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Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:16 PM

"Persecuted" Atheists in America Need a New Perspective

Cameron English
2 days ago

The Financial Times reported last week that "Godlessness is the last big taboo in the U.S., where non-believers face discrimination and isolation." It's a serious charge, and at first glance there seems to be some truth to it. Numerous polls have revealed that Americans wouldn't elect an atheist president, while other surveys suggest that non-believers are viewed as the "least favorable" group by a majority of Americans.

Such statistics make for good human interest stories, but their significance is exaggerated. Keeping this issue in its proper perspective, there's no reason to feel sorry for the irreligious in this country.

Each year, around the start of Christmas season, Christians all over the country get themselves riled up over the so-called "War on Christmas." Each year, I respond the same way, and I now direct the same comments at atheists: Get over yourselves. Christians around the world are murdered every year because of their beliefs. A recent Pew Forum Study put the number as high as 100,000 annually. Just consider the contrast for a moment. When Americans feel discriminated against, they give sappy interviews to sympathetic journalists. In other parts of the world (say, Yemen or North Korea), people know they face discrimination because they might take a bullet for their convictions. Like I said, perspective.

So we may be relatively comfortable in America, but why are atheists looked down upon? The Financial Times suggests that it's because Christians are ignorant or judgmental, but considering how atheists portray themselves, it's difficult to think of them as a victimized minority. The famous biologist and author Richard Dawkins called religious belief "... one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate." About.com's "Best Atheist Book of the Year" in 2010, as chosen by readers, was innocently titled The Christian Delusion.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/4102/persecuted-atheists-in-america-need-a-new-perspective

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Reply "Persecuted" Atheists in America Need a New Perspective (Original post)
rug Feb 2012 OP
unblock Feb 2012 #1
dmallind Feb 2012 #6
mike_c Feb 2012 #2
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #3
chemp Feb 2012 #4
movonne Feb 2012 #5
dmallind Feb 2012 #7
dmallind Feb 2012 #10
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #15
dmallind Feb 2012 #41
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #48
ChairmanAgnostic Feb 2012 #11
Angry Dragon Feb 2012 #12
mr blur Feb 2012 #16
rexcat Feb 2012 #22
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #85
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #87
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #88
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #91
rexcat Feb 2012 #90
immoderate Feb 2012 #8
ChairmanAgnostic Feb 2012 #9
LeftishBrit Feb 2012 #13
Jim__ Feb 2012 #17
skepticscott Feb 2012 #20
Jim__ Feb 2012 #25
skepticscott Feb 2012 #26
Jim__ Feb 2012 #27
lazarus Feb 2012 #30
skepticscott Feb 2012 #52
jeff47 Feb 2012 #33
AlbertCat Feb 2012 #95
jeff47 Feb 2012 #97
dmallind Feb 2012 #42
AlbertCat Feb 2012 #94
LeftishBrit Feb 2012 #23
Jim__ Feb 2012 #24
LeftishBrit Feb 2012 #28
AlbertCat Feb 2012 #96
unblock Feb 2012 #14
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #18
rug Feb 2012 #35
2ndAmForComputers Feb 2012 #75
rug Feb 2012 #76
skepticscott Feb 2012 #19
onager Feb 2012 #21
Goblinmonger Feb 2012 #29
rug Feb 2012 #31
Goblinmonger Feb 2012 #32
rug Feb 2012 #34
Goblinmonger Feb 2012 #37
rug Feb 2012 #39
Goblinmonger Feb 2012 #43
rug Feb 2012 #44
Goblinmonger Feb 2012 #45
rug Feb 2012 #46
Goblinmonger Feb 2012 #47
cleanhippie Feb 2012 #79
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #51
Goblinmonger Feb 2012 #53
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #57
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #58
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #63
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #74
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #77
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #81
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #83
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #84
Goblinmonger Feb 2012 #62
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #64
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #73
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #78
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #80
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #82
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #86
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #89
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #92
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #93
cleanhippie Feb 2012 #98
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cleanhippie Feb 2012 #100
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #101
cleanhippie Feb 2012 #102
RegieRocker Feb 2012 #103
cleanhippie Feb 2012 #104
darkstar3 Feb 2012 #105
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2012 #38
rug Feb 2012 #40
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RegieRocker Feb 2012 #49
Goblinmonger Feb 2012 #54
ZombieHorde Feb 2012 #55
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ChadwickHenryWard Feb 2012 #50
Brettongarcia Feb 2012 #60
rug Feb 2012 #61
Brettongarcia Feb 2012 #66
rug Feb 2012 #69
Brettongarcia Feb 2012 #70
Humanist_Activist Feb 2012 #71
Brettongarcia Feb 2012 #72

Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:22 PM

1. they, why should atheists worry when a president says they should be stripped of citizenship.

atheists have such a martyr complex!

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Response to unblock (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:33 PM

6. And of course blacks and women have valid complaints about lack of representation

with 8.2% and 17.4% respectively of Congress. Whereas we nonbelievers, about the same ratio of the population as blacks, luxuriate in our massive bloc of 0.19% representation. Quit whining - next we'll be saying that 7 states bar us from holding public office altogether!

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:27 PM

2. I really don't care what the religiously insane think about atheists...

...until we reach the point of self-defense.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:27 PM

3. Well if they didn't open their mouths no one would know they were an aetheist.

 

Many believers of a higher power do not go to church. They don't go around shooting their mouths off at others either stating that they need to believe. As far as I am concerned it's their mouths that get them in trouble. Their slandering of religious believers. They get what they deserve. The same type of behavior that gets religious radicals in trouble. To me they are the same coin. Heads for religion and tales for atheism.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:29 PM

4. So we should remain in the closet?

Don't let anyone know you are different and they will assume you are like them.
Don't speak up in school.
Don't speak up when your money is being funded or religious purposes.
Don't speak up. period.

