Freethought Factoids (May 2001)

Tiny church attendance. Adult church attendance in Britain is at 7.7% and only 2% now attends an Anglican church regularly. Source: Economist/New York Times, Dec. 22, 2000

A Titan trend. Nashville churches reported a 50% decrease in church attendance on the Sunday of the Titans’ 11:30 a.m. home game in January, a dip that is part of a larger trend of sabbath apathy. Source: The Tennessean, Jan. 14, 2001

Beware pious politicians. 74% polled think politicians who talk about their faith ‘are just saying what people want to hear.’ Source: Nov. poll, 1,507 U.S. adults, Public Agenda; AP, Jan. 10, 2001

Up to 13%! Agnostics, atheists and nonreligious citizens are 13% of the population. Source: Nov. poll, 1,507 U.S. adults, Public Agenda; AP, Jan. 10, 2001

Help! The world’s population of 6.1 billion–which doubled since 1950–is projected to swell to 9.3 billion in the next half century, with nearly 9 of every 10 people living in a developing country. Source: U.N. Population Division study; AP, 2/28/2001

Agnostic president has work cut out for him. Ricardo Lagos, Chile’s president since March 2000, is a socialist agnostic and in his second marriage in a Catholic country where most divorce is illegal and abortion is banned. Source: The Economist/New York Times, Sept. 8, 2000

Uh-oh. The United States, with 62.5 million Roman Catholics (22.7% of the population), has the third-largest Catholic population, after Brazil and Mexico. Rhode Island is the only state with a Catholic majority (64.3%). Source: 2001 Catholic Almanac/AP, Feb. 7, 2001

16% Canadians nontheists. 84% of Canadians say they believe in God. Source: Ipsos-Reid/Globe and Mail, Jan. 6, 2001

Catholicism rules Wisconsin? Only 13% of groups receiving public funding offered birth control education as a way to assist “W-2 recipients” (formerly welfare clients in Wisconsin) to get off financial assistance, but 76% of recipients indicated they wanted birth control counseling. Source: Single Mother Needs Assessment Study, Dieringer Research Group (March 2001) (Submitted by Nora Cusack)

Dutch vs. dinosaur mentality. The teen pregnancy rate for 15- to 17-year-olds is 9.9% in the United States with its federally-mandated “abstinence” programs, but is less than 1% in Holland, which offers liberal sex education and free contraception. Source: “Teen Pregnancy ‘Virtually Eliminated’ in The Netherlands,” Reuters Health, March 2, 2001

Beware motoring men of god. Insurers Bell Direct found that 29% of clergymen have had road accidents, compared with 26% of estate agents and only 19% of teachers. Source: [London] Sunday Mail, Feb. 11, 2001

Majority opposes public vouchers. More than half (54%) of Wisconsin citizens oppose using tax money for private (mostly religious) schools. Source: Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert College poll; Capital Times [Madison, WI], April 27, 2001

Scots awa’ wi’ church. Europe is considered a “post-Christian” society. In Scotland, less than 10% of Christians regularly go to church. Source: Newsweek, April 16, 2001

Freedom From Religion Foundation