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October 9th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Survey: One in five Americans has no religion

Editor's note: CNN recently won four first-place reporting awards from the Religion Newswriters Association. Read more about the awards here.

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The fastest growing "religious" group in America is made up of people with no religion at all, according to a Pew survey showing that one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion.

The number of these Americans has grown by 25% just in the past five years, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The survey found that the ranks of the unaffiliated are growing even faster among younger Americans.

Thirty-three million Americans now have no religious affiliation, with 13 million in that group identifying as either atheist or agnostic, according to the new survey.

Pew found that those who are religiously unaffiliated are strikingly less religious than the public at large. They attend church infrequently, if at all, are largely not seeking out religion and say that the lack of it in their lives is of little importance.

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And yet Pew found that 68% of the religiously unaffiliated say they believe in God, while 37% describe themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious.” One in five said that they even pray every day.

John Green, a senior research adviser at Pew, breaks the religiously unaffiliated into three groups. First, he says, are those who were raised totally outside organized religion.

Survey: Protestants no longer majority in U.S.

Second are groups of people who were unhappy with their religions and left.

The third group, Green says, comprises Americans who were never really engaged with religion in the first place, even though they were raised in religious households.

“In the past, we would describe those people as nominally affiliated. They might say, 'I am Catholic; I am a Baptist,' but they never went" to services, Green says of this last group. “Now, they feel a lot more comfortable just saying, ‘You know, I am really nothing.’ ”

According to the poll, 88% of religiously unaffiliated people are not looking for religion.

“There is much less of a stigma attached" to not being religious, Green said. “Part of what is fueling this growth is that a lot of people who were never very religious now feel comfortable saying that they don't have an affiliation.”

Demographically, the growth among the religiously unaffiliated has been most notable among people who are 18 to 29 years old.

According to the poll, 34% of “younger millennials” - those born between 1990 and 1994 - are religiously unaffiliated. Among “older millennials,” born between 1981 and 1989, 30% are religiously unaffiliated: 4 percentage points higher than in 2007.

Poll respondents 18-29 were also more likely to identify as atheist or agnostic. Nearly 42% religious unaffiliated people from that age group identified as atheist or agnostic, a number far greater than the number who identified as Christian (18%) of Catholic (18%).

Green says that these numbers are “part of a broader change in American society.”

“The unaffiliated have become a more distinct group,” he said.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Pew's numbers were met with elation among atheist and secular leaders. Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance, said that the growth of the unaffiliated should translate into greater political representation for secular interests.

“We would love to see the political leaders lead on this issue, but we are perfectly content with them following these demographic trends, following the voters,” Galef said.

“As more of the voters are unaffiliated and identifying as atheist and agnostics, I think the politicians will follow that for votes.

“We won’t be dismissed or ignored anymore,” Galef said.

The Pew survey suggested that the Democratic Party would do well to recognize the growth of the unaffiliated, since 63% of them identify with or lean toward that political group. Only 26% of the unaffiliated do the same with the Republican Party.

"In the near future, if not this year, the unaffiliated voters will be as important as the traditionally religious are to the Republican Party collation,” Green predicted.

Green points to the 2008 exit polls as evidence for that prediction. That year, Republican presidential nominee John McCain beat President Barack Obama by 47 points among white evangelical voters, while Obama had a 52-point margin of victory over McCain among the religiously unaffiliated.

According to exit polls, the proportion of religiously unaffiliated Americans who supported the Democratic presidential candidate grew 14 points from 2000 to 2008.

In announcing the survey’s findings at the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Bethesda, Maryland, Green said the growing political power of the unaffiliated within the Democratic Party could become similar to the power the Religious Right acquired in the GOP in the 1980s.

“Given the growing numbers of the unaffiliated, there is the potential that that could be harnessed,” he said.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Politics • Polls

soundoff (7,763 Responses)
  1. This article is 100% false... author = IDIOT!

    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
    | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most atheists are uneducated... No atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are atheists/agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    (Take a look at our federal/state holidays, 99% of our presidents, blue laws in parts of the nation, name of some cities/counties/streets, the majority of people, some laws, calendar, culture, etc.)

    http://rightremedy.org/tracts/7

    ¦There is only one God and it is to Him that you pray. All others pray to false gods and idols. Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist are all lost unless they know Jesus as their Lord & Savior.¦

    October 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • sam

      So, about Norway...

      October 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • bob

      holy syco

      October 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • hal 9001

      You are correct, "This article is 100% false... author = IDIOT!", all of the assertions regarding atheism and prayer in the referenced text is unfounded. The degree to which the referenced text may represent truths is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which the referenced text may represent truths, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which the referenced text may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      October 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Eric

      ROFL spam it more, the more you spam it, the more it becomes true!

      I read that on the internet, and everything on the internet is true!

      Enjoy finding that the god you follow, was always in your own mind.

      And then look back on all the terrible things you said and did to people for "his" reasons.

      Then deal with yourself. Your problem, not mine.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Michael

      Please tell me you are trolling. Otherwise, you have some problems with your brain as you make claims that are completely untrue, as any research on the internet would have showed you.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "Eric" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degnerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" deganerates to:
      "captain america" degnerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degnerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degnerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" or "...."
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this h0mophobe as
      the disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. "writer".

      October 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I see that @Evangelical Christian has got the EvangeliCo Tract-O-Matic™ Pastoral Post Paster® out again.

      But wait, there's more. ....

      Just set it and forget it, ... and it regurgitates the same excrement over and over again.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • tonyw

      Now if you think this guy speaks for all religious people then, I guess I have to wonder about the intelligence of those reading.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      Okay, you can come out now. We know you're really an atheist. Good job with the sarcasm!

      October 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  2. Reality

    Putting the kibosh/”google” on religion :

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    ADDED DETAILS AVAILABLE UPON WRITTEN REQUEST.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    October 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • hahahahhaha

      AMEN!

      October 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  3. eno

    Wheres my post ...MOFOS...

    October 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Reality

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".
      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      --–
      ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
      ba-stard
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      do-uche
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      fu-ck......!
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      ji-sm
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sh-it
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      -
      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
      -–
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      anal
      anus
      ass
      boob
      crap
      damn
      execute
      hell
      kill
      masturbation
      murder
      penis
      pubic
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)
      sphincter
      testes
      testicles
      -
      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  4. noel

    Athiests do not believe in God because they don't have any proof, however ask them if they believe in intelligent beings outside of the earth & see what they say...kind of ironic huh?

    October 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I don't believe in intelligent life below Delaware actually

      I would try to do the math for you, but I try not to upset the slow.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • David

      Atheism does not automatically mean you believe in aliens. That being said, if there is life out there, it must be intelligent, because it wants nothing to do with us.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • sam

      Huh?

      October 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • bob

      So your saying believing that candles, robes, singing, praying does magical things for a fairy in the sky, is the same as thinking there is intelligent life in our universe ? thats like saying believing in santa is the same as believing there are humans on different continents ( meaning its a moronic comparison )

      October 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • SnYGuY

      Why is that ironic? We have proof of how life came about on this earth, and that proof makes it possible for life to have evolved on another planet if under similar conditions. Believing in extra terrestial beings is based more on odds than anything else. We know that our solar system is but a pinpoint in our universe, believing in the likely hood of another planet being located in a habital zone is not far fetched. We are possibly finding proof that there was once liquid water on Mars, that is pretty close to home.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • sam

      Probably made lots of sense in noel's head...

      October 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Jerry

      There is a big difference between an omniscient being (IE "god") and an intelligent being from another world. Grow a brain please, and while you're at it learn the definition of ironic because you're using the word wrong; the correct word you want is coincidence.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • SnYGuY

      @ Jerry
      While I disagree with that he claims, using ironic is the correct word because he is making the claim that believing in God and aliens are similar, and that it is ironic that athiests (according to him) choose to believe in one and not the other.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      It's ironic only if you don't know what ironic means and decided to make up your own definition.

      The possibiity of intelligent life somewhere in the universe is not an outrageous proposition. There are trillions of stars. If we look at our own solar system that's 8 planets it means a single one of those stars could possibly have as many, or more, or less. The odds of life happening on another planet is not so far fetched, but until we see proof we can only hypothesize.

      The idea of god existing however is just plain idiotic.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • AthiestBoyScout

      Its about likelihood.

