About one in five people in the U.S. now claim no religious affiliation.  In this group are atheists, agnostics, and people who may or may not believe in a high power but want nothing to do with churches or organized religion.  So why, after all these years, are things changing?  I have a couple of ideas after the jump.  Please don't read further if you think this might upset you, that is not the goal.

I think two things are at the heart of religions decline, education, and changing morals.  Now, when I say “education” I’m not saying religious or non-religious people are smarter or dumber than each other.  I’m just saying that where some may have accepted religious explanations for some things, they now have the power of the mighty internet to ask questions and find scientific answers to their questions.  Let's not forget there was a time when we thought that thunder was "the gods fighting" and now we know it's due to weather conditions.   Next are changing morals.  There are many of us who don’t think it’s our business whether people are gay, where others go on Sunday, and what are “sins” and what are base human emotions.   To explain that last part a bit more, let’s take “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife”.  To a small, and I’m just claiming to a small degree, humans are genetically programmed to “spread their seed” and continue the species.  This is to say, it’s basically base human nature to say “I want one of those” when looking at an attractive person.  Now, you can debate the word “covet” all day and I’ll also say this a weak example, but still an example.  So in the end, why should a biologically drive, be considered a “sin”?

I do believe church scandals, fighting between faiths and even contradictions in the Bible are big factors too, but let’s leave those problems for some one more scholarly than me.

I’m not looking to change anyone’s mind on anything here, I’m just trying to explain where I think some of the "nones"  are “coming from”.  I have very strong feelings on the subject myself, but that’s not why I’m writing this.   I think all but a very few people ask a question or two about their religion or lack of religion and everyone deserves to know they’re not alone.  As far as religious matters go, even in matters of faith, I believe your rights end where someone else’s begins.  I firmly believe that you should have the right to worship any way you want, but you have absolutely, positively NO right to try to tell anyone else what they are doing is against your religion.  For example, if you don’t believe in “gay marriage”, don’t be gay and get married.  At the same time, if you want to throw snakes to prove your faith, I’m not going to stop you either.