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.
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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.
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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.
Like myself many do not attend church but prefer to live their faith not by sitting in a pew a couple of hours by bydoing for others
So unaffiliateds are racing towards the party of Scott Nearing and his "Social religion" Progressivism? Do they know that. and would they if they did?
Why exactly would a lack of religion lead to this one obscure philosophy?
If the religious don't continue to demonize and lie about atheism they fear their children won't follow in their own ignorant footsteps which would invalidate the life they have been living and make them realize that all the guilt they have been carrying around for decades served no purpose other than to make them depressed and frustrated. It's much like the cycle of se.xual abuse, a person who is abused as a child and does not get help to show them how wrong it is for an adult to steal away a child innocence, they then may validate their own feelings of guilt and shame by perpetrating the same crime on other children.
If you are pushing your religion on others then you are just like a drug dealer pushing crack, i.e. "Hey, it's the best thing, you just have to try it, come on, whats the worst that could happen if you came to Church with me on Sunday, there will be cake and pie after...come on now, your a good person, you should be enjoying some of what I got... and the first ones always free baby!!" Please go peddle your deity drugs elsewhere, i hear Mar's has no Christians...
Wow that is so twisted it's funny
@ We care:
You pray for me, i'll think for you.
First dentistry was painless.
Then bicycles were chainless,
Carriages were horseless,
And many laws enforceless.
Next cookery was fireless,
Telegraphy was wireless,
Cigars were nicotineless,
And coffee caffeineless.
Soon oranges were seedless,
The putting green was weedless,
The college boy was hatless,
The proper diet fatless.
New motor roads are dustless,
The latest steel is rustless,
Our tennis courts are sodless,
Our new religion — godless
We care about our country, we pray that God will grant us wisdom to get right with him. We pray for our nation.
Who's "we?" You are so presumptuous that I can't imagine anyone would want to play on your team.
Unless you count fvcktards like Turdy Toothless and Chard the Wonder Vegetable.
Communicating effectively using the English language is not your forte. Give it up, already!
Until you are ready to step up your game, WeeWee, get lost.
@weCare: tell us your opinion on Jews. How about Atheists? How about Mormons? How about Catholics? Protestants? Baptists? Mennonite? Can you tell us how you feel about each of those? Are they "right" with god?
"right with god"? arrogant dweeb
Reblogged this on The Atheist and commented:
I have faith in the eventual death of religion.
Survey: 4 out of 5 Americans functionally retarded.
PRIMARY school children in Blackburn are to be taught atheism.
The new Religious Education syllabus in the Lancashire town – for kids aged four and up – will include the belief that God does not exist. Pupils will learn about faiths including Christianity alongside humanism – which rejects religious beliefs.
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3501156/Primary-school-children-to-be-taught-atheism-in-Blackburn.html#ixzz290OIBGt8
The Sun is your resource? Thats hillarious.
It seems to me that if children are taught about religion, then a segment on the lack of religion/belief is also appropriate. Why would that be surprising?
This was in reply to a challenge someone made to post a source where even one school was teaching atheism and this was the first grab. took 20 seconds to find it.
"will include the belief that God does not exist."
I'm not sure if the challenge was to find a school that taught the concept of atheism along side theism but to find a school that teaches athism as fact or truth. Though I am heartened that atheism is gaining ground and is finally an acceptable discussion for our kids, it is still sad that it gets shoved into the "Who Knows???" bag along with religion and theism. I would love to find a school that taught straight, unadulterated secularism. If I want my kids to learn about an invented deity I'll take them to my Church or Temple of choice, where religious teaching should be kept. I send my kids to secular school to learn math, language skills and the tools they will need to make a business, get a job and become productive members of society completely aside from any religious indoctrination. For those of you who say they cannot be productive members without some religious ideology, you yourselves are either in denial or are morons that need to go back to school.
organized religion is nonsense, a social organization for most "church goers" to meet people and fool themselves into thinking they are doing some little bit of good in the world. The leadership of organized religion is all about money, control, and power, period. I'm not saying there are not good people doing good things, but there are a large number of creeps who are in it for the power, and to control others. Mix that with politics and you have a truly frightening combination. I'm agnostic and proud of it, please don't waste your time praying for my soul, its just fine thank you very much.
you believe what you want to believe in. doesn't matter about the facts that are out there right?
dzp: you have just described religious faith
Jesus is a made up fairy tale, so none of y'all have to worry about all the stupid stuff he said, the evil way he and his followers want to oppress your lifestyle, and the awesome things he said you can't do, like choose who you want to marry, have fun, eat shellfish, and dance on any dang day of the week you please!
Rejoice in the revelation that God was never real! There was never a monster looking over your shoulder, spying on your private time, and judging your bed partners! There was never an evil old man in the sky waiting to punish you. There was only your own inherent sense of right and wrong, your own desire to be a good person just because you can. There was only ever as much awesome in the world as YOU wanted to put into it.
