The Religious Nones

[541 words]

Who are the religious nones? Sounds like a religious order (almost), but it is actually a segment of the population that declares no religious affiliation, 28 percent of the population so declare. This means that of the “religious” affiliations, they are the second largest group, behind 40 percent of the population who identify as Protestants (Catholics at 20 percent). Though they are not technically religiously affiliated, I do identify them as affiliated with religious secularism—that is, the way of thinking that promotes self and ideology above all others.

Though this is not surprising, it can’t help but be disappointing. Think about this for a moment. The government, in most of our communities, has long held on to what I call secular religion—that is, a philosophy of promoting ideas contrary to the ways of God. They reject the notion of “religious” because this word is associated with “God” or “gods.” The Cambridge dictionary defines the word as living or worshiping according to beliefs of a particular religion and I maintain this religion is state religion, a state religion that seeks to make laws that are contrary to the Lord’s way (in some contexts).

Not everyone in government subscribes to such a philosophy, but as an entity, that is the direction in which it moves. Because the government entity moves in this direction, the godly-oriented citizen is something to be placated or tolerated. We are where we are in society (moral chaos) because the godly-oriented community did not take a stand against them but voted them into public office.

What does a “religious none” look like? He looks like a carpenter working on a house, like a bank teller tending to a transaction, like a mother who is frustrated with her teenage girls, like a political leader who feigns religion support for votes. They are everywhere and can be anyone. A “religious none” can also be a college professor like Kevin Bruyneel who has a picture of himself with a tee-shirt that reads “Thank God for abortion” ( Some parents send their children to him, educated in the new religious fad of the day.

In Ohio, the “religious nones” are putting forth a law that Christians must oppose. It is a self-evident truth that abortion is a moral evil, a crime against humanity. Yet, opposition to abortion is framed in the political discourse as an effort by the religious community to impose their beliefs (an outright lie) on others as they seek to outlaw the killing of the innocent. In Ohio, in this voting cycle, there is an effort to amend the state constitution. It is called Ohio “Issue 1.” It is an attempt to put into state law a prohibition against any effort to outlaw abortion, thus making murder of the innocent legal. No Christian should vote “yes” on Issue 1.

The fruit of religious nones is to mock the holiness of God, and to upend the moral fabric of society. Who are the religious nones? Whoever they are, they live by the principle as revealed in the Book of Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25, KJV).

Ron Thomas
Rio Grande church of Christ
Bidwell, OH

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