Should the Unaffiliated Be Called “Nones”?

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Welcome to the Morning Buzz, PRRI’s morning dose of religion-related news with a shot of data – because what doesn’t liven up a morning round-up like some public opinion numbers?

This fascinating “missed connections” graphic raises more questions than it answers, particularly when it comes to the state of Indiana.

In a column for the Washington Post, Christian Piatt argues that the religiously unaffiliated shouldn’t be described as “nones.” As our recent survey shows, only about one-third of religiously unaffiliated Americans identify as atheists or agnostics, and many religiously unaffiliated Americans report that they believe in God.

Pope Benedict XVI, in one of his last acts as pontiff, amended Catholic Church law so that the conclave to choose his successor can begin earlier. As Dr. Robert P. Jones, PRRI CEO, noted in a recent interview with NPR, many American Catholics support adjusting traditional beliefs and practices to fit changing circumstances or the adoption of modern beliefs and practices.

Meanwhile, Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest, outlines 5 common myths about the search for a new pope. The new Roman Catholic leader could bring big changes for China’s Catholics.

A transgender rights bill is advancing in the New York state legislature. Approximately 9-in-10 (89%) Americans agree that transgender people deserve the same rights and protections as other Americans.

A group of Christian leaders are, once again, urging Congress to eschew their financial squabbles and find a way to agree on new revenue and spending cuts that will simultaneously reduce the deficit and protect America’s poorest citizens.

Why was this photo taken? Maybe it’s better not to know.

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2 Responses to “Should the Unaffiliated Be Called “Nones”?”

  1. ocrttol says:

    On the religious tolerance web site ( we refer to people with no religious affiliation as “NOTAs, as in “NOT Affiliated.” The rest of the world seems to use “NONES,” which is very unfortunate. It makes life difficult for TV and Radio announcers when they struggle with two homonyms: nuns and nones. The fact that both refer to religious groups is particularly confusing.

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