Typical atheist: white son of religious parents
    December 8 2010 by Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

    WASHINGTON — The typical member of a fast-growing atheist association is a highly educated, married white male who grew up with religious parents.

    The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which grew from 5,500 in 2004 to about 16,000 members this year, announced results of a survey of its members Dec. 1.

    The Wisconsin-based organization received nearly 4,000 responses to its survey, which was mailed to all its members in May. Respondents replied to the nonscientific survey by mail or online.

    Asked about their primary reason for being “deconverted from religion to freethought,” about a third of respondents said “religion doesn’t make sense.” Seventeen percent said religious hypocrisy or bigotry was the cause; 9 percent said reading skeptical authors; 5 percent cited reading the Bible.

    Most respondents said the religious denomination they left behind was Protestant (42 percent), but 30 percent said they were raised Catholic and 27 percent were raised Jewish. The overwhelming majority of atheist respondents — 95 percent — are white, but foundation officials hope that statistic will change.

    “We’ve started to do more outreach to the African-American and freethought communities of color, and clearly, this is a great untapped source for new members who support reason and secularism in this country,” said foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor.

    She said the group’s membership grew by 1,000 within a few weeks of an April decision by a federal judge who sided with the foundation and declared the law creating the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.

    Other findings from survey respondents include:
    • 88 percent describe themselves as atheist, and 12 percent as agnostic
    • 43 percent are retired
    • 30 percent volunteer regularly
    • 24 percent are veterans
    • 11 percent are vegetarians
    • 9 percent are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trangender.  
    12/8/2010 8:06:00 AM by Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service | with 4 comments




Comments
Maxims
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12/23/2010 1:22:16 PM

Maxims
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12/23/2010 12:41:16 PM

Jeff Strickland
...and it's no wonder that more atheists are "coming out of the closet" and joining such organizations. I am an atheist because religion impresses me as pure human invention; mankind created God in our own image to glue society together, to explain the unexplainable, and to control the vast majority of humans who really need to feel like they will live forever...in one form or another. (Remember, even if you go to The Hot Place, you still exist.) I will only start believing in a god if someone's amputated arm or leg starts re-appears after "prayer"; funny how in the history of the world, despite prayer, new arms/legs have never appeared, but cancer has been "cured" through prayer. What, He just doesn't do limbs??
Like I said, it's pure invention to placate us. Enjoy living in your box, everybody!
12/12/2010 12:26:44 PM

Gene Scarborough
So----what are us organized Baptists in NC doing to promote such "church leaving?"
12/12/2010 6:46:18 AM

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