Non-Prophet Organization

This is pretty rich.  It seems the fastest-growing religious group in the nation is the one that espouses no religious beliefs at all:

Polls show that the ranks of atheists are growing. The American Religious Identification Survey, a major study released last month, found that those who claimed “no religion” were the only demographic group that grew in all 50 states in the last 18 years.  Nationally, the “nones” in the population nearly doubled, to 15 percent in 2008 from 8 percent in 1990.  — NY Times

I get my pal Friar Tuck on the phone to comment on these data.  That’s not his real name, but he has the same hairline as the mythic clergyman, and he’s been active in his Community church since he was a pre-teen, necking in the  narthex.

Whassup, Tuck?  You’re losing ground!

housemate_atheist“It’s noticeable,” he agrees.  “Especially over the last 10 years or so.  The pews are a lot emptier now, and what’s worse, we don’t have volunteers for the church picnic, soup kitchen, social programs, and the like.”

What gives?  Are people losing their religion like the REM song says?

“Well, yeah.  At least in my church, which y’know is pretty secular.  People join as much for the fraternity and socializing as they do to worship.  But lately, being known as a Christian has slipped a few notches on the respectability scale.”

You got a ways to go before you hit Muslim levels.  Or even Jewish, Madoff notwithstanding.

“Word. But see, the irony here is that people got turned off by other Christians.  They didn’t like getting associated with the zanies out there, the chancel-prancers and bible-thumpers picketing abortion clinics, or, taking over school board meetings over prayer, or gay-bashing.   My people didn’t like being linked with these in-your-face Christians.”

Poisoning the brand.

“If you will.  Well, it’s a short step from out the church door to dropping religion altogether especially if you’re not in church for religious reasons to begin with.  But you still want the community.  So atheists start forming their own groups, which attracts even more non-believers, and pretty soon they have the ‘church’ they want — fellowship, community, and no pesky religious rites or obligations.”

It’s not all wine and roses, Tuck.  Listen to this:  “Despite changing attitudes, polls continue to show that atheists are ranked lower than any other minority or religious group when Americans are asked whether they would vote for or approve of their child marrying a member of that group.” That’s from the Times article.

“Well, I get that.  But I bet most atheists don’t much care what other people, particularly religious people, think about them.  So long as they’re not tying ’em to stakes or branding crosses on their tits and foreheads.”

They still do that?

“I dunno.  Probably in Tennessee or Alabama.  Stay outta there, heathen.”  He rings off.

No problem.  South Florida is redneck enough for THIS card-carrying atheist.  But it’s truly weird to be on the front side of a trend.  I might have to convert.  But to what?  Is there  such a thing as a Pastafarian?

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8 Responses to Non-Prophet Organization

  1. Neil, A Christian Soul says:

    I will pray for you, but you’re going to hell, along with all your fellow atheists.

  2. anonymous says:

    Squathole,
    As it happens, You are in luck. You will find out in after you have died whether there is a God or not. If there isn’t one, well, good for you, then there is nothing to worry about. Is there?
    But woe unto you, if you happen to be mistaken! Because by then it will be too late and you will be in deep doo-doo, won’t you?
    So have another tequila sunrise and keep saying to yourself: I am right and there isn’t a God. And celebrate and enjoy your time here.
    You may be in for a big surprise later on when your time is over here among the living.

  3. The Tooth Fairy says:

    Personally, I find it amazing that anybody believes in God any more.

  4. Lois Terms says:

    If atheists are right, Anonymous, they WON’T find out when they die. Presumably, they won’t find out anything unless they’re wrong.

    But why assume being wrong about God is a big deal to God Himself? It’s just one of His 10 commandments, and a small aspect of what most religions tell us about virtue and vice, good and bad, right and wrong.

    Think for yourself.

  5. "Esq" a lawyer says:

    The great attorney Clarence Darrow was asked what he would say to his Maker if he discovered at death he’d been mistaken about his atheism. “I would smile, bow, and say, ‘Gentlemen: I was wrong’,” he answered.

    No word on how that worked out.

  6. Dyslexic says:

    How can you not believe in Dog? Get pleh.

  7. NME says:

    I find it hard to accept that most Americans would rather elect a Muslim than an atheist. Of course, there are those that say that’s just what we did.

  8. Dawgbowl says:

    What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.

    And that’s what I think of discussions about God and atheism.

    Just behave yourself. If there’s a God and an afterlife, you’ll find out and reap your 77 virgin reward or whatever. If there isn’t, you haven’t lost a damn thing.

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