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Wednesday, August 19, 2009                                                                                       View Comments

Coming out atheist: young nonbelievers build community in college and online | Shift

by Kate Shellnutt

As teens, they start thinking that it just doesn’t make sense anymore, and for years, it’s their secret… then, in college, surrounded by more open-minded peers, they come out of the dark, still-stigmatized atheist closet.

One in four adults under 30 are atheists, agnostics or unaffiliated, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (see chart), but the number of young people who outwardly identify as nonbelievers is much, much smaller, for fear that it could threaten their careers, social lives or familial relationships. Now, with the help of the Internet and the Obama administration, 2009 may start a more open age for America’s nonreligious"

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