Sioux Falls Atheists
Sioux Falls Atheists and Atheism, Agnostics and Humanism

Sioux Falls Atheists Present
Statistics on Atheism in America

In the last few years 1,046 Priests have been indicted for sexual abuse of 3,454 children in their care. WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE? And what about other religions, their ministers, pastors, and church leaders? They are also not innocent of these kinds of crimes. I was approached at the age of 12 by a choir leader of a Protestant church and I'll never forget that!

Update on Child Sex Abuse in both the Catholic & Baptist churches.
No child is safe in these churches!

2019 Atheism Headline News

11-20-19 Why almost everyone believes in an afterlife – even atheists
Most people hold curiously similar ideas about life after death, suggesting there is more to it than religion, fear or an inability to imagine not existing. RICHARD WAVERLY was a 37-year-old history teacher. One day he was driving to work, tired after a late night and hungry from skipping breakfast. He was also in a bad mood following a row with his wife, who he suspected of having an affair. At a busy junction, he lost control, drove into a telegraph pole and was thrown through the windscreen. The paramedics said he was dead before he hit the pavement. This story is fictitious, but when psychologist Jesse Bering narrated it to volunteers, he discovered something you probably couldn’t make up. Asked questions such as “do you think Richard knows he is dead?” and “do you think he wishes he had told his wife he loved her before he died?”, large numbers of volunteers answered yes. For many, who had already professed a belief in the afterlife, this was no big surprise. However even people who totally rejected the idea of life after death – so-called extinctivists – also answered yes. That experiment was done in 2002. Since then, Bering – who is now at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand – and others have confirmed and extended its findings. Confronted with the finality of death, the majority of us, dogged rationalists included, cling on to the belief that it isn’t the end. “Most people believe in life after death,” says psychologist Jamin Halberstadt, also at the University of Otago. “That’s amazing. Science has changed the way we think about almost every aspect of our lives, including deathHumans aren’t the only animals with an awareness of death. Elephants and dolphins are fascinated by corpses of their kin and chimps have been observed performing what some primatologists say are elaborate funerary rituals. We have no way of knowing whether they have a concept of an afterlife, but we know for sure that humans do. Archaeological evidence for afterlife beliefs goes back at least 12,000 years, when bodies started to be buried with useful stuff to take to the other side. But such beliefs are far from a thing of the past. Surveys done regularly since the 1940s consistently show that about 70 per cent of US citizens believe in some form of life after death – a number that is mirrored across the developed world. What’s more, as Bering found, even the 30 per cent who say they don’t, often do. When he asked extinctivists whether they agreed with the statement “conscious personality survives the death of the body but I am completely unsure of what happens after that”, 80 per cent said yes.

11-8-19 How Many Americans Believe in God?
Though a 2018 Gallup poll found that U.S. church membership has reached an all-time low of 50%, and one in five Americans does not identify with any religion, most of the country still expresses belief in God. Exactly how large that majority is, however, depends on how nuanced the response options are. Gallup has asked this question three different ways in recent years, with belief varying across them from 87% to 64%. The highest level of belief (87%) comes from a simple yes/no question, "Do you believe in God?" which Gallup last asked in 2017. Belief drops to 79% when respondents are given three options, one being God is something they believe in. The rest are either not sure whether they believe in God or firmly say they do not believe in God. Belief in God appears even lower when isolating just those from the five-part question who say they are "convinced" God exists, 64%. While all three measures of belief have exhibited declines, this group's drop has been the steepest. The array of Gallup results leads to the conclusion that putting a percentage on Americans' belief in God depends on how you define "belief." If the standard is absolute certainty -- no hedging and no doubts -- it's somewhere around two-thirds. If the standard is a propensity to believe rather than not to believe, then the figure is somewhere north of three-quarters.

