Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Fastest Growing Religion = No Religion (New Religious Identification Survey)

posted by swaldman

The blockbuster new American Religious Identification Survey from Trinity College reports that the fastest growing “faith group” is the one claiming “no religion.” (Full study here.)
Look at USA Today’s stunning visual depiction of the flight from Catholicism and “Other Christian.” Then click on the slide for “no religion.” A jarring difference.
Cathy Grossman of USA Today summarizes thusly:

“So many Americans claim no religion at all (15%, up from 8% in 1990), that this category now outranks every other major U.S. religious group except Catholics and Baptists. In a nation that has long been mostly Christian, “the challenge to Christianity … does not come from other religions but from a rejection of all forms of organized religion,” the report concludes. “

A few other bits struck me.

  • Evangelicals for years could mock mainliners for their lethargic growth numbers. It’s more complicated than that. Baptists, the largest evangelical denomination, dropped from 19.3% in 1990 to 15.8%. What has grown is the group called “non-denominational Christian,” often associated with megachurches which grew from 200,000 people in 1990 to 8 million today — from 5% of the population in 1990 to 11.8% in 2008.
  • The two regional strongholds for non-believers: New England and the Pacific Northwest.
  • Catholics have “moved” South (actually, it’s that Hispanic immigrants represent the growing part of Catholicism). The Catholic portion of the New England states fell from 50% to 36% from 1990 to 2000; while it rose in California from 37% to 44% and in Texas from 23% to 32%.
  • The Jewish population continues to decline (from 3.1 million in 1990 to 2.7 milion in 2008).
  • The Muslim slice of the population has grown from 0.3% in 1990 to 0.6% now.
  • The ethnic group most likely to have no religious identity: Asians. 27% say they have no religion (compared to 16% in 1990)
  • Only 59% of Hispanics are Catholic now, down from 66% in 1990. Biggest winners? “Christian generic” (rising from 8% to 11%) and “None” (doubling from 6% to 12%).
  • Only 1.6% call themselves atheist or agnostic, though ARIS concludes that based on their beliefs 12% are either atheist or agnostic. 27% expect that when they die, they won’t have a religious service.
  • 12% of the population believe in a higher power but not a personal God.
  • Still, from 2001 to 2008, the percentage of the population that’s Christian remained stable at 76%. 34% now call thesmelves “Born Again or Evangelical Christians.”
  • 82% say they believe in God.
  • Best educated faiths (% of college graduates): Muslim, Other Religins, Eastern Religions, Jews, Mormons and Mainline Christian.
  • Least educated: Pentecostal, Baptist, “Protestant Denominations”


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Unbeliever

posted March 9, 2009 at 11:36 am


I’m very pleased with this survey.



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Believer

posted March 9, 2009 at 11:42 am


That Doesn’t Shake my Belief



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pagansister

posted March 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm


Work for me….I happen to live in the “non-religious” northeast. (and am one of those folks). The US is getting smarter, I think.



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Albino Lucaini

posted March 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm


No surprise in these results of this survey when you consider poster children: Roger Mahony, Bernard Law, Theordore McCarrick, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, The Bakers, Oral Robert$, etc., and their massive breaches of trust, while lining their own pockets$ for BILLION$.



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LutheranChik

posted March 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm


Speaking as an active Lutheran layperson…what do any of us expect, when the public face of religion tends to be right-wing/sexist/homophobic nutjobs like Pat Robertson or Mark Driscoll, or slick multimillionaire televangelists or the RCC deciding that a child-beater/sexual abuser who got his 9-year-old stepdaughter pregnant gets an ecclesiastical “get out of jail free” card while the child’s mom and doctors who arranged an abortion to safeguard the child’s life get excommunicated? “Lord, save me from your followers” is not a joke in my house. I have to constantly reality-check myself, when I get too depressed about the whole thing, that following Jesus and following these people are two entirely different things.



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Nontheist

posted March 9, 2009 at 4:54 pm


Interesting survey: 82% believe in God yet claim no religion. Maybe (hopefully?) organized religion has seen better days and people are seeking a higher power and personal moral goodness rather than an institution. As a former Catholic, I can attest to the exodus from Catholicism. The church recently brought back the use of indulgences (a practice abolished in the 1500’s) and yet they expect people to “keep the faith”? To me, that is no different than televangelists asking for money to ensure salvation. Maybe people are waking up and seeing organized religion for what it is: a money-making scam that employs fear tactics to prey upon people’s guilt. Whether one believes in a god or not is not any my business, but it’s about time people woke up and saw religious institutions as just that…another money-making institution.



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Leo

posted March 9, 2009 at 8:25 pm


You never see two warring agnostic sects killing each other over who does agnosticism better.. I think people are starting to realize that belief, experience, and love are better than standardized, formulated, regurgitated religion.



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Lauren

posted March 9, 2009 at 8:51 pm


How much is the decline in religiosity due to its sometime complicity in justifying “war, oppression, sexism, racism, homophobia, ecological indifference, or insensitivity to the suffering of the poor and the homeless of the world”?
And to what is owed the fact that a vast majority of Americans nonetheless believe in God? Religious or no, Americans are still searching for deeper meaning in the world. How can this need be satisfied?
Check out this page called “Spiritual but not Religious” at the Network for Spiritual Progressives (NSP):
http://www.spiritualprogressives.org/article.php/spiritual__butnot



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 10, 2009 at 9:13 am


==That Doesn’t Shake my Belief ==
Those who like the results think that Christianity is a club, that the members of this “club” doubt their membership cuz these people don’t wanna join. It doesn’t work this way, of course.
I’m with you; it doesn’t impact MY Salvation, either.
Jesus said that only few will find the gate, and we’re just gettin’ closer to the number of those who will. I know I am among those few.



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frank torres

posted March 10, 2009 at 9:14 am


organized religion has been on the downfall for decades,and it will continue to lose the masses.the only religion that sets itself apart from these organizations are the jehovahs witnesses who for many years have proven to follow the steps of jesus christ thru their door to door ministry and their unity.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 10, 2009 at 9:31 am


==the only religion that sets itself apart from these organizations are the jehovahs witnesses who for many years have proven to follow the steps of jesus christ thru their door to door ministry and their unity.==
But not the doctrine of Christ.



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Harry Coverston

posted March 10, 2009 at 10:05 am


I think it’s important to recognize that people are not rejecting G-d or spiritual lives. They are letting go of paths to G-d that have proven toxic. The comment above about “the doctrine of Christ” are a good example. There is no single “doctrine of Christ.” And there never has been, as even a cursory reading of church history reveals. Feeling the need for everyone to conform their understandings to a single vision is a control issue. Many people are simply tired of others trying to control them.
The comment that “it doesn’t impact MY Salvation, either” reflects another reason people are letting go. This self-focused approach to religion simply leaves many people cold. If a religious path is nothing more than self-interest writ large, who needs it in a world already marked by greed and aggressive power politics?
The growing “none of the above” population, particularly in those under 25, is a report card on the status quo in institutional religions and the results are fairly clear: we are failing. That doesn’t mean our children want no spiritual lives. They simply don’t want the choices they’re presently offered. Such is the way of all socially constructed realities.



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Mike

posted March 10, 2009 at 10:57 am


Vote in an Orlando Sentinel poll on religion.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 10, 2009 at 11:25 am


==There is no single “doctrine of Christ.” And there never has been, as even a cursory reading of church history reveals.==
A mere technicality.
(Joh 7:16) Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
However, Jesus was God on Earth. Whatever God said, Jesus said. Whatever Jesus said, God said.
Therefore, the doctrine of God is the doctrine of Jesus.
== Feeling the need for everyone to conform their understandings to a single vision is a control issue.==
(Joh 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
So, Jesus was trying merely to control people??
== Many people are simply tired of others trying to control them.==
If people won’t let God guide their steps, through Jesus Christ, they are on their own. Let’s see whether they can ensure their own salvation.
==The comment that “it doesn’t impact MY Salvation, either” reflects another reason people are letting go.==
No, it doesn’t.
Others’ rejection of God and His Son doesn’t impact MY Salvation.
== This self-focused approach…==
I’m supposed to be concerned about my Salvation.
==… to religion…==
Christianity is not a religion. It’s a relationship. God calls us to relationship.
==… simply leaves many people cold.==
That’s because they’re ignorant.
==If a religious path is nothing more than self-interest…==
It’s not “religious path.” Muslims take a “religious path.” Christians love God, through Christ, who guides their steps in relationship.
==… who needs it in a world already marked by greed and aggressive power politics? ==
How’s the world without God and Christ doing?



