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"No Religion" largest group in USA

Started by Ecurb Noselrub, April 14, 2019, 12:09:07 AM

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xSilverPhinx

An interesting turn of events. I doubt the same trend will repeat itself in Brazil any time soon, though. :(
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Recusant

That headline is deceptive. It's only accurate if you divide up the Christians into specific categories. According to the survey results, Christians outnumber "nones" by a bit over two to one.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Bluenose

Quote from: Recusant on April 14, 2019, 02:56:41 AM
That headline is deceptive. It's only accurate if you divide up the Christians into specific categories. According to the survey results, Christians outnumber "nones" by a bit over two to one.

I take your point, but the trend line is going the right way...
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Ecurb Noselrub

Quote from: Recusant on April 14, 2019, 02:56:41 AM
That headline is deceptive. It's only accurate if you divide up the Christians into specific categories. According to the survey results, Christians outnumber "nones" by a bit over two to one.

Dividing Christians into groups is justified.  It is not a monolithic religion, theologically, politically, socially, ethnically, or any other "ly".

Recusant

Nor are the "nones" a monolithic bloc, including as they do agnostics, atheists, "I'm spiritual but not religious" and "I believe in God, I just don't believe in any particular religion" types, New Age woo believers and who knows what else. Yet there they are, supposedly the "largest" group.

If the pollsters go to the trouble of distinguishing between Catholics and Episcopalians but ignore the difference between atheists and the "God but not a particular religion" category, then they're failing at a fundamental level to present an accurate result. I was being mild when I said "deceptive."
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Icarus

I suspect that the whole bit is hogwash.  My community is not particularly religious but the believers outnumber the nones by a wide margin as far as I can tell.

In fairness a beautiful large Baptist church, across the street from my house. went down the drain.  The congregation was shrinking.  What happened was remarkable. An outfit called Grace City, the Hillsong Group,  Church bought the building and now.......Holy kuamoley, every Sunday there are 500 cars that show up in the churche's parking lot. The police have to post a traffic handling assignment there. 

Does not look like a decline in church or religious commitment to me.

Tank

Quote from: Icarus on April 15, 2019, 02:36:04 AM
I suspect that the whole bit is hogwash.  My community is not particularly religious but the believers outnumber the nones by a wide margin as far as I can tell.

In fairness a beautiful large Baptist church, across the street from my house. went down the drain.  The congregation was shrinking.  What happened was remarkable. An outfit called Grace City, the Hillsong Group,  Church bought the building and now.......Holy kuamoley, every Sunday there are 500 cars that show up in the churche's parking lot. The police have to post a traffic handling assignment there. 

Does not look like a decline in church or religious commitment to me.

I'm sure I read that Christianity in general is declining with the exception of evangelical types.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Recusant

It may be that the growth of the "nones" in the US has hit its peak.

"Is the rise of the nones slowing? Scholars say maybe" | Religious News Service

QuoteFor the past 25 years, the number of Americans claiming no religion has steadily ballooned as more and more people quit church, synagogue or mosque and openly acknowledged being a  "none."

The reality is particularly stark when looked at from a generational perspective. If 10% of people from the silent generation (born 1928-1945) consider themselves religiously unaffiliated, a whopping 40% of millennials (born 1981-1996) say they have no religion, according to Pew Research.

But this week, three political scientists who study religion have raised the possibility that the number of nones may be leveling off. Looking at a set of recent surveys, they suggest Generation Z, broadly defined as the 68 million Americans born after 1996, don't look any less religious than the millennial generation that came before.

"I was just shocked to see it," said Paul Djupe, a professor at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. "Everything led me to expect that (the number of nones) would keep increasing for a while."

The initial suggestion that the decline of religious affiliation seems to be slowing came from political scientist Melissa Deckman of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. Deckman interviewed 2,200 Americans ages 18-23 this past summer, asking them a host of questions, including whether they have a religious affiliation and how often they attend religious services.

When she compared those numbers to a 2016 Public Religion Research Institute survey, she found striking similarities between those in her study of Generation Z and older millennials. In both generational cohorts, 38% said they consider themselves to have no religion.

"Up to this point there's been a very fast drop-off, especially among younger people," Deckman said. "It seems to have slowed somewhat."

Two other political scientists – Djupe and Ryan Burge — then looked at other datasets, including the 2018 General Social Survey, the Cooperative Congressional Election Study and a Voter Study Group. They found those surveys confirmed Deckman's thesis about slowing rates of religious disaffiliation among Gen Z.

There are a couple of possible explanations for the slowing of religious decline:

The country's growing racial diversity
The United States will soon be a minority-majority country. Scholars project that might happen between 2041 and 2046, depending on the amount of net immigration into the U.S.

That's important in terms of religion because minority groups such as African Americans, Hispanics and immigrants from Africa and Asia tend to be more religious than American whites.

[. . .]

The culture war sorting is mostly over
The past few decades have been marked by a host of divisive social and political issues, including abortion, women's rights, LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage. Many religious congregations used to be a lot more diverse on a range of issues. But they have become less so, as both liberals and conservatives have joined up with like-minded congregants or dropped out of religion altogether.

[. . .]

A changing social desirability bias
This is a related phenomenon. Americans once embraced their religious identities. They are now more willing to admit they don't have one because it's no longer socially desirable to declare an affiliation.

"A lot of marginally attached Protestants and Catholics who went once a year used to say they were Catholic or Protestant," said Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. "But now it's easier to say you're a 'none.' So they say, 'I'm not religious at all.'"

[Continues . . .]
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken