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America: A Less Christian, More Atheist Nation

Have you ever wondered to yourself why the voices declaring that “America is a Christian Nation!” seem to be getting louder and louder in recent years? Wonder no longer. Results from the latest American Religious Identification Survey are out. I invite you to read the full report, but this table extrapolating from the representative survey to the adult population tells most of the story:

ARIS Results from 1990 to 2001 to 2008: Fewer Christians, More Nonreligious

Those voices are shouting more loudly about America’s supposed Christian nature because they are insecure: America is becoming less Christian. More than 34 million Americans indicated they have no religion. Only 70% of Americans report belief in a God.

When it comes to religious behavior (not just self-professed religious identification), only 71% of adults report undergoing religious initiation like baptism or a bar mitzvah. Only 69% of adults who’ve been married report that their marriage was a religious one. This last statistic undercuts the argument of theocrats who want to make same-sex marriage illegal on the basis of some imagined religious marriage tradition. As these latest ARIS results show, Americans’ marriages are often irreligious.

In case you watched one of those election-mailer DVDs and are wondering about the “Muslim invasion” of America, well, herm: Muslims make up just 0.6% of the adult population in the United States. Some invasion.

10 thoughts on “America: A Less Christian, More Atheist Nation”

  1. Tom says:

    Um…See The Bios for the two Directors in charge of the Survey.

    Yea… it’s like James Dobson doing a survey to see the value of Christianity in American Life. Think there is a skew in the results? Progressive secularists, both of them. Spin the results, taint the questions. Either way The results are manufactured to promote an agenda. Mother Earth should be insulted with her carbon based children’s bad behavior.

    Dr. Barry A. Kosmin is the Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and
    Culture (ISSSC) and Research Professor, Public Policy & Law Program at Trinity College. A sociologist,
    Dr. Kosmin has been a principal investigator of many large national social surveys in Europe, Africa, Asia
    and the U.S. including the 1990 National Survey of Religious Identification, the American Religious
    Identification Surveys of 2001 and 2008 and the recent Worldviews and Opinions of Scientists-India
    2007-08 (

    Dr. Ariela Keysar, a demographer, is Associate Professor, Public Policy & Law Program at Trinity College
    and the Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture. She is a
    principal investigator of the American Religious Identification Survey 2008 and the recent Worldviews
    and Opinions of Scientists-India 2007-08. Dr. Keysar was the Study Director of the American Religious
    Identification Survey 2001. She is the co-author, Religion in a Free Market: Religious and Non-Religious
    Americans, Paramount Market Publications, Ithaca, N.Y., 2006.

    1. Horatio says:

      That Trinity College is sooooo secular!

  2. Jim says:

    Do you have proof or evidence that the results are manufactured to promote an agenda?

    Have you even looked at the methodological section of the report? Here’s the question:

    “What is your religion, if any?”

    WOW! How BIASED!

  3. qs says:

    I think the religious Right strengthens the political Right’s antigovernment lobbying efforts. I a sense a less religious nation could end up being a more Statist nation, which could spell disaster.

    “Rothbard wrote for conservative Christian publications in the early 1950s and onward because he saw in Christianity a devotion to law and morality, not of state but of transcendent origin. Early memos even have Rothbard praising Catholicism for its implicit universalist anarchism as opposed to the nationalist-statist strains in Protestant history. Moreover, Rothbard showed how the demands of the rank-and-file Christian Right were mostly libertarian: keep government out of our churches, families, communities, and schools. Even today, libertarians have yet to understand the potential for strategic alliances here.”

  4. Holly Miller says:

    Gods don’t exist. If they did they’d be pretty poor gods; having all that power at their fingertips yet not bothering to intervene in human affairs-specifically gods don’t intervene in situations where children are imperiled. If I were a god, which I am not, I would try my utmost to protect children from harm. I don’t have any problem with stating that I am better than god. If by some wierd chance there actually is a universe that has gods in it, those gods are woefully inadequate. Truly thoughtful people know better. Gods don’t exist. If I were a god and had lots of power you damn betcha little children wouldn’t get abducted, raped, killed, ect. I’d also do something about starvation and plague. I’m not afraid of divine retribution because it isn’t real. Any god would have a lot of explaining to do. What kind of god would stand silently by while horrible things happen to little children? In this country we prosecute people who witness a crime and don’t do anything about it. If it got found out that I saw my next door neighbor abduct a girl child and then rape her repeatedly for a couple of days before burying her alive, and I did nothing to report it or to try to stop it, I would be a criminal. So why does god get a pass? It’s importent- vitally so- that we climb out of the past era of believing in gods and get together as people who are concerned about each other and other species with whom we share this beautiful and delicate planet. Belief in gods is a dangerous road; do we really want to go there? The world is enough.

