'Coming out' can be a trial for atheists and agnostics
By THE NATIONAL
Added: Wed, 13 May 2009 23:00:00 UTC
During the eight years that George W Bush, a born-again Christian, was in the White House, the United States appeared to be a nation tilting towards deeper religious faith.
But appearances can be deceiving. In fact, a recent study has found that about one in every five Americans either no longer believes in God at all, or doubts that a higher force exists.
Once considered a silent minority, atheists and agnostics are increasingly making connections on college campuses and through internet sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and becoming ever more emboldened to make their beliefs, or lack thereof, known.
There have been recent hits in the mainstream media, including the satirical documentary Religulous by comedian and TV show host Bill Maher that earned US$13 million (Dh47m) at the box office, and the best-selling book, God is Not Great by the Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens.
Barack Obama, the president, even reached out to non-believers in his inauguration speech, indicating that Washington may recognise the potential for this segment of American society to become a potent political force in the future.
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A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.
Robert F. Worth - New York Times Comments
A great article about Jerry DeWitt and the growing presence of atheist communities
Chip Rowe - Playboy Comments
Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins
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Cara Santa Maria (Senior Science Correspondent, Huffingtonpost.com) leads this week's panel on 'The Point' to discuss these issues and more with Michael Shermer (Publisher - Skeptic Magazine), Sean Carroll (Theoretical Physicist - Caltech), and Edward Falzon (author of 'Being Gay Is Disgusting').
Kimberly Winston - Washington Post Comments
Last weekend, the Atheist Film Festival showed more than a dozen films about separation of church and state, freedom of religion (and no religion), the conflict between science and religion in public schools.
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Albert Einstein's Historic 1954 "God Letter" Handwritten Shortly Before His Death