Reject religion! You never believed it, not really. You always knew they were lying to you. OWN IT and stand up for yourself. You don't believe, you never really did, and you'll be happier not pretending anymore.
You are not very well informed. There is not one thing that you wrote about that is factually accurate according to the Bible. It would help to pick up a Bible as well as study science in order to make a well informed opinion. As for ramblings like these, rediculous.
Jarhead, you never answered my question the other night. Why do you say unicorns don't exist when your reasoning for saying that god exists is no better than the reasoning of a unicorn believer (ie.. you can't prove that they don't)?
@jarhead. Your lid isn't screwed on very tight, is it?
Grew up in a bible punching home and had preaching forced at me at an early age. However in terms of being intolerant,pompeous, and narrow minded your sermon reads exactly like the useless peachers I listened to as a kid; just as inane and just as boring
@jarhead: "factually accurate according to the Bible"
A thing may be factual. A thing may be written about in the bible. However, just because a thing is written about within the bible does not make it a fact. In fact, we know enough about the bible to assume most of the things in it are not factual, including jesus and the abrahamic god. Figs.... now those are real.
The Words of Jesus have perfectly been taught to him by GOD (John 12/49-50),
and thereafter have perfectly been preserved for all generations under GOD's supervision (Matthew 24/35)!
Jesus said: For this is the will of my Lord,
that whoever sees the Son (of Man) and believes in him
may have eternal Life!
And (my Lord said:) I shall raise him in the Last DAY (=MILLENNIUM)!
So that "Son of Man" has thus already come now to seek and save all those WHO ARE LOST,
in the beginning of this Third and Last DAY (=MILLENNIUM) now!
(Luke 19/10 = John 6/27, 40)
===UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES===
Jesus was not impressive. If he was actually god you would think he could have taught mankind something that no other human had ever thought of, he didn't.
really? miracles? OK, get me a million dollars, and I'll acknowledge your god might be real. I still won't say he's good, just that he might be magic.
THEN let him know I'd like to have a few words with him about all the trash he talks about women and gay people. Tell him, if he's real, EVEN if he's magic, HE'S STILL A HUGE JERK.
Can you prove that miracles really do occur?
Right, but the author of the Bible thought the world was flat. Snore.
1 in 5 has no religion. Smart. The other 4 are drooling imbeciles.
The other four don't believe, either. Not really. They're just afraid to think of themselves as non-believers, because they've been lied to about where good ethics come from. Once they realize that you CAN be good without god, they'll realize that they've been doing that all along.
Most religious belief is a combination of real secular humanistic ethics and the lie that religion is responsible for those ethics. Toss in a healthy dose of fear (you're going to HELL if you don't believe, after all! You're a bad person if you don't believe! You might lose all sense of right and wrong, oh noes!) and the very real threat that your family will abandon you if you stop marching in lockstep with the rest of the "believers," and you have the core of liberal and casual religion.
If they REALLY believed in a magic god, they'd all pray instead of calling for ambulances. The fact is, most professed "belief" is completely fake. They're lying to themselves as well as to the Pew Center.
The mistake you make is common. It is called straw man. I cannot think of any major religion that proposes a belief in a "magic god". Yet you set it up and knock it down like you've made a point.
Bill, how can any god be something other than magic? I'm not trying to be provocative – but really, how would you define the word magic so that it would not include activities that are attributed to your god? Miracles, etc – sounds like magic to me.
Ann, for me magic is "If I do exercise A, I get benefit B". Presto chango, I was sick, poor etc.now I am well, rich, whatever. While I do not discount miracles neither in the present age or ones past, I think many people discount the power of prayer and faith because they often cannot make a cause/effect argument for prayer. In which case, they are looking for magic and not connection, communication, relation, solace, wisdom or any of the other enumerable benefits of the spiritual life and religious practice.
My dad, Hollywood, passed away recently and I wrote this poem to commemorate our time together on this planet. As we hopped from sex club to sex club looking for action, he taught me what it means to be a man. He was kind-hearted and often so generous as to pay for my hookers and booze for me, even before 18. We partied like it was 1999. He was a swell guy. Hollywood, this is for you. I love you, big guy:
My Father who aren't in heaven,
Hollywood be thy name.
Thy candy cane
on earth as it ain't in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forkover our free passes,
as we fuck over those who trespass against us,
and lead us to nearest hemp station,
and deliver us some pizza.
For mine wears the condom,
and uses a towel, with the gloryhole,
for as long as I can.
Awww. How touching.
it's all about the love
Hey, tell you what End R. Why don't you just end your aimless life instead. You're just going to defile your parents hopes carrying on like that.
I can't end it, there's too much partying to do. And Hollywood expects I will party on, in his name I pray, Amen.
Well then, party hard. Very, very hard.
End, that's beautiful and fearless!
2357 can off himself, if heaven is so much better than real life. Please leave, christians, so that there's more room on this Earth for the rest of us to fill up with awesome! Go to heaven as quick as you all can, and take your loveless, joyless, fear-filled rhetoric with you.
you're one of the better internet trolls
"legislating compassion" probably includes all the social safety nets which characterize European countries. How sad, those atheist nations with their universal health care, benefits, infrastructure. Tragic. Now, to be good Christians, this country should get rid of what is left of such godless, state run ideals. I say get rid of all Civil Rights legislation, for starters, as that is legislating compassion, and the Bible totally approves of slavery! Get rid of those pesky public schools, and DEFINITELY get rid of free lunch programs. We can't have that; those schools are just selling their satanic evolution through those lunch programs. Then get rid of highway maintenance, garbage collection, and MOST definitely get rid of programs which protect the environment. Such false compassion! We all know GOD protects the environment and won't let it die. Stuff like state and national parks? GET RID OF THEM! Minimum wage? What secular nonsense is minimum wage? Get rid of it! FEMA? We can't have that.
Let them all rot, or be thankful for whatever meager crumbs Christian charity groups toss at them. If they die, so what? All that matters is that they died good Christians. This life doesn't matter, so long as there is the promise of heaven.
Dickens would have loved you, btw.
Atheist nations of Europe? Are you referring to scandinavia? Even if you've never been there, their flags should afford you a little clue. Read a little history kid. Modern Europe was built on the backs of a billion Christians, slaving away for a better world. What unbelievable ignorance.
Europe advanced despite christianity, not because of it.
You'll have a hard time making that case Cheesy
@2357, by "godless charity," do you mean social safety nets provided by governments of every other developed nation? Would this include what is left of our social safety nets? Would it be better, in your view, to get rid of all federal upkeep of highways, to get rid of garbage collection, state/national parks, environmental protection, the minimum wage, all state-run health care for the poor, food stamps, private clinics like Planned Parenthood where the poor can receive something resembling preventative care, all public schools, all free lunch program in such schools, all laws against discrimination, civil rights legislation, FEMA...
...and replace them all with Christian charity groups?
Been to Somalia lately? Just wondering.
Developed nations and their social programs grew out of a Christian context, almost always. In societies where prevailing culture rejects Christ, there is unspeakable oppression of the weakest members. Deny it all you want, but you benefit from sacrifice of many Christians, whom you despise.
Yes christians do many good things, so do people of other religions and people of no religion.
The statistical comparison between religious charity and non-religious is so out of balance as to be not worth making. But go ahead, post the data.
religion (especially christianity) has killed more people than ANYTHING else in the history of the world.
Deaths Caused by Christians:
1562-1598 – French Wars of Religion – France – 4 million
1095-1291 – Crusades to the Holy Land – Middle East, Spain, Africa – 1.5 million (This does include all sides of the conflict)
1184-c. 1860 – Various Christian Inquisitions – Europe – 17,500
We’ll round this up (for the sake of liberals) and say 6 million deaths caused by Christians. And that IS a bunch! 6 million is way too many!
Now, here is something that even shocked me! I had assumed that the tolls were fairly even.
Deaths caused by non-Christians:
184-205 – Yellow Scarves Rebellion (Taoists) – China – 7 million
1300s-1521 – Human Sacrifices (Aztecs) – Mexico – 1 million
1855-1877 – Panthay Rebellion (Muslims) – China – 12 million
1932-1933 – Holodomor (communist atheists) – Ukraine – 10 million
1941-1945 – Nazi Genocides (statist atheists) – Germany – 11 million
1959-1962 – Great Leap Forward famine (communist atheists) – China – 43 million
1971 – Bangladesh Atrocities (Islamists) – East Pakistan – 3 million
1975-1979 – Khmer Rouge Repression (communist atheists) – Cambodia – 3 million
September 11, 2007 – Terrorist attacks (Muslim Jihadists) – USA – 5,000
The deaths caused by non-Christians – approximately 90 MILLION! And this is actually a conservative number.
I predict that atheism will eventually die out. Why? Atheist is a belief system based on the self, and ultimately atheism equates with death. As such, in the future the number of atheists in America will drastically shrink.
My reasoning: the birthrate for atheists is far, far lower than it is for religious people. See: http://www.scilogs.eu/en/blog/biology-of-religion/2011-01-06/atheists-a-dying-breed-as-nature-favours-faithful-sunday-times-jan-02-2011-jonathan-leake-full-draft-version.