5-30-19 Most atheists believe in the supernatural, despite trusting science
Belief in the supernatural is still alive and kicking, even among people who don’t believe in a god. Research on atheists and agnostics around the world has revealed that almost nobody can claim to completely reject irrational beliefs such as life after death, astrology, and the existence of a universal life-force. The UK-based Understanding Unbelief project interviewed thousands of self-identified atheists and agnostics from six countries – Brazil, China, Denmark, Japan, US and UK. It found that despite their godlessness, a majority believe in at least one supernatural phenomenon or entity. Among atheists in the UK, for example, about 12 per cent believe in reincarnation and nearly 20 per cent life after death. All told, 71 per cent of atheists hold one or more such beliefs; for agnostics the figure is 92 per cent. Atheists and agnostics comprise about 37 per cent of the UK population, so when combined with religious people, that means a large majority of the general population believe in the supernatural. Globally, the most prevalent supernatural beliefs are in fate – that “significant life events are meant to be” – and that there are “underlying forces of good and evil”. Between 20 and 30 per cent of atheists in the UK and US believe in these, and around 40 per cent of agnostics. But this is lower than in the general population, where more than half of people believe them. The project also asked people about karma, objects or people with mystical powers and the existence of supernatural beings. Even the least believed phenomenon – karma – is endorsed by around 10 per cent of atheists and 30 per cent of the general population in the UK. Japanese atheists proved the least susceptible to the supernatural, scoring single-digit percentages for most and about 20 for fate and good / evil. Chinese atheists were the most susceptible, with more than 30 per cent professing a belief in astrology. However, atheists and agnostics in Western countries do conform to type on one measure: they are more likely to endorse science. Two-thirds in the UK agree with the statement “the scientific method is the only reliable path to knowledge”, compared with 46 per cent of the general population. (Webmaster's comment: There is some hope, but slim.)

4-18-19 U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades
As Christian and Jewish Americans prepare to celebrate Easter and Passover, respectively, Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low, averaging 50% in 2018. U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s. The past 20 years have seen an acceleration in the drop-off, with a 20-percentage-point decline since 1999 and more than half of that change occurring since the start of the current decade.

  • Half of Americans are church members, down from 70% in 1999
  • Most of the decline attributable to increase in percentage with no religion
  • Membership has fallen nine points among those who are religious

Church Membership Among U.S. Adults Has Declined Especially in the Past 20 Years

3-8-19 Heathens
Heathens, after the Portland, Ore., city council unanimously approved an ordinance banning discrimination against atheists and agnostics. “With this declaration,” said City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, “perhaps more nonbelievers will feel less fearful of being themselves in the open.”

9-7-18 Church Leaders and Declining Religious Service Attendance
Church attendance has edged down in recent years. Gallup's latest yearly update from its daily tracking survey shows that in 2017, 38% of adults said they attended religious services weekly or almost every week. When Gallup began asking this question in 2008, that figure was 42%. Gallup has asked a different question in its polls going back to the 1950s: "Did you, yourself, happen to attend church, synagogue or mosque in the last seven days, or not?" That number, too, has been edging down over the years. It was as high as 49% in the mid-1950s, but has been in the mid-30% range in recent years. A lot of attention has been paid to reasons for the decline in participation in formal religious services. One potential explanation that doesn't receive as much attention as others is the impact of the quality of religious leaders at the church level. Much of our Gallup research for business and industry focuses on the importance of managers for employee engagement -- summed up by the statement, "Workers don't quit companies; they quit managers." It's certainly possible that churchgoers don't quit churches, but instead quit ministers, priests and rabbis.

5-16-18 Do more people believe in God in Trump's America?
US Vice-President Mike Pence has said "faith in America is rising once again" - thanks to President Donald Trump. America's religious climate has shifted in recent years, but has it been in the direction Mr Pence suggests? "Faith in America is rising again because President Trump and our entire administration have been advancing the very principles that you learned here in the halls of Hillsdale College," he told a crowd at a Christian conservative campus in Michigan on Saturday. "In fact, the percentage of Americans who live out their religion on a weekly basis - praying, going to church, reading and believing in the Bible - has remained remarkably consistent over the decades, even as the population of the United States has grown by leaps and bounds." The vice-president also claimed that "relative to the population, four times as many Americans go to church on a regular basis than at the time of our nation's founding". According to Greg Smith, associate director for religion research at the Pew Research Center, Mr Pence's claims do not appear follow the numbers. "The data we do have do not suggest a recent increase in the share of Americans who are highly religious," Mr Smith told the BBC. "The vast majority of Americans do say they believe in God, but those numbers are ticking downward," he added. As for Mr Pence's suggestion that more Americans are going to church in modern times? Aside from sheer population differences from 1776 to now, the figures do not support that claim either, according to Mr Smith. "We've begun to see in recent years smaller but noticeable declines in the share of Americans who say they believe in God, who say religion is important to them in their personal lives, who say they pray every day and we've seen declines in the share of Americans who say they attend religious services regularly," he said. A 2017 study published in Sociological Science showed that those who are intensely religious are still going to church consistently and frequently, but once-a-week attendance is dropping. Mr Smith also noted the data shows the number of Americans identifying as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular is "growing very, very rapidly". "The share of Americans who identify with Christianity is declining because the share of Americans who identify with no religion is growing," Mr Smith said. A 2017 study by the Public Religion Research Institute also tracked a diminishing white Christian presence across the US. In 1996, 65% of Americans identified as white Christians. Over the last decade, that number has dropped to 43%.

4-6-18 The Religious Regions of the U.S.
The Southwest and Southeast regions of the United States lived up to their reputation as the home of the nation's Bible Belt in 2017, producing nine of the nation's 11 most religious states. In contrast, the Pacific and New England regions have 10 of the 11 least religious states for the year. Forty-five percent of Americans living in the Southwest and 43% in the Southeast are "very religious" -- a classification based on how important people say religion is to them and how often they attend religious services. They are the only two of the nation's eight regions with at least 40% of their residents classified as very religious. The percentage is below 30% in the Pacific and New England regions, while religiosity is in the 30s across the center of the country from the Rockies to the Mid-Atlantic.

  • 45% in Southwest are "very religious," the most religious U.S. region
  • 26% are "very religious" in New England, the least religious region

12-15-17 U.S. religion is increasingly polarized
Moderate forms of organized worship are losing ground while evangelicalism maintains a steady foothold. There’s both inspiring and troubling news for holiday worshippers. Unlike other historically Christian Western nations, the United States is not losing its religion, say sociologists Landon Schnabel of Indiana University Bloomington and Sean Bock of Harvard University. But America is becoming as polarized religiously as it is politically, the researchers report online November 27 in Sociological Science. Intense forms of religion, such as Christian evangelicalism, have maintained their popularity for nearly 30 years, Schnabel and Bock find after analyzing almost 30 years of U.S. survey data. At the same time, moderate forms of religion, such as mainline Protestantism, have consistently lost followers. Religious moderates’ exodus from their churches stems partly from a growing link between religion and conservative politics, exemplified by the rise of the religious right in the late 1980s, the researchers suspect. Political liberals and moderates who already felt lukewarm toward the religion of their parents increasingly report identifying with no organized religion, especially if leaders of their childhood churches have taken conservative stances on social issues. Many Americans still report that they believe in God and pray, so they haven’t turned to atheism, the scientists say. Population trends also favor intense forms of religion, Schnabel holds. Mainline Protestantism’s decline from 35 percent of the U.S. population in 1972 — about 73.5 million people — to 12 percent in 2016 — nearly 39 million people — reflects low fertility rates among these Protestants and limited numbers of new adherents from immigration and conversion. Opposite trends among U.S. evangelicals helped their form of intense Christianity surge from 18 percent of the population in 1972 to a steady level of about 28 percent from 1989 to 2016.