Gabba Gabba, we accept you. One of us.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:33 PM

5. WTF.....

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:36 PM

7. Damn uppity atheists belong in the back of the bus, eh? Thanks for proving the article false.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:49 PM

10. Well if feminists didn't open their mouths

Many men do not espouse male chauvinism publicly. They don't go around shooting their mouths off at women either stating that they need to behave like men. As far as I am concerned it's their mouths that get them in trouble. Their slandering of men. They get what they deserve. The same type of behavior that gets sexists in trouble . To me they are the same coin. Heads for sexists and tales for feminists.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 06:35 PM

15. A chauvinist does not want women to behave like men ever.

 

They have their place. And yes it is the chauvinist mouth that gets them in trouble. i.e. sexual harassment.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:45 AM

41. Of course they do!

See it all the time.

Women should expect answers not sympathy when they ask questions. like men
Women should be less emotional, like men
Women should not talk about their feelings much, like men.

You honestly are trying to pretend you've never witnessed such sentiments and many more like them?

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Response to dmallind (Reply #41)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 02:05 PM

48. Nah a chauvinist would likely tell a woman to shut up

 

but never to be less emotional like a man. Many get off on the power trip of making a woman cry. Nor would they ever marry a woman that was like a man. That would take away their control.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:52 PM

11. just because the faithful are delusional, a lack of faith must also be delusional?

that sounds ridiculous, frankly. Heads I win, tails, you lose much?

I often state that the strongly religious are delusional, because the facts prove that is, indeed the case:

Faith healing of juvie Diabetes, resulting in coma and/or death? I never heard of an atheist praying to cure a disease process.

Looking to the bible to learn about the origin of our species? Fuck that.

One more word, which says it all: Crusades.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 05:14 PM

12. OMG

and what the hell is an aetheist??

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 07:08 PM

16. Spoken like a True Christian

You know that if I' d written your post substituting "Christian" for "Atheist" an alert would have brought along a nice reassuring jury to confirm your thought that, yes, atheists get what they deserve.

You left out the familiar christian whine: "Why don't you respect my beliefs?!"

Grammatical note: "Tales" belong with the religious, not atheists.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 10:50 PM

22. Such intolerance and...

an inability to spell correctly! I would suppose the two go hand in hand. Just like the "Moran" picture used by DUers on occasion.

I don't think that atheists who speak their mind on religion should really be considered radicals. For the most part, atheists don't usually start the religion conversation.

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Response to rexcat (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 01:44 AM

85. Yep the biggest morans don't know what a typo is.

 

Mostly atheists start the conversation and DU is proof of that.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #85)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 02:03 AM

87. If you think DU is proof of anything in real life,

that might be a sign that you should get out more.

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #87)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 09:46 AM

88. LOL you're saying it's all fiction! Maybe you're not real either.

 

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #88)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 04:11 PM

91. No, but thanks for playing.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #85)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 03:32 PM

90. I would say that atheists don't always start...

the religious conversation in DU but everyone is entitled to their fantasies.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:39 PM

8. Atheists should ignore discrimination by Christians because Christians are murdered somewhere else?

Not by atheists.

So atheists write books about Christian delusions. They can write books back. Fuck 'em. It's not a license to be a dick.

People who leave religion often do it because religious ideas of morality are deficient. And the metaphysics don't make sense.

But people lose jobs and other advantages if they reveal they are free thinkers.

--imm

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 04:48 PM

9. that last paragraph is nonsensical.

We are a victimized minority, in part, because we think that religious brainwashing is one of the world's great evils. The majority does not take kindly to that, especially when we start reciting facts.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 06:20 PM

13. This article is very confused on some crucial issues

Last edited Tue Feb 14, 2012, 07:10 AM - Edit history (1)

'So we may be relatively comfortable in America, but why are atheists looked down upon? The Financial Times suggests that it's because Christians are ignorant or judgmental, but considering how atheists portray themselves, it's difficult to think of them as a victimized minority. The famous biologist and author Richard Dawkins called religious belief "... one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate." ...Similarly, bestselling author Christopher Hitchens often compared belief in God to blind faith in a totalitarian political leader and called religion "... violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry ..." In light of those comments, it shouldn't surprise atheists that the religious majority remains skeptical of them.'

Apart from anything else: Dawkins and Hitchens are/ were not American, but British (though Hitchens did live in America for a significant period of time). So their outspoken statements have no relevance to the position of atheists in America The British are far more tolerant of atheism. Most Brits are not particularly interested in religious debates on either side - but most don't hate atheists.

The political situation for atheists is very different in Britain than in America. Although we don't have official church-state separation, we are far more secularist. Many British politicians are/have simply been relatively indifferent to religion, to the point that it's sometimes quite hard to tell whether a nominally Anglican politician is a believer or an atheist (there are still debates about whether Churchill was a believer, for example.) Two of our three current party leaders are openly atheist. We have had openly atheist MPs since at least the 1880s; whereas America had its first openly atheist Congressman in 2007! Of course, even the British can have ugly intrusions from the Christian (and sometimes Muslim) Right - and there is unfortunately increasing collaboration between British and American Christian-Righties; e.g. our Cabinet Minister Iain Duncan-Smith once co-authored an article about 'compassionate conservativism' with RICK SANTORUM; I am not kidding you.

So what Dawkins has or hasn't said is not really that relevant to America.