Most people inherit religious and political leanings from their parents. True, some people fall away from the religion they were brought up in. However, most adhere, at least loosely, to the religion they associate with family. I am Catholic, and I know one family of 5 kids, also whom are Catholic. So far, these 5 kids have produced 7 kids, with 3 pregnancies. My guess is that these 10 people (including spouses) will produce at least 25 people before they stop having kids. Richard Dawkins has 1 kid. Many atheists I know have no children. Who do you think will leave more children behind: a devout Catholic, or a gay atheist?
It is a funny irony that evolution seems to favor religiousity. Atheistic socieities die out.
Yes, "Idiocracy" is possible - and it a scary thought.
On the other hand, I was one of 4 Catholic-raised siblings of whom zero remained Catholic, and who produced a total of 12 grandchildren of whom only 1 is Catholic today.
I can only hope that smarter and wiser brains prevail.
Funny you didn't include the argument that we atheists are all liberal, abortion lovers to the list of reasons why we don't breed as quickly. If you actually knew many atheists however you'd know that we run the whole gambit. We are conservatives as well as liberals. We are also sometimes Republicans, gun lovers, and have larger than average families. We American atheists are not the same as European and Asian societies that have adopted atheism for political reasons. We're all around you and may be just the people you know don't go to church, or we may be people you do know go to church, but don't know that they actually don't believe.
Sorry, but beliefs are not inherited,they are taught. Evolution has nothing to do with it. However, it might have something to do with reasoning.
Can you imagine dating a guy our girl who incessantly b:tches about religion and politics?! The supreme irony! What a way to weed yourself out of the gene pool.
If you consider how many people the evangelicals have lured away from Catholic and mainstream protestantism you'd realize that people don't even regularly keep with their family faith anymore.
Depending on your sensibilities, no worse than dating somebody who constantly praises their religion.
"Funny you didn't include the argument that we atheists are all liberal, abortion lovers to the list of reasons why we don't breed as quickly."
... or gay!
Is that your answer to keep religion alive? Not to rely on your own particular sky-fairy; not to try to convince non-believers of the 'truth' of your religion by showing the veracity of your claims; to OUT-BREED the atheists!
There is something increasingly sinister about religious believers, and the more they speak, the more I'm glad the indoctrination didn't take with me.
The reason religion is having a hard time is they can't control information as well anymore. I am one of 4 children raised Catholic, none are Catholic now. The onlyreason religion has survived this long is because of the indoctination of small children. If there was truth in religion it would not need to indoctinate the youth.
"Atheism is a philosophy based on the self"
I see you are a master of definitions. Good job, scholar!
I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV
Oh, Anon doesn't forget to mention gays near the end of his post. It must be real convenient when they can lump all of their enemies into a single mythical individual. To them all us atheists must be gay, liberal, Democratic, Northerners, and originally Jewish too, I assume. 🙂
" Atheist is a belief system based on the self" You are dumber than a rock, and I'm sick of hateful 'Christians' telling me that not believing something is the same as worshiping. No, it's not. Pretending that the Creator has time to hear about your problems is a belief system based on the self.
really?? you have to resort to personal insults to get your point across. and how many of these hateful christians have you met? or by "met," do you mean posters online like us? If you had a bad experience with Christians in your past, then that's one thing, but making grand, sweeping generalizations of who Christians are is another, and one that is completely inaccurate.
you are so correct sir – I missed that!
Some thesis of his: Atheists are a Darwinian dead-end, because they're not "breeders".
I guess it is consistent with the fundie fear of immigration: the stereotype that Hispanics are both Catholics and breeders and they'll take over if they're not deported – just like the Irish did in New England – the original homeland of the Grand Ol' Party.
are atheists friends with religious people? are they allowed to?
Yes they are. And they don't preach that their religious friends will burn in hell for not believing as they do.
that means you're against those people, not religion. by the way, your rebuttal using the easter bunny is a straw-man argument.
Many of us were once religious, and we retain the same friends we had from that time. Many of us are interested in religion and like to discuss it which also brings us into contact with religious people. Finally, not having any religion ourselves we often find ourselves siding with those who favour true freedom of religion, even debunking false propaganda against minority religions. For many religious people we atheists are better friends than people of other faiths.
Of whom would I have to ask permission? My friends come from a large spectrum of ethnic, religious, societal, national, etc.. backgrounds. They earn my friendship by demonstrating that they treat others fairly and genuinely. Having a common interest or two tends to grease the wheels. Religion rarely comes up.
"are atheists friends with religious people? are they allowed to?" No, sonny boy, the "atheist church" would kick them out and not let them go to 'services' anymore. Do you have to get a lobotomy to become Christian?
Allowed? I'll skip that part. But I do have friends who are religious to varying degrees.
Actually, one of my favorite coworkers is our chaplain. He knows I'm agnostic, but he has enough "customers" as it is so he has no interest in pushing his beliefs on me or anyone else. He's just a nice guy who tries to help people out. I've talked to him occasionally myself when I needed an ear. Would I call him a friend? A work-friend, to be sure. We don't hang out together outside of work, but I think that has more to do with the fact that he has young kids and I don't – not conducive to socializing.
