What it means to be unaffiliated

Nones: A rising population of Americans who claim no religious affiliation. 1/3 of the Millennial Generation. It is important to state that no religious affiliation does not mean godless or nonspiritual. Many nones are still deeply spiritual but reject organized religion, many even pray weekly or daily.

  • About 20 percent of U.S. adults say they had no religious affiliation, an increase from two decades ago when about 8 percent of people were deemed so-called “nones,” according to a new study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life. (Washington Post Blog)

Secular (a broad term): “Pertaining to the world or things not spiritual or sacred.” (Webster’s Dictionary)

  •           Secular Society (defined by the Council for Secular Humanism): “Taxonomically, my family is Freethinker (including atheists, skeptics, agnostics); my genus is Humanist (including the religion-based), and my species is Secular.” (John Rafferty)  

Atheist: One who disbelieves or denies the existence of a God, or supreme intelligent Being.  (Webster’s Dictionary)

  • New Atheism: A term associated with acclaimed atheists Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens and advocates that “religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises.”
  • View of New Atheists: “Tolerance of pervasive myth and superstition in modern society is not a virtue.Religious fundamentalism has gone main stream and its toll on education, science, and social progress is disheartening. Wake up people!!  We are smart enough now to kill our invisible gods and oppressive beliefs. It is the responsibility of the educated to educate the uneducated, lest we fall prey to the tyranny of ignorance.”

Agnosticism: “Agnosticism is a concept. It is not a full religion, like JudaismChristianity or Islam. It is a belief related to the existence or non-existence of God.” (ReligiousTolerance.org)

  • “”Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

There are many more non religious affiliations, but these seem to be the main types currently affecting culture in the United States.  I will add to the list if while updating this blog I find others that grow in importance.