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Religious Nones

A new report has shown that one of the fastest growingreligions” is “None” in America. It may be that as many as 25% will be Nones by 2030. But this is not a single group, and is highly heterogeneous. Nones include those who believe in some God, but not the God of a particular religion, atheists, agnostics, humanists (is that even a singular religious position?) and “No Response”.

In the light of my rejection of the claim that agnostics are atheists, you will understand my hesitation about this classification, Nones. It is a class formed by what it is not, a group of those people who are not in some already accepted and validated religion or denomination within a religion. The only reason for adopting it is that it presumes the social priority of existing religions.

It may be worthwhile doing that. Existing religions, as the status quo, have all the social influence and power. Banding together under the Nones rubric might allow us to bargain for our common interest of freedom from the imposition of religious values. it beats “Brights”, and does not presume about the content of people’s beliefs as calling all nonreligious people “Atheists” does.

So I urge you to call yourself, in a positive sense, a None. It means you are not bonded to some existing religion by choice, and that in a democracy you are entitled to do that. We can argue about the other stuff later.


  1. Does this mean a big red 0 will be appearing on the sidebar?

    And if the movement becomes big, with far too many members to follow, will you become none-plussed?

  2. Chris' Wills Chris' Wills

    Who will lead the None?

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      There can be only None.

  3. Is it just me or does anyone else see an old lady in a habit when they think None?

    Could this be a secret Christian homonym brainwashing initiative?

  4. What happened to “Freethinker”?

    • Chris' Wills Chris' Wills

      Sorry, no free thinking allowed, you’re either None or Other.

      What are you, some kind of accomodationist?

  5. TB TB

    If you’re a deist, you get to be none of the above!

  6. Wes Wes

    I’ll stick with “atheist”. I actually kinda like the way the word rankles some people’s sensibilities.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      Doesn’t apply if it includes agnostics.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      Doesn’t apply if it includes atheists.

  7. Tlönista Tlönista

    I assumed you were talking about, you know, religious Nones.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      Nine of one, half dozen times 1.5 of the other.

  8. Aaron Clausen Aaron Clausen

    I’ll join providing there’s a priesthood, a ludicrously complex and convoluted theology, harsh moral laws banning homosexuality and eating pork on Wednesdays (okay, it can be any other day of the week, too, see I’m easy going), and seeks tax exempt status from the IRS.

    Ah yes, and I want to be named for the First Pope of None of the Above.

  9. Ah yes, and I want to be named for the First Pope of None of the Above.

    You can’t! I declared myself Supreme Pontif of the None of the Above last week. My Papal assassins are already on their way to dispose of the pretender.

  10. Mike Mike

    Unfortunately, the data seems to indicate that many of the “Nones” are just folks yearning for religious trappings without adherence to the current power structure. If you lie down with them, I would guess you would be the first to go: somehow I doubt freethinking for others is the big concern of many of them. Liberty is the word used most strongly by those who wish for the freedom to deny it to others.

  11. mason owens mason owens

    I honestly can not wait till the rapture, then we will see what you believe in……good luck

    • Folks like you are why slacktivist does Left Behind Fridays. Yes, if the Rapture happened, then we’d all have to reconsider our view of the world, wouldn’t we? Just like if pigs started flying, the sun one morning rose in the west, or rabbit fossils were found in Cambrian strata.

      But until then, we go with the evidence we have.

  12. peter mazzara peter mazzara

    hi, my name is peter. I heard of you on glenn beck…i don’t watch him at all as he is a nut case, but someone emailed me the link to watch it. I think your site is great. People have to start opening their minds and stop being “domesticated” as ekhart tolle refers to how we become “believers”. I am launching a new clothing line that sheds light on the ridiculous “myths” of all religions, but especially christianity as it is so prevelant in America. The depictions are very beligerant, offensive, etc., but I think that in today’s madness of “fox news” type of media the only way to get across the point is if you play the same kind of game. I am a man of very high morals and ethical standards, but I can’t stand to see people live their lives based off of silly, elementary, man made “rules”…remember, don’t eat meat on Sunday…really? Silly little Catholics, that was made up by a pope in the 1600’s (i believe) as fisherman came to the pope and told him that they were suffering as no one was eating fish therefore, they were not making any money, so the pope proclaimed “no meat on sundays”…really something about money and the catholics? Noooo!! hahaha…I was raised catholic and didn’t believe any of that garbage when I was 6 let alone 26. There’s a Santa Claus though, right? Because I still believe in that! Just like religious people I want to believe what is convenient for me and what will give me a good “crutch” to lean on…”I WAS a convicted murderer, but I found GOD, so I’m good now, but I still committ the occasional felony”….”believers” have to have “faith” so they don’t have to face reality. I can go on for years about this subject, but don’t want to bore you any longer, but if you want me to feel free to contact me. Good luck and I commend all of your good work here on the site.

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