As the religious right continues to take over the Republican party, millions of Americans find themselves leaving the church.
With the election coming down to its final weeks, Mitt Romney and other Republicans continue to proclaim that the United States is a "Christian nation." Constant talk about "God over government" is often heard at Republican and Tea Party rallies, but many Americans seems to be moving away from religious ideology.According to a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, millions of Americans are leaving organized religion. Over the last five years, the number of Americans no longer affiliated with any religion increased by 25 percent. The study showed that 33 million Americans are now considered "unaffiliated" with any religious faction and 13 million people, about 19.7 percent, are identified as "atheist" or "agnostic."
It's important to point out that while many people are leaving the church, the majority still believe in "God" or a higher power. Nearly 70 percent of those listed a "unaffiliated" with religion say they believe in "God," while 37 percent say they are "spiritual." Falling below the 50 percent margin for the first time, only 48 percent of the American people are identified as Protestant.
The religious divide is clearly seen between political party lines. Of the 13 million people who call themselves atheist or agnostic, 73 percent are Democrats or lean toward Democratic policies, compared to only 16 percent who favor Republicans and conservative ideology. For those who are considered "unaffiliated," 63 percent side with Democrats and only 26 percent lean toward Republicans.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, notes that the decline in religion affiliation comes from a negative reaction to the religious right.
“We think it’s mostly a reaction to the religious right...The best predictor of which people have moved into this category over the last 20 years is how they feel about religion and politics” aligning, particularly conservative politics and opposition to gay civil rights."
With the Republican party often pushing a theocratic government over a secular democ