so brilliant that i can't even tell which way the author slants.  there seem to be equal parts 'nones are more atheists than it appears' and 'nones are mostly still believers'.  

i do find it interesting that he mentions 2 possible causes for this, but neglects to bring up the internet.  it seems to me most atheists recognize this factor.  

ps - i'm linking an article that was available on this web page.  i haven't read it yet and it's a couple of years old but it looks interesting.  here ya go:

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you know what, his other article that i linked was better.  i love this guy.  and i get the impression he's a believer.  

I get the feeling he's conservative and religious.  wikipedia article.

According to this, he's anglican and was the one who coined the term, "Axis of Evil"

Those things don't mean that he can't speak truth - that would be ad hominem.  

The article seemed to me an attempt to sort out the various questions about where Americans are on the spectrum of belief and nonbelief.  It's difficult to sort through the propaganda.  His article seemed like a reasonable attempt to try.

I do like what he says here, in the second link:

— the irreligious tend to be more ethical than their religious peers, particularly compared with those who describe themselves as very religious.

Which makes it seem he's doing some soul searching.

agreed. i'm going to have to look into him a bit more.  regardless, he seems to give non-believers the respect we deserve.  

Well......there's one person.  How many more do we have left to convince? 

only a few billion.

I find it interesting that Mr. Gerson brings up the notion that we are becoming more skeptical of authority in general, including government and big business, as one of the factors motivating the 'nones.'  I personally never considered that concept as any reason for leaving the church.  I grew up in a mildly religious environment.  It certainly was not authoritarian.  What changed me to an apostate was years of educating myself about religion, science, history, and being led to wherever the facts and evidence took me.  I understand that there are people who grow up in very strict, religiously authoritarian environments, but for the United States I think they are a relatively small minority of the general mainstream religious population.

Mr. Gerson writes, "Americans may be less affiliated with religious organizations because they have grown generally more individualistic and skeptical of authority."

I would rewrite that sentence and leave off the last two words:  Americans may be less affiliated with religious organizations because they have grown generally more individualistic and skeptical.

I'm not sure I agree with the authoritarian/skeptical correlation. 

completely agree with you.  he's cooked by his own stats on that.  democrats, who tend to favor govt, make up a disproportionate percentage of the nones.  and they just won a pretty big election.  so while lack of trust in big institutions has eroded, i'm not so certain that is the case for why people are leaving organized religion.  

i think you're right, that it's the increase in skepticism that's led to the sea change.  that is fueled by lots of factors, from stand up comedians to the internet to public debates to the catholic church scandals to best selling authors to science to pop culture etc etc etc.  

the best thing is reality is winning.  it's gonna take time, but more and more people will agree with us as time marches on. 

Right.  I feel a sense that more people increasingly want 'government' to be used as a tool for benefiting and improving our lives.  It's a fact that politicians as a group have a very low approval rating, thus resulting in polls showing a distrust in government.  But I think if we delved in and studied the issue more, we would find that we need to draw a distinction between individual politicians and the broader term 'government.'  It's my opinion that the electorate, generally, has a positive and historically optimistic view of what our government can do when run properly.   

"Even 9 percent of atheists and agnostics — defying both dogma and the dictionary— report themselves absolutely convinced of God’s existence."


Huh??????? I think this group needs some help.

Exactly right.




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