Most Americans Aren't Religious Anymore: How Sad Is That?

It seems as though we're losing our religion. According to new research study by Pew, more Americans than ever are identifying themselves as "non-religious." Since 2007, people who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic, or of no particular faith has gone from 16 percent to 23 percent, while Christians dropped from 78 percent to about 70 percent.


The number of people engaging in non-Christian religions grew from 4.7 percent to 5.9 percent, but not nearly enough to make up the gap of people walking away from faith-based intuitions. 

Which is a tragedy. Active religious participation greatly benefits our society, and it doesn't even have to be Christianity. It turns out that just having faith in something bigger than yourself, in some creator or purpose, and actively attending worship services is good for everyone.

Let's take a look at some of the many reasons why, shall we? 

Religion is good for your your physical and psychological health. It gives a sense of belonging, purpose, and optimism that we might otherwise lack. Believing in a creator that made us special and different just because he wanted to offers a great sense of peace and comfort that lends to our well being. At least one study has found that regularly attending religious services can lead to an extra seven years of life expectancy.

A healthier community is better for everyone, especially now that Obamacare is in effect, and we're all financially responsible for each other's health care costs.

Speaking of taking care of one another, those who regularly attend church are much more likely to give to charity or engage in community service. Do we even need to get into the benefits of charity in our society? Helping others and showing kindness to our neighbors is good, the end.

More from The Stir: My Kids Believe in God & It Doesn't Make Them Idiots

It also keeps the crime rate down. In fact, the more a person attends a place of worship, the less likely they are to steal, do illegal drugs, or generally harm others. Must be something about that pesky sense of morality.

And religion helps us raise our kids. It's a community, and a (hopefully) safe place for kids to explore their spirituality. We all wonder where we came from, what's the meaning of life (it's probably not "42"). It brings us together to make friends, create bonds, and maybe even find a local babysitter or two.

Do you think religion is important in America?


Image via © Marie Blum/Masterfile/Corbis

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