The Answer is “None”


According to a recent article, when Americans were asked by pollsters about their religious identity, the fastest-growing major group (!!!)* consisted of those who don’t affiliate with any organized religion.

Yes, the common reply now is … “None.”

However, even though many individuals who were interviewed answered with “none,” several expressed that they still felt a connection to God or a higher power, while others said religion continued to hold some importance to them. 

But what I found most interesting (and disgusting … and shameful) were the reactions that many face when their friends or relatives discover they hold this position. 

From the article …

Within the Black community, we face ostracism … there is this idea that somehow you are rejecting your blackness when you reject religion, that atheism is something that white people do.

A former Protestant who grew up as a Baptist and attended church regularly says not everyone in her family knows she has forsaken religion … and some who do know struggle to accept it.  Similarly, at the beauty store she owns, she feels she must keep her atheism “under wraps” from clients for fear they’d go elsewhere.

In any event, as one individual put it … “We’re looking for our own answers, beyond the programming we received growing up.” 

And to those who feel this same way, I say … BRAVO!

*29% of American adults — up from 23% in 2016 and 19% in 2011.

30 thoughts on “The Answer is “None”

  1. The colonizers really did a number on the natives. My wife speaks two colonizer languages and grew up in their churches. Until a few years ago she actually defended that crap. It takes a special kind of process to erase that. Why on earth there are any Christians of color is baffling.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Hey, Jim, my kinfolk were told over and over, Our God is stronger than your Great Spirit. And they proved it by giving their spirits to us and calling it the Blood of Christ. Tasted pretty good, I guess. Most people were willing to pretend to believe, but their children did not know they were pretending. They saw their parents attending church regularly, so they figured it was right to believe. This just grew from generation to generation. Even now, with all the atrocities that took place in Residential Schools, most still believe. It wasn’t God who harmed them, it was His all-too-human representatives. Some are turning away, but not enough.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Last year I went the Fort Spokane where they still have the museum, the jail cells, and the solitary confinement boxes for the Colville kids who ran away from school and trekked back up to 50 miles to their homes. It was a Catholic mission and a military fort working together to educate (break) the natural man and make him civilized. It was a tough tour for me to be there. Now the “Indian Trail” is covered in wealthy homes but they name the streets after prior inhabitants of the region. I’m sure it’s a sour reminder every day to see those road signs and remember what was.

        Liked by 2 people

        • It is what it is. We cannot live in the past, but an honest apology from the Pope might go a long way towards healing for the Catholics amongst us. Being Metis, my ancestors were victims and victimizers. My blood boils, but it doesn’t help anyone to jold grudges. We survived! They tried, but they could not wipe us out. Someday, centuries from now, we will all be Metis, Mullatto, and whatever other names they have for mixed-race peoples. It is inevitable, as long as human life survives.

          Liked by 5 people

        • Unlearning empire is a challenge, especially when those that did it to them recognize it today more than they do. But you’re right. I hold no malice for anyone. Could anyone be different than they are, or have been? Can you? Can I?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, please don’t go there, Jim. We all have the choice of what we are going to do. There are some people who just act without thinking, I am pretty sure of that. But must of us think about most of our actions bdfore we take them. Maybe, just maybe, we are going to choose based on ideas that should not even come into play. But still, the choice is there.
          And we do not always have to make the same choice in very similar situations. We can consider what happened previously, and if we did not agree with the previous outcome, we can choose to act differently this time.
          Or maybe I am just not human!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, Richmond Road, you’ve given me another delightful description of the hyper-religious: “Faith = Not wanting to know the truth.

      I’ve often referred to their Blind-Faith as indolence, slothful, wearing horse-blinders, ostrich heads in the sand, passing the buck to a fictional Devil/Satan or refusing to take responsibility for one’s own intentional ignorance, etc, etc. But I do like your version as well RR. Thank you! 👍

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Unfortunately “polls” are typically done privately (in home) or semi-privately at a public station, which could be argued is semi-public by passing bystanders in your town/community. That is frightful for some closeted atheists or agnostics. Don’t get me wrong, their fears are well based in societal and occupational treatments, currently and throughout history, ESPECIALLY here in radical Conservative-Religious Texas. But the time is indeed nearing—that is, if we rational, scientific-based Americans keep fighting & protecting our designed Core Constitutional foundations to be a Secular nation, not choosing any one religion—then it stands to reason that the Polled “None” will soon reflect precisely all the non-religious affiliations people already participate in privately or underground. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Since atheism is not a belief or a belief system, but merely the absence of a belief, atheists will never be a coherent organized group (and probably shouldn’t be — just imagine how absurd it would be if, say, all people who don’t believe the Earth is flat were expected to act as an organized group). So we’ll never have the degree of mutual support and reinforcement that members of a particular religious sect have, which will make individuals less willing to publicly assert themselves.

    Also, since the culture asserts a (false, but widely accepted) connection between religiosity and virtue, many “nones” will insist “that they still felt a connection to God or a higher power” or similar nebulous drivel which they almost certainly couldn’t even define if pressed.

