Response to USA today article April 27, 2009
Here is my response to this USA today article http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/04/post-christian-not-even-close.html
From my research (both quantitative and qualitative) and my personal experience I am certain that there is a fairly high percentage (10%? more?) of people who claim to believe in God and/or a church and are in actuality non-believers The vast majority of these are "religious by marriage", that is, their spouse is a believer and, rather than upset marriage and family, they choose to stay deeply closeted.
I agree, of course, that the religious "nones" are not all atheists, but at the same time assuming that those who are socially pressured into saying they believe really do is also suspect.
There are more non-believers in the US than the Trinity or Baylor studies indicate.
One reason many non-believers are in the closet is because of the stigmatization of atheism, and this is the topic of my current research. An online survey I conducted yielded 8200 responses, and over half those chose to include a story about their experiences as atheists