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Nones, Dones, and the Bible

March 29, 2015

Last week, it was the GSS that showed the rise of the Nones. This week, it is Barna. The good news from their survey is that the Nones are becoming more diverse: more women, less white, and more widely distributed. And younger. “And their numbers are growing more quickly than anyone expected 20 years ago.”

Neil Carter distinguishes the Dones — those who once were religious and now are not — from the broad category of Nones. With many social shifts, there is an interesting sociological distinction between those who were caught up in the furor, and those who fortunately lived largely in the space created by the change.

Barna is a Christian outfit, and I can’t help but chuckle at some of the editorial comments they make regarding their data. Such as this one:

Given their antipathy or indifference toward the Bible, it is remarkable that six out of 10 skeptics own at least one copy.

I own at least two. And despite having little regard for Zeus, I likely also have a copy of Hesiod somewhere. Nonbelievers don’t reject the historical and literary importance of myth, just because we don’t worship the gods depicted!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    March 31, 2015 1:05 pm

    I think a subset of religious folks aren’t really able to imagine non-belief, so they think non-belief is “belief is something else” or “belief against something” as oppose to simply “absence of belief”. Also, often this same set of folks consider reading religion-related materials outside of their beliefs difficult or even intolerable. On the other hand, I would expect them to understand that people have varied interests and read accordingly, and religion is an area of interest for many people, even if not an area of belief. So I’m surprised they are surprised!

    I like the distinction between Nones and Dones.

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