    Still, 29% is getting pretty large. In my state (Oregon), the least-religious state in the US, we must be approaching an absolute majority. Christian supremacists and bullies can expect more and more push-back as time goes on.

    The truth is spreading inexorably. There are more and more “nones” in some surprising places.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Infidel, I didn’t know (or simply forgot) that you were an Oregonian (like me). 🙂

      I didn’t consider the religious climate when I moved here from CA (many years ago), but as time has passed, I’ve been more and more grateful to be a resident. Even so, the attack is on. Hopefully we won’t lose our majority because if we do … !!

      As for the “nones,” you’re correct. For some, it’s almost self-protection to assert some kind of religious connection. And that’s sad. And disgusting.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Spiritual atheist, responsible anarchist. It all makes sense, once you understand it. But it all matters not. No matter what we believe, or disbelieve, we’re going to find out when we die, one way or the other… or the other… or the other… or we’ll never find out at all! I’m pretty sure it will be the same for all of us, whatever “it” is!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I was raised Roman Catholic & I never thought I that I was “programmed”. Maybe because I come from a family that had two protestant grandfathers, several branches of the family of which went to either the Methodist Church or the Lutheran Church … we went to either church for weddings or funerals … the Methodist Church used to have an AWESOME all-you-could-eat spaghetti dinner that the whole community went to, while the Catholic Church always had a summer picnic with a great chowder that also brought in the entire community. My parents also had lots of Jewish friends.

    My entire childhood was formed around the Catholic calendar but I still don’t think I was programmed, anymore than I was programmed to be a patriotic American or anything else. This is simply how you raise a child. You have to give them a platform of ideas so they can move onto other ideas.

    My parents didn’t mind my looking into other religions. When the Beatles went off with the Maharishi, I started looking into Eastern religions. At age sixteen, influenced by “Jesus Christ Superstar” (which my father bought) & “Godspell”, I started writing a story about a girl who followed Jesus around during his ministry & I went to the library on a regular basis to research the Middle East at the time of Christ … this is when I first encountered the Great Goddess in her guise as Isis … & I started seeing the parallels between the Christ story & the other stories of grain gods who were “sacrificed” so that the “people may live”. That was the beginning of the end of my Catholicism.

    My parents took a hard-right when Reagan was elected & Pope John Paul II became the head of the Catholic Church. This was a sad thing …. lots of us became estranged from our parents, our church, & our communities at that time.

    I embraced the Pagan/Wiccan ideology for a while & I was in a Buddhist group years & years ago but I am now finding another path for myself. Like so many aspects of modern life, the Pagan/Wiccan way has been corrupted by corporate entities & by youths who only care about looking like Stevie Nicks (their gender doesn’t seem to matter). It’s not the religion I joined back in 1990! I want something REAL. So I’m creating it myself.

    It seems like I’m not the only, huh?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Silver, I grew up catholic as well but it sounds like you had an almost liberal education compared to mine. We weren’t even allowed to use the local YMCA because the protestants might get their hands on us. I had relatives who wouldn’t even go to a funeral at a non catholic church. And my wife’s sister and her husband had to go to a different church for their wedding because her own priest wouldn’t marry them because he wasn’t catholic. Fortunately around the time I started grade school we got a new priest who was more open minded. He had a (cough cough) housekeeper, Mary Ann, who’d been with him for many years. At the same time we got a new bunch of younger nuns at the school who thought their job was to actually give us an education, not indoctrinate us into a cult.

      But that being said, things have actually gotten worse in the RC church, not better. We have bishops and priests openly defying the pope because they think he’s some kind of liberal, progressive, communist puppet or something.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You have to give them a platform of ideas so they can move onto other ideas. YES! Unfortunately, the only platform provided to many children/young people is Christianity. And from my perspective, it’s this indoctrination that creates the “fear” that so many experience when they start moving towards the “None” category.

      In any case, it seems to me you were very fortunate to have the freedom to explore. Many aren’t given that opportunity.


  6. I’m not surprised by this. If you drive around where I live in Wisconsin you’ll find dozens of abandoned churches, mostly RC but also Lutheran and others, often with abandoned religious schools attached to them. A few years ago I could have picked up a pretty nice church in a small town near here for about $35,000. I seriously considered buying it. Not sure what I would have done with it but it would have been fun, for a short time anyway, to own my own church.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Same. Two or three decades ago, my partner and I were enjoyed a drive through a rural area, during which we passed an unoccupied church property. The permanent portion of the building’s marquee read, Church of God. The movable letters read, For Sale By Owner. My partner quipped, “I assume the price for that place isn’t open to negotiation.”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, I’m a Muslim, and here’s why. In the Quran itself it states, “This book is not to be doubted.” I mean, if that ain’t a mic drop as to which religion is a real one…well….then….well…none of them are real, eh. I mean…one can’t just go making religious sh*t up and expecting others to follow it blindly based solely on indoctrination and blind faith, now can they. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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