The Corner

The Harris Poll

breathlessly reports that 42 % of adult Americans are not “absolutely certain” that God exists, as if that were news, when the truly amazing thing is, by their own account, distinctively among the developed nations of the world (such as in Europe, Japan, Australia) almost sixty percent of adult Americans ARE certain that God exists.

Moreover, in the same account, it seems clear that another significant percentage, while not “absolutely” certain, do tend to hold that God does exist.

All this is what is rare, what juts out of the ordinary, what is real news.

In this country, atheism is a leap taken by very, very low percentages of adults. A book on the subject a few years ago, by an atheist, pointed out that even most American atheists hold that there is a presiding intelligence, source of law, mysterious presence in the universe –rather in a pantheistic mode, perhaps, than in the mode of ordinary theism. Strict atheism is a tiny sliver of a small minority.