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Atheism on the rise in the U.S.

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Atheism on the rise in the U.S. Empty Atheism on the rise in the U.S.

Post by Ben Reilly on Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:31 am

Atheism on the rise in the U.S. Atheism-1_2815890c

A decade ago, a group non-believers meeting publicly on a university campus like this one at Virgina Tech would have been rare, but over the last five years the number of student “freethinker” groups in the US, has begun to snowball: from 100 in 2007 their number has leapt to more than 350 today, according to the nationwide Secular Student Alliance.

Their growth reflects a rapid shift in attitudes towards religion in America among young people, with one recent Pew poll finding that more than one third of Americans aged 18 to 29 now say they have “no religious affiliation”, compared with less than 10 per cent of their grandparents’ generation.

While America still remains outwardly far more religious than Europe, the sudden rise of the “nones”, as they were dubbed by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, has raised the question of whether the US is on the cusp of a dramatic sea-change in attitude towards religion in public life.

The recent shift in the gay marriage debate is evidence, say secularists, of how fast entrenched public attitudes can change: a decade ago just 30 per cent of Americans supported gay marriage, today the figure is consistently over 55 per cent. A decade from now, will attitudes to religion have followed suit?

And yet despite the softening approach of the younger generation towards religion, in this fiercely Bible-minded corner of Virginia, many atheists and agnostics still feel they must live in the shadows.

“Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated.”

– George Bernard Shaw
Ben Reilly
Ben Reilly
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Post by Eilzel on Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:13 am

Hi Ben,

Would it be fair to say that atheism boasts larger numbers in northern and 'blue' states than in the deep south and Bible belt?

Btw have you ever watched 'the Atheist Experience' on Youtube, think that comes from Texas- a great show though I've only caught a few clips and episodes  Smile 

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