      What's the likelihood of a personal god? About the same as a tea pot orbiting Saturn this exact moment. I can't say with absolute certainty that there isn't one but I'm not going to waste my Sunday mornings looking for it.

      So, what's the likelihood of extraterrestrials? There's an estimated 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 HABITABLE planets in the universe (space.com). I don't believe that we're being visited but, based on the numbers, to think that we're only intelligent creatures here is ego-concentric beyond words.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """Athiests do not believe in God because they don't have any proof, however ask them if they believe in intelligent beings outside of the earth & see what they say...kind of ironic huh?"""

      Geez Louise, Noel, who you been hangin' with? How in h3ll did you make that connection?

      It's been MY experience that believers are more inclined to accept things without evidence. A VERY religious ex girlfriend, for example, swears that bigfoot is real and follows every bit of info, every crazy interview, and every fuzzy video with childlike awe.

      So far I have seen no evidence that any life at all exists outside our planet. Earth barely supports life as it is.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  5. tonyw

    When I was in the Navy, I was on CV66 America Carrier heading to enforce the no-fly zone in Bosnia. One of my shipmates learned his kids were killed in a car accident. He prayed that night that God would take and comfort them and it helped him grieve. Do you think what he did was wrong or idiotic or has any bearing on his IQ?

    October 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • bob

      it was a phycological crutch, if he thought chanting Mulumba Bumba would help it would

      October 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • William Demuth

      But I guess the kids are still dead correct?

      A waste of time and thought, but to each his own.

      Strange you might worship the being that would kill your children.

      Afraid for himself I guess? How sad.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Eric

      I had a friend who prayed to God to take away his pain and suffering too! For years he claimed it worked, that God visited him and with one hand took away all his hate and pain.

      Then we all found out he had been molesting his children for YEARS. Why didn't god that THAT away? Oh yeah, HE DOESN'T EXIST OR CARE ABOUT OUR DAY TO DAY BULL.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • tonyw

      I find it interesting reading the comments here from some of the posters, that appear to be full of scorn and distaste. I am surprised because you say religion an morals are separate then you post some level of hate. It is interesting to see. I think there is plenty of room for religion and science. I do not take the bible literally but as a book that teaches us right and wrong. If most of the people go to church live good lives, don't bother anyone, then does the fact they have religion make them wrong. Does an atheist bothering anyone make them wrong? I don't! I think each is living their own life the way that want. Neither should be judged stupid or any other adjectives described in these threads.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • tonyw

      @bob – You are very compassionate.....

      October 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Veritas

      If prayer were helpful, TimTebow would be a great QB.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  6. David Stone

    Q: If jesus is "coming", who was he fu<k1ngg?

    October 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  7. bob

    Well 1 in 5 sounds about right, the smart people need at least 4 drones to get work done

    October 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  8. David Stone

    Maybe jesus NEEDS to "come". That way gawwd could let off a little tension and lighten up. Imagine getting boned by the almighty gawwd and having him pull out for the money shot....I would be running for cover!

    October 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • solex

      You seem a little fixated pal. Time to analyze yourself a little bit...

      October 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • David Stone

      Solex.....it's you christians who keep telling us that jesus is coming.....i'm just responding to that statement. And what makes you so sure he is about to come? Maybe he has more game than you think.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • solex

      Um – I'm an atheist. So you can stop with the pigeon holing, although with your mindset I am not sure you want to.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  9. Atheist Hunter

    educate yourselves. Obama's got the internet kill switch and this false life you live will soon go black!

    http://www.altnews.info/192/fema-concentration-camps/

    October 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • sam

      Isn't that the plot of a new show that just started?

      October 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Funny, this public meltdown of yours!

      Jesus as savior to the paranoid.

      Interesting twist on the fable.

      Up your meds dude, your crazy is showing

      October 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Eric

      FEMA concentration camps? For real? You are as dumb and as racists as they can possibly come.

      Heaven forbid a black man tell you what to do or act as your President! Whatever is this world coming to when whites cry away the day because someone that doesn't look exactly like them is in charge?

      October 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      Actually, Eric, I believe this irrational fear mongering about the evil gov't began decades ago.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  10. This article is 100% false... author = IDIOT!

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most atheists are uneducated... No atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are atheists/agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**.