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pagansister

posted March 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm


All the above quotes, Mr. Incredible, come from a book written by human beings to push an agenda. Many contradictions and many changes incurred during translations. Not reliable, IMO. Proves nothing. Many folks rightly question it…and toss out what doesn’t make sense. And how’s the world without God and Christ doing? More like, How’s the world doing WITH those beliefs in it???? Exactly the same.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 10, 2009 at 5:42 pm


==All the above quotes, Mr. Incredible, come from a book written by human beings…==
As dictated by God.
==… to push an agenda.==
An agenda of the love of God for the betterment of Mankind.
== Many contradictions…==
The contradictions are in your head.
==… and many changes incurred during translations.==
Th eDevil likes so many translations. KJV is the Word of God, preserved in English.
== Not reliable…==
Nothing would be reliable to YOU unless it agrees with YOU.
==Proves nothing.==
Especially to those who preclude themselves from the Truth of God’s Word.
== Many folks rightly question it.==
They are blind and ignorant. They shut themselves off from the evidence, and that’s not scientific, is it.
==…and toss out what doesn’t make sense.==
Human sense which is imperfect and cannot know.
== And how’s the world without God and Christ doing? More like, How’s the world doing WITH those beliefs in it????==
Those beliefs don’t control the world, however. Too many giving in to temptation. If those beliefs took hold, it would be much better.
More people were murdered by the Godless in the past century than during all of human history.
However, as the Word of God predicts, a time is coming, and the pieces are finally getting into place, for the Solution to arrive, and, when it does, you’ll be whining and crying.



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Jacksladder

posted March 11, 2009 at 6:47 am


I would say that the percentage of people who try to put their beliefs about God’s love into practice on a day to day basis are pretty small and will stay that way most likely.



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Pathogen

posted March 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm


One can only hope this trend continues. Couple this with the recent column from Michael Spencer (the Internet Monk) calling for the collapse of Evangelical Christianity as we know it and it looks like this country could finally be heading in a positive direction. Now, if we can just keep these dumba**es from pushing Creationism into the science classroom.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 12, 2009 at 9:08 am


==One can only hope this trend continues.==
The Devil does, too.
However, it doesn’t matter. Christianity is not a club whose members are disappointed and doubt their commitment based on decreasing popularity. Christianity is not about popularity. It’s about relationship and commitment in love for God. I don’t rely on the world for that relationship and commitment. That’s why, as it is written, that few will find the gate, that God will save only a few, a remnant.
By the way, read the last Book. It tells you how this all turns out.
== Couple this with the recent column from Michael Spencer (the Internet Monk) calling for the collapse of Evangelical Christianity as we know it and it looks like this country could finally be heading in a positive direction.==
The Devil is giddy, too.
== Now, if we can just keep these dumba**es from pushing Creationism into the science classroom.==
We understand why you don’t want competing theories. Neither did the Nazis.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 12, 2009 at 9:51 am


==… the percentage of people who try to put their beliefs about God’s love into practice on a day to day basis are pretty small and will stay that way most likely. ==
Jesus predicted this. He also said that few will find the gate.
God said that He will save only a remnant.
This survey shows that people are unaware that they are helping prophecy to come true. It is written that this is a sign the Coming of the Lord is near. I hope so.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 12, 2009 at 10:55 am


==You never see two warring agnostic sects killing each other over who does agnosticism better…==
Why should the Devil prompt them to fight each other when they both are on his side??? THAT would be a house divided. Why would the Devil wanna divided house?



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 12, 2009 at 11:08 am


==There is no single “doctrine of Christ.” And there never has been, as even a cursory reading of church history reveals.==
I don’t care what a church says. I wanna know what the Word of God says, and He says:
(Mat 7:28) And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
(Mat 22:33) And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
(Mar 1:22) And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
(Mar 1:27) And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
(Mar 4:2) And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
(Mar 11:18) And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
(Mar 12:38) And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,
(Luk 4:32) And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
(Joh 7:16) Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
(Joh 18:19) The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
(Act 13:12) Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
(1Ti 4:6) If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
(2Ti 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
(2Ti 4:3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
(Heb 6:1) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
(2Jn 1:9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.



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Your Name

posted March 13, 2009 at 11:33 am


Mr. Incredible: == We understand why you don’t want competing theories. Neither did the Nazis. ==
You and I both know the only reason most creationists allow the “competing theory” of evolution is the inconvenient truth of overwhelming evidence and near consensus of the scientific community.
Moving on, if only 82% believe in God but less than 2% call themselves atheist/agnostic, I think this is likely a reflection of people misunderstanding or fearing the baggage of the word atheist. According to their beliefs, the study finds 12% to be atheist. I suppose the gap between the 12 and 18% would be those who’d claim to believe in some other entity besides “God”?



