A plea for gay, er, atheist rights

Those poor atheists. They have to keep their heads down in repressive American society. They have to watch their words, hide their feelings, guard their secret. Very much like gays, that other major repressed American group. This is the setup in a feature story in The Telegraph about the state of unbelief in the U.S. [Read More...]

Why atheists who pray should still be called atheists

What do you call someone who reads the Bible, attends church, prays daily, and believes in the existence of the soul, heaven, hell, and life after death? Sometimes you call them “atheists.” A reporter on the crime beat has clear-cut criteria for distinguishing between criminals and police. Likewise political journalists can typically rely on their [Read More...]

That stark divide in Catholics in America and on high court

Shortly before Barack Obama reached the White House, pollster John C. Green of the University of Akron visited the classroom here at the Washington Journalism Center to meet with a circle of mainstream journalists from around the world. At one point during his presentation, he created a chart detailing the changing landscape of religion in [Read More...]

Godless congregations copying Christian churches

Every year, approximately 4,000 new churches are started in the U.S. Out of that number, approximately 4,000 will receive no attention from the New York Times. So what makes Jerry DeWitt’s new church – located in a Hilton Hotel ballroom in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – worthy of a feature in America’s greatest newspaper? Perhaps it’s [Read More...]

Winners and losers in our do-it-yourself religion era

No one on the national religion-news scenes writes with more vigor and enthusiasm about America’s sharp turn away from religious doctrine and traditional religious institutions than veteran scribe Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today. Her journalistic glee is completely justified, in my opinion, because this is one of the most important religion-beat stories of our [Read More...]

The nones on the bus

This week the Pew folks came out with a large Global Religious Landscape report. It’s a super fun read for anybody who follows this site. Yesterday, we looked at one story that came up short when discussing the significance of Christianity’s dominance. In the comments to that piece, reader MJBubba wrote: Not so fast on [Read More...]

Not all ‘nones’ are atheists

In England and Wales, there were 37.3 million Christians in 2001, representing 72 percent of the population. In the most recent census (2011), that had dropped to 33.2 million or 59 percent of the population. Religion News Service had a brief story about this that included these graphs: Figures from the 2011 Census show the [Read More...]

The ghost of Prince William County

It’s all about race. And age. Religion? Uh, surely that’s not a factor worth exploring. That’s my interpretation of a front-page New York Times story today that focuses on the changing demographics in Prince William County, Va., and their impact on Tuesday’s presidential election: A couple of decades ago, Prince William County was one of [Read More...]


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