Cathy Grossman of USA Today looks at some recent polling data and finds that a fast-growing segment of the American population is just not all that interested in religion one way or another.
•44% told the 2011 Baylor University Religion Survey they spend no time seeking “eternal wisdom,” and 19% said “it’s useless to search for meaning.”
•46% told a 2011 survey by Nashville-based evangelical research agency, LifeWay Research, they never wonder whether they will go to heaven.
•28% told LifeWay “it’s not a major priority in my life to find my deeper purpose.” And 18% scoffed that God has a purpose or plan for everyone.
•6.3% of Americans turned up on Pew Forum’s 2007 Religious Landscape Survey as totally secular — unconnected to God or a higher power or any religious identity and willing to say religion is not important in their lives.
Hemant Mehta, who blogs as The Friendly Atheist, calls them the “apatheists”
The Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Episcopal Bishop of Washington D.C., calls them honest.
“We live in a society today where it is acceptable now to say that they have no spiritual curiosity. At almost any other time in history, that would have been unacceptable,” Budde says.
She finds this “very sad because the whole purpose of faith is to be a source of guidance, strength and perspective in difficult times. To be human is to have a sense of purpose, an awareness that our life is an utterly unique expression of creation and we want to live it with meaning, grace and beauty.”