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For the past two decades, there has been a rapid national shift away from identification with organized religion. And last year, according to the best available measurement of long-term trends in American religious identification, a new milestone was reached. More Americans between the ages of 18-30 now identify with no religion than identify as either Protestant or Catholic.

Here is the data, from the 2012 General Social Survey:

The trend away from identifying with organized religion will continue, as Americans of every age group are less likely to identify with organized religion than every age group which came before them. For example, 32 percent of Americans aged 18-24 identify with no religion, compared to 29 percent among Americans aged 25-34. Continue below the fold to read more about this decline in identifying with organized religion.

In a recent paper [PDF], political scientists Michael Hunt, Claude Fischer, and Mark Chaves described just how recent and rapid the shift away from organized religion has been:

The American religious landscape is changing rapidly. Among the biggest changes is the retreat from identification with organized religions. Once a central identity for adults, this kind of identification is far less prevalent than it was twenty or twenty-five years ago. The General Social Survey (GSS) has been tracking trends in religious preference since 1972. Everyone in a sample representative of the adult population of the United States is asked “What is your religious preference? Is it Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, some other religion, or no religion?” In 1972, just 5 percent answered “no religion”; by 1990, 8 percent did. The percentage preferring no religion has risen sharply since 1990. In the 2012 data (released March 7, 2013), 20 percent of Americans answered “no religion” —that is an increase of 12 percentage points in 22 years. We find no evidence of a slowdown. […]

Since the early 1990s, the preference for no religion has risen at a nearly constant rate of 0.6 percentage points per year.

Hunt, Fishcer and Chavez produced a graph showing the rise of the "nones," that is, Americans who do not identify with an organized religion:
The shift away from identifying with organized religion has been confirmed by an enormous, long-term study by Pew. Additionally, Gallup saw the trend away from organized religion slowing in 2012, which further confirms that the trend away from organized religion has continued apace. (rimshot)

The political implications of this transformation are straightforward: Republicans and conservative are screwed, as those who do not identify with any religion vote for Democrats overwhelmingly.

Here is the vote breakdown by religion in the 2012 presidential election, according to exit polls:

The "nones" broke 70-26 in favor of President Obama. This is the other half of the Republican demographic death spiral.

One final note. Both halves of that spiral—the decline in Americans identifying with organized religion and the decline in non-Hispanic whites as a percentage of the population—share two important characteristics:

  1. Neither show any sign of slowing down;
  2. The rapidly rising, pro-Democratic demographic is turning out to vote at a lower rate than the rest of the nation. That is, while 20 percent of Americans do not identify with an organized religion, the "nones" makeup only 12 percent of voters. There is a similar gap between Latino and non-Latino voter turnout.

If and when the rising, pro-Democratic demographic groups start turning out at the same rate as other demographic groups, then the current incarnation of the Republican Party is well and truly finished. I mean, pundits gush over Democratic voter turnout programs, but it's be real for a moment here. Self-identified white Christians made up 57 percent of the electorate in 2012, even though that same year they only only made up a quickly shrinking 45 percent of the national population. Generally speaking, it was Republican, not Democratic, demographic groups that turned out at high rates in 2012.

It doesn't take a math whiz to see where this country is headed politically, or to figure why Republicans are so desperate to reduce the number of Americans who are able to vote. Our job is to make sure the right to vote is preserved, and then to get as many voters to the polls as possible.

Please join Daily Kos, Color of Change, and a growing movement by signing our petition calling for a constitutional amendment protecting the right to vote for all Americans.

Originally posted to Chris Bowers on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 04:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Progressive Atheists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (174+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joedemocrat, ferg, beltane, bythesea, FogCityJohn, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Bob Duck, blueoasis, WheninRome, duhban, scribeboy, cosette, Dobber, MI Sooner, Superskepticalman, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, mph2005, Lefty Coaster, harrije, a2nite, Rosaura, highacidity, cotterperson, pat of butter in a sea of grits, GrumpyOldGeek, DEMonrat ankle biter, mookins, CoolOnion, VTCC73, howabout, Shockwave, taonow, Nicci August, Curt Matlock, Ginny in CO, Just Bob, blueoregon, DBunn, Ginsu, DefendOurConstitution, Simplify, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, S F Hippie, Railfan, rapala, mrsgoo, Panacea Paola, betterdemsonly, PapaChach, mconvente, mightymouse, lupinella, StrayCat, ruscle, kacemo, science nerd, Aunt Pat, Anjana, allergywoman, scribe, begone, Dumbo, maggiejean, anodnhajo, dotdash2u, Horace Boothroyd III, Chinton, psnyder, petulans, pvasileff, antooo, FlyingToaster, LynChi, DJ Rix, OtherDoug, radical simplicity, pierre9045, cskendrick, greengemini, Zack from the SFV, quagmiremonkey, 2thanks, Puddytat, camlbacker, tin woodswoman, AaronInSanDiego, Chaddiwicker, maxcat06, Ree Zen, wader, RUNDOWN, Noodles, Calamity Jean, Gemina13, JDWolverton, pimutant, mikeORpdx, tb92, chuco35, john07801, deepeco, sceptical observer, Jeff Y, nirbama, stevenaxelrod, third Party please, Lawrence, Byron from Denver, dkmich, sheepmama, statsone, scamperdo, Carol in San Antonio, dawnspantry, Desert Rose, leftykook, frsbdg, bookwoman, Rogneid, Chi, Showman, NonnyO, Habitat Vic, Russ Jarmusch, Sylv, DSC on the Plateau, tampaedski, missLotus, Dragon5616, Yo Bubba, OhioNatureMom, Anne was here, TX Freethinker, mommyof3, Captain Sham, Stwriley, Cedwyn, wdrath, Cronesense, Medium Head Boy, Rhysling, tytalus, CalGal47, Bridge Master, Ohkwai, Gowrie Gal, MBNYC, prettygirlxoxoxo, skohayes, BenMac84, historys mysteries, J M F, mbh1023, jrfrog, SteelerGrrl, MartyM, stevie avebury, Wreck Smurfy, dewtx, Preston S, tapestry, Buckeye54, Shotput8, Ice Blue, eeff, 1BQ, Heart n Mind, JML9999, karlpk, kevin k, eru, Loudoun County Dem, Panama Pete, surfbird007
  •  The right to vote is the first sacrement of the (27+ / 0-)

    Universal Faith Of Democracy.  We will now move to write an amendment to the Consitution which will guarantee the right to vote for all Americans.  I ask the GOP to trust our people enough to support this amendment.

