The title of the Pew report which we’ll discuss is “Why America’s ‘nones’ left religion behind”, though, as you can see, I modified it. For good reason. The original Pew survey from which the nones were discovered, according to their “methodolgy” (nobody can say just “method”, which doesn’t sound as sciency), of the religious only 5% were of Non-Christian faiths. So when we talk about Americans leaving religion, we mean for the most part folks leaving “organized” Christianity.
In this new survey, Pew asked nones—which were 23% of the original survey of adult Americans—why they were nones and not somethings. Numbers first.
Numbers don’t look like they add up under “Don’t believe” for Agnostics, but since this survey is meant to represent all American adult nones, we’ll just add the error (if it is one) to the overall plus-or-minus. Anyway, there aren’t any surprises in the overall numbers. What’s far more interesting are the reasons people gave for their disbelief.
Pew asked “people to explain, in their own words, why they no longer identify with a religious group. This resulted in hundreds of different responses…but many of them shared one of a few common themes.” The themes are in these pictures, and follow the same headings as the Numbers, and my remarks follow the comment order.
Don’t believe 49%
Evolution is no disproof of Christianity; not orthodox Christianity, anyway. Yet many think it is, which shows how far scientism has infiltrated the culture. Evolution, incidentally, is an observation. How evolution occurred requires a causal explanation, about which there is plenty to argue over. But one thing is clear, since (as we learned Sunday), our minds (our intellects) are not material, then any theory of evolution involving physical forces necessarily fails to explains the rational nature of human beings. If anything, evolution, then, is a direct proof of God’s existence.
True, all Christians do un-Christian things; yet so do non-Christians do un-Christian things; the difference being Christians recognize un-Christian things are sinful. Beware the hypocrisy fallacy.
The next four comments show the influence of scientism. That it came to be believed that Christianity is irrational is itself the result of irrationality. There is plenty of evidence for Christianity, much of it scientific evidence at that. For instance: miracles, the resurrection of Jesus, observable, measurable and therefore scientific events.
The last excuse “I’m doing a lot more learning, [etc.]” is unintentionally hilarious, because why? Because who wrote the books this individual is reading?
Dislike organized religion 20%
I would hope organized religious groups are divisive. If they are not, then they are not groups. Groups by definition are divisive. Anyway, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
That religion left some people and people haven’t left religion (the next two points) is true enough. Who doesn’t cringe when they hear Joel Osteen speak? The man says he preaches Christianity, but it’s not orthodox Christianity, which leads to the question of just how far removed from orthodox Christianity are many who claim to be Christians? Is Mormonism a true branch of Christianity?
The juxtaposition of the last two comments, about the clergy sex abuse scandal and the Church’s teaching on same-sex acts, is a puzzler. The sex abuse was largely carried out by men “oriented” toward young men and teenagers, and for a small part “oriented” toward children. Yet this “orientation”, which the Church calls intrinsically disordered, is supposed to be made welcome. You have to pick one or the other, folks.
Religiously unsure/undecided 18%
No particular religion is right or wrong? So, Satanism is okay? Baalism? Clintonism? This excuse is used by many, and it proves they haven’t given the matter any thought, and that they’re just happy to be done with Christianity.
The other explanations back this up. Spiritual-but-not-religious is a growing segment. The sort of people pleased to give woo-wooo or Kabbalism a try—hey, it might work. Why not? Once a religion comes along that promises what these people want to hear, they’ll snatch it up.
Inactive believer 10%
In these last three comments, we see the effects of banal worship. If all going to Church is for is to socialize or be part of a community or hear a pep talk or to listen to the ear-tingling words of a personality then Christianity is drained of transcendence and it’s no wonder people move on. Countless “reformers” want to simplify simplify simplify to attract the masses to mass because they think Heaven-directed worship is scary and off-putting, so they opt for man-centered beliefs.
There is no sense nones will do anything but increase, and Christianity decrease, particularly as a growing segment of the culture views Christianity as “hateful” and “discriminatory”. Nones will get their way, but as I often say, they’ll miss Christians when they’re gone. The ancient warning “Be careful what you wish for” is rarely heeded.