Non-religion is still growing. If you look at 2002-05 the growth appears to have stopped at 10%, but it's too slow to follow year by year.No answer to the question is a separate column on the survey.Other religion is also a separate column and would cover all denominations, including those who are "non-denominational".Finally 350,000 people will give a small element of error, only showing about 0.11% of the total polulation.
What a ridiculous analysis -- but probably not a surprise if you consume obese quantities of fox "news" and other right-wing propaganda, like some who venture this site.
"America will reach a milestone when it finally stops talking about..."
Even with electing the first back president, the left is still crying racism. How many bizarre racism claims has someone like Chris Matthews made? Someone says the word apartment and he extracts some kind of coded racism associated with the word.
Well said! They categorize people into different groups, promise each group "free" things the government will give them, and then demonize the opposition by launching smear campaigns marketed to each group.
I think we have probably hit a tipping point and and have turned into an idiocracy. The generation who just became eligible to vote this passed election, has been indoctrinated from kindergarten to college.
Many conservatives argue we need to educate the youth about the founders and the constitution. The youth have been indoctrinated into believing the founders were old, evil, rich, slave owners. The message doesn't resonate with them and they have an attention span of a caffeinated squirrel.
Instead of attempting to teach them about what founders believed, we need to make the same arguments the founders made.
Can you imagine any political party having a health care policy which was discernably more favorable to one human being over another simply on the basis of that person's skin tone rather than their medical need? Imagine if US foreign policy was formulated taking into account the unique national security interests of ''black'' people living in America.
The last election showed what can be done if your campaign divides people up into lots of different minority groups, marginalizes them, and THEN claim to be on ''their side''.
You're a ''black'' person - vote for me. (Not whitey ya'll)
You're a female person - vote for me. (Not Mr Misogyny)
You're an unemployed person - vote for me. (Not Mr Rich man)
You're a ''hispanic'' - vote for me. (Porque no estamos estadounidenses - nos estamos gente marrónes)
You're a ''LGBT'' person - vote for me. (I'll let anyone get married. Well, almost anyone. Not polygamists. No WAY!)
You're religion is (anything) other than biblical theism - vote for me. (The Unitarian States of America)
Well done Mr Obama. Excellent political strategy. Appealing to the color of their skin rather than the content of their hearts.
"As a piece of marketing communication, its absolutely brilliant"
The left is brilliant at marketing their agenda. Conservatives are not very good at it. Most conservatives believed if they can win the debate, they will win over people to their side. This mind-set totally ignores pop culture. Hopefully, the last presidential election served as a wake up call.
"exact same propaganda can also be used, quite logically, by any minority in society to demand social acceptance for their lifestyle choices and change to the law if necessary"
Pedophiles are currently doing this.They are emulating the game plan homosexual activists used.
I agree with your comments about the de facto gate-keepers of popular culture and whats going on in the fight for dominance of the public square. No surprises there. In politics, the world is run by those who show up.
Example - Here's a story about a lovely song all 8th grade children need to be taught according to the gate-keepers.
http etc etc :// www.lifesitenews dot com/news/teacher-plays-pro-gay-marriage-song-for-8th-grade-class/
Watch the YouTube clip of that song here --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
As a piece of marketing communication, its absolutely brilliant! The problem is, that the exact same propaganda can also be used, quite logically, by any minority in society to demand social acceptance for their lifestyle choices and change to the law if necessary.
Tolerance uber alles. Who wouldnt want tolerance from society?
I can't think of ANY socially abnormal or disliked minority that wouldnt want the acceptance and approval of the majority.
While the statistics Dr. Craig spoke about indicates the percentage of the non religious has leveled off, it is important to take the current cultural climate in to account as well.
The default position of the culture is spiritual relativism. That is to say, most people believe if you are a good person, you automatically get God's stamp of approval after you die regardless of your religious beliefs.
The cultural default position about evangelical Christians is they are about as sharp as a bag of wet hair, every christian believes the world is 6000 years old, and they engage non-believers with either 'Jesus loves you' or telling the non-believer they are taking the express train to hell.
Another problem is popular culture's gate keepers are secular progressives.They are the gate keepers of the entertainment industry, the educational system, the legal system and a large portion of the media. When the entire popular cultural complex is hammering the same narrative, it is extremely difficult to fight back against.
Finally, I wouldn't discount the new atheist movement. While they might have jumped the shark in the pop. cultural realm, there are indications that they are organizing. Atheist organizations also use the legal system to remove religion from the public square.
Even though they might be 4 to 5 % of the population, it is a huge mistake to dismiss them because they are a small percentage. The homosexual movement is a small percentage of the population too and they went from being the counter-culture to the mainstream culture in a relatively short amount of time.
