Sunday, October 21, 2012

Religion in America

"An extensive new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life details statistics on religion in America and explores the shifts taking place in the U.S. religious landscape.  Based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid.

More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion - or no religion at all. If change in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another is included, 44% of adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether.

The survey finds that the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion."
Statistics on Religion in America, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

I was very pleased to read that 25% of young adults are not currently affiliated with any particular religion. It is great to hear that more young people are thinking in an independent, open-minded, and free thinking manner.  

When I was 15 years old, I decided I was an atheist, and that I was no longer interested in the Catholic religion in which I was raised.  I wanted to be a Philosopher after reading public library copies of "The Story of Philosophy" by Will Durant, "Why I am Not a Christian" by Bertrand Russell, and "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" by Paul Reps.  I was sent to Catholic schools from the 1st to the 12th grade.  I pretended to be a Catholic for three years until I was 18 years old in order to avoid hassles from my dictatorial father, extended family, narrow minded and bullying Irish Christian Brother teachers, noxious priests, and my social circles at that time.

My current views on organized religions are expressed elsewhere on a separate webpage.  I consider myself a philosopher with a variety of mystical and spiritual interests in Neo-Paganism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Mind-Body Movement Arts as an independent seeker.  "Atheism" seems too narrow a term to describe my outlook.  I am a free thinker, pluralist, non-theist, pro-science, rationalist, mystic, and philosopher. 

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