In Chapter 2 of Chaves’ book, “American Religion”, he discusses reasons for the accelerating number of people who would reply “none” when asked the question, “what is your religion?”. I found an article from NPR talking about the prayer leaders that Donald Trump has chosen to pray at his inauguration.
Among them, “an African-American megachurch leader from Detroit, a Florida woman known for her lavish lifestyle and preaching on “abundancy,” a rabbi from Los Angeles, and a Hispanic evangelical — as well as Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York.” This article got me thinking about how one of the reasons stated for the increase of “nones” is how people in the U.S. have seen the rise in political stands that their religion has taken and associated being part of that faith with those political views. They start to think that they don’t want to be like “them” (Gjelten, 2017). They don’t agree with those views and so more and more people decline to identify themselves with that certain religion.
I can understand this way of thinking as it is also one of the reasons for why I have distanced myself from the Catholic church and hesitate to call myself a Catholic. Religion and politics are becoming increasingly intertwined to the point that being part of a certain religion would mean people will stereotype you or have prejudice against you. Prejudice against Muslims, for example, and the attributions the media give to people who follow Islam. Religion is being used as a form of manipulation and political tool and can make people wary to align themselves with their faith.