9-7-17 The death rattle of the Trump evangelicals
The death rattle of the Trump evangelicals
e of the many fascinating results of the 2016 election was that despite his history of enthusiastic sinning and his transparently phony professions of faith, Donald Trump won 81 percent of the votes of white evangelical Christians, which no candidate had matched since the question has been asked in exit polls. There are multiple reasons why, but at their root lies a changing society that has many conservative Christians feeling threatened and outnumbered. Just how outnumbered? As a large new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute shows, a remarkable shift has taken place: White Christians are no longer a majority of Americans. If you're a millennial, that may not strike you as odd, since depending on where you live, you've probably grown up in a world where you took a good deal of diversity for granted. But if you're over 40 or so, it's positively earth-shaking. As the authors of the study note, in 1976, fully 81 percent of Americans identified as white and members of a Christian denomination. Today it's only 43 percent. That's the result of two things happening simultaneously. The first is that America's racial demographics are steadily evolving, with minority groups, particularly Hispanics, increasing their proportion of the population. In 1980 Hispanics were only 6.5 percent of the population, but today they're over 17 percent. At the same time, the population is becoming less religious. The group of religiously unaffiliated people — which includes atheists, agnostics, and those who say they don't belong to any particular faith — has been rapidly growing, and now encompasses a quarter of the population. Even more importantly, young people are much less religious in general and much less likely to identify as Christian than older people. Take a look at this striking chart:

A Generational Shift in Religious Identity

5-22-17 In US, Belief in Creationist View of Humans at New Low
In US, Belief in Creationist View of Humans at New Low
The percentage of U.S. adults who believe that God created humans in their present form at some time within the last 10,000 years or so -- the strict creationist view -- has reached a new low. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults now accept creationism, while 57% believe in some form of evolution -- either God-guided or not -- saying man developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life.

  • 38% say God created man in present form, lowest in 35 years
  • Same percentage say humans evolved, but God guided the process
  • Less-educated Americans more likely to believe in creationism

12-23-16 Five Key Findings on Religion in the U.S.
Five Key Findings on Religion in the U.S.
Religion remains an integral part of most Americans' lives, but Gallup's ongoing research shows how this has changed over time. The following are five important findings about religion in the U.S.:

  • Almost eight in 10 identify with a religion, mostly Christian
  • 21% have no religious identity, up from 15% in 2008
  • Over seven in 10 say religion is losing its influence in U.S. society
Religious Identification in the U.S.: 2016 %
Protestant/Other Christian 48.9
Catholic 23.0
Mormon 1.8
Jewish 2.1
Muslim 0.8
Other non-Christian religion 2.5
None/Atheist/Agnostic 18.2
No response given 2.6

Based on 173,229 interviews conducted Jan. 2-Dec. 19, 2016

  • America remains a largely Christian nation, although less so than in the past.
  • The trend away from formal religion continues.
  • A majority still say religion is important in their lives.
  • Americans continue to say that religion is losing its influence in American society.
  • Religion remains intertwined with political self-identification.

6-29-16 Most Americans Still Believe in God
Most Americans Still Believe in God
About nine in 10 Americans say they believe in God, and one in 10 say they do not (and that probably means they are Atheists). However, when presented with more than a "yes or no" option, about eight in 10 say they believe and one in 10 say they aren't sure. Belief in God, regardless of how the question is phrased to Americans, is down from levels in past decades. (Webmaster's comment: The poll shows that there are 31 million Atheists in the United States. That's a lot of people! We are not alone!)

  • 89% of Americans say they believe in God
  • In a separate poll, 79% say "believe in God" and 10% "not sure"
  • All measures of belief in God show declines from previous decades

5-26-16 U.S. Religious Groups Disagree on Five Key Moral Issues
U.S. Religious Groups Disagree on Five Key Moral Issues
Americans' religious faith greatly shapes their views of whether moral issues or practices are acceptable or not. In general, Jews and those with no religious preference are more liberal than Protestants, Catholics and Mormons in their views on various moral issues. These differences are most apparent on abortion and, to a lesser extent, doctor-assisted suicide and animal cloning. Catholics join with Jews and nonreligious Americans in saying gay-lesbian relations and out-of-wedlock births are morally OK.

