as opposed to religious, and one in five say they pray every day.
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