  •  God Bless those non-believers! (15+ / 0-)

    "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    by Bob Duck on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:00:34 PM PDT

    •  They're not necessarily non-believers. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy, kyril, Chris Bowers, bevenro, tytalus

      They're just not affiliated with an organized religion.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:07:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I know lots of people (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Lawrence, BenMac84

        That have their own beliefs separate from organized religion. Most organized religions are far too patriarchal, so anyone that doesn't want to see girls/women treated as someone to be owned could be more likely to say they don't go for any of them.

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:34:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  many of these could be non-dom fundies (0+ / 0-)

        Some of whom actually believe in a demonic "spirit of religion" that makes people substitute ritual and dogma for true faith.

    •  Indeed, but... (3+ / 0-)

      As Lawrence already noted, the majority of the "nones" believe either in God or a Higher Power.

      But for our purposes here at Daily Kos, what the "nones" believe or don't believe isn't important. What matters is that when someone starts calling herself or himself a none, then he stops voting Republican. That's the key.

      •  No religeon (3+ / 0-)

        does not mean atheist if you compare this to other polling I have seen.  What I seen in other surveys if you parse the data is that there is a fairly large group of people with what you might term christian leaning beliefs - but with no organized religious affiliation.

        Understanding the nones belief system is really important - and I wonder how much data we have.  Are they voting democrat on social issues? On economic ones? On foreign policy? My sense is their concerns are more social and about war and peace - but I could be dead wrong about that.

        The Catholic sub-group in some ways is misleading as well.  Many Catholics say they are Catholic because it is part of their identity - not because it represents their beliefs.  Moreover Hispanic Catholics have tended in polling I have seen to tend to the left on economic issues.

        Great post - by the way.

        •  Catholicism is often an ethnic/social identity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

 a similar way to how being Jewish transcends whether or not one is a religious believer.

          Few question the idea that someone can be a Jewish athiest.  The same is becoming true for Catholics, despite the protests of the right-wing bishops.

        •  What I would find interesting (0+ / 0-)

          is whether or not people become more religious, e.g. increasingly trending to more organized religions as they get older and the prospect of death becomes more relevant to their "beliefs".

          Call it - hedging your bets.....

          Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

          by Da Rock on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:55:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  note also the shifts (13+ / 0-)

    towards more catholics, less protestants, and more "other" religions, in the under-40 bloc. all of that bodes well for the  left.

  •  just a another nail in the coffin (8+ / 0-)

    You know historically speaking it's kinda funny as the hard right Christian thing is new relative to the age of the USA.

    And I certainly won't miss it going back to the fringe

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:17:43 PM PDT

    •  hard right christianity is older than the republic (6+ / 0-)

      not the only strain, or the truest one, but it's been around since the english got tired of puritans telling everyone what to do and sent them packing.

      •  to one extent or another yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but it's never been as popular as it has been till lately.

        In the time that I have been given,
        I am what I am

        by duhban on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:04:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  evidence/statistics? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          definition of what right christian means would be the biggest factor in even measuring it.

          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)



            I can try to put together something more concrete in diary form but not till after the 4th holiday weekend.

            In the time that I have been given,
            I am what I am

            by duhban on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:32:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think this really depends (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wu ming

            on what you mean by the Christian right.  Anyone with knowledge of the "Great awakening" in the 1830's and 40' would be skeptical of the idea that fundamentalist Christianity is stronger today than ever.

            150 years ago if you walked into what are now mainline protestant churches you would think you just walked into a Baptist Church.

          •  S/he is sorta right (0+ / 0-)

            Small o orthodox Christianity predates the Settlement.  But only in the past 50 years or so has adherence to it come to mean being social reactionaries and identifying with reactionary political movements.

            Around 75% of the population identifies as Christian, with 30-40% of the population identifying as theologically committed Christians.  Both the softcore and the hardcore Christian identification sink as the No Religion demographic expands.

            I've seen debates in conservative circles whether people can be authentic conservatives if they're not religious.  The consensus is basically no.  Some form of Ancient World religious adherence- to Plato or other kinds of gussied up Ancient World paganism, to illiberal Christianities, to illiberal Judaism- is  non-optional to have cred.  Of course there's an internal ranking and Muslims, Jews, Platonists, and right wing Protestants are deemed substantially lesser than ortho Catholics.  The breakup and decline of the Anglicans and the vote-with-their-feet decline of white Catholics are considered tragedies internally.

      •  Yes, it's at least that old. eom (0+ / 0-)

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:35:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'd Like More Information on "Other" Because of th (14+ / 0-)

    rise of evangelical equivalents that refuse to employ a denomination name, calling themselves just "Christian" or Bible oriented. I could be wrong but my suspicion is that at least a few % in the "other" camp really belong in the Protestant row.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:18:07 PM PDT

    •  Jedis, to a person! (7+ / 0-)

      Ok, ok, maybe a few Offlerians or worshippers of Petulia, Goddess of Negotiable Affections as well.

    •  I asked the same question (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, Lawrence, kyril, blueoasis

      but in a second look the last chart has the first category listed as "Protestant or Other Christian,"  I think that's where the evangelicals are. Other must include Pagan, Hindu and Muslim to name a few possibilities.

    •  The most right-wing Christians I know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, historys mysteries

      are of the type you describe. They disdain to identify with any church and prefer a micro-cult-like insularity. It's weird.

      The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

      by psnyder on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:22:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  An Evangelical (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, OhioNatureMom

      would  still identify as a protestant.  The "few" is likely statistically insignificant.

      "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

      by DJ Rix on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:48:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the few that ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries

      ... may apply to answer your question, Gooserock, are probably vastly outnumbered by the people who are agnostic or atheistic but who put down Catholic or Protestant on the survey for fear of reprisal or guilt or wanting to fit in.

      I'm ready to vote for an atheist president as soon as a good, brave one comes along! Looks like the next generation is coming along just fine. Just fine.

      I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

      by Tortmaster on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:57:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  buddhist, hindu, muslim, etc. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Almost certainly, but... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OhioNatureMom, mommyof3

      It's a pretty safe bet that large numbers of the "others" are actually some fairly common form of Christian, whether Protestant or Catholic.  However, for our purposes, as a political community, what the others actually believe isn't important.

      What is important is that when someone starts identifying as "other" or "none," then that person stops voting Republican and stops being conservative.

      The "others" and the "nones" are a diverse group in terms of theological outlook. But in terms of partisan and ideological outlook, they are overwhelmingly liberal Democrats. That works for me.

    •  People who call themselves "Christians"... (4+ / 0-)

      ...instead of "Baptist" or Methodist or whatever, tend to mean that they are Non-Denominational Fundamentalists and are usually a bunch of fundaloon idiots that listen to FuxSnooze, believe that THEIR religious leaders should have control of the country, that anything that the country does that they think is A SIN is reason to accuse the rest of us of violating their rights, (the only way to assuage this complaint is to give them everything they want and right now, dammit) and they are avid followers of everything Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin have to say.

      They look down their noses at EVERYONE who isn't THEM, they question the faith and beliefs of EVERYONE who isn't THEM, they disparage Christian churches that aren't strident lunatics like THEM, saying they are doctrinally impure and they hint that the "Mainstream Churches" or, alternatively, "The National Council of Churches" is actively in league with Satan. No THEY REALLY BELIEVE this shit.

      They also seem to occupy some fantasy world where the incomprehensibly powerful Being Who caused everything in a vast incomprehensible universe to exist is intimately involved in every trivial aspect of their lives, they walk around "immersed" and surrounded by Jesus, Who, apparently isn't polite enough to allow them some privacy while sitting on the toilet or busy in bed procreating more little Fundaloons like Them.

      I don't care what you believe, and I don't care what THEY believe, but THEY have decided that they are morally superior to the rest of us, that they need some sort of parallel society, and they've got a whole network of giant Fundaloon MegaChurches complete with crazy stuff like recreation centers where they sequester themselves away from Mainstream American society.

      A good sign that you're dealing with one of these people is that they are incapable of having any kind of a conversation that doesn't have some reference to Jesus, you could be at Ace Hardware buying plumbing parts to fix your toilet and they'll be chattering about what The Lord showed them the last time they had to fix plumbing.

      If all they did was be annoying, I'd be happy to overlook their quibbles, but they do things to try to control the world around them, they want political control, they want social control, because THEY believe it's their solemn duty to "Take Back Our Country For Christ" and they rally around authoritarian idiots in politics in pursuit of that unattainable Boojum....

      Those of you who hold a belief in a Supreme Being, would you please pray for these people?  They claim to be "Filled with the Holy Spirit" and you'd think they'd be capable of hearing the Holy Spirit of God's gentle whisper, I guess they're too busy BELLOWING to listen.

      One of their pet beliefs is that the Unforgivable sin is "Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" and I believe they do just that every single day, there's an apt verse in the Bible that says "the Name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you"...

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 05:25:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  no Jews in their 31-40 bracket? (8+ / 0-)

    They may need to work on their poll a bit...

    •  They all lose religion in their 30s (3+ / 0-)

      and pick it back up later?  What a chronographic oddity

      These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

      by Nailbanger on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 06:51:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I also find that part troublesome. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DEMonrat ankle biter

      A small minority nationwide so I can accept some variation, but that 0.0 stands out to me.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:08:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The 31-40 data... (4+ / 0-)

        is a little odd, with the total absence of any Jewish responders and the significant spike in "Other" religions. Looking at the data, it's also the smallest sample size of the categories. I suspect the 2012 31-40 pool may not be an ideally representative sample.

        The marked decline in Protestant self-identification and the ballooning "None" group is still just as clear on the 2000-2012 composite, though, with respondent counts in the thousands. The trends are real, even if one or two data points are odd ducks.

        "All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." -Douglas Adams

        by Serpents Choice on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:27:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the trends in the large samples are real, sure. (0+ / 0-)

          although I think that as fundamentalists continue to scream, the 'none' pool gets rapidly larger.  As political fundamentalism loses steam, political secularism probably will a bit too and you'll see a kind of equilibrium.

          I don't think this is a trend towards the de-religionization of society--I think it will always ebb and flow.  Scientific advances can in some ways even increase people's tendency to look for religion--as we answer and raise stranger and stranger questions.

        •  The spike in other (0+ / 0-)

          My guess was that the spike in "Other" represented a rise in Asian immigration 30-40 years ago on the part of the respondents' parents which then got swamped by Latino immigration later on (thus the rise in Cathocism among the youngest demographic).

    •  the margin of error > percentage of Jews (5+ / 0-)

      Basically all we know from this poll is that the percentage of Jews is in the low single digits.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 08:21:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know. But the polling needs to account for that (2+ / 0-)

        sort of thing.  If 2 of the largest religious groups under question--say Jews and Muslims (obviously 'large' is relative here) can't be accurately represented in the poll, something's wrong with the poll.  Jews are more likely to live in eastern urban centers, for example.  How well are those represented?  And Muslims--at nearly the same percentage--probably shouldn't be grouped as 'other'...

        Also what does it mean to have 'not religion'?  Not practice? Not believe?  Be atheist?  Secular?

        I have almost never seen the religion discussion/debate with a speck of nuance--it's always 'BELIEVERS!!' vs. 'NONBELIEVERS!!'

        and this poll does nothing to improve that.

        •  Jews and Muslims are not major in the US (0+ / 0-)

          relative to the precision of this poll. this poll is not precise enough to determine levels in the low single percentage points.

          there are certainly other surveys designed at assessing the numbers of Jews and Muslims in the US. they would be designed differently from this one.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:43:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There are ≈ 15 million Jews on Earth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Desert Rose

      They don't evangelize. They're fine with it.

      i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

      by bobinson on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:18:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank god. (9+ / 0-)


    Add the median effective tax rate, healthcare costs (20%?), education costs, and other things guaranteed in Denmark & Sweden, we pay MORE for LESS. Somebody's gotta pay the billionaires. They don't grow on trees. ☮ ♥ ☺

    by Words In Action on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:47:07 PM PDT

  •  Maybe evolution isn't dead afterall. (11+ / 0-)

    Maybe also there's more hope to save the planet than I've been inclined to think lately.

    I've long postulated that besides capturing the majority of popular news media the political radicalization of entire denominations through their leadership and spliting others through the fundamentalist and dominionist indocrinations have the key to rightwing political success and also disproportionately influenced policy.

    The truly liberal Christians have been outnumbered greatly in the social and political battles since the long term strategies that had been underway for about two decades first became more visible under Reagan.  Since the liberal religions do not proselytize much less engage in cultural war, propaganda, and a general authoritarian outlook on life, there's no way that they can match the Christianist or other similar religious/political efforts.

    Secularists are free to use logic, reason, and scientific knowledge in evaluating issues and the common good which mostly corresponds to traditional Democratic values and our Party's platform.

