Article) Paul & Zuckerman: Why do Americans still dislike atheists?
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03-05-2011, 08:37 AM
Star Article) Paul & Zuckerman: Why do Americans still dislike atheists?
Paul & Zuckerman: Why do Americans still dislike atheists?
Gregory Paul and Phil Zuckerman, Special to The Washington Post
May 2, 2011

[Image: dyc-atheist3_856428c.jpg]
Rodney Florence holds up a sign as he listens to a speaker during a rally held by the American Atheists Inc. at the Capitol on Saturday, September 8, 2007.

(Full Article @ Statesman.Com)

I think it's the contempt for exercise of free thought. While many Theists believe they're entitled to claim Christianity is the one religion guaranteed freedom by the 1st amendment, they hold no respect for the fact that the 1st insures freedom from religion as well. Simply because Congress can make no law establishing any faith as the one true, in a diverse eclectic melting pot like this free country.

So it's like anything else when it comes to bias and bigotry. It's all generated from the fear of those not like "us". Not like "me", not like what is felt to be acceptable so that the individual levying judgment feels comfortable in the presence of.

Atheists are the antithesis of Theists. Theists bow, supplicate themselves, defend, martyr, murder, sacrifice, real life in the name of hope it's all worth it. Many have absolutely no doubt it is and that something just like them, but divine and higher powered, approves, rewards, grants boons to beggars with clasped hands and scabbed knee's asking special treatment in the midst of what is preordained in the presence of omniscience, and without question loves them best.
When many Theists can't even find peace in faith, because they contend secularism is god's will too!

When I was a kid dragged to church before I was able to put my foot down and stay home without a fight, I remember to this day the pastor at our Evangelical Baptist church stating forthrightly in his sermon against idols and atheism and the Devil, that Jews were going to hell for not accepting Jesus as savior and Catholics were going to Hell for being idol worshipers and as a false church leading god's faithful astray. It helped drive home that message when the pastor threw in Luke 18:16 for emphasis, since Evangelicals believe the reason the Catholic church is false is because they hold mortal emissaries and Saints as intermediaries prohibiting a direct access to Jesus and god. And since we're all considered god's children the passage spoke to everyone listening.
Nothing like a heavy chorus of, "AMEN!" from the pews to reiterate that god approves their kind of Christian.

I still recall the old parable about the poisoned well, when reading an article like that in the OP. Relative to the most ardent Fundy personality. As in, if everyone believed as we do, the world would be a beautiful place. And as it's god's will to make it so, evangelizing is the first step to making it happen.
Including leaving tracts in public toilet stalls (I found Jesus zombie Jew saved me while taking a pee! Hallelujah! But they were out of toilet paper at the Walmart!), under windshield wipers, on billboards (It's just wrong that atheists rent those now too!) on buses, in caravans as tent revivals make their road trips, on TV, on radio, in bookstores.
Come to Jesus!
When, if omnipotent omni-benevolence did exist as a consciousness that gives a fig about the human condition, it would believe in us and prove it! So that religion was a matter of fact and atheism had no merit at all.

The Parable of the Poisoned Well
There was once a wise king who ruled over a vast city. He was feared for his might and loved for his wisdom. Now in the heart of the city, there was a well whose waters were pure and crystalline from which the king and all the inhabitants drank. When all were asleep, an enemy entered the city and poured seven drops of a strange liquid into the well. And he said that henceforth all who drink this water shall become mad.

All the people drank of the water, but not the king. And the people began to say, "The king is mad and has lost his reason. Look how strangely he behaves. We cannot be ruled by a madman, so he must be dethroned."

The king grew very fearful, for his subjects were preparing to rise against him. So one evening, he ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the well, and he drank deeply. The next day, there was great rejoicing among the people, for their beloved king had finally regained his reason.
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03-05-2011, 09:31 AM
RE: Article) Paul & Zuckerman: Why do Americans still dislike atheists?
Zuckerman wrote a similar article that appeared in the Huffington Post a few weeks back. I've used some of his papers as sources for my articles. He wrote to tell me that he read my article "A Question for the Religious Right" and said he really enjoyed it - which was a big thrill! Second only to having Richard Dawkins tweet my blog - that had me soaring for several days Smile

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03-05-2011, 10:38 AM
RE: Article) Paul & Zuckerman: Why do Americans still dislike atheists?
I really like the parable of the poisoned well. I wonder how many atheists were "saved" by going to church every sunday (instead of becoming a social pariah), lying about their faith and love for god?

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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03-05-2011, 10:47 AM
RE: Article) Paul & Zuckerman: Why do Americans still dislike atheists?
I remember a similar story. I think I posted it before , but here goes :
"A group of men lived in a cave. Living in the cave made them blind. One who lived by the edge had a visual handicap but was not blind. He told others of the shadows he sees outside. They cut his eyes out , out of mercy so he would not suffer."

Also there is a tale in my country's folklore :
"Zalmoxis was a man trying to stop a mage from spreading a cult. The mage deemed him a heretic and banished him. His ideas grew in weight in his absence and people built him a temple , the mage following suit to maintain power. After many years the old hermit Zalmoxis returned to the village and seeing the hypocrisy of humans demolishes an idol. A few villagers kill him. At the end they realize they killed their own god. Now they truly follow his ideas. "

You are one lucky bastard Wink

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

Proud of my genetic relatives Big Grin
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