Nonreligious Rising? Maybe Not

There will be a serious, ongoing political and social commitment needed by the nonreligious and secular religious who expect to maintain their freedoms and pass similar expectations of freedom on, to the generations that follow.

Agnostic, atheist, humanist, and naturalist devotees . . . yogis, secularists, philosophers . . . thinkers:

Life is much about discourse, perception, and power.

If the way in which you identify has been left out of the previous heading, in bold, it’s only because that distinction wasn’t foremost in thought at the time of writing. It’s all about the perception. Be assured that all types of agnostics, humanists, etc. are included in the salutation.

Living a free, religiously-unaffiliated, secular lifestyle as an independent person will depend more (as religions rise and religious plurality increases) on vocal and civic participation by each person, wherever they go.

It’s often reported that the number of nontheist, unafilliated persons is only increasing, as if–knowing this–some natural understanding among the variously committed religious persons will occur and suddenly  accept the secular they now so reject, and step aside. However, the reality is that while the number of unaffiliated will surely continue to rise, that this is primarily a symptom of population rise and that–in fact–populations continue to rise en masse, which means that the numbers of varietal religious will also rise, with relatively few persons unaligned with one of them.

As Harriett Sherwood points out in Religion: why faith is becoming more and more popular, having “no religion” is nothing new. Nonbelievers have been around for as long as humans have walked on Earth.

Though the number of nonreligious persons may spike at times in certain areas, one may question any momentum of freedom from religion, aka freedom to practice any religion or no religion, aka secularism, in a global environment that is little different than any local one has been where a majority engage in religious practices (and tend to dominate organizational systems and wield excess political power).

Photo image of birds in flight
“Flight of Birds” photo by thom masat via Unsplash

Our votes for representation in government should reflect our exercise of  freedoms each day. Where we work and live, who we love and why, what we intimately believe . . . all of these should be uninhibited by actors and circumstances that use religion as tools of oppression. The challenge today, knowing all this, is for secular people to acknowledge their lifestyles at every turn. This includes the voting booth.


The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050. Pew Research Center. April 2015. R October 2018.

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