Saturday, January 14, 2017

Atheism Rises Faster Under Obama

So the conservasphere was ablaze recently on recent data from PEW that atheism grew faster under outgoing president Obama than during previous presidents. Some conservatives are attributing this fact to Obama's "hostility towards religious believers."

But that's nonsense. The rapid rise in atheism over Obama's presidency is part of a larger trend towards secularization in the Western world that, in the US, began rising in the early 1990s and began rapidly increasing during the Bush administration during the mid 2000s, coinciding the the birth of "New Atheism."

In fact, it could be plausibly argued that the rise in atheism, agnosticism, and secularism are in large part backlashes against the Religious Right's encroachment into politics and social issues beginning in the 1980s. So don't blame Obama or his policies for turning our country godless. Blame the backlash against the Religious Right, the reaction to the Catholic Priest pedophile scandal, the events of September 11th, 2001, and perhaps the internet, where the free flow criticism of religion is nearly ubiquitous.

Blame the fact that religious people consistently make utter fools of themselves on TV and on the internet which helps make religions like Christianity look like a den of stupidity.

The only policy one could possibly attribute to Obama that lead to a rise in atheism is his embrace of gay rights. There is evidence to suggest that the acceptance of homosexuality and gay rights causes a decrease in religiosity because most, if not all, of the organizations against them are religious in nature or are funded by institutions with a conservative religious bent. Obama came out famously as the first sitting president to support same sex marriage. But the country as a whole was clearly headed towards the greater acceptance of homosexuality and gay rights regardless of what any president's personal view was.

So this is a lame attempt to try and smear president Obama one last time as he spends his final week in the White House. I guarantee you atheism, agnosticism, and the "nones" will continue to rise under president Trump, probably even faster than it did under Obama because Trump's embrace of the Religious Right's agenda will once again produce a cultural backlash if their policies begin reversing the progressive policies we've enjoyed for the past 8 years.

But regardless of the facts, which many religious conservatives have a tenuous relationship with, they will always see Obama as the anti-Christ.

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