Fewer Amer­i­cans claim­ing an af­fil­i­a­tion with any par­tic­u­lar re­li­gion

North Penn Life - - OPINION -

The fastest grow­ing re­li­gious group in the rnited States is made uS oI WhoVe DGuOWV who DUe noW DI­fiOi­ated with any re­li­gion. And Amer­i­can youths, ages 18 to 29, are con­sid­er­ably less re­li­gious than older Amer­i­cans, as one in four say they DUe noW FuUUenWOy DI­fiOLDWeG wLWh Dny par­tic­u­lar re­li­gion.

The re­sults come from the Pew )oUuP on ReOLJLouV DnG 3ubOLF LLIe Ln LWV 8.6. ReOLJLouV LDnGs­cape Sur­vey. Of the en­tire world, there are 2.2 bil­lion Chris­tians, 1.6 bil­lion Mus­lims and, in third place, 16.1 per­cent of all adults who are unDI­fiOLDWeG wLWh Dny SDUWLFuODU Ueli­gion. Ac­cord­ing to one sur­vey, athe­ists make up 1.6 per­cent of Amer­i­can adults, ag­nos­tics 2.4 per­cent and 12.1 per­cent who state they have noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar when it comes to a re­li­gion.

By GefinLWLon, Dn DJnoVWLF be­lieves there is no way to prove a god oU VSLULWuDO GeLWy exLVWV. $n DWheLVW is a per­son who de­nies or dis­be­lieves there is a god or supreme be­ing. rs­ing sur­vey statis­tics, athe­ists and ag­nos­tics make up 4 per­cent of Amer­i­cans. In France, th­ese make up 32 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, a coun­try in which JoG LV noW D VLJnL­fiFDnW part of the lives of the pop­u­la­tion.

World­wide, ac­cord­ing to Pew, more than eight in 10 peo­ple iden­tify with a re­li­gious group. Of the world pop­u­la­tion in 2010, 84 per­cent conVLVWeG oI UeOLJLouVOy DI­fiOi­ated adults and chil­dren.

Peo­ple who have changed faiths or have joined a faith af­ter be­ing unDI­fiOLDWeG wLWh D UeOLJLon beFoPe slightly more re­li­gious than those who have re­mained in the re­li­gious faith of their child­hood.

Many adults are not se­cure with uVLnJ GefinLWLonV. ,n $PeULFD, 5 per­cent of adults do not be­lieve in a god but only 24 per­cent of th­ese also call them­selves athe­ists. More than one in four (2T per­cent) of Amer­i­can adults who are mar­ried or liv­ing with a part­ner DUe Ln D UeOLJLouVOy PLxeG re­la­tion­ship. Of the adult pop­u­la­tion in Amer­ica, 6.3 per­cent say re­li­gion is not im­por­tant in their lives.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pew sur­vey, some re­li­gions go up or down in mem­ber­ship. In the rnited States, Catholics now make up 23 per­cent of the pop­u­laWLon, VLJnL­fiFDnWOy OeVV WhDn 3UoWeVWDnWV who, DW 51.3 SeUFenW DUe Voon to lose sta­tus as a ma­jor­ity in this coun­try. Of Jews, 44 per­cent live in North Amer­ica and 41 per­cent OLve Ln Whe 0LGGOe (DVW DnG 1oUWh Africa, where most of them live in Is­rael. Of the other ma­jor re­li­gions oI Whe woUOG, HLnGuV FonVLVW oI 900 mil­lion and the ag­nos­tics and atheLVWV 850 PLOOLon SeoSOe.

The motto “In God We Trust,” which is found on most Amer­i­can coins since 1864 and pa­per curUenFy VLnFe 1957, wDV DGoSWeG DV Whe oI­fiFLDO PoWWo oI Whe 8nLWeG 6WDWeV by ConJUeVV Ln 1956. 7hLV was to be an alternative or re­placePenW oI “( 3OuULbuV 8nuP,” whLFh trans­lated means “Out of many, one.” This re­ferred to out of many colonies emerged a sin­gle na­tion. 7he fiUVW FoLnV beDULnJ ( 3OuULbuV 8nuP weUe PLnWeG Ln 1795 IoOOow­ing its adop­tion on the Great Seal of the rnited States in 1T82.

At present, there is a le­gal case go­ing on in which the government of the rnited States is be­ing sued by Whe )UeeGoP )UoP ReOLJLon )oun­da­tion be­cause the word “God” on cur­rency in­fringes on those peo­ple who do not be­lieve in God.

In a rnited States Supreme Court rul­ing in Abing­ton School aistrict v. Schempp, the rul­ing was stated that ed­u­ca­tion is not com­plete with­out a study of com­par­a­tive re­li­gion or the his­tory of re­li­gion and its re­la­tion­ship to the ad­vance­ment of civ­i­liza­tion. Based on this rul­ing, com­par­a­tive re­li­gion cour­ses may be taught in pub­lic schools.

A par­ent or grand­par­ent should be care­ful when talk­ing about re­li­gion to a young per­son. In this coun­try, the young are busy seek­ing em­ploy­ment, choos­ing a col­lege and pur­su­ing ro­mance.

,W LV beVW Wo exSODLn how SDUtic­i­pat­ing in ac­tiv­i­ties at church or syn­a­gogue bring on many new friend­ships and re­ward­ing feel­ings of hav­ing helped less for­tu­nate in­di­vid­u­als. The clergy will lead the di­rec­tion where God and ob­servDnFe oI UeOLJLon heOS PDny finG hap­pi­ness.

Health & Sci­ence Dr. Mil­ton Fried­man

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