'The same is true of winning elections, too. People who openly bash voters generally don't make much headway in politics.'


On the whole not - though some politicians seem to make a career of denouncing modern society in 'broken Britain', etc. But being an atheist doesn't mean you automatically go around bashing voters who aren't. Ed Miliband doesn't go around saying that all Christians are bad or stupid! Dawkins and Hitchens were not seeking election. Similarly, Christian politicians do not automatically go around bashing non-Christians; in the UK it's rather uncommon. Barack Obama does not bash non-Christians; Rick Santorum, and even the comparatively moderate Bush 1 did, however.


'Such PR is a means to earn votes, but I don't think it's available to people who base their views on the idea that they're smarter than everyone else.'

Atheists are no more likely to 'base their views on the idea that they're smarter than everyone else' than anybody else. Most atheists just don't believe in God; it's not a proof of cleverness. Politicians generally do have a degree of arrogance, or they wouldn't be politicians. Some hide it better than others - it doesn't have much to do with religion.

'Furthermore, it's not wrong to consider a candidate's religious views when voting.'

If, and only if, their religious views are actually impacting their policies. And even then, the same religion may have different effects. Some strongly Christian politicians have translated their faith into pacifism and social justice (e.g. Martin Luther King or Desmond Tutu); some have translated it into harshness and a desire to risk the rights of other people. It would be quite wrong, indeed a form of bigotry, to reject Santorum just because he's a Catholic! The problem with Santorum is not his religion as such, but his desire to impose a theocracy onto other people, including homophobia, restriction of reproductive rights, and at the same time savagely right-wing economic views. Similarly, some atheists will translate their lack of belief into a general social tolerance; others may substitute a different intolerant ideology (from Randianism to Stalinism) for a belief in a God; and the majority will be decent or nasty people without much relevance to their nonbeliefs.'

'Beliefs about God lay the groundwork for people's views on a whole host social and political issues, and I doubt many atheists would disagree with me on that point.'

Not necessarily. They CAN lay such groundwork - but often they don't. Some admitted atheists (e.g. Norman Tebbit or Simon Heffer) have precisely the same social and political views as a Christian right-winger, and may explicitly say that they don't believe in God but support Christian traditions because they can be used in the cause of social - and often economic - conservativism. Some Catholic politicians are pro-choice liberals - e.g. the late Ted Kennedy; some are right-wing theocrats like Rick Santorum. One should look at people's policies when voting, not their beliefs as such.

I agree that atheists are not on the whole PERSECUTED in America. Persecution implies actual or threatened violence. But discrimination can occur well short of true persecution.


Edit: correcting a mistake - Hitchens did become an American citizen. This still does not justify punishing American atheists politically for Hitchens' rudeness.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 07:12 PM

17. Hitchens became a US citizen after 9/11.

His book, God is not Great, was written and published after that. Dawkins book, The God Delusion, was popular in the US and trumpeted by a part of the atheist community. People have a right to speak in any tone they wish. But, if they are ostracized and ridiculed in response to the abusive talk they give out, they really shouldn't whine and pout about it.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 09:07 PM

20. Here's a news flash for you

Atheists have been ostracized and a lot worse than ridiculed for many, many centuries. It didn't just begin when we stopped keeping our mouths shut for fear of offending the religionists. And it wouldn't stop if we all played nice and went back to being obsequiously deferent to believers.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 05:51 AM

25. Here's a flash for you

I've been an atheist all my adult life and I've never been ostracized. And, yes, the people around me have known I'm an atheist. If you're being ostracized, the reason may not be your atheism.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 06:19 AM

26. Where did I say I was "ostracized"?

Nowhere. You're using the same BS tactic that the author in the OP did. And your own personal experience is meaningless. The attitudes towards atheists in general are what they are, regardless of whether every single living atheist has experienced them. Atheists didn't make them up, and it wasn't an atheist bringing them up or making a whiny, victimization rant about them in this article.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 06:39 AM

27. Where did I say you said you were being ostracized?

No where. I said if you're being ostracized. I said that with reference to your claim that atheists are being ostracized. But, it seems like, not so much - which is part of what the article was claiming.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:58 AM

30. I lost a job due to my atheism

also was unable to get custody of my daughter, according to every lawyer I spoke to. The judge had a copy of the Ten Commandments on his courtroom wall, and my ex had already said she'd bring up my atheism if I tried.

It depends on where you live, I guess. In some areas of the country, you simply don't mention that you're an atheist if you want to keep your job.

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Response to lazarus (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 02:38 PM

52. But you were being

an obnoxious, proselytizing jerk, right? Telling people their religion was stupid, right? Because no one would fire someone just for being an atheist and admitting it, would they?? Noooooo..of course not... Reliable people here have stated that such a thing has never happened to THEM, so it can't be very likely, now can it?

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:17 AM

33. Congratulations on living in a relatively secular part of the country.

When I lived in the south, I would be asked "What church do you go to?". My answer of "I don't, I'm an atheist" caused a lot of problems. You'll note just how horrifically confrontational my response was. Clearly, I brought abuse upon myself with such an aggressive stance.

My personal solution to this problem is I moved and won't live in the south ever again. No one in CA or NY has ever asked what church I go to. But I do think all atheists should be required to live in the "deeply religious" parts of the country for a few years, especially if they're going to claim there is no discrimination against atheists.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 11:08 PM

95. won't live in the south ever again.

That's a shame, because there are pockets that are not so bad. I've lived in NC a long long time and never been asked what church I go to.

And of course, declaring your atheism in rural PA or AZ or ND is NOOOOOOO problamo, right?