@ bible clown
your name fits you perfectly. by the way, if you didn't get my sarcasm, then i don't get yours.
" if you didn't get my sarcasm, then i don't get yours" There's no sarcasm in your post, or capitalization for that matter. It's perfectly clear what you mean. And you should see me use balloons to demonstrate David cutting off 200 foreskins.
so hostile...i dislike
dzp, you didn't even write a question that made any sense whatsoever, so the scorn you get in return is well deserved.
I couldn't even finish this it was so hateful, and useless, it kept hitting the same points over, and over.... by the third paragraph. It was so redundant. I hope the author understands that this is now how these beliefs come about, nor the feelings behind them. I'm offended sir, if I ever read hate speech this has to be a genuine example. I'd ask CNN to block Canadian and French IP addresses from seeing this it violates their respective laws there.
in what way is reporting the results of a survey "hateful"? "Useless" I won't argue with you.
You claim that reporting the idea that 20% of Americans do not belong to a recognized church const'tutes "hate speech". Exactly how is this "hate speech", especially if you stopped reading after the third paragraph?
Jake, let's have the schools teach your children to be Muslims. You don't believe in Allah, I'm assuming? Then it should be perfectly all right with you. Why get upset about stuff you don't believe, especially when it becomes law and you are required to follow it? Your kids will bow to Allah four times a day, but you can go on not believing, so it's all good. Welcome to my world, unbeliever.
Why are atheists so passionate about something they believe doesn't exist? If you believe God doesn't exist, why do you get so emotionally charged about something that doesn't exist? Do you atheists get this excited when you tell your kids that Easter bunny and Santa aren't real?
jake – because the religious are constantly attempting to have their beliefs codified into law and insinuating their indoctrination into the public school education of our children.
@snowbord, like waht?
"@snowbord, like waht?" = uneducated
jake – like the recent "personhood" laws and amendments proposed around the country. like the struggle for marriage equality. like the constant struggle against religious mythology in public school.
Jake, like Intelligent Design creationism in public schools, like the ten commandments in courthouses, like unequal rights for gays...
snowboarder and rufus, well, sorry but i guess you can blame the founding fathers for that. This nation was built on those principles.
passion doesn't require a reason, though you give one anyone. Battling your ignorance is like a full time job.
jake – that is a tired old fallacy. this country was founded on individual liberty.
Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11
Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,
But, there is no God so who cares? Just sruvive and reproduce right? like an animal?
Jake, in what way should I blame the founding fathers for Christians trying to force ID into science curricula?
all right guys, so what';s your point? it's wrong to push down those religious belifes into laws and education? got it. Is telling people there is no God really the answer? look at china and n korea. They are athesits nations with no religous beliefs in their laws and they teach evoluition. Great human rights there huah?
"look at china and n korea. They are athesits nations "
China is not a atheist nation, it's made up of Shenism and Taoism, Buddhism, Mazuists.
North Korea is made up of Buddhism, Confucianism and Korean shamanism.
Both countries also have a small minority of Christians too.
It's no wonder Christians come off so dumb.
rob, so teahcing people that there is no God is going to make them behave better? how?
What public schools are you referring, I just graduated and was taught evolution, and equality for all???
because those who believe in "god" use that belief to influence our secular government and deny citizens equal rights. is that clear enough for you, jake?
Hi Jake. You're missing the point entirely. Our nation cannot, "sponsor," as it were, any religion over another. I'm a person of faith (though it isn't any of the Abrahamic faiths). In saying that, I have every right to practice my faith as you do. I have the same problem with *any* religion, as the posters above me have mentioned, plus a few more. What concerns me, and many, "pagans," like myself, is that once a precedent is set, it opens Pandora's Box. Once you begin legislating the morality of one religion, where does it end?
Also, our nation was founded on Christian principles in a loose sense (look up, "Deism and the Founding Fathers," for more information), but it was also founded on principles and practices of a great many other faiths, cultures, and governments.
You seem to have a great deal of hate toward athiests. I can understand this, to a point. I've read 40+ pages of this comments section (down recovering from a shoulder surgery, in my fourth week out of work because of it, so I've got nothin' but time right now), and seen the vitriol some of the athiests have spewed, but I've seen just as much hatred from the, "believer," crowd. I've also seen a great many, on both sides, come together to discuss, free of hate (though, admittedly, much less than those those who hate one side or the other). The athiest crowd is tired of forced legislation and prosletizing. Freedom of religion is also freedom *from* religion–it works both ways.
Jake....I dare you....come up with ONE public school in the United States that is teaching kids there is no god. Come on, boy, should be easy, right? Just ONE. We'll be waiting....although I suspect all we are going to get is some mealy-mouthed excuse.
