Poll: 56% of atheists find radical Christianity as threatening as radical Islam

posted at 12:10 pm on June 16, 2007 by Allahpundit

Don’t look at me. Don’t look at Hitchens either, for that matter. Cross-section that 56 by political ideology and all will be revealed, I suspect.

Too bad I found this story on Saturday. It would have been good for 1,000 comments during the week.

Atheists and agnostics are distinct demographically from the active-faith segment. The no-faith audience is younger, and more likely to be male and unmarried. They also earn more and are more likely to be college graduates…

One of the most significant differences between active-faith and no-faith Americans is the cultural disengagement and sense of independence exhibited by atheists and agnostics in many areas of life. They are less likely than active-faith Americans to be registered to vote (78% versus 89%), to volunteer to help a non-church-related non-profit (20% versus 30%), to describe themselves as “active in the community” (41% versus 68%), and to personally help or serve a homeless or poor person (41% versus 61%). They are also more likely to be registered to vote as an independent or with a non-mainstream political party.

One of the outcomes of this profile – and one of the least favorable points of comparison for atheist and agnostic adults – is the paltry amount of money they donate to charitable causes. The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500).

We’re 9% of the overall population — but 14% of 23-41-year-olds and 19% of 18-22-year-olds. And contrary to popular wisdom, those numbers don’t appear to decline significantly as people age. They’ve held relatively constant over the past 15 years. Exit question: Atheist takeover?

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My definintion of “Christian” is probably more narrow than most, based on my religious indoctrination as a child. It’s a good bet that within my definition, most of the proclaimed Christians here would not qualify. Most of it has to with that whole 7th day of rest deal, which is Saturday.
Krydor on June 18, 2007 at 6:54 PM

It’s a good bet that within my definition, most of the proclaimed Christians here would not qualifySigh. That’s one of the unvarnished universal TRUTHS of this world.
Then you understand truly what this means:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13You had first hand experience with human perfidy and hypocrisy and you know how bitter it is to be let down when you trusted so much. People love to hold up that scripture to justify themselves, not realizing they condemn themselves in front of God with it. It was not stated for a church to exalt itself over another church, it’s to the individual to comprehend his accountability to God Himself.

Remember, EVERY church is a mix of the following: a small group of committed Christians, a larger group of nominal Christians and the rest are happy pagans. Therefore, a wise Christian understands that the communal, physical church if run well, has useful purposes, but the “Body of Christ” is actually the individuals living their lives amongst their neighbors. This is nothing new under the sun. It’s always been like this and will be in the future.

Go through with new eyes, new confidence that you and your mother were wronged by fallible, selfish people, and read how much time Jesus spent yelling at the priests for making everyone miserable and not “getting it” and putting burdens on people that God never stated nor intended. Later, he puts on the thunder and lightening and blazing – and “yelling” will seem mild in comparison, and the state of affairs to avoid is “HYPOCRITE.”
We were in Ivory Coast and began going to an English-language church (Ivory Coast is Francophone.) It was a big church, because it served every English speaker that worked there and passed through – all the Anglophone Africans, Bristish COmmonwealth citizens and Americans. We went to several evening fellowships and ONE woman came up to us and welcomed us as newcomers. Out of seventy people easily. Probably 80% Missionaries. She turned out to be the pastor’s wife and the pastor was a former cowboy – bunkhouse, boots, spurs, mud, cattle, the Works, from Montana. You would have loved to hear him growl about the quality of missionaries they were getting “Too many coming from fundamentalist churches that would boggle the minds of the most steadfast believers here. They think they are the only true church and all the other sects of Christianity were not “real” Christians
Heh. He said that, really. Just like you did. Only his job was to somehow make them cooperate!
He also said that if a missionary came to Africa and couldn’t set up a church, he was an idiot and should go home.
Those are the kind of salty people to hang out with.

naliaka on June 18, 2007 at 9:19 PM

Seixon on June 18, 2007 at 7:38 PM

Guess you and I have different definitions of what makes a Christian, a capitalist and an entrepreneur. There are other ways to make money in this world than banking on the elusive carbon credit, and the eviserating and dishonest Kyoto Treaty. Actions speak louder than labels. Enron boomed during the Clinton years, taking advantage of the slacking of the Fed credit, made possible by the … Clintons. The action, and the easy access to the White House was through the 1990s. Throwing around money to the politicos later resembled more attempts to cast out lifelines from the sinking ship than genuine affiliation.
I actually don’t mind discussing this, to break through the constructed wall of “campaign contributions” media blocks to revisit the earlier time, to remind everyone as to what Enron was and what it was planning to accomplish by the Kyoto Treaty. But drat, Bush didn’t go along.

naliaka on June 18, 2007 at 9:31 PM

Long way to 1000 but it’s nearing 300.