    The only device, assuming that free choice isn't manipulated too greatly through fear and intimidation and restricted voting rights would be the manipulation of religious beliefs which has been pretty successful over the
    last thirty years.

    More matter, with less art. Hamlet, 2. 2

    by blueoasis on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:48:18 PM PDT

  •  20% of Americans are in the None category (12+ / 0-)

    that's a heck of a lot of people. it's a bummer we aren't an organized bunch.

    •  That's the thing though (16+ / 0-)

      Some of us like being disorganized. That might in fact be one of the highlights of being in the "none" group.

    •  neither secularism nor religion should be (0+ / 0-)


      organization as a community is fine.

      •  What's wrong with secularism? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, sagesource

        Replacing tradition or faith with reason is a good thing.  Without the secularist movement of the Enlightenment we wouldn't be the country we are today.

        "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

        by Quanta on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 12:47:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  did I say there was something wrong with (0+ / 0-)


        •  and faith and reason aren't remotely (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Remove Kebab, historys mysteries

          mutualy exclusive--it disappoints me that so many people on both sides have trouble understanding that.

          •  Hmm. (0+ / 0-)

            I have never understood this sentiment.

            Faith is belief without evidence. Reason is the formation of beliefs by drawing logical conclusions based on evidence. You really can't do both at the same time.

            Seems like this is more the kind of thing people tell themselves when they just want to believe things they can't support with reason, but also want to seem smart.

            Certainly on a given issue, the two ways of thinking are mutually exclusive.

            Maybe you're just advocating compartmentalization?

            •  no, mudfud27. (0+ / 0-)

              you really need to let go of some extremely black and white preconceived sentiments if you're going to engage in this sort of conversation.  That's not the way the world works.  There are some beautiful Bradbury quotes to this effect--if I have time I will dig them up.

              •  Please (0+ / 0-)

                Do explain to me "how the world works." Can't wait to be magically mystified.

                I did notice, of course, that you couldn't refute what I actually said.

                I think if you're going to engage in this sort of conversation you'll need to let go of some extremely mushy-headed, ill-defined feel good sentimentality and explain how what you propose could possibly be the case using concrete examples and logical thought. I suggest you use more than beautiful Bradbury quotes if you intend to be taken seriously.

                •  onus is on you. You claim that you 'can't' (0+ / 0-)

                  do both at the same time.

                  You can't?  

                  Why not?

                  I don't think that insulting me does much to bolster your point of view, does it?

                  and yes, it's far more obnoxious than my fairly tame 'not how the world works' bit.

                  •  I did. (0+ / 0-)

                    You can't "do both at the same time" because, as I explained, they are opposites of one another. "Faith is belief without evidence. Reason is the formation of beliefs by drawing logical conclusions based on evidence." If you draw conclusions with one method, the conclusions are drawn and the other method was not used.

                    There is a large body of evidence from dispirate fields including neurocognitive research (I am a neuroscientist), economics, psychology, and game theory which explores the ways in which people make decisions and form their beliefs. Acceptance of authority, prayer, exploring divine revelation, divination, and so forth are all methods employed in "religious thinking". These methods are specifically excluded in models like rational choice models.  

                    Articles of faith, by their very definition, are accepted with little or no evidence-- many are actually contrary to available evidence. This would be the opposite of rationality, and one cannot simultaneously seek and not seek evidence.

                    Articles of faith are are accepted without studying competing views, whereas a rational or scientific mode of thought seeks to compare and test the available conclusions whenever possible. One cannot simultaneously seek out and not seek out such views.

                    Similar points can be made about the type and levels of certainty people have in their articles of faith, and about those for which they gather evidence and make decisions. One cannot be simultaneously a "true believer" and open to being persuaded by new evidence.

                    Do you understand?

                    You were both extremely condescending and wrong in your response. I'm sorry if you felt insulted by mine, but it seemed warranted given the combination. I admit that I haven't been so condescended to since at least around the time I obtained my second doctoral degree so maybe I was just surprised by it.

                    In any case, you made the claim that you were going to demonstrate for me this ability to "dualthink" as well as "how the world works". I was hoping to see these wonders in your reply but only saw you whining that I hurt your feelings. I always like learning new things, so I anxiously await the groundbreaking neurocognitive findings only you seem to have at your disposal-- and the "world working" data sounds thrilling. Please, have at it.

    •  it's a bummer most politicians fear cooties (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Chris Bowers

      from such a large group.

  •  Nones (10+ / 0-)

    1. Nones need to start running for office
    2. Nones need to start voting more ... and maybe they would if more nones ran.

    I would love to see a further breakdown on the urban/rural split. I would bet there are some urban areas where nones could be a very significant percentage of the voter base (even over 50% in some).

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:21:29 PM PDT

  •  This is good news (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, blueoasis, historys mysteries

    for the country.   I did not think I would see this trend in my lifetime.  Now if only  it would spread to the world and hopefully  I'll live to see people around the planet abandoning islam as we are abandoning christianity.

  •  Theres a tune for that. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, kyril, leftykook

  •  This is so interesting! (12+ / 0-)

    Thank you!

    I grew up in a protestant atmosphere and it took me until I was 50 before I dared suggest their God did not exist. My daughter turned Christian at 19 and decided it was bullshit at 21.

    If you tell me you are Pagan or Wiccan I want to hear more.

    If you tell me you are Christian I say shut up, I have heard it all before.

    I am so happy to learn that young people, like my daughter, are thinking for themselves.

    And not taking 50 years to do it.

  •  We Could Also Note All The People of Faith Who Did (5+ / 0-)

    vote for The President.

    The only group he didn't win was Protestants, and he still got a not insignificant 42%.

    So, you know....perhaps fewer threads about the general stupidity of any person of faith?

    On a side note, I know many younger people who consider themselves "Spiritual," but not, "Religious," even if they're churchgoers.

    •  You are the one who seems to be assuming (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, historys mysteries

      that "no religion" = atheism.  That is not actually the case.  Most of those are just as you describe, people who are spiritual but not religious.  

      That said, people who identify as no religion are much more likely to vote Democratic than any Christians.  That doesn't mean when we celebrate the decline of organized religion that we denigrate all followers of a religion any more than when we celebrate the rise of latinos we do not denigrate whites.

      "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

      by Quanta on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 12:58:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  very interesting (5+ / 0-)

    I wonder how many people say "none" in their 18-30 years and then come back to a religion later in life.

    Regardless, these results strike me as positive. I'm sick of the dominant place religion has had in American culture and politics during the past 40 years.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 08:26:43 PM PDT

    •  Not many. (8+ / 0-)

      Here's 1990:



      So, following the 18-30 (call it roughly 20-30) group from 1990 across 3 decades, we see that they're 10.5% None in 1990, 16.3% None in 2000, and 15.4% None in 2010 (where they're mixed in with 5 years of slightly older/more religious people).

      2000's 18-30 group goes from 20.4% None in 2000 to 22.4% None in 2010.

      It seems that a lot of under-60 Protestants across all 3 age groups lost their religion in the '90s, but other than that, people's religious identification doesn't seem to change much with age. All of the categories actually seem to be quite stable for each cohort except for the big shift from Protestant to None in the '90s.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:46:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  very interesting - thanks. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Cedwyn

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:55:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the collapse of the liberal mainline protestants (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, fladem, Bronx59, PALiberal1

        the old once a week on sundays and then let me live my life protestants. as churches demanded more fervor and got more devotional to try and compete with the evangelicalization of the right flank, many people drifted away.

      •  "Religious identification"... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, blueoasis, OhioNatureMom, mudfud27 the very last thing to go. IIRC, in Canada four times as many people identify as United Church than actually go to church, even at Christmas and Easter. For most of these people, religion is such a trivial aspect of their lives that they can't even be bothered to turn their backs on it.

        I can see priests becoming little more than choreographers for weddings and funerals, felt to be necessary, but necessary as a wedding cake is necessary (and probably less expensive). They will be there as part of the show; whether anyone believes anything they preach will be irrelevant. That's more or less the way it is in Japan now.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:33:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  As a Jew myself, it should be noted that there's (5+ / 0-)

    ...a big difference between declaring that you "don't belong to any particular religion" and being an atheist or agnostic.

    Plenty of people believe in God (or some other higher power/omniscient entity/whatever) without necessarily identifying with a specific religion.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with that. After all, whenever I get into discussions about evolution, I always point out that there IS NO CONFLICT between believing in the Big Bang, the formation of the Universe, stars, planets and the evolution of life on Earth over billions of years...and also believing in God...for one simple reason:

    No matter how far back scientific theory takes you, all the way back to the Big still have to wonder, "and what came before THAT?"

    Voila: There's your supreme being. No conflict.

    •  i agree that there's no conflict between god and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      profewalt, OhioNatureMom

      science when viewed in that way.

      People on DKos sometimes have trouble understanding that God as an answer to confusing scientific questions and God as some vague overarching guide to the universe are completely different concepts.

      While ignoring science and invoking religion out of ignorance is one thing, there's nothing wrong with some face in the face of the ultimate unknowns, or unknowables.

      That said, I'm an agnostic Jew :)

    •  As an atheist who was once a deist (11+ / 0-)

      I will freely admit that there is no conflict between deism and science.  I will say however that there is also no point in believing in deism other than a reluctance to relinquish the belief in a god.

      The truth is, the question you pose, "what came before THAT?", has many possible answers.  Another universe is one possible answer.  God is indeed another.  But until we get additional evidence, this question is the exact sort of problem Occam's Razor is meant to resolve.  And so the simplest answer to your question is nothing came before that.

      And that is why I am an atheist.  The concept of a creator, while not falsifiable is also unnecessary so why bother?  

      "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

      by Quanta on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:14:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What does this have to do with... (0+ / 0-)

      ... atheism or agnosticism?

      •  Nothing, which is my point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There's a LOT of people who can't seem to grasp the concept that you can believe in God without belonging to any particular religion.

        They seem to think that "no specific religion" automatically means "atheist/agnostic".

        Nothing wrong with being an atheist/agnostic, just a point of clarification.

  •  Am so proud! (6+ / 0-)

    To quote someone cleverer than I, "Hey kids, get on my lawn!" (Attribution probably goes to Liss from Shakesville.)
    As a Gen-Xer, I am often thrilled by Millenials. This planet will be in better hands.

    My other car is a Tardis.

    by lupinella on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 08:33:31 PM PDT

  •  Go us something elses! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chris Bowers, Pale Jenova, mommyof3

    We're at 74-23 on the D side. Of course, we aren't suicidal, generally, either. :)

  •  Organized religion in the information age (12+ / 0-)

    I think that organized religion doesn't play well with a generation that has grown up always having information at their fingertips.  Religious indoctrination and Google don't really mix all that well.  Sure, if someone is already a true believer, then they can just ignore everything they don't want to believe.  But when you are trying to teach young people, it is harder to do it when they have the entire collection of human knowledge and history at their fingertips.

    I found throughout my life that the more I found out about other people's religions, the less I wanted to be associated with mine.  Not because of anything they were doing wrong per se, as my church was a pretty tame prostetant church.  But just as I knew about more and more religions of the world, the idea that my religion was "right" and everyone else's was "wrong" (even though I never chose my religion, I was born into it, as was my mom before me), just seemed more and more ridiculous.  

    Only an extremely arrogant person would assume they know the one true religion.  Of course, this world is filled with lots and lots of extremely arrogant people.

    •  but you seem to be missing an important distinctio (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      n between 'organized religion' and 'inability to think for oneself'.  There are a great many wonderful things about organized religion.  Passover with my family is one of them.  We don't even think about whether Judaism is 'right' or 'wrong' or 'silly' or not...  it's just an ethno-religious identity.  

      I mean--I went to Hebrew School and had a bar mitzvah--but never in my life was I 'indoctrinated'.

      To be honest--the number of 'true belivers' I have met--in ANY religion--is infinitesmally small.

    •  Bingo. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, OhioNatureMom, tytalus

      The higher the access to information and education, the less likely people are going to accept an organized religion saying that only they know the truth.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:16:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ???? (0+ / 0-)

    It makes me question the accuracy of the survey when it shows that there are no Jews between the ages of 31 and 40.

    A camel can carry a lot of gold, but it still eats alfalfa.

    by oldliberal on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:00:15 PM PDT

  •  Quibble with the interpretation (6+ / 0-)

    If you take a close look at the graph:
    you see that the total Protestant + Catholic relative population is pretty much the same for 18-30 as it is for 31-40.

    The major differences between 18-30 and 31-40 are:

    1) The 31-40 group has more 'Others', while the 18-30 group has more 'Nones'. However, the sum of Other + None is about the same for both groups. Since Others and Nones vote very similarly, this is pretty much a wash politically.

    2) The 31-40 group has more Protestants, while the 18-30 group has more Catholics. Since Catholics trend slightly more liberal than Protestants, we can probably expect a slight gain for Democrats.

