Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Church, meet prison... prison, church.

 I love it when these studies come out, and I thought I'd share this one. In April, the Federal Bureau of Prisons released a survey of 218,167 prisoners. They asked which religion each inmate identified as, and reached the finding that only 161 of all inmates identified as atheist.

By my calculations, that means that means that only 0.07% of the prison population are atheists. That's additionally impressive when you consider that the 2012 Pew Research survey showed that 4% of the US population are atheist. So atheists are far underrepresented in the prison population.

These numbers are important when you consider that us atheist are oft accused of being immoral by the Christian majority. The claim is that without Christ, you can't be a moral person. So how do our accusers stack up?

The supposed Christian pinnacle of morality actually makes up the vast majority of the prison population. In this survey, at least 123,916 of those questioned associated as one type of Christian or another. That means that 56.8% of the prison population are Christians. Not just the majority, but well over half the population!

So the 'moral' Christians and us 'immoral' atheists stack up 56.8% to 0.07% and 123,916 to 161. Talk about lopsided and certainly contrary to the claims of moral superiority. But where do the other big religions in the USA? Lets see how the top few religions in the US compare with the prison population (ranked by US religious affiliation percentage).

1) Christian = 56.8%
2) Jewish = 1.7%
3) Buddhist = 1%
4) Muslim = 5.55%
5) Hindu = 0.14%

So the numbers for the other most popular religions in the USA, aren't even close. But the #4 religion in the USA (Islam) did come in with the second highest prison population with it's 5.55% score.

I think these stats should show that atheists can, and are quite moral without religion, and that Christians have far from a monopoly on morality.


-Brain Hulk

Please share, subscribe, comment and follow us on your favorite social networking sites!
facebook | google+ | twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment