Wednesday, August 10, 2022

29 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation

Natalie Charles, even as a teenager, felt unwelcome in her Baptist community with its conservative views on immigration, gender, and sexuality. So she left.

“I just don’t want my idea of ​​what God is and what God could be without making me feel,” said Charles, an 18-year-old Haitian man who identifies as a queer and is now in his freshman year. Princeton University.

“It was not a very loving or caring environment for anyone’s faith.”

After leaving her church in New Jersey three years ago, she identified herself as an atheist, then an agnostic, before embarking on a spiritual but not religious life. In her dormitory, she combines rituals at the altar, chanting Buddhist, Taoist and Hindu mantras and paying tribute to her ancestors as she meditates and prays.

Charles’s path places her among the non-religious — the fastest growing group in polls asking Americans about their religious affiliation. They call themselves atheists, agnostics, or “nothing special.”

Popularly known as the “nones,” this group currently makes up 29% of the US adult population, according to a poll published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. This is up from 23% in 2016 and 19% in 2011.

“Non-religious were once concentrated in urban and coastal areas, but now live throughout the United States, representing people of different ages, nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds,” Drescher said.

Even in their personal views, Americans differ widely, according to a recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Public Relations Research Center. For example, 30% say they feel some connection with God or a higher power, and 19% say that religion has some meaning for them, even if they have no religious affiliation.

About 12% call themselves religious and spiritual, and 28% – spiritual, but not religious. More than half consider themselves neither one nor the other.

According to an AP-NORC poll, about 60% of non-ases believe that religion was at least somewhat important to their families as children. It found that 30% of people meditate and 26% pray privately at least several times a month, while fewer people periodically consult with a religious or spiritual leader.

“There are people who do practice either in a particular religious tradition that we recognize, or in traditions of multiple faiths,” Drescher said. “They are not interested in formal membership in these communities, or in identifying as someone from this religion.”

“Non-religious were once concentrated in urban and coastal areas, but now live throughout the United States, representing people of different ages, nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds,” Drescher said.

Even in their personal views, Americans differ widely, according to a recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Public Relations Research Center. For example, 30% say they feel some connection with God or a higher power, and 19% say that religion matters to them even if they have no religious affiliation.

About 12% call themselves religious and spiritual, and 28% – spiritual, but not religious. More than half consider themselves neither one nor the other.

According to an AP-NORC poll, about 60% of non-ases believe that religion was at least somewhat important to their families as children. It found that 30% of people meditate and 26% pray privately at least several times a month, while fewer people periodically consult with a religious or spiritual leader.

“There are people who do practice either in a particular religious tradition that we recognize, or in traditions of multiple faiths,” Drescher said. “They are not interested in formal membership in these communities, or in identifying as someone from this religion.”

Nation World News Desk
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