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Half of Adults Say Religious 'Nones' are Bad for America

As more Americans identify as religiously unaffiliated, almost half of all adults say the so-called rise of the "nones" is a bad thing for society.


As more Americans identify as religiously unaffiliated, almost half of all adults say the so-called rise of the "nones" is a bad thing for society, Christianity Today reports. According to new data from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 48 percent of adults consider the decline in religious commitment to be bad for America. Another 39 percent said it "doesn't make much difference," and only 11 percent of people said the decline is good. Among white evangelical Protestants, 78 percent say the trend is harmful. Only 4 percent see it as a good thing. The data do not specify what "bad" entails, but Pew highlights a surprising finding in its analysis: Even among adults who do not identify with any religion, only 24 percent say the trend is good, while 19 percent say it is bad; a majority of the unaffiliated (55 percent) say it does not make much difference for society. Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta says that means "even some nones think it's a bad thing that more people are nones. ... I don't know what's weirder, that there are evangelical Christians out there who are happy that more people are becoming non-religious ... or that there are a lot of unaffiliated people who are upset by it."

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