Monday, September 28, 2009

The Age of the Nones

None, nothing, no belief, no faith, no religious affiliation, not a thing. Some of  these "nones" are agnostic,  perhaps some are affiliated with the "new atheism." Internet articles like the one I read by Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish, make me quite upset. The blog titled,  "The Coming Age of the Nones," should be a wake-up call for the Church.  Here's why......according to the article, "In 1990, 8 percent of Americans reported that they had no religious beliefs. Twenty years later, that's 15 percent. But when you look at younger Americans, you see that the proportion of "nones" is reaching 22 percent. The 1990s were the boom years for the Nones; and a huge 35 percent of the new Nones are ex-Catholics." I wonder, can that statistic be true? That's scary. 
Andrew Sullivan gives some reasons why he thinks agnostics are a growing phenomena and he says "these agnostics do not dismiss the religious life but remain at a cool distance from it."
According to Barry Kosmin, director of Trinity's Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, "It's a kind of religious indifference that's not hostile to religion the way they are in France." 
"The study estimates that in 20 years, the Nones will make up 25 percent of Americans."He gives the political breakdown, which he calls fascinating. 
"The Nones are not wealthier than average, but they are more male. Almost 20 percent of American men are Nones, compared with 12 percent of women."
I hope and pray that the Church will take this study and ones like it seriously. Modernism, secularism, consumerism and "the new atheism," are apparently taking a toll on belief in God. 
Something needs to be done- a creative, modern, realistic, practical approach to help people realize the benefits of spirituality, religious affiliation, prayer and belief in God. 
If you'd like to read the entire article here's the link-