CNN published an editorial from Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta. Read it here. The topic is the growing downhill driving snowball that is non-belief in America, the world, and on the Internets.
I particularly liked his opening:
They’re anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science, anti-sex-education and anti-doubt, to name a few of the most common criticisms.
I don’t disagree with those critiques, but there’s another side to the story.
While Christians have played sloppy defense, secular Americans have been showing off some impressive offense, giving young Christians plenty of reasons to lose faith in organized religion.
For instance, atheists dominate the Internet, rallying to thriving websites and online communities in lieu of physical meeting spaces.
What works about Mehta’s editorial is that he’s referring to stats that you can look up. He’s included citations and references via clickable link. You know, things kids are taught in seventh grade.
You know, he quotes stats, then links to them.
Like these two paragraphs:
A 2012 study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PDF) showed that many Christians aged 18-24 felt that Christianity was hypocritical (49%), judgmental (54%) and anti-gay (58%).
In addition, Christianity Today reported last year that fewer than half of born-again Christians under 35 opposed same-sex marriage.
If you have a source, show it. When I was in seventh grade, I didn’t refer to facts that were written in a book that I swear existed, but I just couldn’t tell you what it was.
Not referring to sources is like saying you have a hot girlfriend whom you tell your friends they’ll never meet, but BELIEVE me she’s hot and sexy. Her schedule is tough so you’ll likely never meet her. BUT she’s the hottest thing in the sack. I swear.
There are other things — like gods — who get this kind of talk. You know, “Zoroaster … he’s the best god ever. He’ll do anything for you. He created everything … for you! Just believe me!”
If you can’t produce sources, the only citation I have is based on a belief that you’re not making that shit up.
I guess the other take away from the article is that the atheist movement is growing.
For another take on the topic, check out Naked Pastor’s response, with a cartoon that shows the inevitable: evangelical, door-to-door atheists.