New survey shows that ‘no-religion’ is at an all time high in America

New survey shows that ‘no-religion’ is at an all time high in America April 15, 2019

Given that President Trump, with the help of shuffling hordes of theocracy-demanding evangelical zombies, is relentlessly driving the conservative Christian agenda forward in America,  you’d think that religion would be on the rise.

Trump with religious leaders at the National Day of Prayer, 2017. Image via YouTube.

But it isn’t. In fact the opposite is true.

According to a new survey, 23.1 percent of Americans say they have no religion – the highest number ever recorded.

Conducted by Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University and a Baptist pastor, the survey indicated that there are more non-religious people than Catholics (23 percent) and  evangelicals  22.5).

However, the three groups remain within the margin of error of each other,  making it a statistical tie. Over 2,000 people were interviewed in person for the survey.

“Religious nones”, as they are called by researchers, are a diverse group made up of atheists, agnostics, the “spiritual”, and those who are no specific organised religion in particular. A rejection of organised religion is the common thread they share.

Burge said:

It is the first time we have seen this. The same questions have been asked for 44 years.

The meteoric rise of religious nones began in the early 1990s and has grown 266 percent since 1991, he said.

And he estimates that “No religion” will be the largest group outright in four to six years.

Why is this happening?

Image via YouTube

One reason could be the Internet, says Nick Fish, above, President of American Atheists. It provides a place for non-believers to find each other.

The ease of access to the Internet helped build communities where they didn’t feel alone.

Robyn Blumner, Executive Director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, sees the change as a generational trend driven by millennials. She says:

We are seeing the rise of a generation of Americans who are hungry for facts and curious about the world.

Whatever the causes, the non-religious represent a growing constituency. Yet this demographic is greatly underrepresented in Washington’s halls of power. There is not a single open atheist amid the most diverse Congress in history, according to a Pew study.

Christians as a whole – and especially Protestants and Catholics – are still over-represented in proportion to their share in the general public.

The Congressional Freethought Caucus’s ten  members try to represent non-theist interests while protecting the secular character of government.

Says the co-chair and founder, Representative Jared Huffman of California:

This growing group of Americans can feel like there is at least some people in Congress who believe they matter.

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  • barriejohn

    Trump gets worse, if that’s possible. After saying that he should have nominated Ivanka as head of the World Bank because she is “good with numbers”, he now declares that he can solve Boeing’s problems with the 737 MAX:

    PS There’s been a lot of speculation about his strange teeth and way of speaking. Are they false teeth, or veneers? In the photo he only appears to have a little row at the front of his mouth!

  • Broga

    The only way the believers can pretend they represent the USA, or the UK, is by censorship, threat and lies. The internet is the worst possible development for the priests until they manage to control it. The UK is at present deluged by religious trivia and banalities as, with the essential license funded help of the BBC, they state the incredible as if it were fact. Jesus did not rise again, he was not a God and, the daftest of the daft, he did not torture himself to save the rest of us.

  • abb3w

    The meteoric rise of religious nones began in the early 1990s

    Closer scrutiny suggests that this is not the case. That’s just when it became unsubtly noticeable as a trend sustained above the sampling noise.

    The rise of the Nones seems well-modeled as a logistic curve on generational cohort, with a time constant of roughly 27 years and a midpoint circa 2007. The same (truncated) logistic curve can be seen back in the 1974 GSS data. The rise has been somewhat obscured by the difference in cohort sizes, and in part because from circa 1980-1995 there seems to have been an additional factor that produced slightly lower levels of “nones” and slightly higher levels of the “not particularly religious”. The rise of the “religious right” political movement may have triggered the outset of that factor, and the rise of household internet access the end.

    Blumner and Fish both appear to be wrong. Although it may have countered the impact of the religious right political movement, ease of access to the Internet does not seem to have been the initial cause; and the rise of the Nones did not begin with the Millennial cohort, but instead appears to date back to the Boomers — and possibly earlier.

  • Bob

    There are two kinds of people in the world some seek knowledge and some seek belief,

  • barriejohn

    So true! It is, in a great many cases, a conscious decision as well; they would rather wrap themselves up in their little cocoon of make-believe than face the harsh realities of existence. And even though I used to be one of them until I broke free, I’m afraid still don’t know what the answer is.

  • barriejohn

    The Chump’s advising on fighting the Notre Dame fire now: “Must act quickly!” I’m sure that never occurred to any of them!!!

    PS There are very good reasons for not dropping water on the cathedral. His ignorance is breathtaking.

  • Robert McLean

    “Why is this happening?” Asks the poor, concerned religious ‘leaders’ cluttering up the US. Surely a big chunk of the reason would be that the whole seedy fraud is based on bullshit? Younger people with a near universe of easily available information at their finger tips or anyone questioning what they’ve been told to believe can with a couple of keystrokes unwind the nonsense they’ve been sold and make up their own mind as to the veracity of the belief systems parents have foisted upon them.

  • Mythblaster
  • Dhammarato

    In the 1960’s we all had to go to church, that was true in every town right across northern South Carolina. We all had to go to some church, but most of the kids then thought church to be a joke, but we went out of obligation and called ourselves Christian, to do otherwise was dangerous. Times are a changing and Christianity is now Waring a well deserved new set of labels. Then they lost us while we were still in the pews. Now, the pews are empty.

  • Broga

    Funny. Thanks for cheering me up on a cold, drizzly morning.

  • abb3w

    The south (or more exactly, US Census region 5) seems to average about 20 years behind the nation overall in the demographic shift.

  • Phil Baldwin

    There are two kinds of people in this world. Those that think there are two kinds of people in the world and …..

  • DingoJack
  • Jim X

    “We are seeing the rise of a generation of Americans who are hungry for facts and curious about the world.” All the answers are in the Bible (which you’ll never read or fully comprehend) or in your pastor’s/preist’s/rabbi’s/imam’s sermon (which he controls and selectively dispenses). There, that was easy.

  • Rennyrij

    Whether Blumner and Fish are right or wrong, so many act as if non-belief is a thing of youth. Not so. Some of us older folk didn’t know about non-belief groups until after the internet allowed us to search for others “like us”. What a surprise!

  • MindWarrior

    Coincidence that the birth of the internet and the dying throes of religion exist in the same time period?

  • DingoJack

    OMG! Godlessness caused the intertoobs!!
    [Correlation doesn’t imply causality].

  • abb3w

    Whether Blumner and Fish are right or wrong, so many act as if non-belief is a thing of youth. Not so.

    Indeed. That impression seems mainly to have been an artifact of the Baby Boomers demographic size and coincidence of the period that they were raising kids and the rise of the Religious Right movement. There also look to be some more subtle confounds. In all cohorts, it looks like the fraction who attend church regularly goes up over time; however, the fraction who never go also rises, and the fraction attending regularly at any given age decreases with later cohorts.

    What the current data suggests is that cohorts may have an underlying level of religiosity that is mostly settled circa age 25, although the middle ground between strongly religious and irreligious seems to erode to the extremes, and all cohorts may face some manner of environmental pressures that may temporarily shift the expression somewhat. Thus, all cohorts tended to be higher in religiosity circa 1980-1995, but since 2010 may have been slightly favoring irreligion. (Too early to be sure for the last.)