  5. Jairo Mejia says:

    Atheists and Gnostics are right in most of their thinking

    It has been common among religious believers to look with misgiving to atheists and Gnostics, and to think that they are mistaken; however, in many instances the opposite is the truth; some religious beliefs are not just irrelevant, but baseless. The “God” of main line traditions simply does not exist. I accepted the challenge of finding the One who may be recognized even by Gnostics and atheists: the Existence itself, “All-That-Is.” If something is there, that is God. Look at the book “Christianity Reformed From ist Roots – A life centered in God” ( I am confident that some of your friends will be relieved of the illusion, as I did myself.

    Jairo Mejia, M. Psych., Santa Clara University
    Retired Episcopal Priest
    Carmel Valley, California

  6. Colliedog says:

    “In God We Trust”…Might be worth voting about:

  7. Atticus Finch says:

    The study is not really complete, and the comments appear to be exercising an opportunity to attack Christianity in particular, rather than looking at whether or not people belong to a religion or believe in God. I would suggest a more unbiased study, such as that conducted by the Pew Trust. Its report is viewable at

    According to their study Christians make up 78.4% of the US population currently. This includes Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses (although some do not consider the last two groups to be true Christians).

    There are, of course, many non-Christian religions, such as Judaism, Islam, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhism, and others. These faiths make up 4.7% of the population currently. That would indicate 83.8% of the population which believes in God. I did not see in the proposed puff legislation where is said that Americans believed only in a Christian God.

    Atheists are 1.6% of the population. These are the only ones who specifically deny the existence of God.

    Agnostics, by definition, are those who are undecided about the existence of God. They comprise 2.4% of the population. If all of them became Atheists, they would only be 4% of the population.

    12.1% were unafiliated with any religion or secular group. This does not mean they don’t believe in God, but more likely that they don’t believe in any particular organized religion, or that they simply have not given the matter any thought.

    Only .8% refused to answer or “don’t know.”

    The founding fathers were believers in God. Many of them were deists, which would land them in the unaffiliated category. Benjamin Franklin himself is the one who made the motion that every session of Congress should begin with a prayer. Never has there been a requirement that it be a “Christian Prayer.” Many of the chaplains have been sensitive to this fact.

    By the way, bystanders who observe criminal acts being committed are not charged themselves with crimes, unless they are within one of the narrow specifically defined classes charged with a duty of mandatory reporting.

    One last tidbit. During WWII the Japanese interviewed prisoners of war. Those that had no express belief in God were assigned, generally, to minimum security prisoner of war camps, from which no one ever escaped. Those who expressed religious affiliations or strong belief in God were placed in the maximum security prisons, and frequently did escape. There is much to be said for those who serve a higher power greater than themselves and outside of themselves. “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” (Robert Browning).

  8. Stephen Kent Gray says:

    It gets even more interesting when you break down into demographics.

    By Generation
    Younger Millennials 34%
    Older Millennials 30%
    GenXers 21%
    Boomers 15%
    Silent 9%
    Greatest 5%

    By Gender
    Men 23%
    Women 17%

    By Race
    White 20%
    Hispanic 16%
    Black 15%

    It is too much to list by each state, but Ill just say it is as much as 34% in Vermont and as little as 5% in Mississippi or 1% in the Northern Mariana Islands if you want to include non states as well.

  9. Renato Baldago says:


    In the extremely misinformed, hellish book entitled “God Delusion,” the author Richard Dawkins, with his poison wrote –

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” (God Delusion. Chapter 2 p.31)

    The author, devoid of human decency and filled with satanic blasphemy, charged the God of the Old Testament to be “the most unpleasant character in all fiction!” This stupid and false accusation against someone whom he does not believe to exist can be considered the height of insanity and delusion!


    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    It is not hard to see that to disgrace somebody who does not exist can only be caused by hallucinations of a person buried deep in delusion.

    PSALMS 53:1

    The fool hath said in his heart,There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

    To tag the God of the Old Testament worse than Dracula, Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves, Frankenstein, and the like, is the grandest form of lie that an author could invent in the history of fiction making! Apparently, Dawkins is on the side of these fiction characters, being their campaign manager!


    Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    Here are things we should consider:

    The God of the Bible is Omnipotent
    GENESIS 17:1

    And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

    He desire perfection for humanity.

    MATTHEW 5:48

    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    Being perfect, an injunction to a believer, means to learn how to love and care for enemies.

    MATTHEW 5:44-48

    44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

    47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

    48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    The God of the Bible is jealous.
    That the Lord may become jealous is a deterrent. Divine jealousy is caring for His beloved not to be persuaded by lies.


    7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

    8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

    9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,


    For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

    With the accusations of Dawkins against God, it will imply that even if he sees his wife flirting with another atheist, it will still be something morally acceptable to him! But God’s jealousy is kindled against any man that would intentionally worship false gods. It is falsehood. God wants to protect His people from idolatry.

    THE ROMANS 1:25

    Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    To frankly declare, “I am a jealous God” does not mean that He is proud of being jealous. He says exactly what He feels, treating His servants honestly with compassion and concern.

    The thinking of Richard Dawkins against God is not a thing to marvel about. There are people who, according to the Bible, are walking with their head and thinking with their feet!

    ISAIAH 5:20

    Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    Richard Dawkins is “petty unjust,” and not the God of the Bible.
    To charge somebody who does not exist to be “petty unjust” is most certainly unjust! The God of the Bible is the executor of everything that is just.

    JEREMIAH 9:24

    But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

    The highest standards of human justice are reflected in the Constitution of the United States of America! (The land of the free and the home of the brave). It is clear that the Bible is the basis of the justice system in the constitution of the United States. Here’s an excerpt from an article titled, “The Supreme Court vs. Faith and the Bible” (Ref: ) –

    In V. Watkins v. Torso, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Secular Humanism is a religion.

    Observations by the Legislative Branch

    “Religion must be considered as the foundation on which the whole structure rests. In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity; the great conservative element on which we must rely for the purity and permanence of free institutions.”House Judiciary Committee, 1854

    “The great vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of gospel of Jesus Christ.” House Judiciary Committee, 1854

    “Whereas the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation of people. Whereas Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of The United States … Whereas that renewing our knowledge of, and faith in God through Holy Scriptures can strengthen us as a nation and a people. Now therefore be it resolved … that the President is authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national “Year of the Bible” in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.”1983 – Oct. 4, 1982, Joint Resolution of Congress.

    We now turn to the leaders of the world as written in Wake Up America! Almost all the presidents of the greatest nation on earth now, the United States of America, believed in the Bible. It is the book upon which they laid their hands in swearing their oath of office with the concluding phrase in their oath “So help me God.” Here are some of them (Ref:

    President of the United States

    1st President / George Washington

    “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

    6th President / John Quincy Adams

    “The first and almost the only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the world. . . and I say to you, Search the Scriptures.”

    16th President / Abraham Lincoln

    “In regard for this Great Book, I have this to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book”

    7th President / Andrew Jackson

    “That Book, Sir, is the rock on which our Republic rests.”

    28th President / Woodrow Wilson

    “The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.”

    30th President / Calvin Coolidge

    “The strength of our country is the strength of its religious convictions. The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teaching of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teaching would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

    32nd President / Franklin Roosevelt

    “We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity.”

    33rd President / Harry Truman

    “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul . . . If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!

    18th President / Ulysses S. Grant

    “Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties. Write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book are we indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”

    23rd President / Benjamin Harrison

    “If you take out of your statutes, your constitution, your family life all that is taken from the Sacred Book, what would there be left to bind society together?”

    40th president / Ronald Reagan

    “Inside the Bible pages lie all the answers to all of the problems man has ever known . . . It is my firm belief that the enduring values presented in its pages have a great meaning for each of us and for our nation. The Bible can touch our hearts, order our minds, and refresh our souls.”

    In contrast, we notice the noise of new atheists. The New Atheists are authors of early twenty-first century books promoting atheism. These authors include Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens, as named by the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. These modern atheist writers advocate the view that “religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises,” according to Simon Hooper (The rise of the ‘New Atheists,’ November 9, 2006 CNN.Com).

    Hooper said the tone of these new atheists overtly confrontational rather than gently persuasive. In one of the interviews for CNN, Darwin is said to boast that atheists are like the gays; they only need to come out. When they do come out, the public can find that they are more numerous than believed. That is the kind of victory they see for themselves. But these pretentious intellectuals are no match to the great and intelligent men who shaped the USA as a nation!

    PSALMS 33:12

    Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD

    God bless America and the world!

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