A recent survey by Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that people with no religious affiliation make up about 1. 1 billion, or 16 percent, of the world’s population.
That’s not actually surprising, nor is the fact that the majority of the religiously unaffiliated live in the Pacific rim, and are in the majority in places like China, Korea and Japan. The idea of religious affiliation has always been a bit trickier in the east than in the monotheistic west. The fact that North Korea and China have taken hostile stances towards certain religions is likely an issue as well.
All of this could lead to an interesting discussion of what it means to say that someone is affiliated with a religion or no religion. There is great diversity among the members of any given religion, and there is great diversity among the unaffiliated as well. Certainly many of the affiliated are non-believers, and many of the unaffiliated believe and choose not to call themselves members of any particular faith.
Deck the halls with well-worn talking points.
Notice that they jump from talking about a global survey to talking about the only part of the globe that matters: America. The Rabbi delivers the standard harrumph about the need for a God to ground morality, ignoring the Hindus, Buddhists and other non-monotheists on the list. A Pastor gives a plug for his own growing church in Dallas, which makes it seem like he’s completely lost the plot.
As one of my professors used to say, these folks are so narrow that they could look through a keyhole with both eyes.