HUFFINGTON POST – Why Are the Openly Secular Openly Disdained?

Selected Article Excerpt:

Which moral position is worse, cheating on one’s spouse or rejecting religious dogma? Are you less trustworthy if you use an illegal drug or reject supernatural explanations for life?

These questions were recently put to Americans by the Pew Research Center in a poll asking what traits would make someone less likely to vote for a candidate for president of the United States.

The trait people identified as the least desirable in a president: “Atheist.” 53 percent of Americans said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who is an atheist. It beat out pot-smoker and adulterer. People found atheism a bigger barrier to high office than someone who is gay or lesbian, or even someone who lacked any political experience.

Wow. The Christian Right complains there is a war on them, but here’s proof that it’s just the opposite. A politician’s strong religious beliefs do not harm his or her chances for public office. But Americans willingly share their bias against non-believers with pollsters, as if it is self-evident atheists are not to be trusted.

Meanwhile, the media goes along.

For instance, Denver radio host Dan Caplis recently tossed this out when discussing Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments: “All racists are, at the end of the day, atheists.” What? On what basis is he making this claim? And where was the corresponding outcry by the press for such a baseless and callous assertion?

Then there’s Fox News‘s Megyn Kelly, who recently threw around the term “atheist” as a way to discredit an organization that fights for church-state separation in the military. Kelly labeled Mikey Weinstein, the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an atheist — though he’s not — as a pejorative, signaling to viewers that this man should not be trusted because his complaints come with an anti-God agenda.

Okay, that’s Fox News, but even the New York Times is guilty of knee-jerk bias. Columnist Nicholas Kristof, in a recent column on Americans’ shocking lack of basic knowledge on religion, singled out non-believers as particularly clueless, saying, “secular Americans are largely ignorant about religion.”

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  1. James Slark

    here’s something this atheist knows about religions like Christianity and Islam: they mandate adherents convert others. Didn’t know that, huh, christianists? The outcomes of this demand are obvious; lying, hatred, wars and killing. How does one know that? simply consult history. One who has strong beliefs, especially in non-existent supernatural beings is not easily dislodged from those beliefs, which of course immediately pits two of the world’s largest belief systems at each other’s throats. Christianists are exporting their hatred to places like Uganda, where one can spend their lives in prison for merely failing to turn in gay friends to the authorities. That is pure hatred, meant to ensure christianist dominance purely for acquisition of power. Even as muslims and Christians slaughter each other in other parts of Africa. So believe that I don’t know about and understand religions, I think I know much more than most of those who have been indoctrinated, because I can think outside the very narrow mind sets of the religious and their propagandisers. By the way, ever notice typing Christian will self capitalize, while typing islam won’t? Why is that?

  2. White Crow

    One of the requirements of any religious community is that you participate in the rituals, ceremonies or vows. This is the way that you consummate your alliance to the group. Without that display, you are considered a traitor and therefore not only a target to be brought into alignment but to be eliminated so as not to dilute the power of the union. This is pure primitive tribalism at its worst/best. The most dangerous are those groups with leaders who lust for power. They may build a shield using those willing to fight for them but their real danger is getting others to be willing to die for them.
    So, the openly secular are a threat because they don’t play along and they might use logic and reason to influence others away from such perverse schemes.

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