The increase in “nones,” those who claim no religious affiliation in recent demographic studies, has been celebrated with gusto by the secular left and much of the media. The demise of religion in America – in particular Christianity – has some almost giddy. Of course, this supposed shift in demographics is hoped to impact elections and public policy, with the subjugation of public religious activity surly to follow. One need look only to the impact the Supreme Court’s marriage decision has had on those who dare take their belief in natural marriage outside the walls of their church. In a recent missive about its angst over a Catholic ministry dismissing an employee who was involved in a same-sex relationship (thus violating the church’s teachings), Equality Virginia implied this false narrative: “we respect religious freedom for our country. That right, which has preserved everyone’s ability to worship and believe as they choose….” Except, of course, that’s not religious freedom in America; the constitution protects our right to “exercise” our faith, not just some obscure right to “worship and believe.”
Now, a new study indicates that the secular left’s celebration of the “nones” may have been just a tad premature:
“According to a 2015 global study published in Demographic Research, social scientists were wrong to predict the demise of religion. The study and its connected Pew Research Center report show that between 2010 and 2050, the growth of religious populations worldwide is projected to be 23 times larger than the growth of religiously unaffiliated populations. During this period, the number of people affiliated with a religion is expected to grow by 2.3 billion, from 5.8 billion in 2010 to 8.1 billion in 2050. By contrast, the number of people unaffiliated with any religion (including those who say their religion is “nothing in particular” as well as self-identifying agnostics and atheists) is projected to increase by only 0.1 billion, from 1.13 billion in 2010 to 1.23 billion in 2050.”
Not only that, but the study encourages more religious freedom and tolerance, not less:
“This growing religious diversity can be an economic strength if national and business leaders promote interfaith understanding, protect minority groups’ human rights, and advance freedom of religion or belief, thereby ensuring sustainable and peaceful development for all.”
Interesting points to remember as Virginia’s Governor Terry McAuliffe touts “inclusive” policies that could, in fact, punish religiously affiliated people who happen to disagree with the Governor’s view of morality. After all, if it’s all about the “economy and jobs,” the Governor should be thinking about all those multinational businesses that might just avoid Virginia if our policies are tolerant toward everyone except those with whom he disagrees.