Jake seems to be a master of dodging questions and changing the subject.
@Sam Stone. Isn't teaching students that there is no God the exact same thing as what atheists hate about religion. This is an honest question, Im not trying to argue. It seems that if schools told students that there is no God, wouldn't that be indoctrinating kids to become atheists. Science teachers can teach science without forcing to believe one way or the other.
you guys don't get it. all public schools teach evolution not creationism and last time i checked there is a separation bewteen religion and state. By the way if you believe in evolution then why do you insist on equality for all? Doesn't natural selection contradict equality? surviival of the fittest. there's no "equality" in the natural world, so why insisit on erquality?
I would be equally passionate if:
-People preached I deserve to burn in hell for not believing in the Easter bunny
-if people tried to force prayer to the Easter bunny in schools
– if we had a national day of prayer to the Easter bunny
– if "in the Easter bunny we trust" was printed on our money
– if every presidential candidate had to profess his faith in the Easter bunny to get elected
– if Easter bunny churches got tax breaks
Etc. etc, etc,
Jake, you have sadly mixed up the hateful concept of "Social Darwinism" with the concept that living things have reached their present state over time through the process of natural selection – a concept that Darwin discovered. Darwinism is absolutely not the same thing as Social Darwinism because human civilization transcends the natural world. Social Darwinism is not and should not be applicable to human interactions or human law and very few "Darwinist" you will ever meet are likely to be Social Darwinists. The last refuge of "Social Darwinism" can be found in Libertarian philosophy now residing at its home in the Republican Party.
A. Many atheists hate Christians. Very small percentage tell people they are going to hell.
B. Nobody forces to pray in public school anymore, you must be old because its illegal.
C.National Day of Prayer? Really? There is also a National Pancake Day. Anyone can have a "National Day"
D. Money? Are you really reading your money and getting offended?
E. Im actually surprised that the Presidential prayer tradition still exists.
F. All Non-profits get tax breaks. It's not what cause you suport, but how your organization is filed.
Now sit down and think of some real arguments, these are all superfluous.
Social Darwinism is the only Darwinism of any value to adherents of the theory. It served its purpose during the past 150 years of imperial domination, and will continue to serve as the grease that slicks the jaws of the electromechanical idols of this age, as our weaponized devices scour the earth, devouring the 'unfit' and exalting the vapid desirables.
"Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
"truth be told" degenerates to:
"The Truth" degenerates to:
"Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
"Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
"tina" degenerates to:
"captain america" degenerates to:
"Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
"just sayin" degenerates to:
"Chad" degenerates to
"Bob" degenerates to
"nope" degenerates to:
"2357" degenerates to:
"WOW" degenerates to:
"fred" degenerates to:
"!" degenerates to:
This troll is not a christian....
@firefly: "Jake seems to be a master of dodging questions and changing the subject."
Ad Hoc Hypothesis
Some atheists hate Christians, but the hatred of atheists is often built into Christian belief. Non-profits ought to get tax breaks, but not all parts of religious organizations can rightly be called non-profit. Doing charity just to help people is a selfless task, whereas it profits Christians, for example, to convert new members as part of their charity work just as much as it would profit someone signing up people for Amway memberships while working at a charity. Churches often make actual money profits, but the profits can also be the brownie points Christians feel they are earning when they "do God's work" and believe that they will benefit from serving him either in this life, or the next. Seeking "Salvation" based on earning such profit is obviously a selfish endeavour.
I agree. But you, as well as many people on these boards, paint with a broad brush when it comes to Christians. Christians are still people, there is still greed. Some organizations, churches or others, mask their intentions in the pursuit of money. That goes for all groups. But to say that the "hate" of atheists is built in to Christian belief is inaccurate. And the pursuit of salvation through profit is not biblical.
Many churches openly warn members to consider us "evil" and untrustworthy. If that isn't preaching a hateful bigotry then please enlighten me as to where I erred.
Also, I said that gaining Salvation was itself a profitable thing for for Christians because it's considered a very positive thing to get, right? Like getting a "Get out of jail free" card in monopoly, it counts as an asset. There are parables that liken salvation to coin, increased crop yield and other forms of profit, are there not? 🙂
Social Darwinism is only a reworking of the same old Christian hierarchy that put kings just below God, other nobles below them, the middle class below them, and on until you left the same country and race. The Bible also stratifies society in a very similar way. Darwin's ideas wouldn't have seen any "benefit" for similar subsections within the same species. If this were actually Darwinian then lower classes wouldn't breed as well and would die off, replaced by the upper classes.
Kids are smart enough to realize that Santa and the Bunny are real right away, so there's no need to get "excited". What if all the people who believe that black cats are bad luck started killing every black cat they saw, including yours. Would you get "excited" then?
