Reddit’s Biggest Atheism Hangout Scores Sky-High For Toxic Content and Bigotry, Data Analysts Say

On Friday, I published a moderately unkind comment about Reddit; I said that while I love Reddit warts and all, its content is 80 to 90 percent dross. Mostly, that referred to the atheism subreddit (or r/atheism, in Reddit-speak). I visit the place five or six days a week, and there is always a lot of junk to wade through: from rickety, poorly-worded arguments to repetitions of old news stories that had already been posted days or weeks earlier. Also, of course, there’s a deluge of low-quality memes.

While the dreck is annoying on some level, I fully accept that it’s part of the give-and-take of online communities without gatekeepers. Anyone can join, and you never know if the next link or comment you read was left by someone with decent thinking/writing skills, or by a dim 13-year-old crudely rebelling against mom and dad saying grace over dinner. Like this specimen, say.



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Another Look at the Percentage of Atheists in Prison

We know that the percentage of atheists in prison is much smaller than the percentage of atheists in the general population. There are several reasons for that, and it’s *way* too simplistic to suggest we’re “more moral” than everyone else… so don’t do it.

But how different are our numbers from those of religious believers?

Mona Chalabi of FiveThirtyEight has taken the numbers I acquired in 2013, combined it with U.S. census data, and created this nifty chart, showing the ratios of prisoners’ religious affiliations in prison versus the general population:



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New Survey Suggests Americans with No Religious Affiliation May Soon Outnumber Any Single Religious Group

The General Social Survey is one of the most comprehensive data sets out there when it comes to the religious beliefs of Americans, and the 2014 results were just released last week.

You’ll be happy to know that the trend away from organized religion is still on the upswing:



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Survey: U.S. Church Attendance Sinks to Record Low, but Prayer Is Still Resilient in the Age of the Nones

A survey research analyst who writes for the Washington Post asserts that, in America, religion is on the ropes. More precisely, Scott Clement says that

American religion is on the ropes, but it has a prayer.

A major poll whose results were released this past week, the 2014 General Social Survey, reveals that U.S. church attendance continues to fall.

A record-low share of Americans attend church regularly, affiliate with a religious faith and see themselves as religious. … The findings … mark a continuation of a decades-long departure from the pews along with a growing share who profess loyalty to no religion at all.

But reason isn’t truly taking over; prayer is going as strong as it was three decades ago.

Fully 57 percent of respondents said they pray at least once a day, little different from 54 percent in 1983, when the question was first asked on the survey. Three-quarters of respondents said they pray at least once a week, while 1 in 4 pray less often or never.

The poll has a margin of sampling error of 2.5 percentage points.



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Survey Shows That Christian Media Doesn’t Really Reach People Outside the Bubble

Christian media is everywhere: TV stations, bookstores, radio shows, etc. But a new survey by LifeWay Research suggests that, for all the money spent trying to spread the Gospel over those mediums, the message doesn’t really break through the Christian bubble:



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