Losing our religion – Record numbers of Americans lack faith

Losing our religion – Record numbers of Americans lack faith

Bottom Line: For some it’s opposition to organized religion. To others it’s a lack of a belief in God. Collaborate the two and it’s now the largest (non)religious constituency. According to analysis from the General Social Survey, a record 23.1% of Americans don’t identify with a religion. That’s now ahead of Catholicism, the largest religious identity in the US. As big of a story-line as that happens to be – the current trend is probably the biggest story. This paints the picture of the changes over the past 40+ years:

Percentage of adults who don’t ID with a religion...

  • 1972: 5% 
  • 1996: 10%
  • 2013: 20% 
  • 2019: 23.1%

That’s clearly incredible growth. Now, contrast that with violence in society. Mental health issues. Addiction problems, etc. I’m reminded of the Harvard study I built into a two-part story last year. Here were a few of the takeaways.

By the age of 20 those raised with religious practices average being... 

  • 18% happier 
  • 30% more likely to help others 
  • 33% less likely to engage in substance abuse 

What’s more is that those who fared best were those who prayed daily. In other words, having faith in one’s life in any capacity provided benefit, the more involved with one’s faith one was, the greater the benefit. This isn’t to say that if all children were raised in religious upbringings,we’d end all mental health issues but it’s evident it would have the potential to be an enormous catalyst. Remarkably, an accredited Harvard study on the biggest concern in our society today, has largely been ignored by news media and education establishments. 

Faith, or no faith, there’s a connection between the two. As a person of faith, it’s not the least bit surprising that the further society distances itself from faith, the greater our challenges. It’s frustrating to me that so many choose to ignore the facts right in front of us due to their own interests which might not include the values of faith and God.

 

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