October 11, 2012
A year ago we explained how society was polarizing toward the radical corners of the political scene (click here to read more). Now we can see a similar dispersal in religion. A new Pew Forum survey finds that number of people with no religious identity, “Nones,” has swelled to become the second largest affiliation in the USA at 19.6%. “Nones are now statistically tied with the white evangelicals (19%), but they are polar opposites on controversial social and political issues…” according to USA Today. The Washington Post warned, “If these trends continue, we are likely to see even sharper divisions between the political parties and sharper divisions within (the parties).” Nones are widely diverse and lean heavily Democratic, yet equal percentages of Nones and religious affiliates favor smaller government. And they are not dominated by atheists or agnostics, instead, they believe “nothing in particular.” One said, “I like the ambiguity of going without a label.”
Groucho Marx said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Jokes aside, negative mood makes people want to belong to smaller groups, or maybe no group at all. As we wrote in October, “Social mood pushes around even society’s most sacred norms.”
If you look closely, you can see patterns in social mood that help you predict social trends. Learn more with the Socionomics Premier Membership.