Religious affiliations are shifting

It’s always interesting that perception does not usually reflect reality, specifically when it comes to religion. If you looked only at statistics, it would seem as religion were on a comeback, since studies have shown the average person attends church more often than in any period of American history. However, on the other side of the equation, it would appear that every state in the US has seen some significant increases in the number of atheists and general non-religious individuals.

This leads me to conclude, therefore, it isn’t that religion is making a comeback, but rather there is an increase in the marginalization of religion in American life. Individuals who are already religious are affirming themselves more, but I believe the growth of atheism is a direct consequence of this. People who previously did not care are forced to choose sides as Christianity tries to strengthen its foothold in American politics and life.

So long as religion is no longer a private affair, the battle lines will always be drawn, and atheism will continue to grow. Every generation rejects the outdated values of their parents, and religion may suffer a heavy blow in the coming years. Don’t expect this to be the end, however. If we can be certain of anything, it’s that religion has never played fair, and doesn’t enjoy becoming marginalized.

Comments (1)

  • avatar

    Kerrie

    I saw this on the news yesterday. And Vermont is the highest “non-religious” state in the nation at 34% and leading by 9%! Woohoo! As if Vermonters needed another reason for the evangelicals to hate us for all our tofu-eating, latte-drinking, Volvo-driving (atheist) hippies. :D

    On a serious note, I’m not positive why VT is higher. Sure there are a lot of urban transplants from MA/CT/NY, but my family has been here for generations going back to the late 1700s and only a couple members of my family up here go to church (if that!). I grew up without religion, and so did my parents. I think part of the reason for the lack of religion here is that Sunday is the last day of the weekend to do all the chores and there’s always something that needs to get done and it won’t get done if you’re just sitting around during precious daylight hours! :D

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