Category Archives: religion

Are any criticisms of theism kosher? (Open Thread)

by Grania Spingies In the wake of complaints such as this one and angry reviews of Jerry’s new book Faith vs. Fact, one has to wonder whether any criticism of theism is acceptable or valid to a believer. One of the complaints that irks Jerry the most is the charge that he – or indeed we […]

Once more with feeling: final thoughts on Ireland’s Marriage Equality referendum #MarRef

by Grania Spingies Terry Pratchett once wrote: “Words have power, and one of the things they are able to do is get out of someone’s mouth before the speaker has the chance to stop them.” Pratchett was right, of course. I don’t think the Vatican can help it much, for Terminal Foot-In-Mouth Disease seems to […]

One of those days

Today we have a report from On the Spot by our Official Ireland Correspondent, writing about the gay marriage referendum, which just won approval in that Catholic country. by Grania Spingies Every once in a while you have a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. Sometimes it’s because of something […]

The tenacity of belief in belief

The recent Pew Report on “America’s changing religious landscape” showed, over the last 7 years, a sharp decline in adherents to mainline Protestantism and Catholicism in the U.S., and a corresponding increase in the numbers of religiously “unaffiliated” (the latter went from 16.1% in 2007 to 22.8% last year).  Now, not all of the “unaffiliated” are nonbelievers: […]

The rise in secularism: 25% of “millennial” Americans are atheists, agnostics, or don’t see religion as personally important

Two days ago I wrote about the recent Pew report showing a decline in American Christianity (curiously, evangelicals aren’t declining nearly as much as mainline Protestants and Catholics), as well as a marked rise in the proportion of atheists, agnostics, and “nones,” with “nones” being those lacking formal affiliation to a church. Over at the New […]

The good news: big attrition of Christians in the U.S., atheists and agnostics increasing

I’m giving the good news to you first, as there’s bad news immediately to come. A Pew Survey released today, which polled more than 35,000 adults, shows that the proportion of Christians in America is dropping sharply, while the “unaffiliated” are taking their place. As the report notes, The Christian share of the U.S. population is […]

Articles: odds and ends

Professor Ceiling Cat is a bit low today for reasons I’ll describe in the next post. The upshot is that my brain hurts and I have nothing substantive to say, at least for a few hours. In light of that lacuna, let me call your attention to three articles that you may want to read. ******* […]

Is religion a superstition?

Believers often get angry when one describes religion as a “superstition,” for they don’t want their beloved faith analogized in any way with rabbits’ feet, four-leaf clovers, or ghosts. A superstition I had as a child, and one I still rarely entertain though I don’t believe it for a second, is not stepping on sidewalk […]

Bad news: “nones” projected to fall as percentage of worldwide population

Most of you have probably heard of this recent Pew Survey projecting how, from demographic data, the world’s religions will fare over the period between 2010 and 2050. Sadly, although the number of the religously “unaffiliated” (nonbelievers plus believers without a church) will rise a tad during those four decades, the proportion will fall a tad. Further bad news, […]

A Christian nation?

by Greg Mayer In an op-ed piece in Sunday’s New York Times, the historian Kevin Kruse asks, Is the United States a Christian nation? It is a common claim among Christian theocrats (those whom Andrew Sullivan has aptly called ‘Christianists’) that America is a Christian nation—that somehow the basic structures of the American government are […]

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