    October 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • NoTheism

      you're hilarious

      October 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Atheist Fools

      Amen to that, thanks for telling the truth about Atheism.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • bob

      "All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals."

      lol look at your poodle and tell me things can not evolve. man evolved that curly white beast from a wolf

      October 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Planes Walker

      I think we made the toddler angry.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      You know, the Goths were germanic Christians, might want to edit your list.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • David Stone

      Someone....is very hurt right now......

      October 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • notogop

      It doesn't appear that theism has increased your intellect or your anger management. You need to reread the Bible and learn some of its more compassionate lessons.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Atheist Fools

      Atheism is unhealthy for our children. Atheism is a satanic cult.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Eric

      So if you put crosses next to each line, it makes the facts of that line unimportant and your statements 100% correct?

      Fact's are just something else for you to blindly ignore. Can't wait till you die and meet....

      NO BODY.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Mark

      Sigh. Atheism is not a religion.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Reality

      The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)-->>>>>

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      October 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Lucy

      Everything you wrote, is a lie and you know it.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Jerry

      Being an Atheist WITH a college education and an IQ of 183, I find your entire post ridiculous and a good example of why all modern scripts are written so that the average 14 year old can understand them. You're entire post is ignorant and a shining example of why many people do not wish to be associated with so called "accepting religious people." You can have your God and you can live your life focused on your so called afterlife. I'll live my life focused on my life and the people around me. We'll see who lived a happier fuller life in the end.

      Oh and for the record, I'm not gothic nor am I angry. I celebrate a number of holidays and I believe family is important. I do not try and convert anyone, but I bet you are always trying to convert people to your antiquated way of thinking. I am not drug addicted nor am I a criminal, as for mentally ill I guess that just depends on who you ask. :-)

      Anyway, have a nice life, I know I will.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      † Atheists have bad breath, and their body odor is not so good either (the result of eating babies).

      † Atheists watch the wrong TV shows. Carl Sagan. Need I say more?

      † Atheists proclaim knowledge is good. That's just so STUPID!

      † You just can't potty train an atheist. He'll pee on your rug every time.

      † Atheists can not be trusted between the hours of midnight and 3am. Hide your money during those hours.

      † The Bible says atheists should be tenderized, sauteed, and eaten with relish. But not on Sunday, because that would be wrong.

      October 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  11. Rob

    Only 1 in 5 ?!

    October 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • NoTheism

      that's 20%, or 60 million people out of 300 million
      that's quite a bit, if you think about it
      but, I agree, it's not enough.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  12. solex

    The thing I dislike about cults (and yes – ALL religions are cults) is that they take no discipline and no responsibility to be part of. All one has to say is some inane thing like "god's will" and you can excuse yourself for hatred and persecution of others.

    Blaming "God" for your bad behavior is the single most cowardly act in the history of mankind. Always remember something religious people:

    It's NOT "God's will".

    It's YOURS.

    October 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  13. notogop

    Now that politics (Teapublicans) have so fanatically embrased religion, I can see more and more Americans becoming disinfranchised with organized religion and leaving this angry, spiteful God and the venom which His "apostles" spew forth as His true word. It's a shame moderation has left the room.

    October 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • mark

      That's exactly why this is happening. The love embrace of the GOP and the funDUMBentalists is driving away the youngsters who see things they don't like in that cabal.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  14. ZFairplay

    Hey, all you non-believers, have you ever thought of the consequences. No christianity no santa claus. Huh? You will be responsible for the economic meltdown of America, nay all of the western world! What? The investment bankers already did that? Okay then, never mind, carry on.