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #95)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

97. I'm in what one would consider rural NY

I'm waaay upstate. This county is extremely "red". But nobody gives a damn where I spend my Sundays. So yes, there is much less of a problem outside the south.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:47 AM

42. Tell Fred Whitehead how to do it.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 11:00 PM

94. I've been an atheist all my adult life and I've never been ostracized.

As an atheist, and I assume a person of reason and logic, you should be aware that your personal experience means nothing. Anecdotal evidence, y'know.


Besides, I don't believe you. Maybe you were too smug to notice it.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 03:52 AM

23. Who is 'They'?

Last edited Tue Feb 14, 2012, 07:09 AM - Edit history (2)

Hitchens did not 'whine or pout' about the hostility that he attracted from some quarters; he gave it back with interest, and rather relished a good fight.

But atheists in general are not Hitchens (whom I respected for his courage in the face of illness, but disliked for his views on Iraq). Why should atheists be ostracized because SOME atheists are aggressive polemicists? You would, I hope, oppose ostracizing all Protestants because of Palin, or all Catholics because of Santorum, or all Muslims because of Al Quaeda, or all Jews because of the Kahanists? And Dawkins and Hitchens don't even equate with these examples: they might be rude to their opponents, but they aren't seeking to kill them, or even to make laws against people praying and going to church the way Santorum does against reproductive rights.

And there have been anti-atheist political and social vendettas in America (and to a much lesser extent Britain) since long before the writings of Hitchens and Dawkins. It was one of the features of McCarthyism and led to the 'under God' phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance. Pat Robertson has been active at least since the 1970s, and was a candidate in the Republican primaries of 1988. Bush, the more moderate individual who defeated him, said in the early 90s that atheists are not full citizens of America. No openly atheist candidates were elected to Congress in the entire 20th century (one later admitted atheism in 2007). In the UK, blasphemy laws were not abolished till, wait for it, 2008!

Dawkins, though he'd been writing about evolution for a long time, did not publish 'The God Delusion' and other atheist material till the 2000s; Hitchens wrote against Mother Teresa in 1995, but most of his atheist writings were in the 2000s.

It is simply not possible to blame the longstanding social and political ostracism of atheists in at least some parts of America on some rude remarks by a few atheist writers in the last 10 years!


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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 05:48 AM

24. The antecedent of "they" is "people."

People have a right to speak in any tone they wish. But, if they are ostracized and ridiculed in response to the abusive talk they give out, they really shouldn't whine and pout about it.


People who are abusive and ridicule others, should not whine and pout if they are ostracized and ridiculed in response.

As to atheists in general being ostracized, I've been an atheist all my adult life. The people I've lived with and worked with have always known that I'm an atheist. I've never been ostracized. Have some religious people avoided me because I'm an atheist? I actually don't know. I also don't care.

The parts of my post dealing with Hitchens and Dawkins are in response to your post, specifically:

Apart from anything else: Dawkins and Hitchens are/ were not American, but British (though Hitchens did live in America for a significant period of time).


Hitchens was an American citizen, so, it's not really the article that's very confused.

and:

So what Dawkins has or hasn't said is not really that relevant to America.


Dawkins book was a big seller in America and his ideas have been loudly trumpeted, so, yes, what he has said is relevant to America.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 06:59 AM

28. OK; sorry about the Hitchens mistake, but he is British by origin...

and incidentally his brother is a Christian-Right ranting journalist on the Daily Mail.

Dawkins is certainly British. I don't mean that their opinions are totally irrelevant to America; that was clumsily expressed. What I meant was that judging all atheists by the comments of a few polemical ones, or saying 'I won't vote for an atheist because Dawkins was rude about Christianity' or even saying 'It's understandable if Americans won't vote for an atheist, because Dawkins was rude abou Christianity' would be wrong and unjust even if Dawkins was from the same country; it is even worse if he isn't.

To give a few parallels, some people say that it's OK to be nasty to Muslim immigrants, because 'Muslim countries are intolerant of non-Muslims, so why shouldn't we be intolerant of Muslims?' Some people say it's OK to be nasty to Diaspora Jews because 'The Israeli settlers mistreat the Palestinians, so Jews bring it on themselves!' I think it would be broadly accepted by liberal people that such attitudes are, respectively, Islamophobic and antisemitic. Yet some people seem to think that it's OK to be prejudiced against all atheists because a few atheist writers have been a bit rude about Christians. It is not.

Personally, I have never come in for serious direct prejudice because I'm an atheist - but I am in a country where this is less common. Nevertheless, religious right-wingers, and especially the political 'pro-life' movement, do have some ugly influence even where I live.


'People who are abusive and ridicule others, should not whine and pout if they are ostracized and ridiculed in response.'

But people who are ostracized and ridiculed - or worse, treated as politically dangerous - when they have NOT been abusive, have every right to complain! And it's no excuse if someone else of the same religious faith/ lack of faith has been rude.


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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 11:14 PM

96. they might be rude to their opponents,

By which you mean they don't patronize but inform them when they are flat out wrong.


