The March 12, 2012 edition of Time Magazine presented an interesting cover story entitled Ten Ideas That are Changing Your Life. This story was broken up into ten sub-articles each written by different authors. I found all of the articles highly interesting. But, due to the theme of this blog, I wanted to focus on only one particular article here-- The Rise of the Nones, by Amy Sullivan. She shares how the population of non-religious people is growing to an all time high in the United States (about 16% of the US population). But, this group isn't referencing mainly atheists or agnostics. The majority of this group seems to be made up of church-goers who have become tired of dogmatism; theists who are still seeking spirituality and fellowship with other believers-- but they refuse to be described by or bound by any particular denominational or sectarian label within Christianity.
So when filling out surveys, these people mark their religious preferences as "none".
Thus the title of the Time Magazine article: The Rise of the Nones.
This trend causes me to wonder if the Nones will help us atheists to be better accepted by the rest of the religious world. Have the Nones let go of dogmatism in exchange for tolerance and acceptance of non-believers? Will the Nones regard us atheists and agnostics as actual contributers to society rather than the cause of God's wrath upon America?
I wonder if this trend concerning the Nones is a sign that more and more people of religious faith are becoming flexible enough to believe without imposing upon others. Can the Nones fully appreciate and accept both sides of the coin concerning freedom of religion?
Can the Nones help us?
Maybe they can. Or, perhaps it's all wishful thinking on my part.
Time will tell. And when the results finally come in, I really hope the news is good.