“No Religion:” Choice for 23.1% of Americans


Health Editor’s Note: When asked your religious preference, the most rapidly rising group is the “no religion” group and the numbers continue to rise. What reason(s) would you give for this rather stunning but not surprising statistic?….Carol

There are now as many Americans who claim no religion as there are evangelicals and Catholics, a survey finds

By Neil Monahan and Saeed Amed, CNN

See full Story at CNN

(CNN)For the first time “No Religion” has topped a survey of Americans’ religious identity, according to a new analysis by a political scientist. The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals in the long-running General Social Survey.

Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University and a Baptist pastor, found that 23.1% of Americans now claim no religion.

Catholics came in at 23.0%, and evangelicals were at 22.5%.
The three groups remain within the margin of error of each other though, making it a statistical tie. Over 2,000 people were interviewed in person for the survey.

A Growing Number of Americans Reject Organized Religion

“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 organized religion in particular. A rejection of organized religion is the common thread they share.

“It is the first time we have seen this. The same questions have been asked for 44 years,” Burge told CNN.

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


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  1. It’s important to note that the studies that show the increase in people classified as “nones” also show that the vast majority of them hold Deistic beliefs. That is, they believe in God but not in any of the man-made “revealed” religions. I point this out in my book God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion ( http://deism.com/Godreasonnotreligion.htm ). It would be wonderful if these people were made aware of Deism and that they are not at all alone in their reason-based beliefs in God.

    Progress! Bob Johnson

  2. Samuel Clemens said: “Religion was born when the first con man met the first fool”. Just because this increasing sample of people doesn’t affiliate with religion doesn’t mean they aren’t spiritual. Our founding fathers were deists you know. Jefferson was right on the mark with his cut bible. The evangelicals are especially fond of saying Jesus every sentence while preaching old testament BS. Or should I say pushing. It seems there is a smear campaign to say atheism is a religion. The nature of the insults gives a clear indicator of it’ origins.

  3. Science has not “proven” religion false, but science has convincingly demonstrated that the core suppositions underpinning religious faith are misunderstandings of the natural world and of the human place in it.

    The fundamental premise of religion is that there are unseen powers in the world that are responsible for what occurs within it. This hypothesis introduces the presupposition that there are exceptions to materialistic or physical causality. Hidden spiritual agencies are held to be responsible for what occurs in nature. In seeking to explain natural phenomena whose causal mechanisms were not apparent, ancient peoples attributed them to animistic causes.

    Such magical, anthropocentric thinking is the natural state of pre-logical cultures. The theist’s problem today is that centuries of scientific investigation have not verified the existence of these entities. In the process, science has instead discovered the actual, physical explanations for the formerly inexplicable things that so baffled our ancestors.

  4. Jesus never had a dime…And they say religious power is God…but the pope ain’t poor….Bhudda was a “thin man”….boy did he get fat…tell me my fellow fools…how much salvation can you buy?…and how bad do you need it?…preachers preachin’ the for real righteous way…monopolizing on the day…and the dark days to come…a life insurance policy for some…it just goes to show…give people something to believe in…they will buy it…try it…might even riot or die for it…speaking strictly for myself… history present and future behind…I ain’t one to be a-believin’ blind….

  5. Mrs. Duff,

    They refer to them as “none’s” or no religion as this will be America’s salvation from the crazy Catholics and rabid Evangelical’s and their voting patterns.

    However, even that Bible contains great truths such as the great peace teachings of Jesus and those that follow those will have peace in their lives and there are many fine Churches in America that live by his principals since they are a great blessing to society.

    Remember Jefferson and his edited Bible? Took a knife to the text and cut out all the nonsense and kept just the teachings of Jesus and said if followed would create the perfect society.

    “In the home of the brave, Jefferson turnin’ over in his grave
    Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan
    And there’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend”

    Bob Dylan

    And to Falwell and Graham and their ilk?

    Just saying…


  6. …matters not a wit to god. who are you to speak for god? show some context: let the entity speak for itself. speaking as an authority for a construct with zero proof of its empiricalness is likely a key contributor to the growth in the numbers of religious nones.

  7. Carol- Great article, I appreciate your Journalism and Work very much.
    To answer your question: ” Why is ‘No Religion’ becoming the new Normal?”
    My opinion is this: When Evangelical “Leaders” embrace corrupt political “Leaders”, they become hypocrites in the eyes of their followers.

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