Taking Leave of Religion

Taking Leave of Religion 1

Gwenda Kaczor for The Chronicle Review

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Gwenda Kaczor for The Chronicle Review

A secular wind is blowing across America.

Consider the numbers. Seventeen percent of Americans now claim "none" as their religion, up from 8.2 percent in 1990—a doubling in just over 20 years. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey reports that 16.1 percent of Americans are religiously "unaffiliated." In 2003, according to a Harris Poll, 4 percent of Americans were atheist; in 2006 it was 6 percent; and in 2008, the number was 10