Democrats say ‘nones’ are largest religious group, warn against religious liberty claims
Aug. 30, 2019
The Democratic National Committee last week passed a resolution recognizing so-called “nones” as “the largest religious group” in the party and warning of threats caused by “misplaced claims of ‘religious liberty.’”
At its annual summer meeting in San Francisco, California, the DNC passed a resolution on August 24 that recognizes the rise in the religiously-unaffiliated in the U.S., FoxNews.com reported.
The resolution says that the religiously unaffiliated have been marginalized from society and from politics, and notes the harm caused by the use of “religious liberty” against “the LGBT community, women, and ethnic and religious/nonreligious minorities” and others.
In a press release praising the decision, the Secular Coalition for America stated that, in passing the resolution, the DNC “embraced American nonbelievers for the first time” and that “they recognize the value of courting the largest, fastest growing religious demographic in the nation.”
The DNC’s resolution also claims that “the religiously unaffiliated demographic represents the largest religious group within the Democratic Party, growing from 19% in 2007 to one in three today.”
It calls the religiously-unaffiliated “a group that, as much as any other, advocates for rational public policy based on sound science and universal humanistic values.”
New research from Gallup has shown that the “nones,” or those with no religious affiliation, have increased along with declining church attendance; nearly one out of three Millennials now identifies with no religion.
Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, addressed the decision of an increasing number of young people to leave the Church at the bishops’ spring meeting in June.
For every one person joining the Church today, 6.45 are leaving, Bishop Barron said. Almost eight in ten of those who leave the Church do so by the age of 23; around half of those leaving simply become atheist, agnostic, or have no religious affiliation.
“Most are ambivalent about religion rather than hostile to it,” Bishop Barron noted of the young people who are leaving the Catholic Church; they leave primarily because “they don’t believe” in Church teaching and “think religion’s at odds with science.”
In 2016, the Pew Research Center reported on the political leanings of Americans of various religious affiliations.
Just under half of those identifying as “nothing in particular” for religion — 49% — reported they were Democrats or leaned towards the Democratic Party; only 26% were Republican or “lean Republican,” and 26% were Independent or “other.”
Meanwhile, 64% of Agnostics and 69% of atheists reported as Democrats or said they leaned toward the party. 21% of Agnostics and 15% of atheists said they were Republican or leaned toward the Republican Party.
More recently, Pew reported in March that the religiously unaffiliated expressed “among the lowest levels of approval of Trump’s performance” out of religious groups, with approval ranging from 17% to 27% in polls conducted by Pew since Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
In Congress, only one member of the House or Senate is religiously unaffiliated—just 0.2% of the 535 members in Congress, Pew reported, in contrast with 23% of the public who do not identify with a religion.
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