Entelechy on June 18, 2007 at 9:51 PM

300 marker?

Entelechy on June 18, 2007 at 9:52 PM

naliaka

The foundation of all American law and justice and the Federalist Papers and the Bill of Rights and EVERYTHING is set on the opening premise of the Declaration of Independence: “We find these truths to be self-evident: That man is endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights, those being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The base they worked on was God gave man rights that for a government to be just should be respected. All else flows from that.”

Actually nothing else flows from that. Not only is the Declaration where homage to any divine involvement both begins and ends, none of the documentary history you cite was premised upon or relied on it at all. In that respect the Declaration was a classic historical one-off.

Most folks are aware that Ben Franklin famously crossed out “sacred” and wrote “self-evident” when the Declaration was being drafted. One of the most significant reasons for doing so is seldom noted, however. The claim being asserted by the Americans was specifically designed to counter the Divine Right of Kings which was, in fact, the preferred Christian model for governance. Democracy was considered dangerously unChristian, and its Greek origins made it especially pernicious. In the 18th century Christian world, royal monarchies, not people, derived the power and the right to rule from God.

In justifying themselves to that world, the Americans actually had to trump the power of God & Church. They did this by relying on the most decidedly non-Christian enlightenment principles in existence: the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, which were themselves trumped by self-evident, not sacred, truths. Indeed, self-evident may be the most important and most powerful word in American history.

It’s also worth noting, however, that the Signers, themselves, did not attach any particular, let alone singular, importance to the Declaration as a founding document; they would be perfectly amazed at the Scriptural status it has since acquired. I’m a Declaration fan myself, but ignoring its early history is revisionism of the first order. Once the Revolution commenced in earnest, the Declaration basically lay forgotten for nearly a century, till Lincoln eventually dusted it off to justify the emancipation of slaves.

JM Hanes on June 19, 2007 at 12:11 AM

JM Hanes on June 19, 2007 at 12:11 AM

Thanks for defining a revisionist, I liked this line the best

Declaration basically lay forgotten for nearly a century, till Lincoln eventually dusted it off to justify the emancipation of slaves.

I am sure Florida coming into the union, calling up of armed forces for a couple of wars before Lincoln, and other events that you have forgotten about, had nothing to do with the Declaration and its impact. I think before Lincoln ever got to it, it was pretty well used.

The signers risked their lives and fortunes, hardly would I say they did not attach any importance. But then you

There are a few good books detailing the signing and the commitment of the signers. Also details of their commitment to God and country. If you would like I could offer you a couple of suggestions. It might help you get a better handle on this “In the 18th century Christian world, royal monarchies, not people, derived the power and the right to rule from God”, Luther and the reformation had already resolved that problem. I have some good books on that also that may help you.

right2bright on June 19, 2007 at 1:16 AM

right2bright

Do you just skip right over inconvenient qualifiers and subordinate clauses? The Signers attached little importance to the Declaraton as a foundational document. Get back to me when you can track the substantive, formative, influence of the Declaration through the Federalist Papers, the designing of the Constitution and its subsequent amendation.

If the personal commitments of the signers were at issue here, I’m perfectly qualified to talk about them, but they aren’t. If, however, you want argue that the Declaration played an equally robust role in American thinking between the Revolution & Emancipation as it would play from then on, make your case. Otherwise, you’ve got books. The Democrats have got a plan.

JM Hanes on June 19, 2007 at 2:15 AM

naliaka on June 18, 2007

Go through with new eyes, new confidence that you and your mother were wronged by fallible, selfish people, and read how much time Jesus spent yelling at the priests for making everyone miserable and not “getting it” and putting burdens on people that God never stated nor intended. Later, he puts on the thunder and lightening and blazing – and “yelling” will seem mild in comparison, and the state of affairs to avoid is “HYPOCRITE.”