Of course, a plateau or gradual changing of the zeitgeist isnt anything to be proud of or cause for satisfaction. Yes, the idea of a renaissance in apologetics may sound nice, but if unbelievers are 30% or 22% or 18% that is still a tragic cause of sadness.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.''
The 2011 ABS stats were framed and headlined simply as... "No Religion" 22.3% of the population.
Whereas, in 2006 (See here --->) http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS...
...there was a "No Religion'' but it was included in the category of "Other" along with ''Not stated/Inadequately described'' which many vocal atheists believed was a flaw in the underlying presumptions that left them under-counted. (Splitting the vote, so to speak.)
The single category ''No Religion'' was seen as 18.7% of the population but atheists (quite rightly IMO) claimed that number was artificially low because it didnt include atheists who fell into the "Not Stated" group which accounted for 11.9% of the population. Emphasis and publicity in recent years has been on the need for atheists to state "no religion" rather than take the option to write-in ''atheist'' or ''evolution'' or leave the question blank. And the number of people who fell into the Not Adequately Described / Not Stated category fell by a massive 15% in the 2011 result.
If half of the ''Not Stated'' group in 2006 was in fact atheist, then the real percentage of ''No Religion'' (atheists) would have been 24.6 percent of the population not 18.7%.
The Australian population grew by around 8% and I dont think atheists have even kept pace with that. In real terms I would argue that the raw numbers in the 2011 result of 22.3% represents a decline in real terms.
Kind regards - Lion IRC
I thought that I would leave these encouraging stats that an amazon reviewer gleaned from What Americans Really Believe by Rodney Stark.
"(1) Weekly church attendance as percentage of American population has been consistent over the last 50 years. Now people may report that they attend weekly when they actually don't (called the Halo effect), but the data shows that the same percentage of Americans have reported they attend weekly over the last 50 years.
(2) Conservative, evangelical denominations have been growing rapidly over the last 50 years while more liberal denominations have been shrinking. While attendance has been consistent overall, it has not been consistent across denominations. Those who believe the Bible and teach the historical doctrines of the faith have been growing, while those who don't have been getting smaller.
(3) The percentage of Americans who belong to a local church (members) has increased from 17% in 1776 to 69% in 2005. Despite the common myth that America has gone from churched to unchurched over the course of our nation's history, the data shows the opposite. That separation of church from state (no government funding of churches) has helped churches become more competitive for members and thus increased the percentage of churched Americans.
(4) Across the board, mega-churches tend to be more conservative doctrinally and expect more of their members than small congregations. Despite the common belief that big is bad, larger churches seem to be growing because they are more committed to the gospel, not less, and because they ask more from their members.
(5) Most Americans believe in a real heaven and real hell, and that they will most likely be going to heaven. Americans are interesting in that they believe that God created hell, but that He won't be sending anyone there when they die.
(6) As Americans make more money, the percentage of what they give to their local church goes down. In other words, the poorest Americans give the highest percent of their income. People who make less than $20k a year give 6.2% on average, while those that make over $100k a year give 2.2% on average. I would think that this shows us that more wealth makes us more selfish and less generous.
(7) The percentage of Americans who don't believe in God has held steady at 4% from 1944 until 2007. Despite constant claims that more and more Americans are denying God's existance because of the increase of scientific knowledge, Stark's research shows that the same percentage of Americans are atheists today as were in 1944.
(8) Irreligious Americans are most likely unchurched but not atheists. Somewhat related to the last point, this insight helps those of us trying to reach people in our culture who are irreligious. The people who are irreligious are not necessarily hostile toward the idea of God, but more likely just turned off by the church.
(9) Level of education does not correlate with level of church involvement. This was one of my favorite findings in Stark's book because it puts to bed the myth that stupid, uneducated people are religious and highly educated people are irreligious. Instead, Stark's team found that the % of people involved in church varies little between those who did not complete high school and those with post-graduate education.
(10) People are 50% less likely to be divorced if they attend religious services at least twice a month. Despite all the research showing that Christians have the same divorce rate as non-Christians, Stark goes at the question not from the angle of what people believe, but what they actually do. Regular church-attenders are much less likely to get divorced."
Er... Mr. Lion_IRC, I think your statistics are slightly inaccurate. Your percentage from 2006 is only "no religion", whereas your 2011 statistics also include religion not stated.
Don't get the wrong idea, though, I am a Christian and these new statistics look very hopeful. I just want to let you know not to repeat that mistake, or else it might be a little bit embarrassing.
It is definitely good to know that the time of the New Atheists might be finally coming to an end.
Great perspective on the stats. Thanks WLC.
So-called ''New Atheism'' has prompted people to think much more seriously about existential questions and the God Conclusion. It has certainly reinvigorated Christian apologetics.(Not sure if Screwtape would approve of your strategy Mr Dawkins.)
Interestingly, in recent Australian Census data...
"No religion / Religion Not Stated'' 2006 - 30.6% 2011 - 22.3%
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