The Dones aren’t leaving church because they’re burned out. They’ve hit so much bureaucracy that they seek more efficient venues.
I thought I'd get bored by the problems of the young. But I've grown to cherish interactions with students—especially the religiously unaffiliated.
It could have been any academic conference—except that Catwoman was on my left and a fully dressed hobbit was on my right.
I often think I hear colleagues asking, “How could we attract nuns to our church?” Actually they’re talking about “the nones,” of course. One of the clearest findings of the Pew Forum’s new religious landscape study is that fewer and fewer people have any religious affiliation at all. Catholics and mainline Protestants show the biggest drop. I feel pretty conflicted about all of this.
A new study finds that Americans say they attend religious services more than they actually do. Is this bad news for churches?
I know a guy, a committed church member, who missed his own grandchild's baptism. It was far away, on a Sunday that was a busy one for his own church. So he felt compelled to skip the trip and go to church. This impressed me. It's hard to imagine such a thing at the church where I work.
Linda A. Mercadante’s study counters those who suggest that the rise of the religiously unaffiliated is tantamount to secularization.
Last week Pew released some more data from its spring survey on the rise of the nones. They asked people if they thought the growing number of "people who are not religious" is good, bad or neutral for American society. One interesting finding: while most of the nones said neutral, nearly as many said "bad" as "good." Almost a fifth of the nones think the growth of the nones—of their own group—is bad for society. Lots of people seem surprised by this finding.
We hear a lot about the "nones" these days: Americans who claim no connection to any particular faith. We'll hear a lot more too, as recent studies document this ever-expanding slice of the American demographic pie. We hear less, however, about the nones as individuals. But like any pastor, I’ve known more than a few in my time. At 20 percent of society, they are literally everybody's friends and neighbors.
The possibly-spiritual-but-definitely-not-religious are growing in ranks, says the Pew Forum, and the resulting Nones On the Bus blogo-tour is as usual drawing good crowds. Paul Waldman highlights one interesting subpoint: the Nones are growing not just more plentiful but also more Democratic. He credits Republican hostility to nonbelievers.
It’s tempting to dismiss SBNRs as salad-bar spiritualists concerned primarily with themselves. But many assumptions about this group are off target.