One in five. That’s how many Americans now claim to have no religious identity. The highest ever. When asked what religious affililation they have, these folks check ‘None.”
1 in 5. It’s not that they don’t believe in God. Most of them do. It’s just that they do not wish to belong to any institution or group that defines or confines that faith. ‘Nones” usually say they choose to be spiritual but not religious. Fair enough.
There’s one big reason why I am not a None. One big reason why I am Catholic (and not really trying to convince you to be one). And it’s not because Catholics feed more people, house more people, clothe more people, care for more sick people, and educate more children than any other institution on the planet. Although those ain’t bad reasons.
Very simply, I am not a None because I am not all that smart or wise. As I explore the deep questions and meaning of my life, I am keenly aware of how little I know. And I assume that it is highly unlikely (statistically impossible really) that I know better than two thousand years of the best Catholic theologians and philosophers. I assume that I am missing a few things in my life so I go searching for them in order to adopt the truth.
I am not a None because I deeply need other people who have traveled the path before me. I would never try to cross the Atlantic Ocean without using a map generated and perfected by the thousands of sailors who have done it before me. Neither would I try to cross the river of life without first getting the life-saving wisdom of the saints who have gone before me.
That’s why I’m Catholic but not a ‘None.”