Barry A. Kosmin is director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture and a sociologist and research professor in the public policy and law program at Trinity College in Connecticut. He is the nation’s leading expert on the growing percentage of Americans who lack a religious identity, the so-called Nones. He’s been a principle investigator of the American Religious Identification Survey since it began in 1990. His publications include One Nation Under God: Religion and Contemporary American Society (with Seymour P. Lachman, Crown Publishers, 1993) and Religion in a Free Market: Religious and Non-Religious Americans (with Ariela Keysar, Paramount Market Publishers, 2006). On a recent episode of Point of Inquiry, the Center for Inquiry’s podcast, science journalist and host Chris Mooney spoke with Dr. Kosmin about how the country is changing in regard to religion, why this change is occurring, and its implications for secular advocacy and the separation of church and state.
Chris Mooney: What direction is the country headed with respect to its religious identity? What does the American Religious Identification Survey and its findings about the so-called Nones tell us?