The Graying of the Priesthood

I've written several times before about the decline of the Catholic church in the West. But today, I want to shine a spotlight on one corner of the world to study a lesser-known but extremely important symptom of that decline. This was brought to my attention by the journalist and atheist Dick Gross, author of the amusingly and aptly titled column Godless Gross, in an essay commenting on this article from the newspaper The Age.Unlike most First World countries, Australia's Catholic population … [Read more...]

Atheism Is Breaking Out All Over

Right around the time I received James A. Haught's editorial "Fading Faith", I was working on a similar post of my own. It was motivated by the brutal murder of Salman Taseer and the other signs that religious eliminationism is growing throughout the world, which drove me to wonder if there's any reason left to hope. Although recent events argue persuasively that the liberal spirit is alive and well, I think there's still room for this post as well: evidence that atheism is breaking out all … [Read more...]

Exploring the Gender Disparity on Daylight Atheism

As part of my fifth anniversary post, I included a survey where I asked readers to list their gender and their age, mainly just to satisfy my own curiosity. The results of the age poll, to my pleased surprise, formed a very neat bell curve (I have more computer-savvy older readers than I had guessed!).This wasn't the case with the gender survey, however. I was expecting there to be a gender disparity, and there was, but it was much larger than even I had anticipated. With the poll now closed, … [Read more...]

Daylight Atheism: Anniversary #5

As of today, I've officially been doing this blogging thing for five years. Hard to believe, isn't it?An anniversary seems like a good time to reflect on statistics, so here are some numbers. Since February 2006, Daylight Atheism has had 1,265 posts, 42,573 comments, and 7.8 million total views, representing about 1.2 million unique visitors. So far this year, I'm averaging over 11,000 total hits and over 3,000 unique visitors per day, which is well above the historical norm. As of today, the … [Read more...]

Fading Faith: The Rise of the Secular Age

By James A. Haught[Editor's Note: I'm proud to feature the writing of James Haught on Daylight Atheism. Mr. Haught has been an editor and columnist for the Charleston Gazette for over fifty years, as well as an eloquent and prolific freethinker and author of books like Holy Horrors. I've been a fan of his ever since I discovered him, through the Freedom from Religion Foundation, soon after becoming an atheist myself. You can read more of his work at his own website, To Question is the Answer, … [Read more...]

Breaking the Religion-Morality Link

One of the first posts on Daylight Atheism, "A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep", was about the pathetic levels of Biblical knowledge in a nation that's theoretically 85% Christian. Well, thanks to a widely reported new survey, we can add another fact to that picture: not only do Americans not know much about the Bible, they don't go to church very often either.In a more recent study, Hadaway estimated that if the number of Americans who told Gallup pollsters that they attended church in the last … [Read more...]

Atheists Haven’t Forgotten Poland

I've mentioned in the past that as the Catholic church dwindles and ages, it's increasingly having trouble finding enough people who want to join the priesthood, and it's relying heavily on the few Catholic-majority countries remaining, such as Poland, that are net exporters of priests. At the time, I mused:Even former Catholic strongholds such as Italy and Spain, the article points out, have only a 10-20% rate of church attendance. In this respect, it seems that Europe is leading the way; … [Read more...]

Weekend Link Miscellany

I've got a couple of links this weekend, some atheism-related, some not:• Lost a digital camera lately? It made me smile to find out about I Found Your Camera, a website helping to reunite lost cameras with their owners.• After the terrible and entirely preventable deaths of three people during a "sweat lodge" ceremony last year, the New Age community in Sedona is suffering a tourist backlash. Is this what it takes to make people realize that pseudoscientific gibberish is not … [Read more...]

As Tithing Declines, Atheists’ Knowledge Grows

As you've probably heard, the Pew Forum has released a study on American religious knowledge. And their top finding deserves to be heard far and wide: atheists and agnostics outscored every other religious group - even evangelicals!On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 … [Read more...]

Switchers and Stickers

The Chaplain over at An Apostate's Chapel posted about the latest poll by the Barna Group, which found that 1 in every 8 Americans is an ex-Christian. Meanwhile, about 3% of Americans were raised non-Christian but later converted. The Barna Group's press release described their finding in these terms: "The study underscores that the spiritual allegiances of childhood are remarkably sustainable in our society... the most common faith journey that people take is to form spiritual commitments as … [Read more...]


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