One of the many reasons to start a local atheist group? When surveys say your city is one of the least religious in the country, reporters know exactly where to go for insight.
A Gallup poll recently declared Bremerton-Silverdale, Washington one of the least religious areas in the country. (They were ranked 7th in terms of highest non-religious population, getting just above 50%.)
So the Kitsap Sun, covering that exact region, wanted to know what’s going on:
Four members of the Kitsap Atheists and Agnostics group cited a number of factors that could be skewing the nonreligious numbers Kitsap’s way. Wesley Bonetti, one of the group’s four members that gathered at a Bremerton coffee shop this week, said people born here are generally raised to “Do your own thing.”
Cristyn Kelly said the highly transient nature of military life could be a factor. “It’s hard for people to establish themselves in a community if they are only here for a while,” she said.
There are other reasons, too, of course: The way the Gallup questions were worded, the inability to stay inside of a Christian bubble when you’re surrounded by different kinds of people, etc. But that hasn’t stopped the atheists in the area from forming their own social network for anyone who wants to join:
On Sunday a group of them plan to work to spruce up the Clear Creek Trail in Silverdale. And they meet every other Wednesday, seeking a community of their own.
“It’s a community for people without church,” Kost said.
As I’ve said before, if atheists can offer people the benefits of church without the mythological nonsense, they would bring in a lot more people who are content to call themselves non-religious but don’t want to go a step further.
(image via Shutterstock)