Not giving religion the "pass" it has gotten for centuries, even when it's fucking absurd, is considered rude, is it? It's way past time to stop smiling and nodding at religious crap.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 06:25 PM

14. many believers feel offended or threatened at the mere notion that god might not exist

they fail to recognize that "i believe god doesn't exist" is EXACTLY as offensive and threatening to a believer as "i believe god exists" is to an atheist. actually, the atheist has even more grounds to feel threatened simply because of the minority & stigma status.

the arrogance of some (not all) believers is astounding. they can inject belief into football or the grammys, but have a fit if atheists put up a billboard. and they act like they're being persecuted because it's not enough for them to put a cresh on their home lawns or their church property, they have to put one on public property as well, and who are those non-believers to stop them from exercising their freedom to shove it down others' throats?


oh, and "it's difficult to think of them as a victimized minority "? THIS IS THE WAY VICTIMIZED MINORITIES RESPOND!! were a few women a tad obnoxious when they were trying to get the vote? were all blacks saints in the sixties? guess what, if you victimize a minority, they don't all turn to sheep. some speak out, and the majority often finds that uncomfortable. experience has shown that this is typical behavior for a victimized minority, and indeed a certain level of obnoxiousness is needed in order to be heard at all.






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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 08:10 PM

18. So how would this go over, I wonder?

Liberal Christians need to "get over themselves" and stop whining about how the Christian faith is portrayed in the media as reactionary, regressive, and hateful.

American Muslims need to "get over themselves" and stop whining that they're being labelled as possible terrorists due to racial and religious profiling.

American Jews need to "get over themselves" and stop complaining every time someone says something about Israel, since they don't live there.


Like a lead fuckin' balloon, that's how they'd go over.

Why is it that you and certain others are so desperate to tell atheists that they need to stop speaking, stop writing, stop posting in religious forums, and in general just stop being visible in any form to the believers in this country? If Christians in this country have any right whatsoever to voice concerns and grievances, then atheists have that right too.

I'm human. I'm American. I have the same rights as you. If you don't like it, then you have the right not to listen to me, or not to read what I write. You don't have the right to my silence. You don't have the right to require that I change my message and make it more palatable to you. And while you may have the right to tell me to "get over" myself, I also have the right to tell you where you can shove that message, and to tell you that it is born of an abject lack of empathy.

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:23 AM

35. Who is desperate?

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Response to rug (Reply #35)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 08:54 PM

75. He said who. You have adequate command of the English language.

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #75)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 09:02 PM

76. I do. Enough to eschew proxies.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 09:01 PM

19. What a bunch of horseshit

The authors uses the fact that religious believers regard atheists poorly in an effort to paint atheists as whiny victims who complain about being persecuted. NOWHERE does he cited a single atheist who uses the term "persecuted" or "victimized" to refer to themselves or any other non-believer, but he tries very hard to make it seem as if they do, especially when he tells atheists to "get over yourselves". What exactly do we need to "get over"? If anyone needs to "get over" anything, it's people like the author, who need to cope with the fact that atheists ain't gonna keep quiet ever again. Playing the victim is exactly the opposite of what we have in mind, so he'd better get used to it.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 09:24 PM

21. Yep. The weekly "get over yourselves, atheists" rant...

Yawn.

Memo To Atheist-Bashing Asshats:

Get some new material, already. This dead horse has been flayed to the bones. And harping on Richard Dawkins is so 2006.

Yes, we understand - Dawkins is an uppity atheist who sold a lot of books, and it drives you crazy. But that's no excuse for repeating this unoriginal bilge ad nauseum.

For some slightly more modern anti-atheist rants, try stealing from Faitheists/Accomodationists like Chris Mooney. You'll have to bring your own fainting couch and smelling salts.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 09:08 AM

29. I'm sure you and others will apply this same standard to Christians on DU

When they complain about the vicious attacks from atheists here on DU, I await your response to be "get over it, there are Christians being killed in other countries."

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:58 AM

31. Are you saying atheists are persecuted or are not persecuted?

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Response to rug (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:06 AM

32. Not my point.

Are you going to apply the same standard to Christians on DU that you seem to want to apply to atheists. Will you tell them to "get a life" because things are worse elsewhere? That question has no bearing on my thoughts on the issue. It is to determine your level of consistency.

But my response to your questions is "Did Dawkins ever say atheists are persecuted?" Because that claim is a straw man.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:20 AM

34. Actually, your response to my question is not a response at all.

But, to answer your question, consistency is a virtue. The only reason I don't go on about Christian whining is that there's already many eager enough to do it for me.

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Response to rug (Reply #34)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:35 AM

37. It is a response.

I don't think I ever said atheists were "persecuted" in the US. I don't think Dawkins or any other high-visibility atheist has either. I think the writer of the article in the OP is creating strawmen.

Oh, so you're consistent but only say things about one side. Gotcha ya.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:43 AM

39. So then you do not think atheists are persecuted in the U.S.

Gotcha.

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Response to rug (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:55 AM

43. Never said I did or didn't think it.

We first need to define what persecute means. If it is the killings that the writer in the OP is talking about, then, no, I know of no atheists killed in the US for being atheist. I don't think covers all possible meanings of persecute.

Define the word for me and I'll either tweak the definition or give you an answer.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #43)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:57 AM

44. per新e搾ute

tr.v. per新e搾ut搪d, per新e搾ut搏ng, per新e搾utes
1. To oppress or harass with ill-treatment, especially because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs.
2. To annoy persistently; bother.

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Response to rug (Reply #44)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 12:06 PM

45. Then, yes, there are atheists that are persecuted in the US.

upthread (or down--can't remember the "geography") someone mentioned losing the job and child due to their atheism. Seems like that fits your definition.

I don't think you OP essayist would agree with that definition, though.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #45)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 01:30 PM

46. Like anything else, there are degrees.

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Response to rug (Reply #46)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 01:37 PM

47. Yes there are

And I would posit that the persecution of atheists in the US is far worse than the persecution of Christians.

