Feb
18
2012

Getting it wrong from the start on the atheist march story.

You know, I got nothing in particular against atheists, but when one of them says something nonsensical like this:

“There are 40 to 50 million atheists [in the United States].”

…you’d think that the reporter would check that, given that the number sounds a bit, well, high.

Which it is. That number above would represent between thirteen and sixteen percent of the population: the actual percentage – using the most generous interpretation – is around five or six percent. I know that it’s established practice to be nice when it comes to crowd estimates – at least, when it comes to favored groups – but this was a bit much, no?

Also: ‘thousands’ does not qualify as ‘massive.’ This is the Tea Party era, where the Right now has experience in the field of organizing mass events.

Moe Lane

PS: Seriously, though: I hope the atheists have a good time at their rally, God bless ‘em.

Moe Lane

3 Comments

  • MikeCG says:

    If CBS DC describes a crowd of “thousands” as “massive”, then I fully expect them to describe next year’s March for Life as “the most powerful and gargantuan political gathering since the hordes of Genghis Khan swept across half of Eurasia”. Seems like that would constitute a uniform standard of hyperbole.

  • Neil Stevens says:

    Evangelical atheists are morons.

  • Rudy says:

    Perhaps some of you should get your facts straight. The most recent Pew Religious Landscape Survey shows the non-religious to account for 16% of the population, which comes out to around 57 million people who do not have a belief in a religion. The non-religious are the fastest growing segment of society.

    [The link that the fellow was referring to is here: what s/he didn't mention, which I will charitably ascribe to ignorance, is that of that 16% or so only 1.2% are actual atheists. The rest were agnostics (2.4%) and 'nothing in particular' (12.1%). I understand that evangelical atheists are particularly desperate to claim the folks who are vague on the subject for their own: it inflates their numbers and they don't have to actually do anything for those people. Still, Sparky, please. - ML]

    [Also: Direct-to-spam for this fellow. I don't actually have to tolerate people who regurgitate talking points, after all.]

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