I have been to churches all over the country. I have never, nor would I ever, be a part of a church that believes that a specific group of people is "evil" so if you are speaking from personal experience, I apologize that you were subjected to that kind of hate speech, but that is not the Bible. However, I seem to be missing your point about profit. When Christ was approached by a rich man he said,"Lord, tell me how to attain salvation." Jesus told him to take everything he owned and give it away. The man was sad and walked away because he did not want to let go of his posessions. People often misquote "Money is the root of all evil." That is a biblical quote that states "The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. I may be way off base on your point, and if I am, I apologize.
there are plenty of "properity preachers" who conveniently forget or reinterpret Luke 18:18-25 (and similar).
These are often of the Joel Osteen 'televangelist' variety. They claim the 'monopoly of truth' of Christianity too.
jarhead: i will put forth to you the challenge i did to jake....point out ONE public school that is teaching there is no god. keep in mind that not teaching there is a god is not the same as teaching there isn't.
Apparently you weren't told. Some of us are not true atheists either. I;m open to accepting the existence of a creator if somebody ever comes up with clear scientific proof. Faith as an answer is a cop out and not a valid answer. I am against worshiping such a being. All it does is validate a cottage industry for shamans to perpuate a fraud on innocent but weak minds. Besides if such a being existed why would it need our adulation, so we can be saved? Oooooh, I feel the fire and brimstone speech coming on throwing the fear of God and hell on us who don't care and don't want religion in our lives and government. Not accusing you, but by many of those who believe in insisting religous dogma be in Government and our lives you are restricting our freedom. By leaving it out you keep the schackels off us and you are free to worship, believe and do as you want. That so be good enough for everybody, but nooooo. religous zealots want in the peoples house, whether State or Federal. It does not belong period.
By the way I also have very close friends that are religous. I have always had friends of that persuation in and out of work. I don't bother them with my philosophy and they don't preach to me. When I have been on my death bed, they have asked for permission to pray for me. I've given them that permission. Not because I thought I needed it, but because I knew they would feel good about it, not because I thought it would really help.
jake: you don't get it. creationism refers to an origin. evolution refers to a process. they are not mutually exclusive
jarhead: atheists do not mind churches preaching to their flock. atheists DO mind the faitful attempting to codify their faith in our secular laws and to deny others their civil rights.
jarhead: since you seem interested in conversation rather than preaching, i want to ask you this....
often christians speak of a creator and "God" as if they were synonymous
the line of thinking seems to be something along the lines of "something intelligent created us, therefore the creator loves us and desires a personal relationship with us". seems sort of a spiritual non-sequitor
If your were told the Emperor was fully dressed and realised he was actually naked despite what everyone else was deluded into believing wouldn't you want to share that information?
I don't know any atheists who wouldn't change their minds if given the evidence, myself included. We're skeptics, not closed-minded.
I mean "profit" as in gaining anything that enriches someone's life. I believe that I personally "profit" from having taken up running a few years back, for example. Being a Christian is seen as enriching some people's lives, and the promise of going to heaven can also be seen as something Christians profit by. Many Christians, especially conservative types, seem to believe that these profits are meant only for the select few who strictly adhere to Biblical law, as they see it at least. God is not a socialist with his Salvation, they believe, as people have to earn it, and that is a difficult thing that not everyone can do.
Resisting those who refuse to live up to that standard is required of the "Saved", and that often includes spreading misconceptions and even lies about them. In a very real sense, the non-Saved are exploited by the Saved in order to help guarantee their position in heaven, right? It's the price of Faith that Pascal's Wager never mentions, and many of us cannot see ourselves being so selfish as to step over people like this.
@Sam stone. No school teaches that there is no God. Why are you such a hypocrite? You don't want kids to be taught that the is a God, but you want them to be taught that there is not one. I think most rational atheist would believe your statement is wrong. Teachers can teach science with out shoving God or atheism down the kids throat. My school did an ecellent job of it.
Fact: All atheists are scientists and Bible scholars (Or at least they would lead you to believe that)
PRIMARY school children in Blackburn are to be taught atheism.
The new Religious Education syllabus in the Lancashire town – for kids aged four and up – will include the belief that God does not exist. Pupils will learn about faiths including Christianity alongside humanism – which rejects religious beliefs.
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3501156/Primary-school-children-to-be-taught-atheism-in-Blackburn
@jarhead. " Are you really reading your money and getting offended?"
Of course not. However, the result is millions of messages promoting belief in god from the government.
Now sit down and think of what is the motivation behind these messages being there.
Why does the religious community want them to be there, if not to promote religion using a government vehicle ?
The same applies to the other examples I listed. Why does the religious community constantly try to promote religion in the public space ?
