Holy Shit! The Atheists Really Are Coming!

From 16% to 23% of the American population. That’s how fast the religiously unaffiliated have risen in America over the past eight years. Stunning.

The Republican Party and the Internet have ruined Christianity in America. Republicans have politicized religion, and the Internet has made it impossible for the religious to isolate their claims from widespread (and withering) critique and scrutiny. The result: the religiously unaffiliated (agnostics, atheists, and those who declare “nothing in particular”) now number more people in the United States than Catholics–and they virtually match evangelicals in raw numbers. No major religious group is gaining in significant numbers as a percentage of the population. Not even Muslims. They’re either basically static, or in decline. Only those who declare themselves unaffiliated are significantly on the rise.

Here are the numbers:

Evangelicals 26%
Catholics 24%
Muslims .09%
Unaffiliated 16%

The latest numbers:
Evangelicals 25%
Catholics 21%
Muslims .095%
Unaffiliated 23%

Below is The New York Times on this:


One reason is that many former Christians, of all ages, have joined the rapidly growing ranks of the religiously unaffiliated.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to Holy Shit! The Atheists Really Are Coming!

  1. Staffan says:

    The idea that GOP or the internet would radically change belief is in itself a belief, basically the Blank Slate. Here is a real atheist to set you straight,

  2. Longtooth says:


    I’m fresh from readings of “One Nation Under God” by Kevin Kruse and “The Great Divide” by Joseph Stiglitz. The former traces the political impact of evangelical Christianity’s entanglement with big money corporate interests, which took shape in the 1930’s as a push-back against Roosevelt’s new deal domestic policies. A good read I believe. In contrast, the latter book deals with inequality in America, particularly economic inequality and its underlying causes and consequences. To say that Stiglitz has a dim view of the Republican Party would be a bit of an understatement. Another good read, I believe, with lots of crucial bits of information although a bit tedious here and there. The two books address different topics, but an entity of common interest in both is the Republican Party. I’ll be optimistic and hope that with more American’s disaffecting from entanglement with organized religion a parallel disaffection with the trickle down politics of the Republicans might ensue too. Maybe some of the public’s liberated social/political mind space might get invested in the “occupy wall street” sorts of issues which the societal health and wealth of America so dearly needs to have seriously vigorously addressed.

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