Updated: Tuesday, 29 Sep 2009, 8:04 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 29 Sep 2009, 6:39 PM EDT
Hartford (WTNH) - A new study shows a growing number of people don't identify with
any religion leaving many to wonder if faith is being put on the
"In God we trust"...or, do we? It seems when it comes to religion we, as a society, have become a bit skeptical. A new survey out of Trinity College, in Hartford, is sending shock waves across Connecticut and the country.
"It's a very big change nationally," said Barry Kosmin of Trinity College.
Kosmin and Ariela Keysar are the lead investigators of the report. They call themselves "nones" -- not to be confused with the Catholic sisters. But when asked, "What religion do you follow?" They simply will reply, "None."
"Every region and state in the country is showing the same trend," said Kosmin.
Not all of the "nones" are atheists. Many believe in God but don't believe in the church, the temple or the mosque.
Statistically there's more men than women, more young people than old. But the "nones" include all races, religions and ethnicities.
Their findings are reflected on these streets.
"I go to church sometimes, like with my grandma or something like that, but other than that, I don't really go to church," said Alizea Thomas of Hartford.
Diana Colombo said she's still religious, and raised her children that way, but it's not the same as when she was raised.
"I still pray, I still go to mass, I still go to church but I'm not as into it as I was brought up to be," she said.
Why the change of heart? The shift began back in the 1990's.
That year, the "nones" were numbered 14-million; now, it's more than doubled to 34-million.
In prosperous times, attendance at religious services tends to lag. In recession, it picks up again. So the trend has slowed a bit but continued since the 90's.
"Your next question's going to be, why in the 1990's? I'm going to tell you, that will be the next piece of research because nobody really knows," said Kosmin.
The state with the highest number of "nones" is Vermont and the lowest is Mississippi. There is a large percentage of former Catholics in areas, like New England, where the church scandals hit hard. There was a disproportionate number of Catholics, particularly men, leaving; they didn't change religions, just decided against them.