This is from the last polls made on religion in America


(RNS) Religiosity is on the decline in the U.S. and atheism is on the rise, according to a new worldwide poll.

The poll, called "The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism," found that the number of Americans who say they are "religious" dropped from 73 percent in 2005 (the last time the poll was conducted) to 60 percent.

At the same time, the number of Americans who say they are atheists rose, from 1 percent to 5 percent.

The poll was conducted by WIN-Gallup International and is based on interviews with 50,000 people from 57 countries and five continents. Participants were asked, "Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person, or a convinced atheist?"

The seven years between the polls is notable because 2005 saw the publication of "The End of Faith" by Sam Harris, the first in a wave of best-selling books on atheism by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and other so-called "New Atheists."

"The obvious implication is that this is a manifestation of the New Atheism movement," said Ryan Cragun, a University of Tampa sociologist of religion who studies American and global atheism.

Still, Cragun does not believe the poll shows more people are becoming atheists, but rather that more people are willing to identify as atheists.

"For a very long time, religiosity has been a central characteristic of the American identity," he said. "But what this suggests is that is changing and people are feeling less inclined to identify as religious to comply with what it means to be a good person in the U.S."

Another possible factor may be the number of atheists within organized efforts by American atheist groups to encourage those who do not believe in God to say so publicly. The Out Campaign, a project of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, was launched in 2007 and has since been endorsed by several national atheist groups.

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Good post, Steph. I think a lot of what we are facing today is because religionists do understand that their same old lame answers are not as accepted today. This makes them angry and they protest us loudly because they have no place to go.

I can definitely see the churches getting desperate for members. 

For men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt. H.L. Mencken

It's because of good, easily available information. That's what helped expose my Christian delusions.

Maybe if the Internet and existed 40 years ago, I wouldn't be an embarrassed late-comer to a more rational, science-based worldview.

I do have a problem with the word "atheist." Most theists don't even know what it means and they continue to claim "atheists are angry at god." How can you be "angry" at something you do not believe in? I contend that it is impossible to believe in the Wizard of Oz once you have seen behind the curtain. (Feel free to use this. I don't know if I'm orginal with it or not.)

As a former fundy lay preacher well versed in the Internet, I became atheist late in life because of knowledge on the informational highway. That makes me much like Kathleen Z. whom I would admonish not to feel embarrassed about anything. Some are late bloomers but I firmly believe that the Internet will lead to the death of religion as we know it. In the future the households that do not have the Internet will be the only religious households.

Could it be that fundy churches know this too? Is that why some want to get rid of computers and the Internet?




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