A new ABC News/Washington Post poll confirms what we already suspected about religion in the U.S.
Protestants are on the decline, people with no religious affiliation are on the rise, and the trends show no signs of reversing anytime soon.
The numbers show Protestants have dropped from 50% of the population in 2003 to 36% today. Christians overall? 83% in 2003, 72% today. And in the same time span, “the number of Americans who say they have no religion has nearly doubled, to 21 percent.”
The “No Religion” group includes “3 percent who say they’re atheists, 3 percent agnostic and 15 percent who say they have no religion,” which is roughly the same proportion we saw 15 years ago.
You can see from the chart that, despite the trends, Protestants still have the numbers, so we still have a long way to go. Keep in mind, too, that Protestants (especially white evangelicals) have an outsized share of the political power.
Over the past 15 years, though, Nones have grown no matter which demographic group you look at. It doesn’t matter your gender, race, age, education, or political affiliation. However you slice us up, people have been breaking away from organized religion.
As I’ve said before, I suspect these numbers will continue moving away from religion in years to come, in large part because of the close ties between conservative Christians and the current administration. White evangelicals have anchored themselves to the most corrupt, scandal-prone, immoral, ignorant politician we’ve ever seen, and as his political fortunes fade away, so will their religious power. Just as we saw with the marriage equality debate, if their faith can’t help them answer the easiest moral question of our time, why should anyone trust their judgment?
The backlash to Donald Trump is coming — with a vengeance — and I can only hope the most powerful evangelicals go down with that ship. They’ve chosen temporary power over long-term stability, and the foundation continues to crumble.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)