Based on a 2014 study by Pew Research, we know that on a national level, there are almost 56 million Americans who are “Nones” - the second-largest “religious” group, trailing only to Evangelical Protestants in number. In the last seven years, the nontheistic Americans have increased from 16% to 23% of all U.S. adults.
That's great news! But how do we fare here in Ohio?
The same study shows that 33% of Ohioans do not express an absolute belief in God and 44% disagree that “religion is very important to their lives.” Again, this is great news, BUT looking at what goes on in our state and country and the bills that are proposed that seek to press religious beliefs on all of us, you may be surprised to see this substantial percentage. We need to make our secular voices heard in order influence our legislators to be inclusive of ALL and NO religion within legislation.
As you write and speak to your legislators, urge them to do following:
1. Specifically including nontheists and those without religion when talking about or listing different groups of people. When leaders set an example, others listen and follow.
2. Stopping the sponsorship and support of legislation and resolutions that are solely based on religious dogma and for religious supporters.
3. Inviting nontheist groups to constituent meetings and town halls to ensure balanced representation.
We are growing as a group, but we need to get the word out! I hope you will join me in helping to make this happen.