Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


February 5, 2013

RANDOM THOUGHTS: What about the ‘nones’?

CROSSVILLE — It was not a surprise when I saw that both Knoxville and Chattanooga were named one and three in being the most Bible-minded of ten cities in the United States listed by the American Bible Society.

The Barna Group conducted a study over a seven-year period which ended in late 2012. Online and television interviews were held with nation-wide random samples of 42,855 adults during that time. These interviews were held to learn if the respondents were regular Bible readers and if they believed in the accuracy of the Bible.

I was heartened by the results of this study because just a week earlier I felt despair when I read of what is happening in many states. The long article appeared in Boston Magazine and was written by a concerned mother. It all began when her 9-year-old son watched a religious parade and then asked her, “What are we?” She realized her only answer had to be, “We’re nothing.” That was the time to ask how much her children were missing by not having some religion in their lives.

We have all taken surveys about our lives. Often churches are listed with the question of which is attended. That answer is rapidly becoming none of the above. It has become almost standard and as such those who answer that way are known as the “nones.”

Twenty percent of American adults believe in nothing in particular when speaking of religious matters. Forty-six million adults identify themselves as unaffiliated with any religion. Eighty-eight percent have no interest in joining a religious institution. These are the adult nones. But what of their children? 

That is the question this “none” mother pondered because she, as many other parents, had early teaching in the Bible and only as they became adults chose to put it aside.

Recently Dr. Carol E. Lytch, president of Lancaster Theological Seminary, visited Pleasant Hill, TN. While there she spoke to a large gathering on the subject of  “Opportunities and Challenges of the Mainline Protestant Witness in These Times.”

She too found that in the United States about 83 percent profess to have a religious affiliation, but only 40 percent actually attend weekly services. That figure has been going down since 1972. Lytch said Americans often turn from the denomination they were born into. Members of mainline Protestant religions are having fewer children and don’t attend church as often as before.

Speaking of the “nones” she said they turn to the spiritual and caring for the poor and hungry through organized religious communities. Churches that are growing today are 39 percent conservative and 35 percent liberal.

The mother who wrote the article “Losing Our Religion” felt concern about the kids left with nothing. She consulted with many experts on the subject and gave their opinions. In concluding the article she decided that as parents they had taught their children a good work ethic, how to get along and love each other, and to see the good in giving to those in need. To her that took away the guilt she had felt because religion was not being taught.

I discussed these thoughts with a younger woman and she asked a simple question. When that child faces a troubling situation if they know nothing of prayer or talking to God, where do they turn?

• • •

Dorothy Copus Brush is a Fairfield Glade resident and Crossville Chronicle staffwriter whose column is published each Wednesday. She may be reached at

Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: Our war on women

    Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has had quite an impressive career as an author. His first book was published in 1975, and he has now written a total of 37 books, 23 of them after his presidency. He has set a high example for other past presidents, especially those who would like to find ways of being as beneficial to their nation as possible in the days after their retirement.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: "Selfie" destruction

    Technology continues to profoundly impact our daily lives, from the Heartbleed Bug that put hundreds of thousands of websites at risk of compromising customer usernames and passwords, to the little light that tries to tell me I'm about to run out of gas. Technology also impacts our language, with new words being created to describe the latest gizmo, gadget or trend.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stumptalk: It depends on what you mean

    A writer’s headline asks, “Do we really believe in democracy?” To which I answer, “What do you mean by democracy?

    April 21, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice