Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The size of the secular right

The NYT recently profiled Secular Right, one of the many sites Razib has created. The Times article gives only a very general consideration to the size of the site's natural readership base:
They are part of a small faction on the right: conservatives with no use for religion.
I wondered what percentage of people in the US could be categorized as such. Turning to the GSS, I found the percentage of respondents who indicated they were either "conservative" or "extremely conservative" and who said in response to the question on belief in God that they either "do not believe in God" (functionally atheist) or that they "don't know whether there is a God and [they] don't believe there is any way to find out" (functionally agnostic). For contemporary relevance, only data from 2000 onward were considered.

The constituency constitutes a whopping 0.67%, or 1 in 150 people, or two million people in a country of 310 million.

The few, the proud, the--well, there are probably more Marines or former Marines around than there are secular rightists, I suppose.

GSS variables used: YEAR(2000-2008), GOD, POLVIEWS


OneSTDV said...

Well here's one of them.

Audacious Epigone said...

And here is another (albeit one with Pascalian sympathies).

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

There's probably a surprising number of believers who don't go to church for one reason or another. And like me, a lot of them are on the right.

In fact, sometimes I'm surprised there are as many of us on the right that still attend church. Over the last 30 years, the Catholic church has pretty much been exposed as a criminal enterprise whose main businesses appear to boil down to illegal alien smuggling and running a child sex ring. And most mainline Protestant churches now are hopelessly chickified, a home for hand-wringing, bed-wetting liberal do-gooders that no self-respecting heterosexual man would want to be seen in.

ziel said...

I don't believe in God, but I consider myself neither an atheist nor an agnostic (nor secular, for that matter). I just feel I am a Christian with a perpetual - and unresolvable - faith crisis.

So I'm guessing I wouldn't answer honestly on a survey.

That extremely low % you cite is not surprising, given that the article quotes Razib as claiming about 500 daily hits, which is a tiny fraction of what these writers get on their more established venues.

Audacious Epigone said...

Sgt. Joe,

The GSS will provide insight into just what the percentage of self-identified believers do not attend religious services with any regularity (though not why they don't go).

I've increasingly come to view "The Establishment" (ie, Big X, be it government, religion, business, media, etc) as a conglomerate of entities hostile to just about everything I find so wonderful about western civilization.


I'm sure you're correct. According to Secular Right's sitemeter stats, the NYT profile didn't direct much traffic their direction (unfortunately, in my view). Contrast this to Half Sigma, who exploded after his mention in the NYT a few years back.

Olave d'Estienne said...

I tend to sing little songs to myself while I'm on dark paths in the forest. Keeps me from feeling too lonely.

tanabear said...

"There are few true Christians. Even as far as faith goes. There are many who believe, but through superstition. There are many who do not believe, but through licentiousness. There are few in between."
Blaise Pacsal

From my experience, I would say that those who fancy themselves skeptics, rationalists, free-thinkers etc. are simply the most credulous people on the planet.

Anonymous said...

I'm agnostic, far right, AND female -- how's that for a trifecta :) .

Also, I'm pregnant with our third child. Hey, I'm holding up my end.

Anonymous said...

"the Catholic church has pretty much been exposed as a criminal enterprise whose main businesses appear to boil down to illegal alien smuggling and running a child sex ring."

Man, I can't believe Sgt. is drinking the kool aid. The Catholic sex scandal was media contrived. The incidence rate of child abuse by Catholic clergy is lower than protestants and mormons. And if you compare it to the general NAM community, it shrinks to insignificant. But the liberal media isn't interested in exposing José and Tyrone, let alone discussing the child sexual abuse incidence rate among NAM's.

No, I am not Catholic.

Jeeves said...

Being an atheist and a conservative has never inconvenienced me. It's like Kathryn Jean Lopez is scroll-over country and I get on with enjoying those righties who don't assume too much about the reader.

Razib may have "started" Secular Right, but (blessedly) he seldom appears there. The site is basically maintained instead by a good writer, Andrew Stuttaford. The invidious "good" is intended, since Razib, for all his smarts, is a poor writer. I made the mistake of calling him on this at one time, civilly, but with an edge I'd say, and he banned me! He should have put "Warning: Thin Skinned!" in his blogger profile.

Anonymous said...

Also a secular conservative woman. It sucks that we cannot have more secular conservatives in Western nations. That being said, there are many non-Western nations that are de-facto secular conservative.