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 13, 2009 at 11:45 am


==You and I both know the only reason most creationists allow the “competing theory” of evolution is the inconvenient truth of overwhelming evidence and near consensus of the scientific community.==
Not at all. They are more just tolerant than the public schools.
== According to their beliefs, the study finds 12% to be atheist. I suppose the gap between the 12 and 18% would be those who’d claim to believe in some other entity besides “God”?
Like money, cars, stereos.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 13, 2009 at 11:46 am


They are more just tolerant than the public schools —> just more tolerant



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 13, 2009 at 11:50 am


==…the inconvenient truth of overwhelming evidence…==
Overwhelming speculation.
==… and near consensus of the scientific community.==
On the speculation.



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Educated Atheist

posted March 17, 2009 at 1:05 am


If you don’t believe in evolution you don’t properly understand evolution and/or do not have the education in the natural sciences necessary to understand the process.
If you can get through a university sequence in biology you will know evolution happens, whether you want to believe it or not.
We create vaccines using the principles of evolution. We enhance crops and livestock using the principles of evolution. We can literally observe evolution occurring in micro-organisms and other organisms with short life spans such as fruit flies.
And last but not least humans have tail bones… a left over (vestigial) structure from when WE HAD TALES. (not to mention dozens of other useless vestigial structures)



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 17, 2009 at 6:16 am


==If you don’t believe in evolution you don’t properly understand evolution…==
Maybe it is YOU who don’t understand.
==… and/or do not have the education in the natural sciences necessary to understand the process.==
Maybe those who are in the natural Sciences are two close to understand.
==If you can get through a university sequence in biology you will know evolution happens, whether you want to believe it or not.==
I would get to know the speculation on how what is thought to be evolution happens.
==We create vaccines using the principles of evolution. We enhance crops and livestock using the principles of evolution. We can literally observe evolution occurring in micro-organisms and other organisms with short life spans such as fruit flies.==
Oh, well, MICROevolution. The debate is about MACROevolution.
==And last but not least humans have tail bones… a left over (vestigial) structure from when WE HAD TALES.==
Garbage.



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Mr. Incredible

posted March 18, 2009 at 9:32 pm


==… when WE HAD TALES.==
Apparently, some of us still have tales — TALL ones — like those who believe in the religion of evolution.



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Mr. Incredulous

posted June 10, 2009 at 12:24 am


There is no difference in the processes of micro and macro evolution. Same pressures, same process, just a larger time scale.



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litesp33d

posted June 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm


People who have arrived at their point of view without rational thought will not be shaken from it by rational argument. People believe either because of childhood indoctrination or because they choose to believe. Fortunately there comes a time when the overwhelming reality of it all beats the religious dogma. For some it is too much to accept they have been mislead forever. For others it is a relief for if god is man made there is no heaven but also no hell. Except of course what you make for yourself here on Earth.



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I believe

posted August 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm


One does not have to be irrational or uneducated just because they believe in God it is terribly ignorant for people to judge christians as such if they do not have an understanding of God and his word. How many people deny God without ever having actually Studied religion? If a christian should have to be educated in sience in order to challenge it shouldn’t non-believers educate themselves in religion before they go and argue the point. You want to have arguments and call “religious” people uneducated, then you too should educate yourselves in religion and then there can be an actual educated conversation.
What is the bible really about? What is religion compared to faith? What is a church compared to a temple? What are we commanded to do? What are the two most important comandments? How do we get to heaven? What is prayer? Whos is satan? What is heaven and what is hell? What is the trinity? What does it mean to live a Godly life? Who WAS Jesus? Was he God, a man seperate from God? Why was he sent to earth and why did God allow his punishment and death if Jesus was his son?
Let me know what you think, I’m at least humble enough to admit I’m not a scientist can you admit you don’t know what you’re talking about?



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hani

posted October 26, 2009 at 7:12 am


just read Bible, Quraan and Geeta with a free mind
then think about the concept of GOD
which is most suitable to the allmighty



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Justin

posted April 5, 2012 at 9:53 pm


Well it looks like there’s hope for America after all! Most of my friends are atheists, and there are more and more every day. I’m always sharing the wonders of science with everyone I know.

Looks like we might actually rid ourselves of this religious stupidity before our world falls into chaos. I thank the internet.

INTERNET: Where religions come to die!



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daniel

posted April 12, 2012 at 7:44 am


As a Born-again Christian I believe that we will Conquer the World By the Power of the name of Jesus and by the Guidance of the Holyspirit!!!! wewill spread the Gospel throughout the whole world To.save more people by the Power and the blood of Jesus….. Jesus is our Lord God and Savior and Nobody can contend His Power!!!!!



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