Whenever I start hearing a bunch of stuff on the news that makes me think we're all f***** I look to the people around me and I get a little bit more faith in the human race (figuratively, not literally, we all know there wouldn't be much actual f***** going on with those prudes in charge). For a laugh, one night some friends and I actually counted the number of people we know that regularly go to church and compared it to the number of people we know that wear cubic zirconium laced Jesus pieces. In the final tally, the 'Ye's had it.
It was a silly, half drunk experiment but it alludes to something interesting. There is a hardcore group of Americans that are ultra-religious and very scary, we'll call them Evangelicals. However, there are a ton of people that wear religion like jewelry instead of as a guiding force in their life. For example did you know that 70% of Americans that believe in God, believe that there are many paths to eternal life? More than two thirds of religious Americans don't believe that there is only one true religion! When I saw that number it really surprised me. It makes me think that while 78% of Americans are Christians, most aren't as fervent and intolerant as we are led to believe.
Another interesting stat? 16.1% of Americans are not affiliated with any religion which strangely makes "unaffiliated" the fastest growing religion in America. Looking at stats from the Pew Forum study on Religion & Public Life (click here) opened up my eyes to how much gray area there is when it comes to religion in America. It isn't "us" v. "them". It's "us" v. "them", with about 50% "meh" in between.
For previous entries in The Contented Atheist series click here.
Image taken from: http://instantworlddomination.com/constitution-united-states/religion-in-america-church-and-state/