28 March 2012

Gallup poll shows Americans becoming less religious

Friendly Atheist has a terrific summary of the latest Gallup poll. I won't bother retyping all the details, but I do want to quote the whopper from the survey (emphasis Hemant's):
Gallup classifies 40% of Americans nationwide as very religious — based on their statement that religion is an important part of their daily life and that they attend religious services every week or almost every week. Another 32% of Americans are nonreligious, based on their statement that religion is not an important part of their daily life and that they seldom or never attend religious services. The remaining 28% of Americans are moderately religious, because they say religion is important but that they do not attend services regularly or because they say religion is not important but still attend services.
As Hemant points out, it's not to say that 32% of Americans are atheists. The term "nonreligious" leaves room for all kinds of "spiritual, but not religious" people. But the important takeaway is this: for about a third of Americans, religion is not a relevant issue in their daily lives. And that's not even counting the people who say it's not important, but go to church anyway.

That's what matters, isn't it? I don't particularly care whether everyone is an atheist. What matters is that religion's influence in the public sphere is increasingly impotent. And despite Rick Santorum's success in the primaries, that appears to be the case. 

Read Hemant's full summary here.

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