The Chicago Sun Times did a story on a study done by Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut. It has to do with the prevalence of religion in the U.S. Here are some of the results they highlighted.
- “Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion at all, an increase from 8 percent in 1990.”
- “”The numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state.”
- “Thirty percent of married couples did not have a religious wedding and nearly that many said they did not want a religious funeral.”
The numbers themselves don’t seem that overwhelming, but consider the implications of these numbers.
- People are becoming more comfortable saying they have no religion. For a long time, even if you weren’t really religious, you still said you were Christian because that was most culturally acceptable. That is becoming less true. Interestingly most of my friends who don’t adhere to the teachings of Jesus in any significant way still claim some sort of religious affiliation. I think it’s a fair assumption that many people who are not becoming disciples of Jesus are still claiming religious affiliation.
- In 18 years the percentage of people saying they have no religion has doubled. That is a statistically significant change.
- The percentage of people who are having a non-religious wedding or funeral indicates something important about our population. Twenty years ago both of these were pretty much assumed.
I don’t view this as a negative thing. One of the most destructive things for the kingdom of God is when people can be comfortably religious without really following Jesus. If more people start claiming the fact that Christian faith plays no influential role in their life I think we’ll actually be better off. The change is happening.