Category Archives: “nones”

Missing From the 2016 Presidential Campaign—any Mention of God & Religion


By Larry Peterson

There is an old cliche which says, “One thing you should never argue or discuss is politics or religion.”

One thing is for sure, when it comes to politics and politicians no one is mentioning anything about religion. They leave the ‘religion’ out and argue ‘politics’. They not only argue with each other they debase, defame, denigrate, disparage and verbally abuse each other relentlessly and with a no-holds, reckless abandon that is disgraceful but apparently acceptable because, “that’s politics”. On the other hand, they will rarely, if ever, mention God or religion.

 According to all of the latest polls, the items  of prime importance to the American voter in 2016 are: a)  the economy; b)  jobs; c) immigration and d)  terrorism. Unbelievably (to me) there is little mention about the incessant attacks and rulings against our religious freedom(s). How can this be?

I am fascinated by these polling results not so much for what they say and/or predict but for what they avoid. They completely seem to ignore the religious backdrop of the American story. Religious freedom is the cornerstone of our success. W must stop making believe it is insignificant.

These religious freedoms are the foundation for an ever expanding and vibrant economy. These freedoms are the fertilizer that helps grow jobs.These freedoms are so envied that people from all over the world continually want to come here. Yes, the fact is, Freedom of Religion is the very lynchpin that has held us together throughout our 240 year history.


But now I am afraid. I am afraid because the insidious, intentional eroding of the foundation of our nation is being completely ignored. We are witnessing the weight of a secular self-centeredness that is not only methodically erasing  God’s presence in our country but, along with God, the religious tenets (also called Natural Law) used as building blocks by our Founding Fathers.

  When people have the freedom to worship God unencumbered and without reservation, it frees up their spirit. They embrace this great gift and it results in personal growth and fulfillment. The United States of America proved to be the greatest nation in history because of an individual’s freedom to be who they would be.

 Over the course of our American history there have been numerous Freedom of Religion cases that have impacted our nation. However, over the last  decade, the anti-religion, anti-God rhetoric has seemingly taken a secure foothold in the battle against the”Creator who has endowed us ALL with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. And yes, in the very first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence the name of GOD is actually used. He is NOT anathema to the United States of America.

It seems to me that we must stand up and fight back in defense of God and religion. Being a “none” is NOT a religion. being an atheist is NOT a religion and being a Satanist is NOT a religion. Religion is the means we use to worship God and we are free to do so. Religion does NOT define NOT worshiping God.

There is even an organization called the Freedom from Religion Foundation FFRF. Can someone explain to me how, in a country that proclaims Freedom of Religion as a fundamental right, a group can be legalized and can sue folks for expressing that freedom?   The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the antithesis of our primary, fundamental Constitutional right. It is even a functioning and approved non-profit 501(c)3 active in all 50 states. Does this make any sense at all? How can an entity whose primary purpose is to attack our First Amendment be legally sanctioned to do so?

Not worshiping or believing in God is our choice as Americans. Those of you who have chosen that route  have been blessed with this privilege. Many have died to secure this Freedom for you. Why, if you can non-worship the way you so choose, do you want to prevent others from worshipping as they choose? Why would the name of Jesus Christ, a simple carpenter who preached love and forgiveness, be offensive to anyone? Whatever is your self-absorbed, hateful motivation to attack the very freedom(s) that protect you? What are you so afraid of?

                                ©Larry Peterson 2016 All Rights Reserved

The "Nones" are here–are you One?"


By Larry Peterson

Things have changed and things are-a-changing still. I have stepped into the world of senior citizen which is a high-up perch where one can pause, look down and see with clarity what was and what is. When I look back about 20 or so years ago there is a small group of people occupying a small corner of the landscape. For some  reason their numbers have exploded and now they occupy almost 20% of the American population. These people are called the “Nones”. Maybe you are one of them.

The “Nones” are those folks who have no religion affiliation. Except for the atheist and agnostics the rest do not consider themselves Godless. They just do not think that they need a religion to guide them. (this leads to another thought–if God and religion are two different things why all the hysteria about using the name of God in the public square? That can be discussed another time). As you can see, for a guy like me, a Catholic blue-collar, flag waving type of person, this “None” thing is a bit perplexing.  I want to yell and scream and say—-“OH MY GOD!! What’s the matter with you people?” But–I and many of my generation are part of why this “None” phenomena has grown and taken hold. We have not passed  down our faith and traditions. We have, as Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington has said, “catechized without content”.

Protestantism was the majority religion for decades, maybe longer. Now it is under 50%. There are supposedly about 58 million Catholics in the country yet, maybe 16 million practice their faith. That’s about 28%. What happened to change the religious landscape? We old fools happened, that’s what happened. We let down our guard with our kids and started worrying too much about traumatizing their delicate psyches. We did not want to say “no” to poor little Johnny and Joanie. That was the beginning.

And so the world changes and evolves. I am a cradle catholic. I am even among the dwindling population of  catholics that attends not only Sunday mass but daily Mass. Yet I am responsible as are many of my generation. From the religious hierarchy downward and into the home itself and right to the empty supper tables choosing TV instead. We did not  transfer the baton. We dropped the baton. Not saying “no” morphed into “Nones”.

                              ©Larry Peterson 2012 All Rights Reserved