I understand that your faith is strong, and I’m happy for you. No snark intended. Religion and faith do not, cannot and will not work for me.

Besides, the burdens placed by Jesus on the people (Matthew 5 and up) are even more extreme than the existing law.

Krydor on June 19, 2007 at 2:51 AM

naliaka,

Why can’t you just admit you made a completely false statement? How very un-Christian of you.

Actions speak louder than labels. Enron boomed during the Clinton years, taking advantage of the slacking of the Fed credit, made possible by the … Clintons.

The “Clinton years” also known as the “Republican Congress years”… So who do you give credit? The legislating body that passes all the laws and budgets, or the guy who stands at the end of the line and signs? Or perhaps the answer is none of the above? The 1990s saw an economic expansion – and only political hacks will try to give credit to Congress or Clinton for that. What usually follows a recession? What else happened during the 1990s? Does the machine you are using to view this ring a bell?

The action, and the easy access to the White House was through the 1990s. Throwing around money to the politicos later resembled more attempts to cast out lifelines from the sinking ship than genuine affiliation.

Look, naliaka, Enron employees threw their money to the GOP by about a 2:1 ratio since the founding of the company. Lay donated almost exclusively to Republicans. Can you deal with reality? Who was running Congress during the 1990s?

I actually don’t mind discussing this, to break through the constructed wall of “campaign contributions” media blocks to revisit the earlier time, to remind everyone as to what Enron was and what it was planning to accomplish by the Kyoto Treaty. But drat, Bush didn’t go along.

Enron was, gasp, planning on making money. I find it hilarious that instead of admitting you were making up an entire argument to try and debunk the thought of Lay as a Christian, you are pretending he was a liberal deep in the pockets of the Democratic party. You just can’t make this stuff up, that’s downright hilarious.

Whatever you have to do to keep the faith

Seixon on June 19, 2007 at 4:04 AM

Thanks for another opportunity to add more to challenge the fraud ginned up by the MSM. As Mark Twain said, “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.”
Follow the billions, not the loose change that was spread around in both parties to curry favor. The money was in the easy credit – the massive amounts of investment that were what? Lost? Enron obtained credit, on a massive scale that should not have been approved in the first place. The Clintons and their people are Third World politicians. They enter politics to obtain wealth, unlike the rest of the world which has to produce something.
The 1990s were the loosely policed decade of the “Wealth Takers, not the Wealth Makers.”

Whatever you have to do to keep the faith…
Seixon on June 19, 2007 at 4:04 AM

I sleep well at night, do you?

naliaka on June 19, 2007 at 8:52 AM

Besides, the burdens placed by Jesus on the people (Matthew 5 and up) are even more extreme than the existing law.

Krydor on June 19, 2007 at 2:51 AM

Funny, I’ve never thought my faith was strong. I see so many people who easily and nonchalantly do what’s right, with a warm smile and an encouraging word, no matter the circumstances, and I envy them.
A fellow once said, “meek” is more correctly translated as “debonnaire.”
How do you like that? “And the debonnaire shall inherit the Earth.”

Thanks, Krydor, and all the best to you.

naliaka on June 19, 2007 at 9:02 AM

Seixon on June 19, 2007 at 4:04 AM

Better read a little more, Enron’s finances was such a mess that it will take years to sort out. Glad you have such a handle on their finances and to whom they were directed, you are the only one who knows. I am not sure they were in it to “make money” or at least legal money, but one thing is certain, we will never know because so many polititions were paid off by Enron, and the ones in charge of the country were the Clintons.

right2bright on June 19, 2007 at 5:43 PM

JM Hanes on June 19, 2007 at 2:15 AM

So many big words, I thought a subordinate clauses were Santas Elves. Your statement of Lincoln being the one that dusted off the Declaration is what I attacked, and you danced around that. You should stick to the argument at hand, and not throw out your big words that mean nothing.

To paraphrase Thomas Brackett Reed “You never open your mouth without subtracting from the sum of human
knowledge.”

Pity you did not take me up on some of my books, they would have helped you.

Listen, troll, the democrats do have a plan, it is to raise the taxes, rob Peter to pay Paul (and Paul seldom complains), it is to lose the war on terror…but fight it if they are in power, to limit free speech, to continue their attack on Black America (remember your dem party is the party giving birth to the KKK) by continuing to not educate them, by opening the borders to all, to ignore their own illegal policies (Feinstein’s husband made a grand living off of her votes), by embracing those who deface national monuments, and the list goes on and on. Some plan.

