Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Via JMG: 20% Of Americans Claim "No Religion"

According to Pew Research, the number of Americans who say they have "no religion" in their lives is soaring.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released an analytic study today titled, Nones on the Rise, now that one in five Americans (19.6%) claim no religious identity. This group, called "Nones," is now the nation's second-largest category only to Catholics, and outnumbers the top Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptists. The shift is a significant cultural, religious and even political change. Count former Southern Baptist Chris Dees, 26, in this culture shift. He grew up Baptist in the most religious state in the USA: Mississippi. By the time he went off to college for mechanical engineering, "I just couldn't make sense of it any more," Dees says. Now, he's a leader of the Secular Student Alliance chapter at Mississippi State and calls himself an atheist.
The report also notes that for the first time the number of Protestants is under 50%. (Tipped by JMG reader Mark)

UPDATE: The Center For Inquiry reacts via press release.
“Though the ‘unaffiliated’ are not entirely made up of nonbelievers, the fact that one in five Americans have rejected traditional religion means that the enormous influence religion has had over policy and culture will continue to wane,” said Ronald A. Lindsay, President and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “Furthermore, thanks to the high percentage of ‘nones’ among the younger generations, these numbers tell us that we are closer than ever to realizing a society in which religious dogma has no significant influence on public policy—that is, a society based on reason and science rather than myth and superstition.”

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: MINNESOTA: Viking Punter Chris Kluwe Fires Back At Archbishop Nienstadt

"Tell me, Archbishop, Pope, what purpose does the Church serve attempting to influence the affairs of a secular state? The federal benefits under law currently denied gay couples certainly fall under the realm of Caesar, don’t they? No one is forcing the Catholic Church to marry gay couples if that is not the Church’s wish. You can keep the sanctity of Catholic marriage solely between heterosexual couples if you feel that is what’s required (again though, I caution you on the dangers of presumed infallibility). All we are asking is for you to extend the open hand of tolerance instead of the closed fist of fear and hate.

"As American citizens, we respect the right for everyone to practice whichever religion they so choose, including the right to not practice one at all. Haven’t we learned enough from the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the Talibans of the world? What does it benefit the Church to attempt to influence secular policy in this country, especially when that influence is to deny basic human rights to others? Will you now assume Caesar’s throne, grasping the transitory ephemera of worldly power and control, while forsaking the eternal kingdom of Heaven?" - Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, firing back at Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstadt's advice to reject gay children.

Read Kluwe's full response.

Reposted from Joe

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 9, 2012

Embracing Groundlessness

It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our effort to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness.
- Pema Chödrön, "The Fundamental Ambiguity of Being Human"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection through October 11th, 2012
For full access at any time, become a Tricycle Community Supporting or Sustaining Member

Read Article