If you listened to all the fundie bleating, you’d believe that all hetero couples were filling the churches to engage in holy matrimony. The truth of the matter is that religion is not the guiding force behind marriage anymore, and the civil institution has no connection to faith for the majority of Americans. (USA Today):

Don’t blame secularism for driving up the percentage of Americans who say they have no religion, says Barry Kosmin, co-researcher for the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS).

“These people aren’t secularized. They’re not thinking about religion and rejecting it; they’re not thinking about it at all,” Kosmin says.  A closer look at the “Nones” – people who said “None” when asked their religious identity – shows that this group (now 15% of Americans, up from 8% in 1990) opts out of traditional religious rites of passage:

•40% say they had no childhood religious initiation ceremony such as a baptism, christening, circumcision, bar mitzvah or naming ceremony.

•55% of those who are married had no religious ceremony.

•66% say they do not expect to have a religious funeral.

Your parents may decide for you on baptism and your spouse has a say in your wedding, but when people talk about dying, they speak for themselves,” says Kosmin.

What was that? Did I read that religion is a CHOICE? Where have I heard that references to CHOICE being cited as grounds for discrimination? Hmmmmm?????

USA Today has an interactive chart showing the shift in Americans’ religious CHOICES, including no religion. Here’s a snapshot of the decline of non-Catholic Christian faiths…falling through the floor.

Only Louisiana, Rhode Island, Montana and Connecticut saw any growth, and the latter two are in reality, flat. The only state where the evangelicals are gaining any significant strength is in Bobby “The Exorcist” Jindal’s territory. Religion is even losing ground in Sally Kern’s (OK) and Chris Buttars’s (UT) neck of the woods.

Hat tip, John V.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding