In God We Bust

The results of polls can be very misleading.  Just ask Hillary Clinton.

Still, I like to read them, especially if they validate anything in which I believe.  Frequently, the polls disagree with me, though, because I don’t share a lot of mainstream beliefs.  When polls ask, “Who was the worst President of the United States before Donald Trump,” the knee-jerk response of the public is usually James Buchanan.  I live a mile away from where James Buchanan lived in Lancaster, PA, and I’ve visited his home many times.  I’ve read a few biographies of the man, and now I’m the unofficial President of his fan club.  I strongly disagree with the way the polls have ranked him and many other Presidents.  My opinion hasn’t budged the needle of public opinion one bit, though.  I know that I have my work cut out for me trying to elevate the tarnished image of James Buchanan.  The polls are working against me.

Religious polls also tend to disappoint me.  My group, the Atheists, always comes in last, way last.  But that was until I saw the chart below.  They combined the Non-Religious, the Convinced Atheist, Agnostics, and the practitioners of any Religion that didn’t have a God into “Total Atheists,” and, by calculating this way, the number of Atheists skyrocketed.

So, the numbers may be slightly inflated, but everything is inflated nowadays.  Rather than just look at the raw numbers, though, I looked to see if there was anything else of interest in the chart.  I found quite a few things.

The first thing I noticed was that few Asians believe in God.  China was the top Atheistic country on the list with 91% of the country not believing in God.  Japan was #2, with 86% of the country Atheistic.  Vietnam came in at #11 with a 67% Atheist population, and Hong Kong was close behind at #13 with 66% Atheists.  South Korea came in at #14 with 65% Atheists.  So, I was quite shocked to see that Thailand came in as the most religious country in the survey with only 2% Atheists.

Scandinavia didn’t disappoint me.  Sweden was #3 on the list with 78% Atheists.  Norway came in at #9 with 70%.  Denmark was #10 with 68%. Finland came in at #18 with 62%, and Iceland came in at #25, with just over half of its population not believing in God, 52%.  I thought that it was ironic that the area of the world that created so many gods, should now not believe in any.  They used to have a stable of gods: Odin, Frigg, the mighty Thor, Loki, Balder, Hod, Heimdall, Tyr, not to mention a couple of fertility gods, to help them get through those cold winter nights.  It turns out that the fierce Vikings were more god-fearing than modern Scandinavians.  Way to go, Scandinavia.  My people.

The next thing I noticed really threw me for a loop.  #20 on the list, with Atheists outnumbering the Religious by a margin of 61% to 39% was Israel.  Yeah, Israel.  According to this chart, which had to be accurate, because I found it on the Internet, there were more Atheists than Jews in Israel.  Maybe it’s because they have so many scientists.  Scientists have a higher percentage of Atheists than almost any other group.  In a recent survey in the United States, 85% of Scientists said that they did not believe in a higher power that hears our prayers.  I didn’t have time to dwell on the quantity of scientists in Israel, though.  There was more shocking news on the very next line.  Coming in right behind Israel at #21 was Ireland.  Ireland?  I thought that all they had was Catholics and Protestants who continuously fought one another, but the chart said they had more Atheists than all the warring Christians combined, 60% to 40%.   Brilliant.  LOL.

The next shock came when I got to country #30, The United States of America, the home of religious freedom.  All the charts I’ve seen in the past put the percentages of Atheists in the United States at around 15%.  This chart said that the religious outnumbered the Atheists but only by a majority of 56 to 43.  That’s almost triple the number of Atheists that I had expected.  It’s a Christmas miracle.  That wasn’t the shocking part, though.  By now, I could tell that this chart was probably compiled by an Atheistic organization, or, at least, one determined Atheist.  So, I was taking all the numbers with a large grain of salt, but I was concentrating on the rankings, especially when I saw that Russia was ranked #33, with religious people outnumbering Atheists 61-39.  The United States had a higher percentage of people who were considered to be Atheists than Russia.  The shock I got from that was mild, but the laugh I got from that was bigger.  Remember when we used to claim to have God on our side?

To counter Soviet propaganda during the Cold War, the United States adopted the motto “In God We Trust” in 1954.  We wanted to let them Ruskies know that God favored us over the Atheistic Russians.  Now, it seems, we have a higher percentage of Atheists than they do.  God knows how that happened, and whose side He is on now.

The next thing I noticed was how religious they were in the Southern Hemisphere, except for Australia.  Africa and South America are easily the two most religious continents, but their Southern Hemisphere Atheistic Mates in Australia outnumber the religious blokes there by a whopping 70% to 31%.  (I know that comes out to a total of 101%, but if athletes can give 110%, why can’t we Atheists give 101%.)

