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More Americans losing their religion

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A new Gallup poll finds more people are not identifying themselves as religious. (AP Photo/file)

It's been decades since John Lennon sang "Imagine no religion." And a new Gallup poll finds more people seem to be taking him up on the proposal.

The poll found the number of Americans who say they are "religious" dropped from 73 percent in 2005 (the last time the poll was conducted) to 60 percent.

At the same time, the share of Americans who say they are atheists quintupled, from 1 percent to 5 percent.

"It's becoming safer to admit you're an atheist," says KIRO co-host Tom Tangney. "Clearly we've had an atheist coming out of the closet movement since the middle of the last decade."

But Tangney says the numbers need to be put in perspective, considering 60 percent still say they consider themselves religious.

"This is a hugely religious country and world that we're living in," he says.

Co-host Bill Radke says he's one of those who wouldn't have previously admitted to a lack of religion.

"I feel shy about saying I'm an atheist. I don't even like the word because it sounds so negative and sounds belittling," Radke says. "I wasn't raised with religion. My parents didn't believe. I was never taught to believe. It's just not a thing to me."

The Huffington Post reports the poll was conducted by WIN-Gallup International and is based on interviews with 50,000 people from 57 countries and five continents. Participants were asked, "Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would you say you are a religious person, not a religious person, or a convinced atheist?"

By Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com Reporter

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About the Author


Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM.

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