TBJE 23: Latinx Secularism

Luciano and Juhem kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with a discussion about Latinx secularism. Who are we? How many of us out there? Why don’t hear more about this growing segment of the Latinx population?

Links:

Media Stereotypes and the Invisible Latino “Nones” (Juhem Navarro-Rivera, Free Inquiry)

Reports:

Changing Faiths: Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion (Pew Research Center 2007)

U.S. Latino Religious Identification 1990-2008: Change, Diversity & Transformation (Juhem Navarro-Rivera, Barry A. Kosmin & Ariela Keysar, ISSSC 2010)

How Shifting Religious Identities and Experiences are Influencing Hispanic Approaches to Politics (Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox & Juhem Navarro-Rivera, PRRI 2013)

The Shifting Religious Identity of Latinos in the United States (Pew Research Center 2014)

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What I’m Listening

La Experiencia de Benito Juárez #2(22): Demócratas, valores familiares, y Charlottesville. In our second Spanish-language episode we discuss the Democrats’ “Better Deal,” a progressive call to appropriate the phrase “family values,” we close with a discussion of confederate monuments after Charlottesville.

In The Thick #78: It’s not Activism, it’s Journalism. María Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela talk with MSNBC’s Joy Reid and she has the best advice for dealing with Trump supporters in the media.

Code Switch: It’s Getting (Dangerously) Hot in Herre. An amazing episode about the inequality of climate change through the lens of a Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Episode 22(2): Demócratas, valores familiares y Charlottesville

En nuestro segundo episodio Juhem y Luciano discuten varios temas. El primer segmento se enfoca en la estrategia de los líderes del partido Demócrata para ganar las elecciones del 2018. El segundo segmento trata de apropiación del término “valores familiares” para el uso de la población no religiosa. El programa cierra con una discusión de los eventos en Charlottesville el mes pasado.

The Shrinking Secular Gender Gap

Among the many findings of the latest PRRI report on religion in America, my favorite is the growing number of women with no religious affiliation. In their new report, PRRI reports that 45 percent of women are nones. This is up 4 percentage points from what the Pew Religious Landscape Survey found a decade ago. An increase of 4 percentage points may not sound like much. But if we look at it in terms of real population numbers the impact of this increase becomes apparent.

The nones growing faster than the general population.

Between 2007 and 2016 the adult population in the USA went from 227.2 million to 249.5 million, a 10 percent overall growth in a little less than a decade. However, the secular population increased from 16 percent of the adult population (or roughly 36.4 million people) to 24 percent (or 59.9 million). In other words, the nones increased by 64 percent (basically, 6.5 times faster than the adult population).

More than half of “new nones” are women.

There is still a gender imbalance in the none population, but in the last decade women left religion at similar rates. In 2007 14.9 million women identified as nones (41 percent of all nones). If we extrapolate the PRRI numbers, a total of nearly 27 million women have now no religious affiliation. That indicates a growth of 81 percent in the number of women with no religious affiliation. The 12.1 million women who have joined the ranks of the nones represent 51 percent of the 23.5 million new nones in the last decade.

Making the world safer for secular women

The Pew and PRRI data don’t have much to say about why people, and especially women, are leaving religion. But those of us who have done so and who know many people who have abandoned the religion they were raised in and became atheists, agnostics and other types of nones have an idea of what’s going on. In a world where women are a major part of the labor force, where there’s a political party dedicated full-time to send women back to the home…and that said party is controlled by the most reactionary religious elements of the country, it should not be surprising that women have decided that religion isn’t for them. That doesn’t mean that secularism is more welcoming. Despite of their love for pointing out religious misogyny, many so-called atheist and secular leaders are very good at dissing the views of secular women. The data may show that religion is losing its grip on many in the United States, but unless we have institutions that are truly inclusive, organized secularism will continue to be a boys club.

Sources:

Adult population

2016 nones gender ratios

2007 nones gender ratios

Note: edited to fix typo “adulation” meant “adult population” (thanks autocorrect)

What I’m Reading

A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been (Michael Grunwald, Politico.com) Interesting story of urban development, water management, and human hubris in the creation of modern Florida.

Can You Be Good Without God? (Brandon Withrow, TheDailyBeast.com) An article about negative stereotypes about atheists that goes beyond the usual Angry White Dudes (you know who they are) and interviews some fresh and reasonable atheist voices.

The First White President (Ta-Nehisi Coates, TheAtlantic.com) Long-ish read about white rage and the rise of Trump.

The March of the Nones Continue

PRRI released yesterday a new ginormous poll of religious identification in the United States. At 101,000-ish cases the largest this century and its scope is so large that it is really unprecedented. Of course, I am interested in what it says about the religious nones. And I may say, many things are good news.