    October 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  15. Nuclearmind

    @ GuitarMan .... LOL ... Bravo! And then there was light? OK, I am starting to see clearly now, the rain has gone. Well ... OK ... So all that is came from that one source, and we agree we will call that one source God ... we could call it ... hmm ...a Holy Electrical Explosion, the Source of Our Belonging, Allah, Divine Mind, but for the sake of no arguments, let us call this source God. Well, if all comes from God – if everything has its beginning from God – hmm ... well ... I am still having problems with this. My brain hurts just thinking about this. God must of come from something else also. Why say, “God is the beginning?” Is there a greater force out there (in here) than God? Does God have a God? If so, should we not look to THAT God for salvation? And then ... where did this higher God come from? This is infinite, as far as I can conceive of infinity. Can you clarify this for me? I think, simply as a reference point, we may agree that no matter what we all come from a source of mathematical perfection, from an energy source so powerful we cannot even begin to measure it. If we got near it in these bodies we dwell in now, we would surely burn like the head of a match, from its pure frequency. No wait … hold on … I see … there is a God, perhaps not a personal God, but a higher source that so loved the world that he gave his …. dang! I lost that thread. Can you help? Hmm … perhaps I shouldn't bother questioning the reason why? Knowing a God does exist, or believing that that notion is a possibility, is comforting to me.There is no proof? One way or the other ... I say err on the side of caution.

    October 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  16. David Stone

    If jesus is "coming", why aren't we all drenched in gawwd goo by now?

    October 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  17. Planes Walker

    Hey, what about the giant comet coming in 2013? Magnitude -16?? Really?? Wow, that's bright!

    Just trying to change the subject, and I'm too lazy to click on the science blog. Besides, I'm curious if my change of subject turns out to be a fruitcake check.

    October 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Planes Walker

      Man, am I psychic or what? (rhetorical question). Talk about "fruit cakes"! Look at who showed up... Evangelical Warning! Warning! (Is that a reference to Lost In Space? If so, my apologies, sir, for a brilliant satire of religion through the mindless view of a talking robot!)

      October 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  18. No Religion

    Considering most wars throughout history started because of religion. I think we are finally heading in the right direction.

    October 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Silly1

      Except for the 98% or so that started because someone got greedy. :-)

      October 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Brandon

      About time, eh?

      October 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  19. thomsbakingadventures

    Shame on you, Brooke and CNN – you are grossly misrepresenting this "religion" issue from the start and polorizing your audience already by leading us to believe these youths have no faith. The issue is with ORGANIZED RELIGION, NOT belief/faith. I have never lost my faith in God, but I do not have faith in the Catholic Church I grew up being forced to attend. PLEASE, PLEASE represent this right, youth today believe in God, not establishments (sorry GOP and Catholics...) Thanks!

    October 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • sam

      In just a few seconds someone will come along and say 'then you are not truly faithful, you have turned away from god by not worshipping him correctly, and using HIS WORD baaaawwwww'. Then there will be a copy-paste of some bible quote and an insinuation that you've been deceived BY SATAN!

      October 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Thom, Allow me to invite you back to the mass.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      And by mass, I mean orgy.

      October 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  20. Evangelical Christian

    WARNING!!! WARNING!! WARNING!!

    This article is all nonsense, idiotic and fake. Atheism/Non-religion is minority worldwide, especially in the U.S. where only 1-3% are atheists/agnostics.

    Christianity make up 80% of the US population and is growing rapidly and will increase another hundred million by next few decades. Religion is going nowhere and the author of this article is mentally ill moron!!

    ################################################################################

    IN GOD WE TRUST !! More than 400,000 churches in America and new churches open every day :)

    .

    WARNING!!! WARNING!! WARNING!!

    This article is all nonsense, idiotic and fake. Atheism/Non-religion is minority worldwide, especially in the U.S. where only 1-3% are atheists/agnostics.

    Christianity make up 80% of the US population and is growing rapidly and will increase another hundred million by next few decades. Religion is going nowhere and the author of this article is mentally ill moron!!

    ################################################################################

    IN GOD WE TRUST !! More than 400,000 churches in America and new churches open every day :)

    .

    WARNING!!! WARNING!! WARNING!!

    This article is all nonsense, idiotic and fake. Atheism/Non-religion is minority worldwide, especially in the U.S. where only 1-3% are atheists/agnostics.

    Christianity make up 80% of the US population and is growing rapidly and will increase another hundred million by next few decades. Religion is going nowhere and the author of this article is mentally ill moron!!

    ################################################################################

    IN GOD WE TRUST !! More than 400,000 churches in America and new churches open every day :)

    October 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • RationalPDX

      State your data source please.

      And don't say "the bible".

      Thought so...

      Stop sniffing glue.

      October 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Oh no, not again!

      Danger Will Robinson, Danger ...

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REvmhBO99I4&w=640&h=390]

      October 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.