The last thing I noticed was that the 10 most godless countries turned out to be places I would like to visit.  The 10 most godless countries according to the poll are China, Japan, Sweden, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Belgium, Estonia, Australia, Norway, and Denmark.  (I would need directions to Estonia, though.  I have no idea where it is.)

The 10 most religious countries, on the other hand, were places I would not want to visit.  As mentioned earlier, the most religious country on the survey was Thailand.  The only thing I know about Thailand is that the capitol is Bangkok.  I learned that the hard way as a child.  So, I don’t want to go there.  The next most religious country is Nigeria.  I am curious to see if the Prince has my million dollars ready for pickup yet, but I’ll pass on visiting.   The next most religious country is Papua New Guinea, followed by The Ivory Coast, Ghana, India, Armenia, Pakistan, Fiji, and the Philippines.  Fiji might be fun, but I give a hard pass on visiting the rest of the religious countries.

Scientists have an expression they call “The God of the Gaps.”  Whatever religious people can’t explain or understand is automatically just credited to God.  Back when the Vikings believed in a host of gods, it did not make them holy.  They raped, pillaged, and slaughtered much of Europe and beyond.  Nowadays, the Scandinavians don’t need Thor to be the explanation for thunder, or some other god to be responsible for lightning, or the sun, or the moon, or whatever else they didn’t understand back then.  Today, they understand a whole lot more.  Today, they are a prosperous, happy, peaceful population.  As science unraveled the mysteries, the gaps in their knowledge shrunk, and their gods shrank right along with the gaps, leading to progress.

The most religious countries are often the ones who have the poorest populations and the biggest gaps.  Struggling populations want to believe that there is a God, that He is on their side, and that He hears and answers their prayers.  This chart, however, seems to show that God has abandoned religious countries, and that, contrary to the right-wing bumper stickers, the countries that are moving forward in today’s world are, in fact, the countries who are quickly shedding their belief in an almighty God and taking responsibility for their own lives, and pursuing Science over Superstition.  God bless them.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,


The Most Atheistic Countries:

RankCountryReligiousTotal Atheists 
4Czech Republic24%75%
5United Kingdom27%72%
13Hong Kong33%66%
14South Korea35%65%
30United States56%43%
44Bosnia And Herzegovina75%24%
48DR Congo80%21%
62Ivory Coast94%6%
63Papua New Guinea94%6%

Uneasy Rider

The electric bike I ordered a few weeks ago, arrived today, and I spent quite a few hours doing the “15-minute assembly”.  The instruction manual came in an assortment of languages and two of them actually resembled English, but neither of them were any more helpful to me than if they had remained in the original Chinese.

Remove Item #1 from package.

Install it.  Use tool provided.

Repeat with next item, until done.

It made an Ikea manual look like, by comparison, it should be in line for a Nobel Prize in literature.  So, after struggling for quite a very long while, and even trying to use a powerful magnifier to just try and figure something out from studying a close-up of the fully-assembled bike on the cover, I finally ran to my computer for help.

I watched a few YouTube videos.  Why didn’t I do that in the first place?  Am I getting senile?  The YouTube videos were way more helpful that the manufacturer’s instruction manual.  A thousand times more helpful.  Now, I knew why the front wheel of the bike didn’t turn the same direction as the handlebars when they turned.  That’s what the Allan wrenches were for.  Now I understood.

The toolkit that came with the bike looked like something the AAA Club tow-truck driver might always have with him.  It had multiple different kinds of wrenches in multiple different sizes and a screwdriver that never seemed like the right tool for anything, but the instructions were often not very explicit about which tool to use with the part being installed. They just read, “use tool provided.”

So, now, thanks to YouTube, my e-bike is almost-fully-assembled, and the battery is charging as I write this.  The only reason that the bike isn’t completely assembled is because the back fender kept getting knocked around every time I tried to lift my leg high enough to actually get on the bike.  The whole reason I got the bike in the first place is because my arthritic hip has been giving me mobility problems.  For some reason, I failed to realize ahead of time that my hip might actually prevent me from getting on the bike in the first place.  I’m not sure if that was another Senior Moment or just blind optimism.

Anyhow, I just decided to remove it – the back fender that is, not my hip.  I’m not going to be riding an electric bike on rainy days anyway.  I may live in Pennsylvania now, but I’m no Ben Franklin looking to prove that lightning is related to electricity.  However, even without the back fender getting in the way, it still wasn’t easy for me to lift my leg over the seat, but if I tilted the bike enough, I could manage it.  I’m hoping that a with a little exercise and practice, it will loosen the hip joint enough that getting on and off the bike will become much easier.  I’m just hoping that getting off doesn’t become too easy (If you know what I mean, wink, wink).  I’ll wear a helmet just in case.  I saw the Joe Biden video.

Funny thing.  When all was said and done and the bike was fully assembled, I found that I still had a couple pieces left over.  Those Chinese are so wasteful.

Peace and Love, and all of the above,