number of non-religious people in the United States. In fact, it is the fasted growing sector of the population as far as religion is concerned -- growing faster than any religion or religious sect in this country. This is not necessarily a homogenous group. It is made up of atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and many who just don't care about religion at all. The only thing they really have in common is that none of them are seeking a religion to belong to.
This brings up an interesting question (at least for me). We know that many religious fundamentalists have virtually rewritten the rules of their religion to include right-wing Republican politics -- as though Jesus would somehow have changed his teachings if he lived in 21st Century America to ignore the poor and disadvantaged and throw his support to giving more money to corporations and the rich. Personally, I think this kind of attitude is what's driving many from the churches.
But how does this growing population of non-religious people vote? Do they stick with the right-wing politics they grew up with, or do they forsake that (along with the religion) and embrace a more secular and inclusive view of politics. In other words, do they become moderates, or even liberals?
The Public Religion Research Institute examined this question. The results they found are exhibited in the chart above. Since 1984, a significant majority of the non-religious have supported and voted for Democrats. In 1984 that percentage was about 59%, and it has been generally increasing since then. In 2008, three out of every four of the non-religious (75%) voted Democratic. This year that percentage is pretty much the same, with 73% supporting the Democratic candidates.
This makes a lot of sense to me. If you no longer believe your god (or your religion) commands you to discriminate against women and the LGBT community or supports hurting the poor to give more money to the rich, then Republican right-wing politics really doesn't seem logical (or even moral) anymore.