    The Jewish population is so small that I doubt the differences are statistically significant.

    Looking at this chart, my conclusion would be that the religious differences between younger GenXers and Millenials are unlikely to have a major political impact. The major break came somewhere in the middle of GenX. Now, Millenials are still a bit more liberal than young GenXers, but religious differences aren't the explanation - it's more likely the demographic and cultural differences.

    That's not to dispute your conclusion (that the Republicans are looking at a demographic timebomb); it's just that the timebomb is going to arrive a bit sooner than anyone expects. The children of the '70s are poised to take over in a decade or so, and they have more in common with us early Millenials than they do with their older brothers and sisters.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:23:37 PM PDT

    •  totally agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Bronx59

      gen x is pretty divided politically, right around 1970.

    •  Hey, the sooner the better (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dragon5616, OhioNatureMom, kyril

      I'm actually stunned at how fast this change has taken place. And if it happens, as you write, "sooner than anyone expects," that's fine by me.

      Thanks for the well researched comments. I personally predict that the number of "nones + others" will continue to rise across all age groups in the coming years.

      This is because only 8% of the country grew up as a "none," but 20% of the country now self-identifies as none. By comparison, well over 30% of the country was raised Catholic, and as you can see the number of Catholics is well below that.

      For whatever reason, "None" wins converts from Catholics and Protestants. And I predict that the growth of the "nones" will outpace an stagnation, or even possible decline, in "others." Time will tell, of course.

      •  Reminds me of my own religious development (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and non-development.  Raised Catholic (baptized as a baby, something I am against for any religion--people should know what they're being brought into), remained so up to and including Confirmation, then soon left as I bacane aware of a lot of the rules and official church beliefs that I didn't agree with (and had not been told of in CCD or anywhere else).

        During most of my teen and college years I would probably have been recorded as a "none" if contacted by this survey; I went to Unitarian churches for a while, as that was the closest I wanted to be toward organized religion (especially after constantly hearing about political groups like the so-called Christian Coalition.)  Eventually I began going to a Lutheran church, where we are tolerant of a wide variety of views and tend to favor the helping others side of Christianity; on "culture war" issues my church either doesn't say much or often leans to the liberal side (this is in a heavily liberal, Democratic area.)  No rightist evangelism here.

        So I guess now I'm a liberal mainline Protestant, albeit one with a spotty record of participation.  But I wish surveys like this would do as many other polls do and distinguish between mainline and evangelical, or conservative and liberal Protestants; I don't care for being lumped in with the intolerance and idiocy of the fundamentalist right.

        37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:07:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Two other points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to make - and I promise they will be my last.

        My grandfather was very involved in one of the mainline Protestant Churches.  He became convinced that weekly attendance declined because of the rise of two income households.  For two income households going to church every Sunday just took too much time.  When you stop going to church your affiliation weakens very rapidly - and you really don't pass your affiliation on to your children.

        For Catholics this is less of an issue - many say they are Catholic as part of their heritage.

        My grandfather essentially predicted this diary in 1985.

        My grandfather was also a mayor of a Cleveland suburb - and he had no problem with woman working, or with abortion even (even though he was a Republican).  He really wasn't being judgmental (he didn't judge - ever) - he was just trying to see reality as he saw it.

        The other - one wonders what the effect of social media will be on religion.  My guess is it will weaken it as well.

  •  Count me in as none. 26 year old guy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, blueoasis

    With all due respect to the vegans here, I treat religion the same: far too many rules for me to care about. ;-)

  •  the problem re those without organized (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    religion is they are simply harder to organize.

    Still, I think it's a welcome trend.

    by chloris creator on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:57:56 PM PDT

  •  As an atheist 23-year-old... (4+ / 0-)

    ...I am sick and tired of (mostly) Republican politicians trying to shove their religious beliefs down everyone else's throat.

    Also, I view the practice of going to a place of worship on a weekly basis, praying to one or more God(s), etc. as downright awkward.

    "It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something." -Russ Feingold

    by DownstateDemocrat on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:57:21 PM PDT

  •  Bible Belt Theatre (7+ / 0-)

    Here in KY, the local community theatre group I have worked with for years is starting to creep me out. I don't mind so much that we never have rehearsals on Wednesday night (church night). I understand (grudgingly) when they sanitize the plays to a G or PG rating. But our current director has started leading the cast in prayer before each performance! He was a high school coach, and should know better. One of the actors (who I knew way back in high school, nearly 30 years ago) recently offered me a back rub. Lovely! Thanks! I needed it. Then, without asking me, he started praying over me. These are the town's theatre people!!!

    I have got to get out of here.

    Zen is "infinite respect for all things past; infinite service to all things present; infinite responsibility for all things future."--Huston Smith's Zen Master

    by Ree Zen on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:10:45 PM PDT

  •  You want to tell me (0+ / 0-)

    when in the last 50 years 18-30 year olds were largely denominational in religion?  No, "all adults" in 1972 does NOT make a valid comparison with18-30 year olds today.  Adults do tend to "get religion" as death comes nearer, along with the feat thereof.  Today's adults may choose trendier religions, Buddhism, Wiccan (remember that among traditional pagans the greatest fear was OF witches, they hardly opted to BE witches) etc., but as they get older, they get more religious, regardless of the chosen religion.  

    Even agnostic me; last winter when I was sick, on the worst night when I was near "brain collapse" I saw the infamous tunnel.  Now it happened, and I was not consciously aware of it, but my old friend Mary was in my hospital room at that time, and I did see her blocking the entrance to the tunnel (and I knew what tunnel that was), with her saying, "No, don't be silly, it's not your time to go there yet."   That doesn't make me an Episcopalian.  Not yet, at least.  But it is how older people get more religious, or at least, spiritual.

    "You may very well think so, I could not possibly comment." ~ Francis Urquhart, pragmatic political philosopher

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:51:35 PM PDT

    •  I addressed this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dragon5616, OhioNatureMom

      above. I've also seen several studies that concur, at least for recent generations of young adults (older generations may have been different in their experience of religion in several important ways that may have made them more likely to turn to their childhood religion in times of difficulty).

