Secular Coalition Pleased at Growing Constituency of “Nones”

Washington, DC-The Secular Coalition for America today expressed enthusiasm at news of the growing constituency of unaffiliated Americans. A Pew study released Tuesday found that religiously unaffiliated Americans-or "nones"-now make up 19.6 percent of the population.

The study indicates a 4.8 percent increase in the number of "nones"-those who do not identify with any religion-in the last year, and a total increase of 25 percent over the last five years. Among people aged 18-29 a full 35 percent are unaffiliated and of those, a full 42 percent of atheists or agnostics. Of those aged 30-49 32 percent are atheists or agnostics.

"The study indicates that not only are the religiously unaffiliated an ever growing community within the country as a whole, but that we have the potential to hold a lot of political clout," said Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. "The findings lend credence to the growth of the secular movement that we have seen on the whole and the strides we are making in every state across the country."

The Secular Coalition for America represents nontheists-those who do not express an absolute belief in God, but lobbies to strengthen and protect the secular character of the government as the best guarantee of freedom for all Americans.

The study found that keeping religion and government separate is of concern to a majority of the "nones," 67 percent of whom said they felt that churches and religious organizations are too involved with politics. The unaffiliated now represent the largest "religious" bloc of registered Democratic voters, comprising 24 percent. Sixty-three percent of "nones" leaned Democratic and 26 percent leaned Republican.

According to the report:

  • Seventy percent of the religiously unaffiliated do not have an absolute believe in God.
  • From 2007-2012, the "nones" have risen from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults.
  • Eighty-eight percent of the "nones" say they are not looking for a religion indicating their ties with religion are permanently broken.
  • The "nones" are comprised of: atheists (12%), agnostics (17%), and nothing in particular (71%). 

 "We are seeing that the ‘nones' are growing rapidly-and one thing they agree on is that they do not want religion inserted into government," Rogers said, noting that the Secular Coalition recently began a push for chapters in every state to lobby state lawmakers on church-state issues. "As the Secular Coalition continues to establish new chapters, we look forward to helping lawmakers work with our growing constituency."

The Secular Coalition for America now has state groups in Arizona, Alabama, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and plans to have chapters in all 50 states up and running by the end of the year.

 

CONTACT: Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA Communications Manager at [email protected] or (202)299-1091 ext. 205, cell (202)630-9725

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