Saturday, November 8, 2008

Atheists in my interwebs? It's more common than you think.

The LA Times breaks the story, in the rather ominously-titled "Anti-religion agenda among social media users" (translation: there are atheists on digg, reddit, youtube, and other social sites)

The article goes into specific examples, like irreverent digg articles, as if this is a some unexpected, surprising development - but anyone who uses the internet regularly (and is thus at the LA Times site in the first place) would know this.

But the frothing really doesn't kick in until they get some religious talking head for comment:

Just as religious people want to convert people to their perspective, atheist people want to convert people to their point of view," Winston said. "The irony here is that atheism is a form of religion. You're still in something.

Uggh. The ol' "atheism is a religion" tripe, complete with atheist missionaries converting people.

Black is white. Up is down. War is peace. Irreligion is religion.

The Internet isn't killing religion. In fact, Winston says more Americans attend church today -- about 60% -- than in the past. "People have a mistaken notion of history that people used to be more religious," she said.

[citation needed]

I dunno about that, and I'm definitely going to need to see your sources. I can't just *heh* take it on faith.

But looking at the wiki, that 60% figure looks like a whopper: 2005 Gallup pegged Americans who regularly attend church at 41% and a 2006 Harris poll found that 26% of those polled said they went to church every week, very similar to their 2003 poll. Church attendance figures are often disputed because people tend to tell the pollster that they go to church when they really don't (i.e. people lie to pollsters).

So basically, the entire article was either incredibly obvious or infuriatingly wrong. Gratz, LA Times. Keep up the great journalism.

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