Richard A. Knopp
Professor of Philosophy & Christian Apologetics
Coordinator, Room for Doubt
Lincoln Christian University
Growing up as a Protestant preacher’s kid, I never thought much about the “nuns.” But now I find myself writing about a group whose name sounds exactly the same: the “Nones.” Of course, these homophones have vastly different meanings. The “nuns” are viewed as inseparable from religion, while the “Nones” do not identify with any religion or religious group. The Nones do not consider themselves Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, or anything with a religious label. Ironically, they are classified as a kind of “religious” group because of their response of “none” or “nothing in particular” on religious affiliation surveys. The term “Nones” has been used in academic circles at least since the 1960s.2 However, it has achieved much greater visibility and significance in the last decade, primarily because the Nones currently constitute the second largest and the fastest growing religious group in America!