commentary: The 'Nones' One More Time

John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 17-Aug-13; Sermon #1172c; 11 minutes


This marks the seventh or eighth time that I've mentioned the Nones in one of these commentaries, and I do this because they are having a very negative effect on the quality of life in the nation. But it is happening in a virtually unnoticed way, except for a few who are aware of cause and effect.

First, a reminder of how this term originated. Its origin came from some unknown person working in a department of the federal government who became curious about the rising frequency of people who filled out some federal forms. Now the curious item was how many were checking a little box on the form in response to the question as to which religious group they were fellowshiping with. One of the answers the people filling out the form could give was "none." It was the increased frequency with which that little box was checked that caught somebody's attention, and they began tabulating those checks formally.

I personally became aware of the term through a Barna Group survey. The Barna Group seems to do mostly surveys involving religious trends. The Barna Group concluded this grouping was having a rising influence on the American religious scene, and they, too, noted that their numbers were rising rapidly. They were beginning to noticeably tip the statistical scale in favor of the unchurched.

The next time I became aware of them was in reading the content of a speech given at Hillsdale College by a prominent citizen whose name I can no longer remember. But he definitely had a negative view of them because their rising numbers appeared to him to be quite influential in a harmful way, and it was from him that I found that the number now was one out of every five Americans. That gives us a figure that around 60 million Americans are Nones.

When we think of the leadership of the unchurched, we tend to think of atheistic personalities like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, or Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who are in the public eye, because they frequently spew out their anti-God opinions in public forums. If those I just named were part of a military force, I would consider them as the shock troops leading others into battle. Though they are definitely part of the Nones grouping, the normal Nones are more rightly considered as part of the regular army following the invading forces. These Nones have swarmed into the population from a thousand different directions, like so many lice under the fur of a dog, causing irritation in a hundred different areas all at the same time.

Not many Nones are excessively dangerous at any given time, like a Richard Dawkins or a Madalyn Murray O'Hair. But some might be quite destructive if they occupy a critical position in our culture, in a position like a college professor. But even if not in such a position, they are nonetheless influential as a group force within the nation.

The theme of the entire latest issue of Whistleblower magazine is titled "Urban Warfare," and the subject of the lead article, written by David Kupelian, is on the demise of American cities. The poster child for this demise is Detroit, but there are close to 10 other large cities that are plunging headlong, following the same path, and a couple of them are only a year or two from joining Detroit's bankruptcy—and the federal government is on the same path of destruction. That path includes liberal administrations (regardless of party affiliation), increasingly liberal populaces, and deficit spending economies that are habitual for decades.

Mr. Kupelian quotes generously from a book titled The Ruling Class and How They Corrupted America. It is authored by a Boston University professor of international relations, Angelo Codevilla. The book leads the way toward answering an intriguing question. But before I get to that question, I want to establish one more factor. American voting records clearly show that country folk are decidedly, clearly conservative. City folk, on the other hand, are clearly, almost overwhelmingly, liberal.

Now, here is the question: Do people moving into a city make the city liberal in character, or do the cities make the people who move in liberal?

The voting records clearly show that a major shift has taken place over a period of decades, and that the city atmosphere is what converts people to political, moral, and economic liberality. Just think of Genesis 11 and Babylon, and you are beginning to head toward a solid conclusion. God told mankind to scatter abroad over the face of the earth, and instead they gathered together in cities and the driving reason was to produce power over each other and God. They were going to mount up to heaven. Cities have that kind of influence on people.

Guess where the secular, godless, immoral, unethical and God-hating Nones tend to live and work. They are concentrated in cities, they say because that is where the jobs they tend to work at are located. They are generally well-respected because of their positions, and they look successful to others.

Researchers are finding that Nones tend to be generally well-educated, politically active, employed by governments, universities, high schools, elementary schools, and they are energetically involved in athletics and entertainment. They are people other carnal humans tend to follow.

The "following" aspect is not something that the Nones, for the most part, planned on happening. It happens because of the influence of spirit acting almost like a magnet. This principle is why advertisers use well-known, successful people to sell their products on television. I do not know whether you remember or not, but I am old enough to remember the book titled Dress for Success. I believe it was printed in the sixties or seventies. The author showed through numerous tests that people strongly tend to be influenced by the well-dressed rather than the bum.

The nuns did not plan on this influence happening, but somebody else did. And they are unknowingly part of his world, and he places them where they can quietly influence critical damage for his purposes, and that is in the cities.

Here is a true principle: Once a person cuts himself off from believing in God, he also cuts himself off from godly standards of thinking and behavior, and takes a major step toward at least a mild form of insanity. These characteristics are, to varying degrees, lodged in the influential minds and practices of the Nones, ready made for the unwary people, one by one, to follow them.


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