We do not live in a secular society. Most of us think we do. It is a truism of our time. Folks are flooding out of the Church and embracing the sunny uplands of rationalism, scientism, and freedom from the shackles of dusty, old, and even dangerous dogmas. They are becoming nones, glorious nones, at a furious pace.
This certainly appears to be true. According to Pew Research, 65 percent of American adults now describe themselves as Christian. This number is down 12 percentage points over the past decade. It is down 25 percent from fifty years ago. The religiously unaffiliated continues to grow. Atheists, agnostics, or “nothing” have increased to 26 percent, a gain of 9 percent over ten years.
From 2009 to the present, self-identified Protestants have dropped from 51 percent to 43 percent, while Catholics have dropped from 23 percent to 20 percent. Atheists have grown to four percent, agnostics to five percent, and “nones” have increased from 12 percent to 17 percent. These numbers hold for all demographic groups. The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials are all heading out the door.