Is the Internet Taking Away America’s Religion?

Apparently the Internet is taking away America’s religion.

According to data-analyzer Allen Downey, an Olin College of Engineering computer scientist,  a drop in the religiously afflilated correlates to a rise in Internet use. He also cites the “drop in religious upbringing” and “the increase in college-level education” as other factors in the rise of religious-preference-lackers.

But what about the explosion in Internet religious writing/discussion/obsession? This exclusive KtB report shows that while affiliation is down, the Internet is rife with religion journalism, essays, satire and Twitter feeds. Indeed, the Internet has spawned a worldwide renaissance in religious obsessives who may or may not “identify” as one thing or the other.

For example, Brook Wilensky-Lanford, editor of the online religious magazine Killing the Buddha (full disclosure: this article is appearing in Killing the Buddha, and Brook is a friend of mine) recently stated on Twitter that  “traumatic existential experience” may be a huge contributing factor in the creation of writers for said magazine, or “Buddha-killers.” How does this, for example,  fit in the affiliated/nonaffiliated dichotomy?

We’re way beyond “denominations” here, Mr. Downey. Read the data.



Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.