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It's about time: The rise of atheism in America

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  • Todd Greene
    Rising atheism in America puts religious right on the defensive by Paul Harris (The Guardian, 10/1/2011)
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2011
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      Rising atheism in America puts 'religious right on the defensive'
      by Paul Harris
      (The Guardian, 10/1/2011)
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/01/atheism-america-religious-right?newsfeed=true

      Excerpts:

      The US is increasingly portrayed as a hotbed of religious fervour. Yet in the homeland of ostentatiously religious politicians such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, agnostics and atheists are actually part of one of the fastest-growing demographics in the US: the godless. Far from being in thrall to its religious leaders, the US is in fact becoming a more secular country, some experts say. "It has never been better to be a free-thinker or an agnostic in America," says Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF.

      The exact number of faithless is unclear. One study by the Pew Research Centre puts them at about 12% of the population, but another by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College in Hartford puts that figure at around 20%.

      Most experts agree that the number of secular Americans has probably doubled in the past three decades – growing especially fast among the young. It is thought to be the fastest-growing major "religious" demographic in the country.

      [...]

      There are other indications, too. For a long time studies have shown that about 40% of US adults attend a church service weekly. However, other studies that actually counted those at church – rather than just asking people if they went – have shown the true number to be about half to two-thirds of that figure.
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