What Is True/Slant?
275+ knowledgeable contributors.
Reporting and insight on news of the moment.
Follow them and join the news conversation.

Apr. 3 2009 - 1:01 pm | 236 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Christians Who Don’t Believe in God

How people answer poll questions is often fascinating. As is how they construct ideas about their own beliefs and identities.

To wit: Say you don’t believe in God. You’re an atheist, right? Well, no…

According to a recent Pew survey, roughly 5% of Americans say they don’t believe in God. How many Americans are atheists? A little more than 1%.

You see, only 24% of the 5% nonbelievers actually identify as atheist. Understandably, 15% of that 5% call themselves agnostics. Fine. Another 35% of the 5% call themselves “nothing in particular.” Again, fine, no one need trouble him or herself about life’s deepest questions, as it’s ultimately a waste of time (I’m not being sarcastic here, if I sound it).

But 14% of the 5% nonbelievers call themselves Christians. Four percent call themselves Jewish.

I suppose I even understand the 4% Jewish nonbelievers. I once asked a rabbi if it was okay to convert if you didn’t so much believe in God or the Bible or any of that nonsense. She said sure.

But atheists might take note of just how alienating their preferred label is when three-quarters of the people who agree with them don’t particularly want to be associated with them. We tend to think in terms of groups and tribes, so even when we don’t believe in God, we might not want to leave our Christian or Jewish “group” and affiliate ourselves with… often-strident weirdos.


One T/S Member Comment Called Out, 2 Total Comments
Post your comment »
  1. collapse expand

    “often-strident weirdos”? You’re and often-strident weirdo!

  2. collapse expand

    I suspect certain people like the cultural affiliation with Judaism or Catholicism even if they don’t actually believe in the tenets of the faith itself.

Log in for notification options
Comments RSS

Post Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment

Log in with your True/Slant account.

Previously logged in with Facebook?

Create an account to join True/Slant now.

Facebook users:
Create T/S account with Facebook

My T/S Activity Feed


    About Me

    I'm a freelance writer and blogger based in Brooklyn, NY. My background is mostly in politics. I've worked on the editorial boards of the New York Sun and New York Post. In 2006, I wrote a book, "The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party" (Wiley). I've also done my share of freelancing, for places like the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Reason, and RealClearPolitics.

    These days, I'm interested in humanity's ever-expanding understanding of its own irrationality. Hence, this blog.

    Comments, questions, news tips, creative verbal abuse, etc. can be sent to: editor-at-ryansager.com.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 299
    Contributor Since: January 2009
    Location:Brooklyn, NY

    What I'm Up To

    • Follow Neuroworld on…



    • The Elephant in the Room

      My book about the collapse of the Republican Party.

      To buy, click here.

    • This is a picture of a lemur

    • +O
    • +O
    • +O