Atheism now reported as largest U.S. religion

By JAMES PHILLIPS,

While doing some reading this past weekend, I came upon a story purporting that Atheism is now the largest religion in the U.S. I find it illogical and confusing that Atheism is even called a religion, but for the purposes of this article I will leave that be.

When I first read this claim I thought the article must be based on biased research and manipulated data, but I was wrong. The more I researched the claim, the more I found it to be valid. That is assuming you separate Christianity into denominations. No matter how the data is interpreted, I find it shocking to say the least.

I reviewed the results of numerous surveys and polling data from the preceding 20 years. What I found was eye opening. The number of Americans who say they have no religion has increased 266 percent during that time period. Atheist don’t believe in God or religion, but they are now considered the largest religion in the U.S. They reportedly account for 23.1 percent of the total population, barely edging out Catholics and Evangelicals.

During the 20-year decline of religiosity, we have endured a drastic rise in mental disorders that plague our country. Anxiety Disorders are now the most common mental illness among American adults and teenagers. A reported one-in-five adults suffer from anxiety disorders, and one-in-six of all Americans take antidepressant drugs. These numbers have seen an upward surge of 65 percent over the last two decades. I have known for many years that America is the most medicated and pharmaceutically aided populous in the world, but the numbers are only growing worse.

In addition to the anxiety disorders, depression diagnoses have increased by 33 percent since 2013. Drilling down a little further in these numbers, I found the number of Millennials diagnosed with depression is up 47 percent, and up 63 percent among teenagers. 

These significant increases are alarming, but these are not the most disturbing trends. Suicide rates among teenagers have increased by 70 percent over the same time period, and the American life expectancy declined again last year. It appears Americans are continuing to drug and kill themselves at record numbers each year.

Being an individual of unshakeable faith in God, and not one who believes in coincidences, I believe these worrisome statistics have a direct correlation with the metastasizing of Atheism. Add to that the ever-changing moral compass in this country and it’s clear to see it’s time to get back to “In God We Trust” as a nation.

I recall a passage I read in the past that pertains to these very issues. I cannot remember who wrote this, but the words have remained with me. “Politics is downstream of culture, and culture is downstream of religion.” Essentially, a culture is defined by what, or whom, it worships. A godly culture worships God, a materialistic culture worships wealth or possessions and a immoral culture worships themselves. What do we worship as a society?

Long ago social scientists established a direct link between strong religious beliefs and life satisfaction. People who attend worship services weekly are happier, and more satisfied, with their lives. In fact, people who attend religious services that worship God multiple times each month are twice as likely as those who worship less than once a month to describe themselves as “very happy.”

Many psychologists simply state what we believers understand as obvious —Having faith in God, knowing that He loves you and that you will spend eternity with Him, offers far greater comfort than the belief that life ends with death and a forever dirt nap.

There is another important point that was well explained by Founding Father John Adams, “Our Constitution was made for moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other people.”