Is a Bible an appropriate gift for a manager to give an employee? Researcher Gregory Paul doesn’t think so. In fact, when weighing in on the question, he said,
“Darn right a boss giving someone a Bible etc. is inappropriate. How would he like it if he got a copy of Darwin, or Ayn Rand’s views of atheism? Unfortunately religious folks are often very touchy about this sort of thing, so your boss is not likely to be trying to engage in a back and forth.”
Paul, a researcher who examines sociology and theology, chatted about the role atheism plays in American politics, as well as political candidates running on atheist platforms, if “under God” should be taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance, and how atheism in America is generally perceived.
When asked why religion matters in American politics, Paul answered,
“The reason religion matters in the U.S., despite it being the first country to go to such lengths to keep religion out of government, is because a large majority are religious, and a major minority insists that religion play a big role in government and society. The conservative minority has leveraged its power by allying with the corporations within the Republican Party. As I have pointed out in my research, this is ironic in that the corporate-consumer culture being pushed by capital is doing more than anything else to secularize the country!”
But through his research, Paul has found that the atheist population is steadily increasing in the United States:
“Gallup stats show that god disbelievers have quadrupled since the 60s and doubled since the 90s, with 20% these days being nontheistic to some degree. Looks like the U.S. is heading down the secular path like all the rest of the West.”
To find out how American atheists lean politically, if any candidates identify with them and what else Paul discussed related to atheism in America, read the chat transcript.