And how did your so brilliant mind, make the leap from signers of the constitution to “The Democrats have got a plan”, at least show some class and intellegence and make a smooth segway.
You poor pitiful liberal. I think the tofu and doritos have affected your mind.

right2bright on June 19, 2007 at 6:40 PM

rob Peter to pay Paul

Well, they’d best get to robbing this Peter fellow, that I may reap the rewards.

(I’ve always liked that one, as my real name is Paul.)

Krydor on June 19, 2007 at 7:32 PM

right2bright:

“So many big words.”

I can talk down to you, if your prefer. Yes, Lincoln dusted off the Declaration of Independence to justify freeing slaves. It was his emphasis on “the proposition that all men are created equal” which ultimately changed the way Americans regarded the Declaration forever. Indeed, up till the Civil War, the principle of equality had proven mostly problematic and the Declaration’s original value as a revolutionary document had declined.

JM Hanes on June 20, 2007 at 2:12 AM

Besides, the burdens placed by Jesus on the people (Matthew 5 and up) are even more extreme than the existing law.

Krydor on June 19, 2007 at 2:51 AM

Oh yes, that terrible oppressor of the masses, Jesus.

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

– Matthew 11:27-30

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

– John 8:28-32

Scoff as you will, I have known these things to be true for more than half my life. Anyone who would have their troubles eased need only apply themselves to the care of others.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

– James 1:27

Freelancer on June 20, 2007 at 4:52 AM

JM Hanes on June 20, 2007 at 2:12 AM

Thanks for the insult, but talking clear is not talking down. We can all tell a psuedo intellect by the clarity of their writings. You have a different perspective, you think the Declaration was never used until Lincoln (or as you say “lay forgotten for nearly a century, till Lincoln eventually dusted…”), a historically naive perspective. But thanks for at least clarifying your statement. I’m just not as smart or learned as you, as you state you are “…perfectly qualified”, I would never want to argue with someone with those qualifications. BTW, self-evident was used in the form of, within the light of God and knowledge imparted by him (thank God, or at least Luther,for the reformation), but then I am sure you would argue with that (even though I may have some of them thar scholary books that defend that, once again offered to you)…and I again would be wrong, not being perfectly qualified, and barly bareley not very good educated.
Good day to you…

right2bright on June 20, 2007 at 8:40 AM

right2bright:

Does that chip on your shoulder show up in the mirror?

JM Hanes on June 20, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Freelancer,

Matthew is where we get introduced to thought crimes. Couple of passages are quite clear that thinking something and doing something are equivalent. You know, if you think to yourself “wow, what a hot chick, hubba hubba”, it’s on par with actually sleeping with her.

Luckily, our potential new overlords have a plan to avoid those sinful thoughts.

Krydor on June 21, 2007 at 12:32 PM

naliaka,

Why can’t you just admit you made something up? You were wrong, end of story. Now own up to it like a good Christian.

I sleep well at night, do you?

Most of the time, yes. However, sometimes reality does keep me awake. I guess I could just pretend that the Almighty was watching over me and soothe my mind. But then things are just so much worse when reality hits like a ton of bricks, when it cannot be avoided.

I guess being a good Christian (or Muslim, or Jew…) is having the ability to skirt reality on a consistent basis even when it tries to hit you.

Seixon on June 21, 2007 at 1:05 PM

Krydor,

Your confusion is completely understandable. You make the jump from sin to crime seamlessly. Crime is between a human and another human. Sin is between man and God. Since you deny His existence, that becomes difficult to reconcile.

Pardon me if I don’t presume too much, but I’ll explain. The DESIRE to commit an act which God finds sinful is as guilty of a sin as the act itself. That has never, and will never become true in the human arena. Your “thought crimes” spin is tricky, but empty.

Just so we are clear, since you don’t believe His Words, why concern yourself with the “burdens” He places on those who believe? Isn’t that their affair? And trust me, His believers are not feeling too burdend by His laws, when weighed against His providential blessings.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

– 2 Corinthians 4:8-18

Freelancer on June 21, 2007 at 1:10 PM