Writing in his October Diary, John Derbyshire wonders where the human instinct to spirituality goes after organized religion has collapsed:
Where does that “human instinct to spirituality” turn when traditional religion no longer nourishes it?
For those people whose neurology inclines them to the left (low scores on ingroup loyalty, respect for authority, and disgust) the commonest opinion, which I share, is that “woke” ideology, especially anti-racism, is what gets the spiritual juices flowing.
Supposing that’s true on the left, what’s the right equivalent? “Since 1992 the share of Americans with no religion has … trebled even among conservatives,” says Ed West mulling over the numbers. (He doesn’t give his source and I can’t find it, but it doesn’t seem improbable.) What hook are we irreligious conservatives going to hang our spiritual hats on?
Ed suggests a slide into intolerant ethnocentrism and demagogue-worship and writes, echoing theocon Ross Douthat: “If you don’t like the Religious Right, you’re really not going to like the Irreligious Right.”
Ed West may have pulled it from the General Social Survey. If he didn’t, the GSS corroborates whatever source he did use:
That “The Great Awokening” is the phrase used to describe this spiritual manifestation on the left is a testament to how obviously religious the belief system is. Given that The Great Awokening is predominantly a spiritual revival among white leftists rather than among people of color, it should come as little surprise that from 2012 through 2018, 41% of white liberals reported having no religion compared to just 24% of non-white liberals who reported the same.
Despite the grossly hyperbolic title of this post, the vast majority of the American right retains some sort of religious affiliation. The spiritual lethargy of conservatives that Ed West describes may end up in a religiously reinvigorated right if 21 year-old Nick Fuentes stunning crusade against Conservative, Inc is any indication:
GSS variables used: POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7), RACECEN1(1)(2-16), HISPANIC(1), RELIG, YEAR