It is well known that Christians despise Atheists. And because the majority of Americans are Christians, Atheists are said to be the most despised group of people in the country.
Every single study that has ever looked at the issue has revealed massive amounts of bigotry and prejudice against atheists in America. The most recent data shows that atheists are more distrusted and despised than any other minority and that an atheist is the least likely person that Americans would vote for in a presidential election. It’s not just that atheists are hated, though, but also that atheists seem to represent everything about modernity which Americans dislike or fear.
Why is this? This article tries to find the answer:
if you follow atheism in the news, you begin to see a very different story.
You begin to see that atheists are regularly criticized — vilified, even — simply for existing.
Or, to be more accurate, for existing in the open. For declining to hide our atheism. For coming out.
But this “no atheists in the Christmas parade” sentiment was widely expressed. And more to the point: Many people weren’t content to simply say, “I don’t like this.” They were saying that it should not have been allowed. They were saying that atheists, quite literally, should not have been permitted to march.
Just a reminder before we go on: We’re talking about playing “Jingle Bells” in a Christmas parade. You can’t get any less controversial than this. It’s like a freaking Norman Rockwell painting. How much more sweet and agreeable could you be? Okay, yes, they were playing “Jingle Bells” on vuvuzelas. But that doesn’t seem to be the point. The point seems to be that atheists, simply by existing, and being public about our existence, are offensive, mocking, provocative, hateful troublemakers.
So the next time you hear atheists called offensive, mocking, provocative, hateful troublemakers, remember this: We get called that for playing “Jingle Bells” in a marching band. We get called these things simply for being open about who we are.
The article’s conclusion is hard to deny:
In other words: When all atheists do is say, “Atheists exist,” it gets treated as an assault.
It’s hard not to see this as theocracy being threatened.
How else are we supposed to interpret it? When people say that atheists have no right to march in a public parade, and ought to be prevented from doing so? When people are deeply troubled by their curious children asking questions about different religious views, and think these children ought not to be influenced by any view other than Christianity? What is that but attempting to promote your religious views by silencing all the others?
But there’s another, more insidious way that taking offense at atheists’ existence is an attempt to establish theocracy, and to perpetuate the degree of theocracy that we already have.
Very good article. Read the whole thing.