  • Jews, nonreligious tend to be most liberal on morality
  • Catholics say out-of-wedlock births, gay-lesbian relations moral
  • Only Mormons view premarital sex, gambling as immoral

Moral Issues on Which Major U.S. Religious Group Disagree
Percentage saying each is "morally acceptable"

Religious Group  No Religion Jewish Catholic Protestant Mormon
Moral Issue % % % % %
Abortion 73 76 38 33 18
Doctor-assisted suicide 77 73 47 43 30
Cloning animals 50 50 33 28 33
Gay-lesbian relations 83 85 62 41 28
Having a baby outside of marriage 80 68 59 47 25
Average  73 70 48 38 27

(Webmaster's comment: It's really obvious who are the true friends of liberal, progressive causes. And it's not the Catholics, Protestants, or Mormans. But amazingly of those the Catholics are the most liberal and progressive.)

Based on the recently released nation wide Gallop telephone poll of 174,745 adults (1st Gallop Poll link below), in South Dakota 23% of adults are non-religious, 32% are moderately religious, and 45% are very religious. That means about 28,000 adults (about 37,000 all ages) in Sioux Falls are non-religious. Atheist groups in Sioux Falls have not begun to tap that market yet.

The latest polls (below) finds that the number of Christians are falling off about 1% per year. Now non-believers in any religion are up to 23% In South Dakota. In America the number is up to 31%.

4-9-16 Americans are skeptical of God but think heaven is real
Americans are skeptical of God but think heaven is real
Since 1980, the number of Americans who believe in God has decreased by half and the number who pray has declined five-fold. Has America lost its faith? The United States formally separates church and state, but it's hard to deny that America is inundated with religious innuendo, from its controversial pledge of allegiance all the way down to its Judeo-Christian courthouse displays and faith-espousing legal tender. Yet fewer Americans pray or believe in God than ever before, according to a new study in the journal Sage Open. Researchers found that the percentage of Americans who claim they never pray reached an all-time high in 2014, up five-fold since the 1980s. Over the same time period, belief in God and interest in spirituality appears to have similarly declined, especially among young adults. The findings suggest that, "millennials are the least religious generation in memory, and possibly in American history," says Jean M. Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State University and coauthor on the study, in a press statement. "Most previous studies concluded that fewer Americans were publicly affiliating with a religion, but that Americans were just as religious in private ways. That's no longer the case, especially in the last few years." (Webmaster's comment: The chances of a great evil United States Christian Religious Dictatorship are coming to an end! Thank the youth of America!)

2-4-16 New Hampshire Now Least Religious State in U.S.
New Hampshire Now Least Religious State in U.S.
New Hampshire is the least religious state in the U.S., edging out Vermont in Gallup's 2015 state-by-state analysis. Mississippi has extended its eight-year streak as the most religious state, followed closely by neighboring Alabama.

  • 20% in New Hampshire very religious, compared with 63% in Mississippi
  • Most religious states continue to be in South, along with Utah
  • Least religious states in Northeast and Northwest, plus Hawaii
  • In United States 40% are Very religious, 29% are Moderately religious, 31% are Nonreligious
  • In South Dakota 45% are Very religious, 32% are Moderately religious, 23% are Nonreligious

11-6-15 Americans are becoming less religious
Americans are becoming less religious
Americans are becoming less religious. 77% of Americans say they’re “religiously affiliated,” down from 83% in 2007. 63% of Americans say they’re “absolutely certain” that God exists, down from 71% in 2007. These trends are most pronounced among Millennials. Pew Research Center Full Article at Pew Research

6-17-15 Confidence in Religion at New Low, but Not Among Catholics
Confidence in Religion at New Low, but Not Among Catholics
Americans' confidence in the church and organized religion has fallen dramatically over the past four decades, from 68% in 1975 to hitting an all-time low this year of 42%. Confidence in religion began faltering in the 1980s, while the sharpest decline occurred between 2001 and 2002 as the Catholic Church grappled with a major sexual abuse scandal. Since then, periodic improvements have proved temporary, and it has continued to ratchet lower.