Take, for example, this pretty line chart tracing the growth of the nones back 40 years. Up to the 1990s, roughly 1-in-10 Americans were non religious. Then, by the 2000s the population started growing and was famously captured and highlighted by the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey nearly a decade ago. Back then people considered that 15 percent of Americans being non religious was a pretty big deal. In the crazy days following the release of the 2008 ARIS those of us in that team did a lot of media. My friend Ryan Cragun did an interview (I can’t recall where) predicting that the nones soon will be 25 percent of the country. I thought that was optimistic, time has proved me wrong.

Today, about one-quarter of Americans are religious nones. What does that mean for the country and its future? I don’t really know, but I will explore several questions regarding the growth of the nones in the next few posts using the PRRI report. I will explore the demographics of the nones, the politics of the nones, and likely engage with some of the pieces that have been, are being, and will be written about this report.

TBJE 21: Charlottesville

Luciano and Juhem recap the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia last month. They argue about what to do with Confederate monuments and disagree about what’s the best way of contextualizing those artifacts. They also discuss President Trump’s response. The show closes with observations about weaponizing vehicles and the GOP enablers of this practice.

Links:

After Charlottesville Rally Ends in Violence, Alt-Right Vows to Return (Sarah Posner, Rolling Stone)

Update: US President Trump’s Response to Charlottesville Events (Human Rights Watch)

Legislation, Cars, And Protesters: How Laws Can Be Affected By Tragedy (Luciano GonzalezSin/God)

Be Not Constrained: James Croft on Humanists’ Responsibility to Fight Oppression (Point of Inquiry)

TBJE 20: Secular Family Values

In this belated episode Luciano and Juhem discuss ways of appropriating the term “family values” from the Christian Right. They explain what they mean by family values and why they think these are issues that progressive secularists can lead on.

Links:

Modern Family Values Could And Should Define Future Democrats (Luciano Gonzalez Sin/God)

Democrats Need To Stop Considering Backing Anti-Choice Politicians (Luciano Gonzalez Sin/God)

Representing Secular Family Values (Juhem Navarro-Rivera The LatiNone)

Anti-abortion Democrats fading from the scene (Reid Wilson The Hill)

“A date which will live in infamy”

August 29 is the date when two of my best buddies from high school were born, so it used to be a happy day and to some extent it is. But on this day 9 years ago, the day Michael Jackson celebrated his last birthday on Earth, the 2008 Republican candidate for President of the United States, Arizona Senator John McCain decided to celebrate his 72nd birthday by introducing his running-mate: then-governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.

She has now faded from memory, a political has-been that should’ve been a never was. But she’s not gone because our country became wiser and realized the horror that would’ve been having the most ignorant person to have a real shot at national office in recent memory a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

No, the country didn’t get wiser. It decided that it needed someone who was even more ignorant, someone who had less finesse, someone who didn’t even have the semblance of experience. They voted for Donald Trump. A man with Palinesque levels of ignorance but with money and name recognition.

Like Palin, he didn’t even fake having any interest in policy, at least Paul Ryan plays a policy wonk on TV. Like Palin, Trump weaponized resentment toward people of color and immigrants. She used her “real America” phrase to convey the sentiment that Trump converted into “make America great again.” And like Palin, Trump seems uninterested in the process of governing considering public service a moneymaking scheme. After her and McCain’s unsuccessful bid to run the Executive Branch, she quit the position of Governor halfway through her term to try a career in reality television, leveraging her new national profile. She failed to become Donald Trump, while Trump was able to become and exceed Sarah Palin.

When my friends ask why I don’t like the “maverick” McCain, this is why. At some point in the 2000s I bought the maverick image. Frustrated with the G.W. Bush years I wondered what would have been if John McCain had won that primary in early 2000. Never mind that his maverick schtick is all pose and no substance. Even after derailing the whatever the name of the last Republican health care plan earlier this summer I still can’t forgive him for his recklessness. He ruined my memory of 8/29 as the happy day when tow of my best buddies from my school days get temporarily older than me. I hope it did the same to his. Nine years ago a Donald Trump wannabe became potentially the Vice-President of the U.S., today her image mentor is the President. Thanks for nothing John McCain.

Image: Left to right: Todd Palin, Sarah Palin, Cindy McCain, and John McCain. Rally in Fairfax, Virginia on September 10, 2008. Photo by Rachael Dickson. CC license Wikimedia Commons

The Benito Juárez Experience 19

In this episode Juhem and Luciano discuss the Democrats’ reboot, also known as “A Better Deal.” They focus on three articles with different takes on the future of the Democratic Party.

Links:

Everything That’s Wrong with the Democratic ‘Reboot’ in One Lousy Op-Ed (Ian Haney López, Moyers & Company)

The Democratic Party Is in Worse Shape Than You Thought (Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times)

Democrats Are Trying to Win the 2018 Midterms in All the Wrong Ways (Steve Phillips, The Nation)

America Has a Long and Storied Socialist Tradition. DSA Is Reviving It (John Nichols, The Nation)