This is encouraging news:
Released Tuesday, the survey of 35,000 American adults shows the Christian percentage of the population dropping precipitously, to 70.6%. In 2007, the last time Pew conducted a similar survey, 78.4% of American adults called themselves Christian.
In the meantime, almost every major branch of Christianity in the United States has lost a significant number of members, Pew found, mainly because millennials are leaving the fold. More than one-third of millennials now say they are unaffiliated with any faith, up 10 percentage points since 2007.
The alacrity of their exodus surprises even seasoned experts.
"We've known that the religiously unaffiliated has been growing for decades," said Greg Smith, Pew's associate director of religion research and the lead researcher on the new study. "But the pace at which they've continued to grow is really astounding."
It's not just millennials leaving the church. Whether married or single, rich or poor, young or old, living in the West or the Bible Belt, almost every demographic group has seen a significant drop in people who call themselves Christians, Pew found.
Read the rest of the article here:
Yes - I agree - it is about time.
Though the worrying thing I see in the latest statistics is the rise of numbers in such idiotic religions as Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses and Islam.
This is a sign of diminishing intelligence to moi.
They're leaving in favor of reality and wisdom. :)
This is good news but you still have those who squirm and say "well, I believe in -- something." They have left the church but also left the door open. Another rising group is those who believe in "Jesus only" but not the way most churches do. To me they are just another "denomination." Why is it so important to change around the magic man that you believe in?
In time people might get it. We are making progress. The truth is, there are no magic men, period.
I'll bet that a more than cursory look at those who "want to believe in something" would reveal peer pressure influence to goad that statement out, whether from parents or the immediate social environment. It'll be an interesting thing to watch as that environment shifts to a more secular stance.
It could be a cultural awareness shift. There has to be a tier like structure of belief ranging from the devout to the socially influenced variety of worshippers. The internet has led to such an explosion of information, coupled with the inevitable exchange of viewpoints, that the closed environment of local customs (like religious practice) is being seen in the context of the wider World. It may not effect the devout but it could well be influencing the more open-minded.
In this regard I have scanned the first few pages of "How God Works" - a very persuasive argument against theism - and attach it here for anyone to forward to any group who can use it. Read them for yourselves and see if you agree.
Thanks for the document - I will download it now
it looks great and thank you again
I'll add my thanks!
Related: the website "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" The title speaks for itself; there's a lot about how prayers never get answered when there's no possibility of coincidence or of human action. The site is humanist, not just atheist: at the end the author issues a ringing call to work towards creating a "heaven on earth".
There's also a similar website "God Is Imaginary" (perhaps not the best approach for giving to theists).
"How God Works" also has a website; and unsurprisingly, it turns out that author Marshall Brain also created WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com and GodIsImaginary.com .