Skip to comments.Americans and religion increasingly parting ways, new survey shows
Posted on 03/15/2013 10:01:46 PM PDT by TBP
Religious affiliation in the United States is at its lowest point since it began to be tracked in the 1930s, according to analysis of newly released survey data by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University. Last year, one in five Americans claimed they had no religious preference, more than double the number reported in 1990.
Fewer Americans affiliated with an organized religion, survey shows
UC Berkeley sociologists Mike Hout and Claude Fischer , along with Mark Chaves of Duke University, analyzed data on religious attitudes as part of the General Social Survey, a highly cited biannual poll conducted by NORC, an independent research institute at the University of Chicago.
Results of the survey which looked at numerous issues, including attitudes about gun ownership and how tax dollars should be spent, and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation are being released now and in coming weeks.
On American attitudes toward religion, UC Berkeley researchers found that 20 percent of a nationally representative group reported no religious preference. Thats a jump from 1990 when all but 8 percent of Americans polled identified with an organized faith.
This continues a trend of Americans disavowing a specific religious affiliation that has accelerated greatly since 1990, said Hout, lead author of the study.
Hout and Fischer are authors of the General Social Survey study that in 2002 first identified a rise in the number of unchurched. They are careful to distinguish the survey category of no religion, which means individuals who are not part of an organized religion, from atheists, who do not believe in God and made up just 3 percent of those interviewed last year. Meanwhile, just 8 percent of those surveyed said they were raised with no religion.
Responses in the survey were to the question, What is your religious preference? Is it Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, some other religion, or no religion?
An analysis of the results suggests the following:
Liberals are far more likely to claim no religion (40 percent) than conservatives (9 percent)
Men are more likely than women to claim no religion (24 percent of men versus 16 percent of women).
More whites claimed no religion (21 percent) compared to African Americans (17 percent) and Mexican Americans (14 percent).
More than one-third of 18-to-24-year-olds claimed no religion compared to just 7 percent of those 75 and older.
Residents of the Midwestern and Southern states were least likely to claim no religion compared to respondents in the Western, Mountain and Northeastern states. But Midwesterners and Southerners are catching up, Hout said.
Educational differences among those claiming no religion are small compared to other demographic differences.
About one-third of Americans identify with a conservative Protestant denomination, one-quarter are Catholics (although 35 percent were raised Catholic) and 1.5 percent are Jewish.
The General Social Survey has been tracking major social and cultural trends in American society since 1972, when only 5 percent of those polled claimed no religion. Since 1990, an uptick in those identifying themselves as following no particular religion has progressed steadily with 18 percent identifying as such in 2010 and 20 percent in 2012.
It looks as if religious organizations of all types -- Catholic, Protestant, non-Christian -- are seeing declines.
So how does one reach these "unchurched" and encourage them to get involved?
there are plenty of people looking for answers. and heck, just even someone to talk to.
The next best study from Berkley would be a study on religion in Amerika!
Two subjects about which Berkley would know very little, if anything.
Sad. Isn’t this exactly what the marxists wanted?
With the left and media etc being at war against faith for decades, is anyone really surprised?
When most of what you watch on TV and hear in the news counters what the Bible says, what can you expect? Continuing a trend that appears to have been going on for a while.
From the beginning of time.
I was feelin kinda lonesome and blue
I needed somebody to talk to
So I called up the operator of time
Just to hear a voice of some kind
When you hear the beep it will be three oclock
She said that for over an hour
And I hung up
- Bob Dylan, Talkin’ World War III Blues
I think religion has been far to closely identified with politics in the last 20-30 years.
Politicians are idiots..God is not.
When religious beliefs are perceived by the majority of the population as nothing more than political posturing..faith loses.
America was a unique experiment based on natural law. If America fails it will not be because the foundation was not strong but because we forgot where we came from and allowed politics to define our faith and undermine the foundation...
At the risk of getting slapped around I will post my thoughts. Guess I’m feeling brave this evening.
Many people don’t affiliate with organized religion due to the recent bad press and demeanor of the churches.
That doesn’t mean they don’t pray, believe in God, believe in Jesus and the scripture.
Perhaps organized religion need so get back to it’s roots. Perhaps people will return then. Not everyone that doesn’t go to church is Godless.
The republican party just ran an anti-Christian cult leader who is in the process of becoming a God, as it’s nominee, I would say that Christianity is in deep trouble in America.
People are embracing reason and logic in place of superstition and ignorance? I’m shocked!
We’ll never see an article titled “Universities and Marxism increasingly parting ways”, will we? I’m sure that Soviet higher educational facilities were churning out the anti-religious agitprop just like thiswith the only difference being the backing by the USSR’s constitution, which explicitly granted special freedom to “antireligious propaganda” (Article 124 in the 1936 constitution, and Article 52 in the 1977 constitution as “atheistic propaganda”).
No, people are embracing materialism, ironically because they are losing touch with nature.
So it’s superstition to look at nature believe God created it as fact, and not only does He intervene in His creation, but also has a personal plan reconcile His creation (man) to Himself). The evidence that this is true both historically through archeology and geologically not counting.
People are embracing reason and logic in place of superstition and ignorance? Im shocked!
Perhaps you are shocked, I am not.
Many people today place their own reason and logic above that of a God they can not believe in.
Many people today are above such superstition and nonsense.
In my opinion, they consider themselves above any level they can not reach. Their ego demands it,
There is no evidence for god....yet.
And this trend isn’t exactly improving life here, is it? The ungodly will crow until the sword falls.
I think it might be interesting to give these Berkly researchers a practical knowledge test to see if they really understand what religion is.
Just what is it that they call religion? those who believe in the Catholic Church,a protestant church, a church of satan, those who go to any organization called a church every week, those who go to the moose or elks or the masonic meetings, religion is about everything.
The reason i say that is because although i do believe in Jesus as my lord and i believe he died so that any one who believes in him might be saved i have no religion other than some regarding politics.
I also understand the need for evangelism as Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free, but then what?
Some people are called to spread the word, some are to minister to those preaching the word, maybe some of us should just start trying to live as Jesus told us to.
Maybe the researchers should go over and walk up the hill that Jesus walked and just try to experience what it was really all about, maybe then they could think of a word other than religion.
Maybe their question should be this ( would you be willing to die for Jesus the Christ the way he died for you? )
I wonder what kind of a number they would come up with.
When most of what you watch on TV and hear in the news counters what the Bible says, what can you expect?