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Response to rug (Reply #46)

Sat Feb 18, 2012, 12:51 PM

79. And right on cue, here come the rationalizations...

I'll give you the point for being consistent.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #45)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 02:21 PM

51. Type here in DU does not make it fact. I have never been asked my religious or lack of

 

persuasion at any job. If they did I would say " I am a Satanist " with a menacing look. It's none if their business. That is why keeping your trap shut is a good thing about religion or lack thereof.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #51)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 02:44 PM

53. Where I teach, I don't think I could be out.

The Christian teachers are out. And I don't teach in the bible belt. I can name 10 parents off the top of my head that would start the witch hunt if they knew I was an atheist.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #53)

Thu Feb 16, 2012, 09:53 PM

57. Unbelievable seriously. There are more believers of a higher power that

 

do not go to church and basically do nothing. Other than believe in a higher power. They don't preach to others or try and convince them that they too should believe in a higher power. They never mention it at all. To be clear, you wouldn't know they believe in a higher power and might say if asked whether they do "I'm not sure". Why do you feel you must tell others you're an atheist? Isn't that the same thing as someone who believes in a higher power having to tell others he does? Or preaching to them they should?

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #57)

Thu Feb 16, 2012, 10:24 PM

58. You just described a closet Christian teacher.

The key, you'll find, is that the hypothetical teacher you describe refuses to self-identify even when directly asked. You may notice that Goblinmonger stated that the Christian teachers in his school are not closeted.

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #58)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 12:05 PM

63. That is my point. They should not be expressing their views or opinions

 

to students whether there is a god or not. What their beliefs are etc. Theirs is a position of power and knowledge and should not be used in this area.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #63)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 08:01 PM

74. If you append "in the classroom" to your statement, then I'd agree with you.

I suspect GM would as well. However, this isn't just about "in the classroom". Personal life comes into it as well. I've seen teacher contracts marked for non-renewal because the principal or the school board found out that the teacher...

Went to a stip club.
Worked as a stripper for two years long before starting her teaching career.
Drank beer in the presence of a student. That student just happened to be the child of a family friend.
And much more.

When it comes to teachers, personal lives are under incredible scrutiny, especially in rural America. And none of the things I mentioned above are nearly as taboo as being the ultimate kind of infidel: not one who perhaps sees God a little differently yet still believes in him, but one who doesn't believe in God at all.

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #74)

Sat Feb 18, 2012, 11:32 AM

77. My eighth grade teacher was an ex stripper.

 

My math teacher was gay. I could go on. They never were fired and it was a very rural town. County seat and in the farm belt. They didn't flaunt it nor show that they were. They were non descript in their actions and dress as were other teachers that might have been religious or other things. As I stated their is anger even between religious factions. I append nothing. It is your life, live it as you want, it's no one else's business as long as it doesn't harm others and doesn't influence them to your life choices.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #77)

Sat Feb 18, 2012, 03:45 PM

81. Oh, well, since everything was hunky-dory in your town it must be true everywhere.



Tighten that blindfold all you want, but it won't make your point any more valid. The idea that everyone should just "go along to get along" and then everything will be fine is naive bullshit. For further reading that you might find helpful on the subject, I suggest the popular children's book "A Wrinkle in Time."

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #81)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 01:40 AM

83. Have you read chicken little?

 

The opposite is true. Just because it's bad in one town doesn't mean it's bad in all towns. Hopefully much to your dismay there will remain a code of ethics that one must adhere to in a place of employment. You can whine and cry all you want but it is the way it is.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #83)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 01:42 AM

84. What you absolutely refuse to see is that this is about far more than the workplace.

This is about inappropriate retaliation in the workplace for things that happen far outside of said workplace. Be smug about it all you want, but get it right first.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #57)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 09:24 AM

62. I'm not saying I should be able to stand

in front of the class and say, unasked, that I am an atheist. Though I don't know why I shouldn't be able to if I so chose. I am talking about in general. I am facebook friends with a good deal of my colleagues. They have Jesus this, God that in their status all the time. If people knew due to my private life that I was an atheist, that would affect my job status.

If you don't think there is horrible backlash when people come out, check out the Cranston prayer banner stuff and see what happened to the young girl that dared to speak up for her 1st Amendment rights.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #62)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 12:17 PM

64. I am an agnostic and i never run into a problem

 

letting anyone know if asked. Some I choose to give an answer to and some I reply back " why is i t you need to know ". As for the young girl I understand, but as I pointed out she could have been a Muslim or Jew and still had the same feedback. There are many religious factions of the same faith attacking each other. It boils down to " you believe in what I believe or you are going to hell, you are Satan, you are an idiot, you are dellusional etc.". I hear this crap from atheists and religious people. To me, some on both sides of the fence are the problem. Believers and non believers.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #64)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 07:55 PM

73. So you're saying that agnosticism is a middle ground between theism and atheism?

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #73)

Sat Feb 18, 2012, 11:40 AM

78. Lol. No what I am saying it is an advantageous viewpoint to observe

 

the character flaws of theism and atheism. It is a more open minded approach and truthful way to the question " why are we here and how did all become into existence ". Middle ground is your definition. I simply look at it as not knowing.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #78)

Sat Feb 18, 2012, 03:41 PM

80. But knowledge is a different question than belief. No matter how superior you feel in your position,

it doesn't separate you at all from the theism/atheism divide. Gnosticism is about knowledge, but nobody asked you whether you know anything about any gods. The theism/atheism divide is about belief.

If you don't currently believe in any gods, then you're an atheist. It's as simple as that. Smugness is uncalled for when you're actually one of the people you're deriding as flawed.

And if you're going to tell me that belief and knowledge are the same thing, then I'm afraid I can't help you see the untenable nature of your position until you get educated.