5-12-15 US Christians numbers 'decline sharply', poll finds
US Christians numbers 'decline sharply', poll finds
The number of Americans who identify as Christian has fallen nearly eight percentage points in only seven years, according to a new survey. Pew Research Center found that 71% of Americans identified as Christian in 2014 - down from 78% in 2007. In the same period, Americans identifying as having no religion grew from 16% to 23%. Fifty-six million Americans do not observe any religion, the second largest community after Evangelicals. Five million fewer Americans identify as Christian now compared with 2007. But the United States still remains home to more Christians than any other nation, with roughly seven-in-ten continuing to identify with some branch of Christianity.

8-28-14 Time's "The Answers Issue" Everything you never knew you needed to know.
Time's "The Answers Issue" Everything you never knew you needed to know.
Atheism in Portland Oregon: 5,456 Meetup Members "We have refugees from the bible belt" says Sykvia Benner, of a group that meets frequently.
Religion in Prison: 0.07% - Percentage of U.S. prisoners who identify as atheist.

8-3-14 The stigma of being an atheist in the US
The stigma of being an atheist in the US
Atheists in the US are rallying together, launching a new TV programme and providing support for those who go public with their beliefs.

6-27-14 Majority Still Says Religion Can Answer Today's Problems
Majority Still Says Religion Can Answer Today's Problems
But increasing numbers of Americans say religion is out of date. Fifty-seven percent of Americans say that religion can answer all or most of today's problems, while 30% say that religion is largely old fashioned and out of date. Americans have in recent decades become gradually less likely to say that religion can answer today's problems and more likely to believe religion is out of date.

6-2-14 Gallop Poll: In U.S., 42% Believe Creationist View of Human Origins
Gallop Poll: In U.S., 42% Believe Creationist View of Human Origins
Americans' views related to religiousness, age, education. More than four in 10 Americans continue to believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago, a view that has changed little over the past three decades. Half of Americans believe humans evolved, with the majority of these saying God guided the evolutionary process. However, the percentage who say God was not involved is rising (has risen from 9 to 19 percent in the last 14 years).

5-19-14 For 2016 Hopefuls, Washington Experience Could Do More Harm than Good
For 2016 Hopefuls, Washington Experience Could Do More Harm than Good
Military Service Top Positive, Atheism Top Negative for Potential Candidates.
53% of voters said they'd be less likely to vote for an atheist. Atheism, in fact, ranked as the most negative trait for a candidate - more than being gay, having an extramarital affair, or being over 70.

2-3-14 Gallop Poll: Mississippi Most Religious State, Vermont Least Religious
Gallop Poll: Mississippi Most Religious State, Vermont Least Religious
Average religiousness of states continues to range widely. Religiousness across the U.S. in 2013 remained similar to previous years. With 61% of its residents classified as very religious, Mississippi held on to its position as the most religious state, while Vermont, with 22% very religious residents, remained the least religious. The most religious states were in the South, except for Utah, while the least religious states were clustered in New England and the West.
(In South Dakota 46% are very religious and 22% are nonreligious.)

And according to the articles below it appears that about 2.5 percent of adult Americans are actual Atheists while another 18 percent are non-believers in any religion. Given that Sioux Falls has a population of about 162,300 that means there are roughly 3,060 adult Atheists and 22,030 other adult non-believers in Sioux Falls.

10-9-12 PEW: 20% OF Americans are now Atheist, Agnostic or Unaffiliated with a Religion
PEW: 20% OF Americans are now Atheist, Agnostic or Unaffiliated with a Religion
Back in July, some readers might have been surprised when TheBlaze reported that one in five Americans now consider themselves atheists, agnostics or "nones."

4-13-12 The Rise of Atheism in America
The Rise of Atheism in America
The number of disbelievers is growing, but they remain America's least trusted minority. Why?

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Sioux Falls Atheists Present
Statistics on Atheism in America