Monday, March 30, 2015

Stephen L. Carter ― The Atheism Gap

Stephen L. Carter, a Bloomberg View columnist, is a professor of law at Yale University, where he teaches courses on contracts, professional responsibility, ethics in literature, intellectual property, and the law and ethics of war.                 
(Bloomberg News)

CNN’s special report on atheists this week didn’t draw many viewers, and has been kicked around a bit in the blogosphere. Certainly the program had its gaffes. Most important, as other critics have noted, the report trotted out the hoary -- and ridiculous -- claim that 1 in 3 millennials are atheists. (The correct figure is closer to 3 percent.)

But that wasn’t the biggest mistake. By focusing on the lives of atheists, CNN swept into the wings, with only the briefest of mentions, atheism’s significant race and gender problems.

According to a much-discussed 2012 report from the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, only 3 percent of U.S. atheists and agnostics are black, 6 percent are Hispanic, and 4 percent are Asian. Some 82 percent are white. (The relevant figures for the population at large at the time of the survey were 66 percent white, 11 percent black, 15 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian.)

Read more at  Bloomberg News