And 6% of Muslims, 7% of Catholics, and 28% of Jews are either atheist or agnostic in that they don’t “believe in God or a universal spirit”. This according to a strangely flawed Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on religion in American culture. Somehow you can be an Atheist or an Agnostic and still believe in god. Like that makes any sense.
Call me crazy, but if you are an Atheist, you don’t believe in a God or a universal spirit. And conversely, if you you don’t believe in a God or a universal spirit … my friend, you are an Atheist.
The Secular Coalition for America has an idea about this:
Pew reported that 21 percent of atheists in their survey said they believed in God or a universal spirit, that six percent of them considered it a personal god, and that 40 percent of agnostics feel certain that God exists. Conversely, among respondents who say they are affiliated with a religious tradition (Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Muslim, etc.), a surprising number said they actually do not believe in a god or universal spirit.
“When atheists are telling you they believe in God and Catholics are admitting they don’t, that’s evidence of the stigma our society puts on nontheists,” said Lori Lipman Brown, Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “Americans repeatedly tell pollsters that an atheist is the last person they’d want their children to marry, the last person they’d vote for as President. This prejudice also appears in the widespread impression that atheists lack ethics and values.”
However, I’m pretty sure either the questions were terribly misleading, or 1 in 5 Atheists are, in fact, not Atheists. It’s also possible that they are vegetarians who also eat pork and/or fish.