      I can't really speak to what might happen when Millenials start hitting 60 (not least because there might be another religious revival at some point in the next 30 years). But in the absence of broad cultural changes that cut across age groups, most adults' religious identifications are quite stable. Young people do flirt with other belief systems, and occasionally convert, but conversions and deconversions happen in all directions; the aggregate numbers don't change much.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:36:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The data indicates the opposite (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dragon5616, OhioNatureMom, mudfud27, kyril

      People are leaving religion as they get older. From page two of the paper quoted above:

      Preferring no religion is a very widespread trend, evident in most major subpopulations. We show this for gender, race, age, education, region, and political views in Table 1.
      People of all ages, races, regions and education levels are increasingly turning away from identifying with organized religion. That doesn't necessarily mean they are turning away from belief, but that doesn't really matter for our purposes. As a progressive activist community, what matters is that when people stop self-identifying with organized religion, they stop voting Republican and stop being conservative.
    •  You had a brain event (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that is well explained by neuroscience. Now that we all have heard of the "tunnel" experience, that idea is planted and can get incorporated during the brain activity that is generated by physical trauma.  Our impulse is to take these brain experiences that are strange and new and translate them into some kind of supernatural experience, but it is really all natural and only happening inside your own mind. You may want to explore the science of "out of body" or "tunnel/light" experiences.

      Also consider any drugs you were being given. I had an uncle who was dying and on some drugs that caused him to have the most amazing and seemingly real hallucinations.

  •  One of the best things that can happen is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Fishtroller01, Cedwyn

    for religion to disappear.    If someone wants to do better, be better, that's fine; but cults have got to go.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Elizabeth Warren 2016

    by dkmich on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 03:30:17 AM PDT

    •  sorry, but if you honestly believe that the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tampaedski, OhioNatureMom

      human race will somehow improve once religion disappears--I'd have to say that's an article of faith almost as ludicrous as some of these religions themselves.

      The primary problem with humanity is greed.  Plain and simple:  greed.  Religion is simply one of thousands of tools that can be used to feed the greed.  Not having religion wouldn't make a lick of a difference.

      •  I believe it would make a difference. (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, human nature is human nature, which includes the impulses towards greed and violence, etc.  But what religion has done is given a "divine" stamp of approval to these behaviors that has made them untouchable for far too long.  Consider the history of the Catholic Church and it's position in the world today.  Look at all the crimes committed by this institution that have not been dealt with simply because they were connected to a "faith".   Wars in the name of any god gave a type of protection to the heinous acts.  

        If churches and religions went away, and the whole world took the view of atheism, crimes would not be protected anymore. They would be dealt with in the realm of reality and reason... a place mankind has been struggling to achieve for a long time.

  •  religion and politics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dragon5616, Fishtroller01

    Bet a lot of the "other" were Unitarians. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a great group of very liberal, kind hearted people. They do object to the day of prayer but usually support Obama.

    •  Others (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dragon5616, Bronx59

      Unitarians are a tiny group, though as someone who spent a lot of time in New England, I know a lot of them. "Other" is likely mostly made up of Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims.

      •  Thomas Jefferson predicted in a private letter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bronx59, mudfud27

        that as the country grew more educated and enlightened that all religious people would become unitarians and leave behind the superstitions of the trinity, miracles, etc. etc.   Boy, he sure missed the mark on that one.  I think if he and Madison were here today, they would agree they should have made that wall of separation WAY higher!

  •  I have a 14 YO (4+ / 0-)

    son that we homeschool. He is in a fencing class with many other homeschoolers, some Christian and some not.  My son enjoys reading about religion, but would not ever buy into any of it.  He is always blown away that people could take it so literally.  I guess that's why you have to get them when they are young.  Once they learn to think critically, it all goes out the window.

    One day we were bringing one of his friends home  from fencing class and were were talking about the oldest people in the world and what about their lifestyles allows them to achieve this status.  His friend, raised Christian says "the oldest person in the world was Methuselah.  He lived to be 9000 because the earth was surrounded by water."  Totally serious about the whole thing.  Of course, we were polite, but blown away that people could really believe that.  I am happy to read that the younger generation is not buying any of this.  It can only help things!

  •  Thanks for the great info and analysis, Chris. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think young people have a hard time accepting the mysticism that most religions demand. These kids have grown up in a digital world. They have "real magic" in the palm of their hands and they know it didn't come from prayer. It came from science. No wonder they don't buy that crap.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

    by Dragon5616 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:33:40 AM PDT

  •  Explains why the "religious" are so full.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of hate...they are worried that they will go extinct and they are fighting tooth and nail for a principle that amounts to a hill of beans.  Bon voyage!

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:38:24 AM PDT

  •  I am hoping that the politicians, (0+ / 0-)

    including our sometimes acting minister in chief, President Obama, take a good hard look at these stats and start recognizing the "nones" as a group to start pandering to (politicians will never stop pandering). I am also hoping that this change will knock the wind out of the sails of those who are working diligently to insert religion into government and public schools.

    One of the fastest growing organizations in the country is the Student Secular Society, so that is a good sign too.

  •  You've addressed the GOP's defining characteristic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chris Bowers, DJ Rix

    I can't tell you how many articles I've read about the alleged efforts to "rebrand" the Republican Party and its long-term prospects that completely and totally ignore the issue of religion. That refusal to openly discuss religion is a bizarre attempt to ignore the 900-ton elephant in the room, and is a reflection of how cowed most political journalists are by the religious right. Today's Republican Party is a de facto theocratic party, whose philosophy, ideology, and practical politics are controlled by men and women who believe that Adam and Eve had vegetarian dinosaurs for neighbors in the Garden of Eden 5,000 years ago and that evolution is a Satanically-inspired fraud.

    This strain of highly-selective Biblical literalist Christianism is wedded to—and financed by—a thoroughly reactionary business class that believes American capitalism is ordained by God and specifically blessed by Jesus, that anything to the left of the mythical "rugged individualism" of their John Wayne-inspired fantasies is communist-inspired, that America went to hell starting with the Progressive movement of a century ago, and that any governmental regulation of any economic activity is godless Bolshevism.

    The highly toxic combination of science-hating fundamentalist Christianism and government-hating reactionary businessmen explains the Republican stance on virtually every question of public policy and politics. The Christianist loons use the financial resources of the moneymen to push their agenda of defunding public education, eliminating access to Constitutionally legal abortion rights, or shutting down government use of statistics on climate change or gun violence, and the reactionary business predators use the political muscle of the Christianists to elect politicians who will gut regulations, cut taxes on corporations, eliminate benefits for the poor, sick, and unemployed, and transfer wealth from the middle class to the super-wealthy.

