The findings for England and Wales from the 2011 British Census have now been released. The BBC provides a handy guide to changes by area while The Guardian has a neat infographic and a set of Top 10 Charts. [more inside]
Dare 2 Share Ministries offers profiles and tips on how to "share your faith" with fourteen different types of friends a teen Christian might have, such as Andy the Atheist, Marty the Mormon, Jenna the Jew, Sid the Satanist, Mo the Muslim and Willow the Wiccan. If none of those strategies work, they also offer articles on how to "use the buzz in current teen culture to initiate God-talk with your friends" by "sharing your faith" through Indiana Jones, Halo 3, Brokeback Mountain, Kung Fu Panda and The X Files.
"Himself an agnostic, Rove has masterminded a strategy that has helped to broaden the Republican base beyond its pro-business, anti-government heritage to appeal to devout evangelicals. In a calculated effort to weaken the Democratic base, Rove has engineered plans to use the antiabortion stance to attract Catholics, the anti-gay stance to attract black churchgoers, and the pro-Israel stance to attract Jews." Karl Rove's agnosticism also mentioned here and here (audio).
"Killing the Buddha is about finding a way to be religious when we're all so self-conscious and self-absorbed. Knowing more than ever about ourselves and the way the world works, we gain nothing through nostalgia for a time when belief was simple, and even less from insisting that now is such a time. Killing the Buddha will ask, How can we be religious without leaving part of ourselves at the church or temple door? How can we love God when we know it doesn't matter if we do? Call it God for the godless. Call it the search for a God we can believe in: A God that will not be an embarrassment in twelve-thousand years. A God we can talk about without qualifications." I particularly enjoyed The Temptation of Belief, by a Buddhist exploring evangelical Christianity, and My Holy Ghost People, by an unbelieving daughter in a praying-in-tongues family.
The Root of All Evil? is Richard Dawkins' new programme on Channel 4 in the UK, where the noted scholar says we must abandon all religion to advance human kind. RD notes that he is technically an agnostic, but his bold show suggests that declared atheism is the correct political stand. Reminds me of the recent NPR piece on what Penn believes. Are popular-media pieces of this sort a bellweather for a new anti-theism?
Michelle Bachelet wins the Chilean presidential election, the first woman to do so. She's also a socialist, a single mom and an agnostic. Santiago is starting to fill up with car horns, and her opponent, rightist millionaire Sebastián Piñera, is supposed to concede any minute now.