Then there's another poll showing that 19% of Americans are now nonreligious ("nones") [“Nones” climb to 19%]. The "nones" are not necessarily atheists or agnostics but it's safe to say that many of them are.
Why are these results significant? They're significant because back in 1958 only 18% of American said they could vote for an atheist and that number didn't change much until the 21st century. Also, the "nones" made up only 6% of the populations in 1990 rising to 15% in 2008.
So, what has happened in the past decade to turn people away from religion and make atheism more respectable?
I can think of two possibilities ...
- The accommodationist approach that has been dominant for several decades has finally started to bear fruit.
- The rise of "militant atheists" in the past decade has forced large numbers of Americans into realizing that atheism and non-belief are respectable options.
[Hat Tip: RichardDawkins.net]