Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Spiritual But Not Religious

A Pew Research Center study released earlier this week clarifies the 18% of Americans who now define themselves as “spiritual but not religious” including 1 in 6 who are religiously affiliated and 37% of whom who are unaffiliated:

  • 92% believe in God or a Universal Spirit with 55% absolutely certain of that belief
  • 47% seldom or never attend a worship service while 19% attend weekly
  • 31% seldom or never pray while 44% pray daily
  • 55% are women, 45% are men
  • 70% are white, 11% are black and 11% are Hispanic
  • 23% are ages 18-29, 37% are 30-49, 30% are 50-64 and 11% are 65 or older
  • 35% are college graduates, 30% some college and 35% high school graduates or less
  • 44% are married, 56% not married and 22% divorced/separated/widowed, 24% never married and 11% living with a partner
  • 32% make more than $75,000 or more in family income, 33% make $30,000-$74,999 and 35% under $30,000
  • 35% are politically moderate, 36% are liberal and 26% are conservative
  • 31% are Republican or lean Republican, 62% are Democrat or lean Democrat and 8% don’t lean either way
  • 31% view religion as very important, 36% as not too important or not at all important
  • 45% are affiliated with a religion while 52% are unaffiliated and 3% did not specify

It is well worth reading the full report to see how the “spiritual but not religious” compare with those who are religious or religiously affiliated.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Reyn, this IS an interesting article...one I'm sharing with Eddie. You know, I am affiliated with a denomination and am certainly involved in church, but I consider myself "spiritual" and not religious. In fact, I find it rather offensive or uninformed when someone automatically uses the term "religious" about someone like me, probably because, for me, it denotes legalism and ritualistic, while spirituality denotes true relationship, seeking, growth and outreach for all the right reasons - and outpouring of the heart.

Thanks for sharing!

Carrey said...

Spirituality is indeed different from religion. With religion, one has to follow rules and norms. Spirituality comes from within. And there are several ways to achieve this internal peace. I know there are meditation courses that really helps individuals.