Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy "Heathens" Rejoice



Hell in a hand basket?

The new American Religious Identification Survey shows that Americans identifying themselves as belonging to a religious group is down across the board, with self-identified Christians down 11% in the last 18 years. The change is the greatest in the Northeast and the West, but in all 50 states, Americans saying they have no particular religion are on the rise. Because the U.S. Census does not ask about religion, the ARIS survey was the first comprehensive study of how people identify their spiritual expression…

The ARIS research also led in quantifying and planting a label on the "Nones" — people who said "None" when asked the survey's basic question: "What is your religious identity?"

The survey itself may have contributed to a higher rate of reporting as sociologists began analyzing the newly identified Nones. "The Nones may have felt more free to step forward, less looked upon as outcasts" after the ARIS results were published, [ARIS co-researcher Ariela] Keysar says."

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There are several good non-theist subject films available on DVD:

Julia Sweeney's Letting Go of God
http://www.juliasweeney.com/letting_go_mini/index.html

Bill Maher's Religulous
http://www.lionsgate.com/religulous/

and BBC's Jonathan Miller's A Brief History of Disbelief
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/atheism.shtml

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