|(Photo by Lars Plougmann)|
Although it seems as though people who check "None" for religion might be atheists, it is more likely that they have spiritual leanings.
Steven Barrie-Anthony writes in The Atlantic that one-fifth of all Americans check 'none' on surveys concerning religious preference, and this amount rises to one-third when focusing in on youths under 30 "who helped propel Obama into office."
Barrie-Anthony warns that savvy politicians might better get to know what makes these "Nones" tick. Stereotypically portraying this religiously-unaffiliated group as "atheists or secularists" who are "lukewarm participants in political and civic life" could be quite alienating to a potentially powerful voting bloc.
In reality, "Nones" are often quite preoccupied with community affairs because of their strong (sacred or otherwise) sense of social justice. However, it could be difficult for many to approach this work from an organizational perspective because there remain far fewer "spiritual" organizations than religious ones.
The wise politician will therefore provide opportunities that appeal specifically to the "Nones" – ones that stress spiritual commonalities rather than religious (etc.) differences.
Copyright January 16, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved