Is the USA gradually moving to a majority of citizens being non-religious

by Reasonfirst 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • Reasonfirst

    This is a topic discussed in a current article in the Hongkong based Asia Times*

    Find it at:

    The claim is made in the article, that near 30% of Americans are non-believers, and that this number is increasing

    For American's on this site, what do you think of these claims? And, would a majority that did not believe in a god, change the USA?


    if you've never heard of the Asia Time, here's what I know about it:

    The Asia Times, has been around for a long time, the last owner was a wealthy Thai, who on-sold it to a consortium that may have been led by David P. Goldman, a former N.Y financier, who often wrote under the pseudonym of 'Spengler.' I understand that he is still and American citizen. He claims that in Trump's first run for the presidency he voted for Trump.

    And here's how they see themselves:

    Asia Times’ fast, accurate news, commentary and analysis is now read by millions in over 30 different countries worldwide. Find out why by signing up for our Daily Report for all your must-reads from across Asia.

    Founded in 1995 as a printed broadsheet newspaper, Asia Times relaunched in 2016 and has since developed into one of the region’s largest English-language pan-Asia digital news platforms.

    Asia Times currently has more than 100 commentators, reporters, editors, contributors and multimedia producers working across the globe. Their editorial work is published at, the main website, and at social media sites on Facebook and Twitter.

    Asia Times is owned by Asia Times Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong company holding multimedia and public relations assets.

  • Reasonfirst

    And a report in the Economist points out (for what it's worth) that many denominations are closing churches:

    '' What is a shepherd without a flock? Many of America’s pastors may soon have to answer.

    Quote: "In 2014, 3,700 Protestant churches closed, by 2019 that figure was 4,500, according to Lifeway Research, a non-profit organisation that provides resources for ministry. Many parishes simply do not have enough congregants to pay the bills. In 1972, 90% of Americans called themselves Christians; now just 64% do. The waning of religiosity in America is not new, of course. But newly released data shed light on where religious adherence has dropped most, and among which Christian denominations."

    Are the stats reliable? Well, they come from a source, that could be described as 'friendly'

    Quote: "Every ten years the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (asarb) attempts a tally of membership for every church in the country. It is a monumental feat of data-gathering, covering hundreds of religions and thousands of congregations. Figures for the 2020 census are now finally available. They issue a stark warning to the country’s “mainline” Christian denominations: membership of these old churches, such as the Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians, is shrinking at an alarming rate. Whereas the ranks of all religious Americans rose by 10.6m believers (7%) from 2010 to 2020 (when the overall population grew by 7.5%), the number of Episcopalians and Methodists dropped by 19% each, and the Lutherans plunged by 25%. Presbyterians, a Protestant group characterised by disdain for flashy ceremony, lost nearly 1m (40%) of their members


  • TonusOH

    30% sounds high, I am not sure how they determine what counts as a non-believer or non-religious person. I don't doubt that fewer people are religious than were in the 1990s, but I don't know if it's that high.

    I live in the midwest now, and there are as many churches out here as there were in New York, which has a much higher population and population density. But I don't know how often people go to church. The area I'm in doesn't seem to be overtly religious. Maybe I just assume that most people are Christian because that was the USA I grew up in?

  • DesirousOfChange

    We live in the buckle of the Bible Belt. Among our "new friends" (since we've been working hard to replace our former "conditional friends") I am surprised that the majority of them not just profess to be Christian, but go to church regularly. These are people 50's and older. I think the younger crowd we know from the same venues are not regular church goers and may in fact be agnostic or atheist. The older generation (non-overlapping) of these friends are all married and at least a couple of them are still in their first marriage. Of the younger crowd, at least 50% just live together. Of course, a larger % of the latter crowd went to college and were likely more exposed to more liberal thinking/ideas and perhaps are more critial thinkers.

  • Vidiot

    Probably for the best, all things being equal.

  • no-zombie

    I saw part of a lecture from Jordan Peterson, who made very logical argument to say that even the most strongly avowed atheist still operates with Judao-Christian principles. So while it may be true that less people go to church or claim a particular faith, it doesn't mean that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. It just means people do not conscientiously see value in these social structures. Not to worry, its all cyclical.

  • Phizzy

    " It just means people do not conscientiously see value in these social structures. "

    I think this is the case with many here in the U.K, yes, we have over 50% who say they are not affiliated to any religion, but that does not tell us about the beliefs of those people, some will be non-theists of some stripe, but many will still believe in some sort of god, or a vague "Higher Power".

    But this is encouraging, that throughout Europe, and to a small extent the USA, the grip of Organised Religion is loosening. People do not see the need to be affiliated to, or attend a Church.

    Let us hope this powerful trend continues !

  • no-zombie

    Personally, I'm coming around to the opinion that churches and church attendance does play a useful roll in society. It gives many people continuity and a connection to others, and it has been proven to promote mental health and longevity. Any religion is ok, Catholic or Protestant ... nothing too radical.

  • TonusOH

    It's a double-edged sword, in that religion fosters a sense of community and belonging, but only to the specific group. In areas where one religion or denomination dominates, the sense of community and social support is very strong... unless you don't belong to the dominant group.

    This isn't all that different from the way humans form social bonds and build communities, with the exception that religion tends to set the stakes very high, not only life or death but your eternal future is at risk. And that can make those social bonds detrimental and potentially dangerous.

  • Vidiot
    What is a shepherd without a flock?”

    Out of work.

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