It is not often that I get to write about happy news relating to religion, but when I do it really is satisfying. And today is no different.
A recent Pew poll conducted in June and July this year of
American adults found that 56% of those surveyed said that a belief in God is not necessary to be a moral person with good values. That represents an increase of seven percentage points since the last time the question was asked in 2011. Now, it is true that 42% still think belief in God is necessary, but the trend is going in the right direction. It also reflects the trend in general of growing numbers of atheists, agnostics, and religiously unaffiliated in the United States.
While open atheists and agnostics may still have trouble running for political office in certain areas of the country, it is great to see less stigma attached to nonbelievers. Campaigns like the Freedom From Religion Foundation's "Good Without God", and the Normalize Atheism campaign are all getting word out that many people probably know someone who is atheist.
What can you do to help keep the trend going? Be vocal about your non-belief! If more religious people realize that their family, friends, and coworkers are atheists, then they will see for themselves that we are not bad people.