There Are Now As Many Nonreligious Americans As Evangelicals: 6 Ways Politicians Can Court Their Vote

StatueOfLiberty2

This article was originally published on AlterNet.In the aftermath of President Obama's electoral romp over Mitt Romney, the media and pundits have paid much attention to the demographics that propelled him to victory, especially women, Hispanics and young voters. But there's one more group which played an underappreciated yet crucial role in his reelection, and which only now is starting to get the recognition it deserves.A growing segment of American society - up to 20%, according to … [Read more...]

The Political Dominance of Fundamentalism

PurpleAndYellow

Last week, Alex Knapp and I got into a friendly debate on Twitter about whether it's fair to stereotype conservative and fundamentalist religion as representative of religion generally. I wanted to flesh out some of my arguments there with additional data.I wish it were true that the religious left and the religious right were equally influential. If they were, they'd usually balance each other out, and there would be little reason for atheists to worry about undue religious influence in … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: Snap Responses to Current Events

In the Times this week, Israel's ultra-Orthodox rabbis are enforcing gender apartheid by sending their own women and girls to flood the Wailing Wall plaza, so that women who actually want to pray there can't get in:“They’re trying to change the religion and politics in Israel — they should do that in the Knesset and not at the Kotel,” Ms. Beskin said, using the Hebrew terms for Israel’s Parliament and the Western Wall. “The rules should be, honestly, just respect the tradition here.” … [Read more...]

Building Walls Against the World

BricksInWall

When I wrote last month about France enacting same-sex marriage, it wasn't even on my radar that two more U.S. states were about to do the same. But now, Rhode Island (which previously had civil unions) has graduated to full marriage equality, becoming the tenth state to do so, and Delaware followed right after. With this passage, every New England state now stands united in recognizing the humanity of same-sex couples.What makes this especially heartening is that Rhode Island is the … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: Exporting America’s Culture Wars

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, You Wouldn't Believe How Fast Americans Are Losing Their Religion -- But the Fundamentalists Have a Plan. In it, I report on the American religious-right activists who are exporting American-style culture wars to the developing world, even as the U.S. and Europe become less religious. The fundamentalists haven't been able to strip women, LGBT people, and non-Christians of their rights at home, but they're working hard to do so abroad. Read the excerpt … [Read more...]

The Church Isn’t Too Good at Introspection

AbandonedChurch

While doing research for another post, I came across a slew of articles with a common theme: young people are leaving the Catholic church at a high rate, and the church's apologists are trying to figure out how they can stem this tide.They're not wrong about this, either. A 1999 survey found that only 14% of Catholics born after 1960 say the church is "very important" in their lives, and a 2009 Gallup poll found that church-going among Catholics has declined dramatically since the 1950s. A … [Read more...]

The Secular Census and Women in Atheism

RedAndWhite

The American Secular Census is releasing statistics about the data they've gathered so far, and one of the first articles concerns women's experiences in secular groups. There's a lot here that's worth commenting on.First, the necessary caveats: The Secular Census isn't a rigorous survey with random sampling of the population, but is open to anyone who wants to sign up and answer the questions, so there's an element of self-selection which could have influenced the results. On the other … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: Courting the Votes of the Non-Religious

USCapitol

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, There Are Now As Many Nonreligious Americans As Evangelicals -- 6 Ways Politicians Can Court Their Vote. In it, I discuss the evidence which shows that nonreligious Americans are becoming a pivotal voting bloc - including evidence that they played a decisive role in President Obama's reelection - and pen some advice to politicians who want to reach out to us. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest: In this cycle, the specter of a … [Read more...]

Why Is America’s Most Progressive Voting Block Often Overlooked?

This article was originally published on AlterNet. The renowned physicist Max Planck once said, "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." And this isn't just true of science: the same principle holds true in the political arena. Most progressive advances don't come about because vast numbers of people are persuaded to drop their … [Read more...]

Winning the Culture War on Two Fronts

The big news this week, as well it should be, was a new survey from Pew showing that America's religious "nones" continue their demographic ascent:The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling. [That works out to 46 million people! —A.L.] In the last five years … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X