Harris Poll: In the U.S., a Clear Win For Rationality — Belief In God and Heaven Declines

This Harris poll — under the headline “Americans’ Belief in God, Miracles and Heaven Declines” — is a great holiday gift.

It finds that

… [W]hile a strong majority (74%) of U.S. adults do believe in God, this belief is in decline when compared to previous years as just over four in five (82%) expressed a belief in God in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

Here are some other popular superstitions, according to the poll, along with their adherents.

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Seminary-Educated Southern Baptist Speaks Out Against Faith

Christian Nightmares has a fascinating interview with Larry Pate, a gay, former Southern Baptist preacher who now speaks out against the faith.

What caused him to change his mind? Seminary.



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When it Comes to Honesty and Ethics, Only a Third of Young People Trust Clergy Members

Gallup released a poll yesterday marking the differences in levels of trust when compared to one’s political party. For example, 68% of Republicans trusted police officers, while only 44% of Democrats said the same.

When it came to members of the clergy, there was a similar differential:

Not too surprising, really. The Religious Right is intertwined with the GOP, so you would expect there to be a higher level of trust for clergy members in that party.

But here’s where it got interesting. When you parsed the numbers by age, only a third of people 18-34 said they trusted the clergy:

This is the effect of the Nones: Not only is faith in faith fading fast, but faith in the leaders of faith is dropping.

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After Getting Rejected by One Company, Atheist Billboards Go Up in Vancouver Through a Different Vendor

Earlier this month, we learned that Pattison Outdoor Advertising, a billboard vendor in Vancouver, British Columbia, rejected atheist-themed signs without offering an explanation:

It’s not hard to guess why they said no since owner Jim Pattison is an evangelical Christian.

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When I Wanted to Adopt Kids, the Agency Asked About My Religious Beliefs. What Would You Have Done?

Last week’s post by Veronica Chenik Gilmore, about her adopted children, held special significance for me.

My daughters (see below), now 11 and 9, are adopted too.

My wife and I worked through an international adoption agency, Gladney, that is at least nominally Christian, having been founded by a Methodist minister more than a hundred years ago. I wasn’t aware of this at the start, but wouldn’t have cared one way or the other. All that mattered to me was that the agency was staffed with experienced, caring, competent, and fair people. And it was. I have nothing but abundant praise for our case workers and everyone else up and down Gladney’s chain of command.

Throughout the years-long process, there was just one hiccup that had to do with religion.

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