A new group looks to complete a census of secular Americans who are usually under-counted by religious-centric demographic surveys. American Secular Census is an independent national registry of demographic and viewpoint data recorded from secular adult Americans covering those who are skeptical of supernatural claims. One reason such a census is needed and why secular Americans should participate is what happens in a Washington D.C. that is overly influenced by the religious right.
Why a secular census?
Mainstream surveys of religious belief, identity and affiliation are designed to poll diverse populations and are most useful for analyzing broad patterns among respondents. Because they lack detail about individual subgroups, these surveys often provide conflicting, dubious or incomplete information about the secular population.
More specifically, some surveys look at the absence of supernatural beliefs only after filtering by religious affiliation or identity. As a result, affiliated nontheists and unaffiliated believers may be inaccurately characterized.
With your help, the American Secular Census will shrink the knowledge gap. Designed specifically for Secular Americans, with instant Web access, each Census can be updated as frequently as needed to keep a registrant’s viewpoints and demographics current. The American Secular Census holds the power to build the most accurate, timely, and evidence-based profile of the secular population in the United States.
We have to be counted so that the powers that be have quantifiable evidence that we exist and we vote.
For some, a downside could be answering the survey as they might be concerned about being public in their non-belief. American Secular Census promises to keep any collected data secure and data is only shared in the aggregate – it isn’t connected to individuals. Also the census allows for anonymous registration.
Look at it this way Evangelicals who make up most of the religious right in this country made up only about 25% of the voters in the 2008 election yet look at all the laws considered or passed in Congress and the states that favored the religious right position.
Like minded secular groups like Secular Coalition for America, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and sister group to American Secular Census, The American Secular Mainstream can use the data analysis to help the groups focus resources. The census data can also show political leaders how many of us there are and how we really feel on issues.
I filled out the survey and I recommend all secular Americans do as well.
Originally published on Secular Left and used with permission.