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6 Ind. J.L. & Soc. Equal. 326 (2018)
Recognizing America's Religious Nones and Their Influence on Political and Legal Norms

handle is hein.journals/injlaseq6 and id is 327 raw text is: 


                 Recognizing America's Religious Nones and
                 Their  Influence   on  Political and  Legal  Norms

                                    Samuel  Seeds*

       The relationship between  the state and  organized religion in civil democratic
societies is inherently complicated. There is inevitable tension between  state organs
                             and religious institutions. 1


       The purpose  of this Note is two-fold. First and foremost, this Note was written
to develop the conversation  concerning the rise of the Religious NoneS2 in the United
States, as there is very little thought or recognition given to Nones in legal academia.
The  majority of scholarship only  gives a paragraph  or two  on the subject of Nones,
despite the fact that Nones  have  been  growing  since the 1990s.3 Second,  this Note
was  written to shed  light on the direct impact  that Religious Nones  are having  on
American   society, specifically the link between the rise of the Nones and the gradual
excising of politics and laws attributed to religious moral tradition.
       However,  it is also important to define what  this Note is not. This Note does
not enter  the conversation  concerning   whether  religious liberties are in danger;4
rather, this Note suggests that the legal norms that receive support based solely upon
religious and  faith-based  grounds   are  going to  be challenged   for their lack  of
secularity and, conversely, presence  of religious motivation.
       This Note also suggests that the rise of the Moral Majority, or Religious Right,
has impressed   religious fundamentalism   onto American   legal doctrine and political
platforms, and  will, therefore, be challenged by the Nones in future political and legal
arenas. It is not the case that America will no longer possess the status of a pluralist

*      J.D. Candidate 2018, Indiana University, Maurer School of Law
2      The nomenclature of the Religious Nones arises from shorthand to refer to people who self-identify as
       atheists or agnostics as well as those who say their religion is 'nothing in particular.' See Michael
       Lipka, A Closer Look at America's Rapidly Growing Religious 'Nones', PEW RESEARCH CENTER: FACT
       TANK (May 13, 2015).
3      See infra text accompanying note 88. It should be stated that this Note is not picking up the discussion
       concerning the tension between true nonbelievers, such as Atheists or Agnostics, and the public
       recognition and tolerance of Christian influence. Such discussion can be seen in the work of Caroline
       Mala Corbin and Nelson Tebbe. See generally Caroline Mala Corbin, Nonbelievers and Government
       Speech, 97 IOwA L. REV. 347 (2012); Nelson Tebbe, Nonbelievers, 97 VA. L. REV. 1111 (2011).
4      See generally Daniel 0. Conkle, The Path of American Religious Liberty: From the Original Theology to
       Formal Neutrality and an Uncertain Future, 75 IND. L.J. 1 (2000) (arguing that the anticipated and
       furthered support of formal neutrality with regard to the treatment of religion, as opposed to special
       treatment, may have detrimental effects on religious liberties).

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