A rather pontifical commenter promoted me to do a little digging on the demographics of American atheists, as I was pretty sure that it would reinforce my point about the subjectivity of definitions. The product is a post at my other weblog, Large minority of atheists are religious:
…20% of atheists in the United States self-identify as a member of a religion. By atheist, I mean someone who states that they “Do not believe in God.” 19% of Buddhists are atheists. 10% of Jews. 5% of Muslims and Hindus. 9% of “Other Faiths.” And of course, 22% of the Unaffiliated (those without a religious identification). To get to my 20% number I just went to the Pew US Religious Landscape Survey, checked belief in God by religion and cross-referenced with the proportion within the sample of each religion. I think it’s a rather peculiar situation that the same proportion of atheists are religious as non-religious are atheists! Chart and data below the fold….