Author Topic: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated  (Read 8350 times)

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Offline bosk1

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #105 on: February 08, 2013, 10:15:59 AM »
Let me be more clear, because I see that when type quickly early in the morning, I don't communicate effectively.

I think there is certainly an intellectual side to faith.  I just don't understand intellect as a starting point in faith.  You can use reason and intellect to define for yourself the parameters of the relationship, but a faith based on intellect alone seems cold and dead, and smacks of going through the motions.

After all, John tells us that "God is Love," not that "God is Intellect."

I'm not really arguing with you or overly disagreement, so please don't take it that way, but just to point out that, while I acknowledge and somewhat agree, we are also told that Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matt 22:37 (emphasis mine))  And that, to pursuade people, the disciples reasoned with them.  E.g., "Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures..."  (Acts 17:2)  So, yeah, there's that side of it too.
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Offline Perpetual Change

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #106 on: February 08, 2013, 10:24:11 AM »
I think by saying "intellectualizing Christianity" we're not saying that scripture doesn't have its place in intellectual debate, but that attempts to reason FOR (rather than "from", see the passage you just quoted) scripture miss the point. For reference, there's that Is Faith in God reasonable? thread/debate.

Offline j

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #107 on: February 08, 2013, 10:56:11 AM »
I think by saying "intellectualizing Christianity" we're not saying that scripture doesn't have its place in intellectual debate, but that attempts to reason FOR (rather than "from", see the passage you just quoted) scripture miss the point.

Unfortunately, that can't be avoided as it's sort of a crucial point.  If you're going to draw reason primarily from a particular source to support your faith, why would you only begin to apply that critical analysis AFTER blindly accepting the notion of the text's veractiy.

The tenets of a belief system (or "religion," to use the word everyone seems to hate), their utility, their consistency, their consequences, etc. are all things that can (and should) be argued for and against IMO.  But faith is another matter; hefdaddy may have had some incredible personal experiences in his life which he attributes to his faith, but so might his Muslim or Mormon or Buddhist or Hindu counterparts across the globe.  And although we can doubt and be skeptical of the legitimacy of such experiences, no one outside of that individual is in a better position to say one way or the other.  But this is frustrating to we skeptics because regardless of all that, people behave in inexplicable ways based on faith, and some of those are harmful to others.

I've said it on this board before.  Real, sincere faith cannot be something one chooses to have.  The tendency toward it or embracing of it is multifactorial, but if it exists and is truly sincere, there's no "on/off switch."  And this is especially true if one considers his faith to be "evidence-based."

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Offline Perpetual Change

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #108 on: February 08, 2013, 12:09:18 PM »
J, the difference is whether you believe Christianity is something dependent on, and limited to, the Biblical texts. Though I revere the Biblical text and do hold it as "sacred" to a point, I don't believe that myself, and I know plenty of other Christians who don't either.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, it's always textual hard-liners who represent all of Christianity whenever these "debates" come up.

Offline j

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #109 on: February 08, 2013, 01:01:53 PM »
J, the difference is whether you believe Christianity is something dependent on, and limited to, the Biblical texts. Though I revere the Biblical text and do hold it as "sacred" to a point, I don't believe that myself, and I know plenty of other Christians who don't either.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, it's always textual hard-liners who represent all of Christianity whenever these "debates" come up.

They do tend to be the ones that are easy targets, you're right.  But even Christians who don't hold to such a limited view, the bible still contains the bulk of the written source material which is referred to when "arguing from scripture," as you said in your previous post.  My point is that arguing about the meaning or the content of ANY text without first establishing its veracity (and instead accepting it without question) is unwise and inconsistent, no matter what you believe.

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Offline Ħ

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #110 on: February 08, 2013, 01:03:56 PM »
Let me be more clear, because I see that when type quickly early in the morning, I don't communicate effectively.

I think there is certainly an intellectual side to faith.  I just don't understand intellect as a starting point in faith.  You can use reason and intellect to define for yourself the parameters of the relationship, but a faith based on intellect alone seems cold and dead, and smacks of going through the motions.

After all, John tells us that "God is Love," not that "God is Intellect."
Okay, well with this I can sympathize.

I agree with bosk1 here when he says that both intellectual understanding and appropriate personal interaction (i.e. "relationship") are essential.

God is the foundation of love, but also the foundation of knowledge and wisdom, as it emphasizes in the proverbs. Indeed, John calls Jesus the Logos.
 
