23% of Americans claim no Religious Affiliation

Pew just released a study yesterday that stated that 23% of Americans now label themselves “no religious affiliation”.  21% of Americans consider themselves Catholic, therefore, the “nones” have overtaken the largest Christian denomination in the United States! That is pretty startling. “No religious affiliation” doesn’t mean that 23% of Americans are atheists or even agnostics, but such a large number of people declining to refer to themselves as Christian would have been unthinkable just 50 years ago.

So what is the cause of the decline of Christianity in the United States and Europe? Materialism? Maybe. But I think that the Internet gets a lot of the credit.  When I was growing up as a Christian there was no easy way to verify the claims of my Faith. Today, if someone asserts that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, I can “google” that subject, read the pros and cons, and make up my own mind. Few Christians questioned the “facts” of their Faith pre-1990’s. 

I personally deconverted from Christianity due to the Internet. My supernaturalist Christian belief system just did not hold up to the overwhelming evidence against it and I’m not one of those people who can believe something by blind faith, as some evangelicals have urged me to do. There has to be some evidence there.  During my four-month-long deconversion, the only evidence I found for Christianity were assumptions and second century hearsay.

Christianity is growing in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, but my guess for this is that people who are already superstitious, poor, and have short life expectancies are more susceptible to the Christian “Good News” which includes the promise of eternal life than someone who is educated and economically comfortable. Notice Christianity is NOT making headway in Japan, and I believe this is due to the reasons I have just mentioned.

One thought on “23% of Americans claim no Religious Affiliation

  1. Hi Gary,

    I think you are onto something here about the internet being, at least partially (perhaps largely) responsible for the decline in church attendance in America.. In Europe and Australasia declining church attendance set in long before any internet.

    The key “historical” argument for Christianity is the claim related to the bodily resurrection of Jesus, yet there is so little real historical evidence for such a claim. As you say, anyone who is genuinely interested in the evidence can do a google search and examine the pros and cons. Many Christians refuse to do so because they are not really interested in evidence or are afraid of what the evidence might show, yet , of those who do examine the evidence, probably most deconvert.


    John Arthur


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