One hopeful sign:
The good news for nonbelievers is that, for the first time ever, more than half the American population would vote for a qualified, open atheist for president. A recent Gallup poll shows that 54 percent of Americans would not consider a candidate’s atheism to be a disqualification for holding the nation’s highest office.
This shows remarkable progress, a nine-point increase from 2007…
From 2007. Really. What’s been going on between 2007 and now? Hmm.
Climate change? The Great Economic Meltdown? Obama in place of Bush?
Those could all have something to do with it. Or not. Worries about coastal cities and famines, and about bankruptcy and penury, could prompt disillusion with the whole idea of a just god, but they could also prompt reliance on a god who works in mysterious ways but makes everything ok in the end, whatever the end may be.
Another thing that’s been going on between 2007 and now is ever-increasing discussion of atheism and the reasons for atheism – or, to put it another way, new and gnu atheism.
Which we are often told “doesn’t work” and is “counter-productive”…but maybe that turns out not to be true. I don’t know, of course; correlation is not causation, so I don’t know that the open discussion of atheism and its reasons played any part in the remarkable progress since 2007. I don’t know, but it does seem quite likely. We’re out there, we’re visible and vocal, we’re pointing out obvious facts about the non-availability of god, so it seems quite likely that that has made at least some difference.
Check back in 2017.