Why Are Many Americans Abandoning Religion? A Lot of the Credit Goes to Pastors

By Hemant Mehta

Why are you an atheist or agnostic?

The obvious answer might be because you don’t believe in God. Or maybe you don’t think anyone can know if God exists.

Becka A. Alper of the Pew Research Center, using data obtained late last year, just published an analysis looking specifically at the reasons “Nones” gave for why they don’t belong to an organized religion… and the responses are all over the place.

The first question gave everyone a list of options for why they were “unaffiliated,” and they could pick from several options.

First, let’s just look at the atheists. No surprise here: 89% of them said that their disbelief in God was an important reason they weren’t part of any organized religion. That was followed by 77% of atheists who said they “question a lot of religious teachings” and 63% who said “religion is irrelevant to me.”

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