Are You 'Spiritual But Not Religious'? - More People Say "Yes"

A Pew Research Report released shows that one in five adults have no religious affiliation.

An Oct. 9, 2012 Pew Report shows that "Nones" are on the Rise. The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion has grown to one-fifth of the total U.S. public and one-third of adults under 30. 

In the last five years, the religiously unaffiliated has increased from just over 15 percent to just under 20 percent among all U.S. adults, with more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics, representing around 6 percent of the U.S. public.

Nearly 33 million people say they have no particular religious affiliation. 

The findings of the joint survey conducted by Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life and Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly show that the majority unaffiliated adults ARE religious or spiritual in some way with 68 percent saying they believe in God and 58 percent reporting they feel a "deep connection with nature and earth." A little more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” (37 percent), and (21 percent) admit to daily prayer. 

While the study found a 4.3 percent rise in those listed as "unaffiliated" since 2007, it found that the Protestant population has shrunk by -5 percent. Big factors in the shift seem to be generational replacement and lack of commitment to religion.

The survey found that most of those who are unaffiliated readily admit they are not looking for a religion that "would be right for them" and think that "religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics."

Interestingly, the report shows that aside from possible eternal implications, there is also a "party line" divide. 

Today, the religiously unaffiliated are clearly more numerous than any of these groups within the Democratic coalition (24 percent unaffiliated, 16 percent black Protestant, 14 percent white mainline Protestant, 13 percent white Catholic). By contrast, Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters are only slightly more likely to be religiously unaffiliated today than they were in 2007 (11 percent vs. 9 percent).

I Was Surprised, Are You?

The study is extensive with a generous cross-section of demographics used to arrive at its conclusions. But beyond the interesting statistics, what do you think is the reason for the rise in those unaffiliated? Are you among the unaffiliated? Is there anything the Protestant churches can do to make a significant impact? Do you think this is another statistic that will factor into the Presidential election?

What do you think about the study? Tell us below in the comments.



Gregory Stanley November 03, 2012 at 11:53 AM
I am not surprised because the bible says that in the end times mankind will "Have a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away". (2 Timothy 3:5 KJV) People want to believe in anything except the true God. What are the spiritual but not religious being spiritual to? SELF! Open your eyes and look around, you did not create yourSELF. The persons conducting the study did not contact me, did they contact you?
Gail Gustin April 01, 2013 at 02:36 PM
I am not at all surprised. The Internet is freeing minds Only a year ago, I would have been ashamed to tell my neighbor (or pollster) that I am an atheist. Now I would be ashamed to tell anyone that I am a Christan. I frequent "religion and spirituality" forums and what I have seen occur shows me the trend in real time. These forums used to be informative and interesting places. But then the Christians came with their attacks and then there was a backlash from atheists. the think about the atheist posts is that (speaking of polls), Atheists and agnostics are better versed in the Bible than ANY religious demographic. So when a Christian posts something they learned in church, the atheist post a quote from Jesus. When a Christian posts some strange Bible-based story, the atheist tells the same story set in today's culture, so that the Christian can see what he/she is REALLY saying. I have seen some incredible posts by atheists (most of whom greatly admire Jesus and greatly dislike Paul). These posts show the differences between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Christianity. I KNOW that some of these have turned people away from Christianity. But there's something else one an see in these sites. You can see what an angry, arrogant, militant, tyrannical group of people these bullies are - as they promote their political party and it's God's rules, that hides behind the name of religion. The Internet will be the death of Abraham's God.


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