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #80)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 01:33 AM

82. That is hogwash and it is you who needs to get educated on the subject

 

What a crock

Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claimsespecially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claimsis unknown or unknowable. Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the difference between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief. In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas a theist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively. In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify the belief that deities either do or do not exist.

You need serious help and I really don't think education will help you.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #82)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 01:57 AM

86. I don't see how anything you wrote here contradicts me.

You admit that agnosticism is a position regarding knowledge, and you even admit that there is a difference between knowledge and belief. Then you give an entirely shit definition of atheism.

It is laughable to say that atheism is a disbelief. There have been literally thousands of gods over time. I don't know all of their names, and therefore cannot possibly have an active disbelief in all of them. Yet I still don't believe in any of them. What am I? In your world, where atheism is an active disbelief, I cannot be an atheist. In fact, if your definition were actually true, no one could be an atheist.

Right now, I have no gods.
Right now, I am an atheist.

Those two sentences are semantically identical.

It may surprise you to learn this, but I'm an agnostic and an atheist. And from your diatribe above it sounds to me like you are too. As you said, you "neither believe nor disbelieve". Welcome to the club...now stop trying to piss on the rest of us.

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #86)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 09:55 AM

89. Of course not how could you with tunnel vision and

 

you were given the definition and still don't understand? What is so hard to comprehend in this part "an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities"? Your statement "If you don't currently believe in any gods, then you're an atheist" is total and utter hogwash. You are not an Agnostic you are an Atheist. I gave you the definition and that still didn't help you become educated on the meaning of an Agnostic.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #89)

Sun Feb 19, 2012, 04:14 PM

92. Denial can be an ugly thing.

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #92)

Mon Feb 20, 2012, 09:56 PM

93. I did not say you were ugly!

 

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #93)

Tue Feb 21, 2012, 11:05 AM

98. A personal attack, no matter how clever or thinly veiled, means you cannot support your argument

with anything resembling coherence or intelligence any longer. As a result, your point has failed and your argument is lost.


Watching your posts move from strong assertion, to semantic goal-post moving, to denial, and finally to personal attack, is outlined exactly in most Psychology textbooks.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #98)

Tue Feb 21, 2012, 01:01 PM

99. You need help seriously.

 

You wrote " naive bullshit. For further reading that you might find helpful on the subject, I suggest the popular children's book "A Wrinkle in Time." and you have the gall to talk about personal attacks. You're a piece of work alright and you have the deniability meter pegged. You fail at everything in this post by avoiding the truth. Your sidestepping and more personal attacks are nothing more than a futile attempt to convince yourself avoiding the truth is ok. You even go so far as to completely disregard the definition of an Agnostic so as to not risk a collapse of your illusion from reality. I shall not waste my time on any more childish banter from you on this post.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #99)

Tue Feb 21, 2012, 04:02 PM

100. Oh lookie, ANOTHER personal attack.

In your entusiasm to go on the offensive, you failed to even notice that I am not the one you have been having this duscussion with. That means you probably never even bothered to read what your opponent was even trying to say. You are so focused in being seen as "right", that you can see nothing else.


You stay classy now.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #100)

Tue Feb 21, 2012, 10:16 PM

101. Why is it that the most vehement haters can never tell their detractors apart?

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Response to darkstar3 (Reply #101)

Tue Feb 21, 2012, 10:23 PM

102. Probably because they are blinded by their rage and desire to be "right" all the time.

This one seems no different.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #102)

Wed Feb 22, 2012, 10:41 AM

103. Not at all. You are all the same (atheists)

 

and promote your ant religious religion with hatred and slander. Calling people who believe in a god dellusional etc. A post from one atheist on the subject of religion is a post representing all atheists. That is the way you view religious believers. It still comes down to " why must you preach and find it necessary to convert god believers into non believers. The fact you stepped into our conversation and supported the other makes you part owner in that post. I have run into many atheists and find them antagonistic and full of vile for god believers. I do not however find that from god believers toward atheists. Quite the opposite really. They show compassion and pray for your soul. That is a stark difference. From an agnostic point of view they are far better people as a whole.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #103)

Wed Feb 22, 2012, 10:45 AM

104. Reality disagrees with you, but good for you.

I wish you all the luck in the world with that.

Have a nice day.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #104)

Wed Feb 22, 2012, 06:27 PM

105. Didn't take long for Mr. Hyde to show up there, did it?

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Response to rug (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:40 AM

38. I don't think the FT article said they are 'persecuted'

The 2 pargraphs with mentions of the word in it are:

From the outside, keeping your views to yourself may not seem such a problem. But this is only if you think that its easy to live hiding who you really are from almost everyone around you, even close family. Take Matt Elder, who lives in Festus, Missouri (pop. 11,602). When I met him in a downtown St Louis diner, he came across as a cheerful, friendly guy, not someone living under a kind of persecution. Theyre not going to cut me off or throw me to the wolves, he says of his Christian family and in-laws. But if Elder is typical of the trying-to-keep-their-heads-down atheists scattered around the Bible Belt, then his story shows that none of them has it easy.
...
Data backs up anecdote. A now famous University of Minnesota study concluded that Americans ranked atheists lower than Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in sharing their vision of American society. Nearly 48 per cent said they would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group (many more than the next most unpopular category, Muslims, at 33.5 per cent). No wonder atheist groups talk of modelling their campaigns on the civil rights, gay and womens liberation movements. It is not that they claim their persecution is on the same level but that they suggest the way forward requires a combination of organising and consciousness-raising. We want people to realise that some of their best friends are atheists, some of their doctors, and lawyers and fire chiefs and all the rest of them are atheists, says Dennett.