Apologetics, as it is said, is not a striving to win arguments but to win people. Some people are only reached through certain means like intellectual arguments, so we ought to employ a wide range of evangelical tools.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #111 on: February 08, 2013, 06:47:25 PM »
God is the foundation of love, but also the foundation of knowledge and wisdom.

I reaaallly don't want to be a dickwad, but the above is so empty, so hollow. Love is something between two people, something visceral that has existed long before religion entered the scene; God has nothing to do with that. Knowledge can hardly be gleaned either; the scriptures are riddled with erroneous information.
I know saying something like in your post sounds really great, but, man....
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Offline yeshaberto

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #112 on: February 08, 2013, 07:22:26 PM »
God has everything to do with love.  The implication of being created in his image implies that any love I have is rooted in his love.  Or as previously quoted, "God is  love" (I John 4). 

Offline rumborak

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #113 on: February 08, 2013, 07:38:49 PM »
I can't count the religions that claim all kind of aspects of human life in their cause. To each their own I guess, but I'm pretty sure I have yet to experience a religious aspect when I fall heavily in love with a girl. I get obsessed, horny, all kind of stuff. But not religious.
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Offline Ħ

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #114 on: February 08, 2013, 08:07:31 PM »
God has everything to do with love.  The implication of being created in his image implies that any love I have is rooted in his love.  Or as previously quoted, "God is  love" (I John 4). 
I agree. On the theist view, all love (and knowledge, wisdom, and intrinsic value) that human beings possess comes from God whether they acknowledge it or not.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline yeshaberto

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #115 on: February 08, 2013, 08:19:17 PM »
I can't count the religions that claim all kind of aspects of human life in their cause. To each their own I guess, but I'm pretty sure I have yet to experience a religious aspect when I fall heavily in love with a girl. I get obsessed, horny, all kind of stuff. But not religious.

Erotic love is full on divine.  It was given to us so we will marry and procreate.

Offline rumborak

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #116 on: February 08, 2013, 08:28:20 PM »
Add to it what you feel you must. Love and sex are, IMHO, outside the purview of religion. Probably the reason why sex and love lasted so long. Religions have a limited shelf life and get replaced at some point with a different one.
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Offline yeshaberto

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #117 on: February 08, 2013, 08:44:05 PM »
Biblically it is on page two:   a man should leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh

Offline rumborak

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #118 on: February 08, 2013, 08:58:22 PM »
So does Justin Bieber in his lyrics. I'll leave it to you to duke it out between Bieber and God.
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Offline yeshaberto

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #119 on: February 08, 2013, 09:05:06 PM »
I would pay to watch that

Offline Ħ

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #120 on: February 08, 2013, 10:06:44 PM »
I'm a Belieber.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #121 on: February 09, 2013, 03:04:42 AM »
Let me be more clear, because I see that when type quickly early in the morning, I don't communicate effectively.

I think there is certainly an intellectual side to faith.  I just don't understand intellect as a starting point in faith.  You can use reason and intellect to define for yourself the parameters of the relationship, but a faith based on intellect alone seems cold and dead, and smacks of going through the motions.

After all, John tells us that "God is Love," not that "God is Intellect."

I'm not really arguing with you or overly disagreement, so please don't take it that way, but just to point out that, while I acknowledge and somewhat agree, we are also told that Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matt 22:37 (emphasis mine))  And that, to pursuade people, the disciples reasoned with them.  E.g., "Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures..."  (Acts 17:2)  So, yeah, there's that side of it too.
Yes, and I love that passage from Jesus, it is one of the foundations of my faith.  But note that he is talking about loving God with your mind, which you can't do unless the relationship is already there.  Which is what I am talking about.

And yes, Paul used reason to persuade people.  But he wasn't persuading atheists.  He was persuading pagans or Jews, people for whom the biggest leap, the existence of a God or gods, had already been made.  He was just attempting to reason why his views of the Divine was superior to their views.

I think by saying "intellectualizing Christianity" we're not saying that scripture doesn't have its place in intellectual debate, but that attempts to reason FOR (rather than "from", see the passage you just quoted) scripture miss the point. For reference, there's that Is Faith in God reasonable? thread/debate.
I agree.

Let me be more clear, because I see that when type quickly early in the morning, I don't communicate effectively.

I think there is certainly an intellectual side to faith.  I just don't understand intellect as a starting point in faith.  You can use reason and intellect to define for yourself the parameters of the relationship, but a faith based on intellect alone seems cold and dead, and smacks of going through the motions.

After all, John tells us that "God is Love," not that "God is Intellect."
Okay, well with this I can sympathize.

I agree with bosk1 here when he says that both intellectual understanding and appropriate personal interaction (i.e. "relationship") are essential.

God is the foundation of love, but also the foundation of knowledge and wisdom, as it emphasizes in the proverbs. Indeed, John calls Jesus the Logos.
 
Apologetics, as it is said, is not a striving to win arguments but to win people. Some people are only reached through certain means like intellectual arguments, so we ought to employ a wide range of evangelical tools.
OK, I guess.  But my stumbling block is that I don't understand how people who prefer intellectual arguments would accept something like a belief in fundamentalist Christianity, which would require them to basically ignore some things they now accept intellectually.

I'm a Belieber.
olol
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Offline Ħ

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #122 on: February 09, 2013, 08:39:46 AM »
OK, I guess.  But my stumbling block is that I don't understand how people who prefer intellectual arguments would accept something like a belief in fundamentalist Christianity, which would require them to basically ignore some things they now accept intellectually.

Like what? I can't think of anything I've had to reject that I otherwise would have accepted intellectually.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #123 on: February 09, 2013, 09:28:46 AM »
OK, I guess.  But my stumbling block is that I don't understand how people who prefer intellectual arguments would accept something like a belief in fundamentalist Christianity, which would require them to basically ignore some things they now accept intellectually.

Like what? I can't think of anything I've had to reject that I otherwise would have accepted intellectually.
Sorry, I thought that since you accept Scripture as divinely inspired, you were a funamentalist literalist.  I apologize if I was wrong.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #124 on: February 10, 2013, 12:00:30 AM »
Coming back to the good vs evil God thing, I think the more interesting question is: Why is God so indifferent?
If one is to believe the OT, God used to be actively involved in improving the world. Reward the righteous, punish the wicked. The is a long time ago; these days Hitler kills a million Jews and Saddam Hussein kills as many Kurds as he can, but unless other humans step in, certainly nothing happens from the divine side of things. I don't know whether there is an official term for this thing akin to theodicy. Maybe theolentus?
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Offline yeshaberto

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #125 on: February 10, 2013, 12:15:18 AM »
the narrative of the OT is the unfolding of a three-fold promise made to Abraham.  To make him a great nation, to give him a great land and to bless all nations of the earth through his seed. 
In reality, the interactions of God during this time period aren't all that often (though it seems often since they are highlighted in the recording of the history, but the historic time frame is thousand plus years).
Secondly, this time frame was theocratic.
Thirdly, his interaction was to protect the three-fold promise.  Those three promises have now been fulfilled.

Offline rumborak

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #126 on: February 10, 2013, 12:27:49 AM »
So, to interpret your post correctly ... show is over? God caring and intervening in this world ended 3,000 years ago?
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Offline yeshaberto

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #127 on: February 10, 2013, 12:35:40 AM »
well, 2000 years ago.
but the response is only to explain the dramatic intervention during that time period versus the less dramatic intervention since then.

Offline Ħ

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #128 on: February 10, 2013, 12:42:08 AM »
 
In reality, the interactions of God during this time period aren't all that often (though it seems often since they are highlighted in the recording of the history, but the historic time frame is thousand plus years)
That's a great point. Just thinking about it, divine miracles in the OT weren't very frequent. Just looking at places in Israel's history where the Jews were basically saying to themselves, "Well, we're in the hands of our enemies, and we've heard stories from our forefathers that God has performed miracles, so we're just going to have to trust God." And they constantly had to think back to major events that their ancestors went through - like the parting of the sea, the pillars of cloud and fire, and the manna.


It's not so different today, where we look back to the miracle of Jesus' resurrection.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline Scheavo

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #129 on: February 10, 2013, 05:20:27 AM »
Seems to me there's a much simpler explanation for the lack of common day "miracles": we know more. This statement is obviously true, and it doesn't require us to reference "God" and try to explain it's thought-process, if any, into miracles.

Offline Ħ

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #130 on: February 11, 2013, 11:49:49 AM »
In U.S., Rise in Religious "Nones' Slows in 2012


It's leveled off, not increased.


Also, the most likely group to be "Nones" is Asian (27% of the "None-ers"). And these are people that leave Buddhism, not Christianity.


