Over the last few years, I have written a few times about various studies and publications covering the growth of atheism in the United States.
In 2017, I wrote about a study that concluded that up to a quarter of the U.S. population may be atheist, much higher than previous polls suggested.
Then in 2018, I wrote about Christians freaking out over how many members of the Generation Z demographic were non-believers. Only a couple months later, I covered an article in Scientific American covered the growing number of atheists in the United States.
Well, a recent post written by Dr. Ryan Burge, of Eastern Illinois University, gives us something new to think about. Burge used data collected in 2018 through the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey.
Burge found that atheists were the most politically active of all "religious" groups identified in the data.
There six scenarios that Burge looked at, including who had worked for a political campaign, who donated to a candidate, who attended a march or rally, etc. Overall, atheists had been the most active in the preceding 12 months.
Among the other things Burge noted were that, "In 2016, an atheist engaged in 1.45 activities compared to 1.4 for an agnostic. Christians were slightly lower at 1.28. But, by 2018 the landscape had changed. Both Protestants and Catholics saw a tremendous decline down to .90 or .95 actions. For agnostics, there was no statistically significant change. But for atheists, there was a noticeable uptick to 1.58. The gap between Christians and atheists is huge now, with atheists about ten percent more politically engaged in 2018."
He continued, saying that, "This could be one of the reasons that the Blue Wave happened in 2018 – a very agitated base of atheists who got politically involved."
While more research would be needed to corroborate these results, it gives us hope that as the number of atheists in the United States grows, and our political voice grows in kind, we can make real progress in getting religion out of politics.
These past few years have seen horrific attacks upon the separation of church and state by radical Christian theocrats. We need to keep up the fight, and this is the kind of good news we can draw strength from...