I think the article was very clear that the discrimination does not reach the levels of people at risk of violence.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #38)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:44 AM

40. No it doesn't. Hence its suggestion for a new perspective.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:30 AM

36. The next time my kids come home crying because others were spewing their Christ-based vile at them,

I'll try to remember to tell them to get the fuck over it, because hey, it's not like they were murdered.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 02:10 PM

49. If the religious kids come home crying because others were spewing their religion

 

hating views at them the parents should tell their kids what? That is the whole point. When either side does it is wrong. Not in your mind though. You think it's perfectly ok to bash those of religious beliefs.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #49)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 02:46 PM

54. I know Zombie can speak for himself, but where do you get that from?

Where did he say his kids were "spewing their religion hating views"? I think your bias might be showing.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #49)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 07:45 PM

55. I teach my kids compassion and reason. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #55)

Thu Feb 16, 2012, 09:45 PM

56. Make sure you teach them freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

 

Both together are seriously lacking from immature self centered individuals.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #56)

Thu Feb 16, 2012, 11:44 PM

59. My wife and I plan on teaching them about many religions.

We will teach them about animism, Hinduism, Satanism, Native American Religions, etc.

We have been working on the ancient-Greek cults.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #59)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 12:20 PM

65. Very clear your motive it is.

 

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #65)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 02:36 PM

67. One of my communication teachers was teaching about projecting motives this week.

The studies were based off married couples and co-workers. They said when we are in conflict with someone, we will very often attribute negative motives to our opponent, and positive motives to ourselves. Often times, the actual issues being argued about are different for each person in the conflict, because each person is focusing on something different, so each person thinks their opponent is evading the actual issue, or not not listening.

When I read Rug's OP, I thought his motive was to belittle the plight of atheists in the US. But if these studies are correct, I am most likely wrong. I made my reply, and most people take offense at my reply will attribute a false motive to me.

Even if you are "certain" of my motives in this thread, think about this "selective attention" the next time you are in a lover's spat. Are you both agreeing on the spat is actually about? Probably not according to these studies.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #67)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 02:43 PM

68. Isn't that the truth.

And, as you point out, it pertains to big discussions about long argued differences and to a simple spat between two people.

Empathy is a hard shoe to wear, but can make a lot of difference once on.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 02:10 PM

50. That is an enormous lapse of logic.

The treatment of Christians in Africa is not germane to the question of whether there is a concerted legal and judicial attack on the practice of a Christian holiday in America. Either there is a "war on Christmas" or there is not. What's happening in Saudi Arabia or South Sudan has nothing to do with it.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 03:04 AM

60. The most famous atheist in America, Madelyn Murray O'Hair, was murdered. Just a few years ago

This speaks for itself.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #60)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 08:36 AM

61. She was. By a member of her organization.

I believe embezzlement was involved.

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Response to rug (Reply #61)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 01:50 PM

66. Not exactly. I was involved in the investigation in Texas

One of her associates, got greedy ... but also religious. Tortured her to find out where the gold was. But in part? Out of a residual sense that she was "just" an atheist and deserved it.

By the way? The FBI etc., were not very interested in looking for her, when she went missing. Because she was just an atheist. It was only after some pressure, that they put enough men on the job to find her tortured body.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #66)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 04:51 PM

69. It's pretty well settled David Roland Waters was an atheist.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #66)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 05:35 PM

70. It took 6 years for an apathetic Austin police dept. to really look for and find her (1995-2001).

Wiki repeats the Austin American Statesman article on this:

"There was some criticism of the Austin Police Department's apparent apathy about the disappearance. Austin reporter Robert Bryce wrote:

'Despite pleas from O'Hair's son, William J. Murray, several briefings from federal agents, and solid leads developed by members of the press, the Austin Police Department (APD) sat on the sidelines of the O'Hair investigation...Meanwhile, investigators from the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Dallas County Sheriff's Office are working together on the case....a federal agent was asked to discuss APD's actions in the O'Hair case. His only response was to roll his eyes in amazement.'" (Wiki, quoting Statesman).

It was only after years of neglect, and then increased pressure from the atheism community, that appropriate law enforcement agencies bothered to put enough manpower into this search, to find her.

It took years, before law enforcement bothered to really look for the most famous atheist in America.

Who to be sure, was called the "most hated person in America" in Life mag., c. 1964.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 05:50 PM

71. Fuck this guy, just because atheists aren't killed on a daily basis doesn't mean we have it easy...

and blaming the victim is really classy there, guy. Jessica Ahlquist is being persecuted at this very moment, by society, there's no other way to describe it. But of course, to this asshole, she brought it on herself, you know, because she stood up for her rights as an American citizen, apparently we aren't allowed to do that. The thing is that religious fundamentalism is on the rise, and atheists aren't the only ones in the crosshairs, and yes I do mean in literally in some cases. Last year a Jewish man was firebombed by a Hasidic teenager for praying in the "wrong" place, over 50% of his body suffered severe burns, and where did this take place? In New York.

We aren't Saudi Arabia or Iran, that much is true, but how many "isolated cases" need to take place before we have a problem, will people like Jessica Alhquist or Aron Rottenberg have to die, en mass, before we acknowledge that religious extremism is on the rise and is becoming a problem?

They aren't becoming more popular, but they are becoming more bold, and less restrained by society's norms and practices. They do not value human rights, human life, or religious freedom of expression. At what point do we acknowledge this problem.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #71)

Fri Feb 17, 2012, 07:18 PM

72. It's a problem. Stay alert. Though? Things are better than ever

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