FYI, rumborak.


EDIT: And notice that the "None" category includes "Refused". Therefore, it's probably even less than 18% who claim no religion.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 11:59:00 AM by Ħ »
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline eric42434224

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #131 on: February 11, 2013, 12:35:47 PM »
In U.S., Rise in Religious "Nones' Slows in 2012


It's leveled off, not increased.


Also, the most likely group to be "Nones" is Asian (27% of the "None-ers"). And these are people that leave Buddhism, not Christianity.


FYI, rumborak.


EDIT: And notice that the "None" category includes "Refused". Therefore, it's probably even less than 18% who claim no religion.

Perhaps your bias on the topic has clouded your interpretation of the data.  It may have the appearance of a leveling off, and may show that trend in the future....but you cant know with just one years numbers.  The only thing that is clear is it is still an "increase".
Extrapolating the numbers to the adults in the US, that "non-increase" you call it, would be an approx 675,000 person increase in "nones".
That is the population of Vermont, Wyoming, North Dakota, or Washington DC (but I dont think anyone in DC really beleives in god anyway lol)!
No, I would say the "nones" just had a slow year.
FYI
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Offline rumborak

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #132 on: February 11, 2013, 12:53:51 PM »
If you combine the 18-29 bracket with New England, you pretty much get the okCupid picture here in Boston. There's very few people who call themselves Christian in their profiles.
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Offline antigoon

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #133 on: February 11, 2013, 12:56:38 PM »
No good God-fearing bachelorette would use OKCupid when they could use www.christianmingle.com!!!!

Offline yeshaberto

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #134 on: February 11, 2013, 03:23:22 PM »
Seems to me there's a much simpler explanation for the lack of common day "miracles": we know more. This statement is obviously true, and it doesn't require us to reference "God" and try to explain it's thought-process, if any, into miracles.

I actually agree.
Modern day "miracles" are nothing like what I read of during biblical times. 
I think that people attributing miraculous to everyday coincidences is dangerous, and the growing "knowledge" can help dispel it.

Offline theseoafs

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #135 on: February 11, 2013, 03:25:24 PM »
In U.S., Rise in Religious "Nones' Slows in 2012


It's leveled off, not increased.


Also, the most likely group to be "Nones" is Asian (27% of the "None-ers"). And these are people that leave Buddhism, not Christianity.


FYI, rumborak.


EDIT: And notice that the "None" category includes "Refused". Therefore, it's probably even less than 18% who claim no religion.

Perhaps your bias on the topic has clouded your interpretation of the data.  It may have the appearance of a leveling off, and may show that trend in the future....but you cant know with just one years numbers.  The only thing that is clear is it is still an "increase".
Extrapolating the numbers to the adults in the US, that "non-increase" you call it, would be an approx 675,000 person increase in "nones".
That is the population of Vermont, Wyoming, North Dakota, or Washington DC (but I dont think anyone in DC really beleives in god anyway lol)!
No, I would say the "nones" just had a slow year.
FYI

Precisely this.  If we see more very small increases in "Nones" in the coming years, then I'll concede that "None" growth is slowing (and I'll be very perplexed), but it's simply not prudent to take from these data that irreligion has "leveled off".

Offline Fiery Winds

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #136 on: February 11, 2013, 03:46:34 PM »
Like the above points, a single data point that doesn't increase as much doesn't change an entire trend.  The other problem with that graph is that it doesn't go far back enough to ascertain whether this is part of a longer trend, or simply an insignificant spike.
This thread has been burned.

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #137 on: February 12, 2013, 12:54:42 AM »
Also, the most likely group to be "Nones" is Asian (27% of the "None-ers"). And these are people that leave Buddhism, not Christianity.

Islam and Hinduism are the biggest Asian religions as far as I know.  And Christianity is pretty big in a lot of Asian countries.

Or did that poll specifically state that most Asian "nones" are defectors from Buddhism?

-J

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #138 on: February 13, 2013, 09:12:10 AM »
Did anyone watch the SOTU address last night? I was pretty surprised that the only mention of God in Obama's speech was at the very end "God bless America". Could you imagine the field day the media would have if he concluded a speech without saying those words?

Offline Implode

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Re: 1 in 5 Americans now religiously unaffiliated
« Reply #139 on: February 13, 2013, 09:49:52 AM »
He also said we had "God given rights."