The Rise of the Nones

Aug 19, 2019 by

by Nathaniel Peters, Public Discourse:

The rise in numbers of people with no religious affiliation reflects the emergence of a new faith rather than a loss of faith altogether. As America’s religious norm changes from Christianity to therapeutic deism and spiritualized progressivism, we will find more people challenging longstanding protections of human dignity and religious liberty.

Roughly one fifth of Americans, and one third of young Americans, are what the Pew Research Center has dubbed “Nones,” people who claim no religious affiliation—and their numbers are growing. Writers on all sides agree that the rise of the Nones signals the decline of religion, but disagreement continuess over what it means for the future of America. This week at Public Discourse, our contributing editors will offer analyses of how the Nones will affect the five pillars of a free and virtuous society: the human person, sexuality and family, politics and law, education and culture, and business and economics. In today’s essay, I offer some background on the Nones and on recent shifts in America’s religious landscape. These shifts constitute an erosion not of devout religious communities, but of a broader Christian culture. The loss of that culture will have an impact on principles that developed out of Christian beliefs, two such principles being the dignity of the human person and the right of religious liberty.

Read here

See also: Marriage, Religion, Religion and the Public Square – How the Rise in Unreligious Americans affects Sex and Marriage: Comparative Evidence from New Survey Data, by Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse: “Permissive sexual attitudes and practices have not stimulated the religious revival many Christians believe the extremes of Sexual Revolution will inspire. There is no evidence of it in the data. On the contrary: Christians seem to grow more complicit—or at least more quiet about their misgivings—by the year.”


The Nones: Education without Divinity or Selfhood, by R J Snell, Public Discourse: For Generation X, the ‘death of God’ meant a challenge to find meaning and purpose in other ways. But “…for the thoroughly postmodern contemporary, it’s not that we simply don’t believe in God …but rather that we don’t view ourselves as having inner depths or personhood in need of such fulfillment”.

Related Posts


Share This