Have you ever wondered to yourself why the voices declaring that “America is a Christian Nation!” seem to be getting louder and louder in recent years? Wonder no longer. Results from the latest American Religious Identification Survey are out. I invite you to read the full report, but this table extrapolating from the representative survey to the adult population tells most of the story:
Those voices are shouting more loudly about America’s supposed Christian nature because they are insecure: America is becoming less Christian. More than 34 million Americans indicated they have no religion. Only 70% of Americans report belief in a God.
When it comes to religious behavior (not just self-professed religious identification), only 71% of adults report undergoing religious initiation like baptism or a bar mitzvah. Only 69% of adults who’ve been married report that their marriage was a religious one. This last statistic undercuts the argument of theocrats who want to make same-sex marriage illegal on the basis of some imagined religious marriage tradition. As these latest ARIS results show, Americans’ marriages are often irreligious.
In case you watched one of those election-mailer DVDs and are wondering about the “Muslim invasion” of America, well, herm: Muslims make up just 0.6% of the adult population in the United States. Some invasion.