According to figures compiled by the American Religious Identification
Survey (ARIS), almost 30m people claimed “no religion” in 2001, a
doubling from 1991. This dwarfs America’s 2.8m who describe themselves
as Jews according to the same survey (although other estimates suggest
that the Jewish population is much larger, at about 6m). Catholicism,
the country’s largest Christian denomination, boasts 51m followers.
If atheists, agnostics and secularists could polish their image they
might prove powerful, and increasingly so. If the number of people
declaring “no religion” can double over the ten years to 2001 who know
how many more there are now or might be in years to come. Polls have
shown that eight years of Mr Bush’s mix of piety, divisiveness and
incompetence have pushed young people towards the secular in higher
numbers than before.
There are many who believe the battle against dogma is not winnable. Not only is it winnable, but it will be won, and it’s being won.
Rational Response Squad