As many Americans claiming no religion as evangelicals and Catholics, says survey (CNN)

For the first time, “No Religion” has edged out Catholics and evangelicals for the top American religious identity, according to a new study by a political scientists at Eastern Illinois University. Ryan Burge, a Baptist pastor and political scientist, said he found that 23.1 percent of Americans now claim no religion. Catholics, meanwhile, came in at 23 percent, while evangelicals were at 22.5 percent. To be clear, the three groups still remain within the margin of error of each other. More than 2,000 people were interviewed in person as part of the survey, according to CNN.

Full article and video here.


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It's been a long time coming, but there it is.  Sure, there are error bars on the numbers (aren't there always?), but a trend which was first heralded many years ago is still running strong, driven, I suspect, by millennials whose access to the internet has left religion wanting for a basis in facts and reality.

Now more than ever, it's time to work to put religion in its place: in the dust bin.

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Replies to This Discussion

Long past time that religions took the back burner, or disappeared altogether.

Agreed. It's doubtful that religion will vanish altogether. If it can be reduced to irrelevance and/or impotence, I can live with that.

Out of the main stream would definitely be a plus.

Meanwhile right wing evangelicals are on the verge of gaining control of key government posts, and gaining in the military. Since they made common cause with White Power (Nazis), they're a real threat.

I have no interest in putting religion in its place, I do have an interest in standing strong and proud as an atheist with others able to do the same. I want to see a group of people who have no fear to declare their non-belief or can overcome fear in order to stand and claim their non-belief. 

I have an interest in people running for office who proclaim their sense of wonder as we grow in understanding of what was at one time unknown. We stand as men and women, all races, every sexual orientation, declaring our rights as citizens, not as slaves or servants. 

I am interested in music, painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry, the performing arts including theatre and dance exploring their experience as non-believers in superstitions. 

I am interested in education including teachers, students, administrators, and boards including people of all different natures. 

I am interested in seeing those who continue to put their faith and belief in superhuman powers being able and willing to leave us alone, to stop proselytizing, and to mind their own business. 

I am interested in the judicial system gaining the wisdom and understanding that being a religious person is not a reason to excuse immoral and unethical behaviors. 

I am interested in the legislatures of all the states and of the nation having non-believers in every body, to be concerned about the rights and responsibilities of individuals because they are human, fully. 

I am interested in the executive branch of government be judged by character, not by some silly notion of having religion. (If there were a god/goddess, Trump would be hit by a lightning bolt and burned to a cinder.)

So say I, Joan Denoo, April 14, 2019

Great text Joan! And of course we stand with you!

"Amen!" (In its original meaning of "I believe it! What she said!" It comes from the same Hebrew root as "reliable", "faithful", and "true". No gods needed.) As Matthew Shultz said, "You're allowed to believe unicorns live in your shoes... The day you start involving the unicorns in making decisions for this country, I have a big problem with you."

(If there were a [just, compassionate, and powerful] god/goddess, Trump would be hit by a lightning bolt and burned to a cinder.)

Yup! BTW, much more plausible than the traditional "omnipotent" yet "good and loving" Abrahamic god is the one Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote about coming to believe in in When Bad Things Happen to Good People, an invisible friend who's actually not very powerful, and who's as saddened and outraged as we are over the shit that happens. And there is no "why" to random tragedies. Political and social failures, on the other hand... hopefully we can do something about those.)

I am interested in the judicial system gaining the wisdom and understanding that being a religious person is not a reason to excuse immoral and unethical behaviors.

I too am interested in a judicial system that isn't a tool for adherents of one sect to gain and maintain privilege over fellow citizens. Unfortunately our current president* and his "party over country" enablers in the Senate have been giving us horrendous justices and judges that dominionist and evangelical Christians dream about. We need to do whatever we can to take back the presidency and the Senate majority in next year's elections, and then enlarge and pack the courts to dilute the right-wing partisan hacks into powerless­ness. The number nine for the Supreme Court isn't in the Constitution; it's set by statue, and has changed before. Having thirteen justices, to echo the number of colonies / original states, has a certain appeal, assuming the additional justices will move the court towards protecting life,** liberty,*** and the pursuit of happiness, and honoring the basis of our government as the "consent of the Governed".

* Even though I couldn't care less about sportsball, I continue to use an asterisk here, following sports historians' usage for a record or achievement that's questionable or tainted.

** Life not, as some would have it, for potential children (zygotes/embryos/fetuses) trumping and erasing the personhood and bodily autonomy of people who are pregnant, but for actual living, breathing, thinking, feeling (in their normal state) people.

*** Liberty for actual people taking precedence over artificial "people" like corporations.

Joan, I agree with 100% of your interests.  The fact is, though, that most if not all of them mean, at some point or other, confronting religions and religious privilege.  Whether this happens though direct action or as a side-effect of the empowerment of secular elements of our government and society, "putting religion in its place" remains a line item in the to-do list.  As long as our Congress contains atavists such as Louie Gohmert and Steve King, so long as the more radical elements of fundamentalist Christianity pursue strategies such as The Wedge and Project Blitz to turn this country into a Christian theocracy, those people and tactics need to be vigorously opposed and countered.

Fact is, one of the greatest minds in atheism recognized this:

Go love your own enemies; don't be loving mine.  My enemies are the theocratic fascists.  I don't love them.  I want to destroy them.
-- Christopher Hitchens

Advancing secular values is absolutely important.  I wouldn't argue against that for a second, but countering the active efforts of fundamentalists and dominionists who would undo EVERYTHING we are working for cannot be a secondary consideration, not from where I sit.

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