    The fact that Obama received the majority of Catholic votes, in spite of the reactionary stance of the American Catholic Church, is a testament to the fact that the central players in the GOP are Protestants or other Christians, which includes the 40+% of GOPers who are self-identified evangelical fundamentalists. If you strip out the portion of Obama's 42% of Protestant/Christian voters who are African American, his percentage of the white Christian vote would undoubtedly fall well below 40%. In other words, today's GOP is the party of aging white Christians, and the recent demographic data about the decline in the white birth rate in combination with the data here about the declining religiosity of young Americans explains the paranoid, unhinged panic that underlies Republican psychology and politics.

    The open and virulent hostility displayed by the GOP base to Hispanic American immigrants is well-documented, but what's equally dramatic is the plunge in support for Republicans among the fastest-growing portion of the American electorate: Asian Americans. Asian Americans are on average much more closely aligned with Democratic Party stances on issues of taxation, health care, regulations, and economic policy, but there's also another crucial factor in the decline in Asian support for Republicans, and religion is at the heart of it.

    The veneration of education among all Asian cultures is especially strong, and this is markedly evident in the huge numbers of students from every corner of Asia and the Indian subcontinent studying at the top levels in American universities, especially in science and engineering. The embrace of Biblical nonsense and the hostility to science and education exhibited by Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures across the country is simply incomprehensible to these students and their families. Every time such notable GOPers as Paul Broun, Louie Gohmert, Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin, or Michele Bachmann babble about embryology being "from the pit of Hell" or that female ladyparts have the magical ability to shut down legitimate rape, the percentage of Asian Americans who would consider voting Republican declines further.

    It's undoubtedly true that there are Republican Christians who accept evolution, reject Creationism, support abortion rights, and believe in climate change, but they have absolutely no meaningful influence in Republican politics at any level. If you doubt this, just ask yourself this question: would any Republican who openly professed belief in the scientific fact of evolution have any chance of succeeding in Republican Presidential primaries?

  •  demographic death spiral? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We can only hope.

    Unfortunately, over-the-top descriptions like this that give false hopes to progressives...are not helpful, in my opinon.

    It's one thing to state facts, that demographics are not in Republicans' favor and are in Democrats' favor over the next few decades. However, to make the assumption that that means that the Republican Party is, therefore, in a "death spiral" is a giant leap of logic. It could be, but there's no evidence that that is the least not yet.

    While demographic trends are not in Republicans' favor, they have ample access to massive resources that have already kept them artificially competitive nationally and are likely to continue to do so (such as a massive financial advantage against Democrats, as they have had historically, and ownership of most mass media, which is all too willing to do Republicans' propaganda for them and now, the additional advantage of unlimited amounts of secret corporate cash (thanks to Citizens United), and, since just this past week, a green light from the Supreme Court to continue to try to disenfranchise as many Democratic Party constituent groups as they possibly can.

    With all of those advantages and resources at their immediate disposal and likely at their disposal for years to come, it seems highly unlikely that any reality-based person could conceivably magically delcare the party to be in a "death spiral." That's just hopeful wishing (it' my wish, too...but that's all it is...a wish...not a reality).

    •  I agree that the predictions of imminent GOP death (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are overly optimistic. The demographic changes are inexorable but slow, and as you note, the GOP has firm control of many important levers of power. IMHO it will take at least two decades and probably more for any real "death" of the GOP to take place, if it does at all. What's most likely to happen is what's already happening: the gradual contraction of the GOP into a heavily Confederate South-based regional party, which through gerrymandering and Senate representation will retain Congressional influence out of proportion to its share of the vote nationally.

    •  Demographic death spiral (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Lindsey Graham recently coined the phrase. I'm just borrowing it.

      Check it out on Google:

  •  this among other reasons (0+ / 0-)

    is why I dont freak out about temporary setbacks or think the country is somehow falling apart and destined to die off.

    The youth don't care about sexual orientation, they are pro-choice, they don't get caught up in the right wing social issues, and there is no reason their kids will either.

    They don't care about race, they think men and women should be treated equally, they believe in science and global warming and the environment.

    Now, they are humans, thus horribly flawed :), but we are on the right path.

    Patience is the buzz word IMO.

  •  pacific northwest (0+ / 0-)

    lowest church attendance per capita in the country.


    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:05:56 AM PDT

  •  No Jewish thirtysomethings? (0+ / 0-)

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:18:55 AM PDT

  •  Official Religion in the USA ; GREED (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DJ Rix

    The only officially recognized religion in the USA is GREED. All of these self reported or church reported stats are crap. This country allows spending cuts to food and health care for children, veterans, elderly and the disabled and bails out billionaires and gives bonuses to the Banksters that crashed the economy.

    If Jesus showed up today and began preaching the stuff in the Bible like the last time he would get hit with a drone and his reputation with a PR. campaign faster than a politician collects a bribe.

  •  A national Democratic electoral strategy (0+ / 0-)

    giving a low priority to white males between the ages of 40 & 60 is not a bad strategy. If demographically we best represent young people, women, African-Americans, Hispanics, LGBT & retirees, we can win any national election. But Democratic  policies have to clearly  represent those  interests. Talk & posturing aren't good enough. Repugs sound even crazier now than they did six years ago, if that be possible. Jersey's Gov. Christie has already begun singing to that choir of loonies, so certain is he of a smashing victory in November in a moderate state. He knows what he has to do, & he's never saying another kind word about President Obama no matter how much Federal money pours into this state for Hurricane Sandy recovery.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 03:42:56 PM PDT

  •  These data may suggest (0+ / 0-)

    that Protestant denominations are shedding adherents, but it looks like religious identification among young Catholics may be on the rise.  I wonder if this reflects the increasing numbers of Latinos in the U.S., who trend more Catholic and young than much of the rest of the population in the U.S.

  •  The GOP is purely the party of Christ (0+ / 0-)

    Without Jesus, a bad version of Jesus at that, the GOP doesn't exist.  That's been true for a long time, now, but the fervor is about protecting Christianity.  In that way, they are being honest when they say the Church is in danger.  I've always given them credit for that but, not being religious, have been okay with the danger.
    Interesting note that nobody, especially ages 31-40, wants to be Jewish. LOL.  I'm a Jew so everyone chill out.

    "When you think about the money spent/on defense by the government/& the weapons of destruction we've built/we're so sure that we need/then you think of the millions that money could feed/How long?" J Browne

    by rainmanjr on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 12:15:35 PM PDT

  •  It's certainly rising. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think I'd call it a "plurality" though, since various types of Christians span three of the other categories (I'm sure that both Orthodox and some evangelicals are in "other.")

    That doesn't change the fact that GOP is in a death spiral.  They aren't doing terribly well with lots of religious folks, either - many of whom are poor, black, Hispanic, Jewish or liberal.

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