Something New From the “Nones” with the Pew Research Center’s Online Survey Results

The Nones are causing “trouble” again, with sensationalized headlines about the decline of Christianity. These takes can easily reinforce the anxiety among some about changes in society and activate nostalgia for some mythic 1950’s America (which was certainly not experienced as peaceful or comfortable by many marginalized groups in the 1950s, or even today). Based on survey data that the Pew Research Center released this week, those who represent themselves as unaffiliated with religion have grown to almost 30% of the US population. This increase (compared to almost 20% unaffiliated in Pew’s 2012 Nones” on the Rise report) coincides with a significant drop in those who identify as Protestant (which in the survey context includes any Christian not affiliating with Catholic, Orthodox, or Mormon identities). Continue reading

In Need of a Little More Precision

In a post the other day I discussed some of the problems with the recent Pew study on the apparent correlation between religiosity (understood as church attendance) and happiness.

Read that post here.

Well, as a brief follow-up, consider this Feb 8 post by one of the researcher’s involved in this work. Here we find, in the opening graphic (reproduced above), a voice that makes plain that the research subjects reported feeling happy; yet this voice changes considerably in the post’s opening paragraph where it is phrased as follows: Continue reading

I Hope You’re Happy

Did you see the recent study that the Pew Research Center has posted, on the positive correlation between being religious and being happy? It’s worth looking at, especially if you think scholarship on religion ought to be no less rigorous than scholarship on any other aspect of being human.

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