Originally Posted by smurg
An abnormally high amount of people say they are Christians when in reality, they probably don't know what it really means. They just like to be nice and think that there is someone above looking over them. (Which is why I would disregard any statistics involving %'s of "Christians".)
It is definitely true that the number of self-reported Christians is going to be drastically different to the number of 'real' Christians, ones that the fundamentalists would agree held the correct beliefs to be called a Christian. In fact, the number of fundie Christians might be lower than the number of non-believers. In any case, it is still a problem that it is much more comfortable for someone to call themselves Christian when they are not.
The current activism of "new atheism" should be focusing in on these Christians-in-name-only, because my main point was that it is difficult for many individuals to declare their lack of belief, and even the term "atheist" has negative connotations associated with it, and let's me honest, it is not the most easily defined word to begin with! Even a lot of non-believers think atheism has a more drastic definition than it really does (or should have). As long as you answer in the negative to the question "Do you believe in god?" then you are an atheist. It does not (necessarily) mean that you know that there is no god, and if you are a namby-pamby-agnostic (which I unknowingly called myself for most of my life), you might be surprised to find out that you are also an atheist - an agnostic-atheist.
Ship It Yo is the best kind of theist (imo), one who admits they believe something based only on faith and not claiming to have The Truth. He would be an agnostic-theist, which isn't as common as you would hope, more common is the gnostic-theist, the one who doesn't just believe, but knows
! At the same time, calling atheists arrogant...
I almost forgot how this discussion got started: the crazy step-mother should really not have unsupervised visits with the child, at this early age it is nothing but indoctrination. When they get older, I'd go so far as to deliberately expose the child to different religions (it's been said that the best way to create an atheist is to have them read the Bible!).