Why America’s ‘nones’ don’t identify with a Religion

According to the Pew Research Center a growing share of Americans are religiously unaffiliated. They recently asked a representative sample of more than 1,300 of these “nones” why they choose not to identify with a religion. Out of several options included in the survey, the most common reason they give is that they question a lot of religious teachings. I think it is important for us to realize that religion today is viewed as an answer to life’s questions rather than a common quest to engage these questions. That is too bad because none of has all the answers. We want people in church who are committed to engage the questions.

Six-in-ten religiously unaffiliated Americans – adults who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – say the questioning of religious teachings is a very important reason for their lack of affiliation.

The second-most-common reason is opposition to the positions taken by churches on social and political issues, cited by 49% of respondents (the survey asked about each of the six options separately). Smaller, but still substantial, shares say they dislike religious organizations (41%), don’t believe in God (37%), consider religion irrelevant to them (36%) or dislike religious leaders (34%). Maybe this will help us form our understanding of how to communicate better with our un-churched neighbors.