Almost Half Of Britons Now Identify As Non-Religious

“Equally interesting, however, is the fact that in recent years – since 2009 – ‘No religion’ has stopped growing as a share of the population. It’s by no means in decline, of course, but we’re no longer seeing year-on-year increases”,  stated Professor Stephen Bullivant, Director of the Benedict XVI Centre and author of the report.

According to ‘The “No Religion” Population of Britain’ report by Stephen Bullivant, professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, non-religious people, known as ‘nones’, account for 48.6 percent of Britain’s population.

Although there has been an overall trend towards secularization in Britain, the figures also show record numbers of people from non-Christian faiths, such as Islam and Hinduism.

The number of British people identifying as Christian dropped from 55 percent to 43 percent between 1983 and 2015. By contrast, non-Christian believers such as Muslims and Hindus quadrupled.

“The rise of the non-religious is arguably the story of British religious history over the past half-century or so,” Bullivant said.

“Looking at the long-term pattern, the non-religious share of the population has shown strong growth over our whole period,” the report states.

“The year 2009 was the first in which nones outnumbered all Christians put together.

“With the single exception of 2011, this pattern has held ever after. In two years, 2009 and 2013, nones formed a majority of the adult British population.”

However, the research, carried out with data from the annual British Social Attitudes survey and the biennial European Social Survey, also highlights how the falling number of worshipers with the Church of England seems to have stabilized.

Bullivant said patriotism might be driving this trend, as Christianity and Englishness tend to be conflated. RT

Non-religious and pray

A quarter of people who say they have no religion admit to praying, a report has found.

Nearly one in four people in Britain who claim to be non-religious say that prayer forms a part of their life, while a similar proportion admit to attending religious services.

The study by the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, found that nearly half the British population now identifies as non-religious – however, nearly three fifths of these still profess some level of personal religiousness.

Around four per cent of people who claim to be non-religious even admit to praying daily, with over a quarter of non-religious over-75s praying at least monthly. CatholicHerald

Decline and Recovering

Prof Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, told The Observer newspaper: “We’ve seen a vast shedding of nominal Christianity, and perhaps it’s now down to its hardcore.”

Prof Bullivant said that the Church was recovering after losing a lot of believers after the publication of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion in 2006.

He told The Telegraph that the release of Dawkins’ book had stopped a lot of latent Anglicans from describing themselves as Christian.

Prof Bullivant said: “That book was really aimed at those people who said they were Anglican but didn’t really believe in God. So a lot of them stopped ticking Anglican on the forms and started to tick atheist instead.”

He also suggests a link between patriotism and Christianity, stating “People see Christianity as an expression of Englishness”. Premier


The Shifting Of America’s Moral Compass

The Bible used to form the basis for morality.  Today that is no longer true, right and wrong are relative to the situation with a constant shifting as morality is not based on anything permanent.

Most older Americans say right and wrong never change. Younger Americans—not so much.

A new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research found a significant generation gap in how Americans view morality.

More than 6 in 10 of those older than 45 say right and wrong do not change. For those 35 and younger, fewer than 4 in 10 make that claim.

That’s a huge shift between generations, said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. Older Americans grew up at time when ideas about morality were more stable, he says. That’s no longer true for younger Americans.

“We are shifting very fast from a world where right and wrong didn’t change to a world where right and wrong are relative,” McConnell said. “We are not all on the same page when it comes to morality. And we haven’t reckoned with what that means.” LifeWayResearch

Right and Wrong

As part of the study, LifeWay Research also asked Americans how they decide between right and wrong on a personal level.

Half (52 percent) say right and wrong never change. A third (32 percent) say whether or not someone gets hurt plays a role in determining if something is right or wrong.

Americans also consider whether something is legal (24 percent) or whether the benefits outweigh the costs (20 percent) when thinking about morality. Fewer worry about what the majority of people think (8 percent) or whether an institution gets hurt (10 percent).  LifeWayResearch

Researcher Retracts Study On Changing Opinions Of Same-sex Marriage

Professor Donald P. Green

A study published in the journal Science purported to show that one brief conversation with a gay rights canvasser could change someone’s mind about same-sex marriage.  The study claimed to be based on survey research conducted in California after Proposition 8 was passed.

Donald P. Green, a political science professor at Columbia University, and Michael J. LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA, published the study in Science journal last December entitled When Contact Changes Minds: An Experiment on Transmission of Support for Gay Equality. The survey attracted wide attention as it seemed to contradict other studies about how people hold to or do not hold to moral positions. Mixing a worldview with a political agenda a fake study is created to show that individual’s view on sexuality can be changed with a short conversion.

The survey data was provided by Green’s co-author, UCLA graduate student Michael J. LaCour. When two Berkeley graduate students sought to do an extension of the study red flags appeared.  The graduate students contacted the firm the did the survey’s, they were told the firm had never worked with LaCour at all.  The problem was that all the data was fabricated.  The study has been retracted on the request of one of the study’s co-authors, Columbia University professor Donald P. Green.

Naturally, I’m quite embarrassed by the whole situation, embarrassed to have any role in the situation. It’s not my idea of fun or recreation to answer journalists’ questions hours after hours after hours, day after day. Naturally, I resent being put in this awkward position for no reason.

I obviously have gotten along very nicely with Michael, and we have been friendly. But my puzzlement now is, if he fabricated the data, surely he must have known that when people tried to replicate his study, they would fail to do so and the truth would come out. And so why not reason backward and say, let’s do the the study properly? I guess maybe another source of puzzlement I have is at some level, I don’t really care how the study comes out, I just want to know how the experiment comes out. It comes out the way it comes out — I just want it to come out the same way twice, however it comes out, so that other people will find the same thing I’m finding. Then they can do replications and extensions and new directions. NYMag

Green continues: “When my colleague and UCLA professor Lynn Vavreck, who is Michael LaCour’s dissertation advisor confronted him with the allegations… He was unable to produce any such raw data, nor was he able to render them from his hard drive, nor was the Qualtrics [database] representative able to verify that the data ever existed. So I can only conclude that they did not exist.” CBC

CNN Poll: American’s Want Next President To Change Obama’s Policies

3d-character-holding-a-green-checkmark-An interesting poll by CNN.

Three statements generated wide-reaching support. Fifty-nine percent of Americans say they’d like a candidate who has been in the public eye as a political leader for many years over one who’s new to the political scene. Further, 59% say they prefer a candidate with executive experience over one who’s worked as a legislator, and 57% say their perfect Obama successor would change most of the policies enacted by Obama’s administration.

By political party, the numbers are not surprising: 94% of Republicans want a candidate who will change most of Obama’s policies; 77% of Democrats want a candidate who will keep most of Obama’s polices while 22% side with the poll respondents from the GOP. The Blaze