To Setara Hashem: ignorance, or blatant lies?

(Religion in USA/Europe) 

By Jahed Ahmed

Dear Ms/Mr. Setara Hashem, has it ever occurred to you that the recycled pieces of advice that you so passionately love to pass on to others at the end of every article ( ‘gain better understanding about the real facts’  like stuff) would have benefited you much more; had you practiced it yourself! 

  You are not only a confused person who is torn between Islam and Marxism a.k.a. dialectic materialism, but also one skilled in presentation of distorted facts. Proof? 

Just one would be sufficient.

 

1) To your article addressed to Dr. Shabbir, you mentioned: Human being by nature is religious. It is applicable for American common people also. Frequently religious gathering of Jewish and Christian community is being arranged in local community centre of USA. 99.99% people of USA are believer.”  

 

  I wonder- was it really so hard for you to verify the gravely mistaken statement such as in USA, 99.99 % people are believer before presenting it at a public forum? Your ignorance about demography is appealing, to say the least. 

Here I did a bit of online diggings to prove- yours is a distorted fact. The facts are taken from US Census Bureau website and I’ve mentioned the URL. Feel free to verify for yourself.  

   According to the following data, in USA- the total percentage of non-religious people (agnostics, atheists, humanists, and those with no affiliations with any religion) in 2001 was:
(Total non-religious population in survey/total adult population in survey)X100= (29,481,000/207,980,000) X100=14.17 % 

 The percentage of non-religious population in 1990 was: 14,331,000/175,440,000)X100 = 8.16 %

 Are you able to sense something? Just in eleven years, the number of non-believers in USA increased almost by two-fold! And in my country (?), in 2004, a Marxist is applying rules of dialectic materialism to support Jihadi Islamic doctrine! Unlucky me! 

 Below is presented the real data. Readers may visit the website and check out for themselves.

===============================================

 

Self-Described Religious Identification of Adult Population: 1990 and 2001

 Source: US Census Bureau

 [In thousands (175,440 represents 175,440,000). The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2001 was based on a random digit-dialed telephone survey of 50,281 American residential households in the continental U.S.A (48 states). Respondents were asked to describe themselves in terms of religion with an open-ended question. Interviewers did not prompt or offer a suggested list of potential answers. Moreover, the self-description of respondents was not based on whether established religious bodies, institutions, churches, mosques or synagogues considered them to be members. Quite the contrary, the survey sought to determine whether the respondents themselves regarded themselves as adherents of a religious community. Subjective rather than objective standards of religious identification were tapped by the surveys]

 

 

Religious group                         1990                                             2001

Adult population, total 1 . . . . 175,440                                     207,980

Total Christian . . . . . . . . . . . .  151,496                                     159,506

Catholic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46,004                                         50,873

Baptist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33,964                                         33,830

Protestant - no denomination supplied . . 17,214                              4,647

Methodist/Wesleyan . . . . . . . . 14,174                                          14,150

Lutheran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,110                                              9,580

……………..

Fundamentalist . . . . . . . . . . .  27                                                   61

Independent Christian Church . . . . . . . 25                                       71

Total other religions. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,853                                     7,740

Jewish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,137                                   2,831

Muslim/Islamic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 527                                     1,104

Buddhist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 401                                       1,082

Unitarian/Universalist . . . . . . . . . . . . 502                                      629

Hindu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227                                        766

Native American . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47                                         103

Scientologist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45                                         55

Baha’I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28                                          84

Taoist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23                                          40

………

Sikh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13                                           57

Pagan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (NA)                                       140

Spiritualist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (NA)                                       116

Ethical Culture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (NA)                                        4

Other unclassified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 837                                        386

 

No religion specified, total . . . . . . . . 14,331                               29,481

Atheist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    (NA)                                  902

Agnostic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,186                                   991

Humanist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29                                       49

Secular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (NA)                                     53

No religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,116                                 27,486

 

Refused to reply to question. . . . . . . 4,031                                     11,246

 

 

Note:

NA Not available. 1 Refers to the total number of adults in all 50 states. All other figures are based on projections from surveys conducted in the continental United States (48 states). 2 Because of the subjective nature of replies to open-ended question, these categories are the most unstable as they do not refer to clearly identifiable denominations as much as underlying feelings about religion. Thus they may be the most subject to fluctuation over time.

 

Source: 1990, Barry A. Kosmin and Seymour P. Lachman, ‘‘One nation Under God: Religion in Contemporary American Society,’’ 1993; 2001 data, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, NY, Barry A. Kosmin, Egon Mayer and Ariela Keysar, American Religious Identification Survey, 2001 (copyright).

 

URL:  http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/03statab/pop.pdf

==============================================

 

 

 

2) Decline of Religion in Europe:

 

 ===============================================

Top 10 Countries
With Highest Percentage of Atheists (1991)

Country

Percent
Atheist

East Germany

88.20%

Slovenia

29.80%

Russia

27.30%

Israel

25.60%

Netherlands

24.10%

Hungary

23.30%

Norway

14.90%

Britain

14.00%

West Germany

12.10%

New Zealand

11.50%

 

Additional comments from the website:

Note that these terms are from Greeley's statistical study and are noted here not as an endorsement of the terminology, but so that statistical researchers will be able to identify which columns are the source of the data in the summary tables presented on this page. "Agnosticism" and "atheism" are widely accepted as have different meanings. Based on the questions used in the survey, Greeley's category "softest core atheists" fall under the common definition of agnostics, which is why their numbers have not been included in the "atheist" totals.

Note: The Communist nations of China, Cuba and North Korea were NOT included in this study. These countries may or may not be among the "Top 10 Most Atheist Countries" in the world. Sociologically, Communism is as much a religion as other "traditional" religions such as Islam or Christianity, although it promotes (often forcibly) beliefs which would categorize its adherents as atheists (We had real hard time convincing Mr/Ms Hashem that communist doctrine does resemble religion except for belief in God/Goddess.-Jahed). So in Communist countries, large proportions of people may be properly classified as atheists and also Communists, but they would not be considered secular or "nonreligious" in the sociological sense.

 

 

 Source: International Social Survey Program's study of religion in 1991, as reported in "The Demand for Religion: Hard Core Atheism and 'Supply Side' Theory" by Wolfgang Jagodzinski (University of Cologne) and Andrew Greeley (University of Chicago, University of Arizona).

 

===============================================

 

3) New York Times 10/13/2003 issue published two pictures with a long article under the headline “The Changing Church: Faith Fades Where It Once Burned Strong”. The front page picture showed an almost empty church in Rome, Italy; whereas inside picture (A6) showed a French church with all congregants being only elderly (I don’t think, Hashem’s obsession with religion has any thing to do with his/her age J ). The caption read: many younger Europeans say they feel that religion is irrelevant. The article also mentions:

 

According to the European values study, only about 21 percent of all European said religion was “very important” to them. Al though the methodology was not precisely comparable, a Gallup Poll this year (2003) showed that 58 percent of Americans defined religion that way.

 

 

4) According to a correspondence which appeared in most esteemed British science journal nature (vol. 394, 23 July 1998, pp.313), among the leading US scientists, percentage of believer in personal God was 7% only in 1998. In 1914 and 1933, the percentages were 27.7 % and 15 % respectively.         

 

   Lastly, I would hope- Setara Hashem would provide some explanations as to where/how she found the erroneous fact that 99.99 % Americans are believer. Meantime, I would just remind her of what once I already did in the recent past. But this time, at the end of my article.

 

It would be better not to know so many things than to know so many things that are not so." 

 -Felix Okoye

 

 Let me hope- it would work! 

(The end)

New York

18 June 2004

 

 

[Mukto-mona] [Articles] [Recent Debate] [Special Event ] [Moderators] [Forum]