We've been looking at issues pertaining to faith and public life this week, but today we are going to look at issues surrounding a lack of faith. Between 1.5 and 4 percent of Americans admit to so-called "hard atheism," the conviction that no higher power exists. But a much larger share of the American public--19 percent--spurns organized religion in favor of a non-defined skepticism about faith.
This group is growing faster than any religious faith in the U.S. About two-thirds of these Americans say they are former believers; 24 percent are lapsed Catholics and 29 percent once identified with other Christian denominations. What are the major issues facing non-believers, and where do they fit in a society of theists?
Greta Christina, blogger and author of "Why Are You Atheists So Angry?" will join The Daily Circuit Thursday.
"Most atheists I've known do have some anger about some of the specific ways that religion plays out in the world but the atheist movement is very diverse," she said. "One of the things we differ most about is how we view religion. Many atheists would be perfectly happy to co-exist with religion as long as religion was happy to co-exist with us. Other atheists have a more confrontational attitude toward religion. They think that there are qualities in the very nature of religion that make peaceful coexistence unlikely or impossible."
Teresa MacBain, former senior pastor at Lake Jackson United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., will also join the discussion.