@Sam stone. No school teaches that there is no God. Why are you such a hypocrite? You don't want kids to be taught that the is a God, but you want them to be taught that there is not one
Where did I say I wanted kids to be taught there is no god?
Come on, big mouth......calling people hypocrites over what they didn't say.
Can you support your claim, or are you yet another blowhard christian getting uppity?
Bill Deacon, why the hell don't you pray for a friggin' brain? Nobody gives a sh!t what a kid in Blackburn is supposed to be taught, you moron.
The whole point being is that religion is not necessary for one to be spiritual. Christianity and the bible are just stolen stories from earlier civilizations, ancient civilizations. Christ is a plagiarization of many "saviors" before him: Horus, Mithra, Dionysus, Krishna, etc... who were led the same exact life and death that Jesus had. But even this is inaccurate, I'm not saying they weren't real people, but the "son of God" things is proven to be a plagiarism of the "Sun" worhip. It's all pagan. Christians stole everything from these civilizations, the concept of heaven and hell far predates Christianity, the story of Moses = Sargon of Akkad. Noah's Arc and the great flood = Epic of Gilgamesh, and others. Adam and eve was stolen, all of it is adopted from Sumerian/Babylonian and Egyptian culture. The holidays are Pagan as well, but Christians still celebrate them, even though in the bible is clearly states not to.
Shhhhh, you'll wake the Christians up to reality.
If all of the Torah and Tanakh are plagiarized fiction, as you claim, what does that make the Jewish people and their faith? Theirs is the only substantial people group with continuity across civilization's history. Their scrolls have been an instrument of measure into ancient studies for millenia. If you reject their records as counterfeit, how in the world would you presume to authenticate ANY history at all? Through issues of National Geographic?
You're confusing plagiarism and cultural borrowing; you could as easily say that Mithra was plagiarized from Horus, who was plagiarized from Tammuz, etc. When people live in the same culture, they borrow one another's ideas, holidays, etc. There are plenty of dying gods out there. That there's more than one doesn't mean that they're all false; they simply say something about the way humans look at nature, at the universe, at death and life. Dismissing all of these gods and the idea behind them because there is more than one is a lot like a Fundie who dismisses all gods but Jesus as false. In both cases, you are reducing and denying human experience.
I was talking about the holy Torah of Moses. But I gather that it is Jesus you're intent on discrediting. Demons...they all smell like sizzling bacon.
2357 is right on time, as usual!
@2357 I was merely pointing out that people who reject all dying/resurrecting gods because there are many of them are most likely influenced by fundies who reject all dying/resurrecting gods but their own. It worries me that atheists seem so influenced by fundies.
I've always thought of the Democratic party as the one that most closely represents what Jesus would have people do for each other, so it's always been interesting to me that the majority of the evangelical types seem to be strongly Republican while those who claim no particular faith tend to be Democrats.
That's because (oddly enough) most evangelicals do not believe in the Jesus of the New Testament, they believe in a Jesus who celebrates personal financial gain, denies evidence-based reality, and hates people that are gay.
Very good point... Christ much more resembled the concepts of the democrats than he did the republicans, but they are so corrupted with the influence of the bible (which is man made, edited, and corrupted itself) that essenially they are blind.
please let me add to your comment if I may:
... and while Evangelical Protestants call themselves "Christians" they get most of their "values" from the Old Testament (Leviticus in particular) rather than the actual teachings of Jesus.
And because the Democrats have to hold a kangaroo floor vote during their convention to even keep the mention of God in the platform. I think your premise that Democrats most embody the Christian message is flawed. It appears to you that they do because many people like the warm, cuddly, feel good Jesus typified by the anything goes, entiitlement politics of the Democratic party. Most Christians pass through the cloud nine phase of their early conversion into the mature Christianity exemplified by the Republican party of sacrifice, commitment, responsibility and right living.
Sure, democrats LOVE the generous hippie Jesus who erases crack babies and sprinkles forgiveness over every vice known to society. The loving savior who turns taxes into methadone syringes and food stamps. But they cry separation of church and state when some guy wants to hang a plaque in school. Legislating morality, you just can't have the cake and eat it too. If you earnestly want separation of church and state, you'd better be content with absolute pragmatism. Other societies have attempted such, very recently. We even read about them in the news.
It's not even hippy Jesus who brings social benefits to our society; it's people with actual compassion for others.
All you can argue is that the Democratic Party tends to be the better of two evils when it comes to actually following Jesus' example. We could do a whole lot better with an actual Liberal party.
The Dems were correct to remove any reference to any god but unfortunately they have to pander to the stupid and the mentally ill so had to reinsert a reference to the silly god myth.
Legislating compassion is just a shallow cover for using tax money for charity scams. How is that any different from thieving televangelists? Scamming preachers at least damned in plain sight. Godless charity based solely on humanism is just another insidious form of deluded religiosity, even if you relegate it to politics.