Fortigurn wrote:Chris wrote:Back to the topic: atheists are one of the least accepted groups in the US, as a 2006 University of Minnesota study, published in Vol. 71 of American Sociological Review, found. To the question "This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society", the result was:
What do you expect given they're a minority group, the most public members of which carry out repeated personal attacks on religious people, denigrate religion, and claim they want to sweep religion off the face of the earth? Do you really expect religious people to read that and say 'Wow, that really agrees with my vision of American society'?
If atheists are angry at theists, it's because the theists fired the first shots against us. We are just circling the wagons and trying to fight back against the slings and arrows.
The most public members? They run the gamut from Hitchens, who attacked theism head on with great wit and no apologies, to Seth Andrews, who takes a far more congenial and friendly approach.
I'm quite tolerant of religion, but I am intolerant of intolerant religions. I may denigrate some religions (Christian creationists who claim the earth is 6,000 years old and want that taught in science classes, Muslim extremists who fly airplanes into skyscrapers and cut the clitorises off young girls, Mormon offshoots who marry underage children, Scientologists who rip people off to the tune of thousands to clear their minds of "engrams", Branch Davidians and People's Temple type cults who murder their own followers). Such religious systems richly deserve harsh criticism and vehement opposition.
But I have no problems with most religions, which tend to live and let live.
I wouldn't dream of wiping religion off the face of the earth, and have encountered few atheists that want this. This, despite the fact that I believe the world would be a better place without religion, pseudoscience or any other false belief. I'm an ardent supporter of an absolute separation of church and state: I believe in freedom of (and from) religion.
This short snippet speaks volumes about how atheists are accepted. Notice how the atheist is the calm and reasonable one, while the theist is off her rocker: