Friday, January 11, 2013

Religious Intolerance in America

. . According to a Gallup poll released in June, only 58% of Americans would vote for a “generally well-qualified” Muslim candidate, and only 54% would vote for an atheist. (This is the first time that number has been above 50% for an atheist candidate.)  By contrast, 91% would vote for a Jewish candidate, 94% for a Catholic and 80% for a Mormon.
. . This year, Congress welcomed the first Buddhist senator and first Hindu elected to either chamber of Congress, and the Pew Forum noted that this “gradual increase in religious diversity … mirrors trends in the country as a whole.” But Pew also noted one glaring deficiency: Religious “nones” were largely left outside the halls of Congress, despite one in five Americans now saying they don’t affiliate with a religion.
. . Since 2008, the percentage of Americans who identify as religious "nones" has grown from 14.6% to 17.8% in 2012, according to the Gallup survey. That number grew nearly one percentage point every year from 2008 to 2011.
. . The Gallup study also found that 27% of Americans age 18 to 29 identified as religious nones, making that group the largest subgroup in the study. It is consistent with other studies on religious nones, which have found the the most notable growth among the religiously unaffiliated has been among these young adults.
. . Maybe we are on trend to see the end of the social intolerance of the Religious Right and its associated hypocrisy and ignorance.

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