AHA News |  

Humanists Recognize Increasing Number of “Nones” as Feeding Secular Movement’s Growth

Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088, mobile: (202) 681-2425, bmagee@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC, October 9, 2012)—The rise in religiously unaffiliated adults in the U.S. is no passing fad, a new report released today has confirmed.

Over 19% of U.S. adults are “nones,” Americans who do not identify with any religion—and that number continues to grow at a rapid pace, according to the Pew Form on Religion and Public Life’s latest report titled “’Nones’ on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation.” This number includes more than 13 million atheists and agnostics and nearly 33 million who answered “nothing in particular” when asked for their religious affiliation.

“Millions of Americans are discovering that religion isn’t required in order to lead a moral and purposeful life,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

Traditional religions may be unwittingly accelerating the secularization. Speckhardt explained, “We’re seeing evidence that our numbers are bolstered when there’s religious opposition to progress on issues like same-sex marriage, women’s reproductive freedom, and concern for the environment. Young people especially can’t stomach such backward thinking.”

According to the report, the younger generations are increasingly less religious: 32% of people under 30 have no religious affiliation, compared to 9% of those 65 and older. “College students and people starting families and entering new careers are coming out as non-religious in droves,” remarked Speckhardt. “Saying that you are an atheist no longer carries the stigma that it did in years past. More and more are recognizing that you can be good without a belief in a god.”

The American Humanist Association has seen an explosive growth of interest in humanism and atheism. Over the past decade, the 70-year-old organization has seen its supporter base quadruple to 20,000 members and supporters, with over 80,000 followers on Facebook. The Reason Rally, an event in Washington DC held last March and co-sponsored by the American Humanist Association and other freethought groups, drew 25,000 attendees who consider themselves atheists, humanists, and religiously unaffiliated.

The report’s findings also include:

  • From 2007-2012, the “nones” have risen from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults.
  • Eighty-eight percent of the “nones” say they are not looking for a religion.
  • The “nones” are largely Democratic, being 24% of registered voters who vote Democratic or lean that way, the largest block of any “religious” group.
  • 72% of unaffiliated people support abortion rights and 73% support same-sex marriage.

The report can be found online: http://www.pewforum.org/Unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx

American Humanist Association

Portland, Maine, newspaper editorial supports student leaders who want to inform...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

What are the top three religions in your state?

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

In his latest Huffington Post article, Roy Speckhardt discusses the dangers of p...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Why are more and more young women identifying less with religion?

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Where do the 25 most populous countries stand in terms of their religious restri...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Humanists of Linn County, to the American...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanist Press is proud to announce the release of its latest book, Belief a...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Clay Farris Naff sat down with Ryan Bell, the former senior pastor at the Hollyw...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association expresses shock and sorrow over another atheis...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Do you ever feel pressured to participate in religious practices simply because...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Did Jesus have long hair? Nah. Was he nailed to a cross? Most likely not. The b...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out the latest trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities from the P...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Well, this is cool! What if US dollar notes were redesigned to honor science, ra...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Another great step for humanism! Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard, has...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

A few days ago, the AHA sent letters to newly elected members of Congress, askin...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

According to Larry King, "I don't believe that I'm going anywhere. I'm not relig...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA's Merrill Miller reviews the new documentary "She's Beautiful When She's Ang...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Time for another humanist question. Why do humanists/atheists still spell god wi...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association has sent letters to newly elected members of C...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Would you go to Mars knowing you would not return?

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

BREAKING NEWS!! ATHEIST comedian is running for California state senate!!

11 days ago