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discrimination
Posted: 30 January 2009 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]
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i’m interested:

how many people have personally experienced anti-atheism prejudice from others?

could be anything from harrassment (aggressive proselytizing); rejection from family/friends; hostile work environments; losing jobs; violence, etc.  any time that you were singled out solely because of your nonbelief.

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Posted: 30 January 2009 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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*raises hand

a few friends and coworkers have radically changed their interaction with me and my wife when they find out we are “unbeliefable.”

my brothers wife deleted me as a friend on facebook when she read i was an atheist, and has since then shown to be considerably more intolerant.

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Posted: 30 January 2009 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have had about a dozen people proselytize toward me in an aggressive manor and insult me. When I told my parents they were not happy. I asked them what they would have had I told them when I was younger, they said they would have forced me to go to church. My extended family doesn’t know and never will because they are weekly right-wing church goers. Everyone at one of the places I worked knew that I was an atheist and no one gave a damn.

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Dan

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Posted: 30 January 2009 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m on the other side.  I’ve never noticed any change in behavior when I mentioned my lack of belief in the existence of any god. 

Occam

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Posted: 30 January 2009 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Nor have I ever experienced any repercussions. However, I have never announced my beliefs to others, nor asked them. I really don’t know and don’t much care about others’ spiritual beliefs, and they reciprocate.

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Posted: 31 January 2009 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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the reason i asked was because i am working with a grad student to develop a model of minority stress in atheist/secularist populations, defined as the medical and psychological streeses experienced by a member of a marginalized minority as a result of repeated exposure to social discrimination.

i can post his website, if anybody’s interested.

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Posted: 31 January 2009 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Post it, would like to see the results

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Dan

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Posted: 31 January 2009 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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skuld - 31 January 2009 02:06 PM

the reason i asked was because i am working with a grad student to develop a model of minority stress in atheist/secularist populations, defined as the medical and psychological streeses experienced by a member of a marginalized minority as a result of repeated exposure to social discrimination.

i can post his website, if anybody’s interested.

Do you think there could be a measurable spike that could be seen through the background/control stimuli?I don’t know,I’m asking.
I mean,are we talking harsh discrimination.A group of folks whose Belief values are extremely out of skew with the normal surrounding values?
It is my opinion,that except for a small amount of backlash one could receive for being an Atheist/non-theist,it is pretty negligible.Maybe in closed communities(such as these Mormon compounds)I could see this backlash,but I’ve said before,that a larger majority of people are non-theist,than what is being purported.
First we’ll describe what I will conveniently label as the “general class”.These are folks who profess faith in varying degrees,from a box they checked off on some form,to faintly believing/hoping in a god,for purposes of reasoning.This constitutes a large portion of society.Even among regular church goers,there are many who would fit this category.These are folks that wouldn’t generally care one way or another about someones beliefs.
Second,let’s take all the Classic Christian Faiths-catholics,protestants,baptists,lutherans etc.Many of these are not going to care,or discriminate against anothers faith-not today.I said many-not all.
I wouldn’t argue that there is tangible evidence and fact,that people are discriminated against,because of their beliefs(atheism),but I guess I’m using this posting to get my point across that this country is not as Religiosized as many make it out to be.The fundamentalists and the Pushers,and the politically connected to have an impact.This impact,through policy,magnifies an apparent over Fundamentalism in America.
In my experiences with prosletyzers(sp?),or door to door preachers,when I tell them to get lost-they get lost.2 years ago,while mowing my lawn,I was assailed by some whackos,who brought their children along.After I told them I was an Atheist,and I wasn’t lost,or feeling lonely,they blasted me with “You are going to hell” “You are a communist”(because I also briefly mentioned to them their unknowing support for a “Capitalist-Fascist Regime"They yelled some other contrivances.I told them they should be ashamed at they way they were acting in front of their kids.Then I told them to get off of my property,and to quit bothering the neighbors.Usually they are friendly though,and those are the worst.They just won’t quit!!They keep looking for some angle to break your armor.Some chink in your well-being they can exploit.I’d rather have direct confrontation in these instances-it’s quicker,and they know to skip my house the next time around.
Anyone who is meek and intimidated by this,(and don’t take this the wrong way.I’m not advocating “Tough Guy” stuff here.I’m not tooting my horn here,about being forceful,or malevolent)should try and become more proactive.Nobody needs that kind of discrimination.Nobody should have to be chastised for being an atheist.In areas where someone is outnumbered by the “at large"ideology,then get out.Get out,if you are being damaged or discriminated against.But I think this is rare.Most corners of this country are pretty tolerant.Of course,if an atheist is going aroud and purposefully deriding others beliefs,then one must expect repercussions.

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Posted: 31 January 2009 09:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’ve never been discriminated, but then I have never announced my religious preferences there—it is enough of a chore being black! However, I have had one of my coworkers (many are quite religious), tell me that if she knew someone was atheist, she could never speak to them. Needless to say, that would make things VERY difficult in my small unit! smirk Not worth it…..

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 01 February 2009 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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In the relatively tolerant part fo the SF Bay Area I’m in, I mostly get genial teasing about it (and much more about my skepticism). On of the older docs here likes to pause in his conversations with clinents when I walk by and announce loudly “Of course, Brennen here wouldn’t agree since he’s AN ATHEIST!”

My evangelical in-laws are far too polite to bring it up, though they have expressed to my wife their sadness about her impending eternal damnation. When we lived in SC, we certainly didn’t bring it up, though we didn’t go to church either, which was pretty obvious in the town we lived in. No obvious repercussions there either.

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Posted: 01 February 2009 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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what i’m trying to do (& don’t think it’s too much of a stretch) is to apply a version of ilan meyer’s model of “minority stress” - which has been studied mainly in racial and LGBT groups - to the atheist/secularist population.  the reason i think it could be a valid comparison is that in many ways a/s are this generation’s “closeted” minority, where closeting = feeling unable to express one’s belief (sexual orientation etc.) openly, relative to the majority, out of anticipated negative social consequences.

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Posted: 01 February 2009 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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VYAZMA - 31 January 2009 02:49 PM

It is my opinion,that except for a small amount of backlash one could receive for being an Atheist/non-theist,it is pretty negligible.Maybe in closed communities(such as these Mormon compounds)I could see this backlash,but I’ve said before,that a larger majority of people are non-theist,than what is being purported.

i appreciate your caveats. part of our research would be to investigate the degree to which discrimination is occurring, and possibly being underreported. part of the problem is that anti-atheism isn’t typically recognized by policymakers addressing racism or gay-bashing.

some data from various sources on US attitudes about specific minorities:

Surveys conducted by the Gallup and Pew Research organizations have indicated that atheists are more likely to experience negative reactions than other minorities. 

Pew research polls tracking American attitudes towards political candidates revealed that –
•  Pew forum on religion and voting behavior (2003) reported (retrieved 7/20/08 from http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=26) that 52% would refuse to vote for a well-qualified atheist for president.  White evangelicals (63%) and blacks (51%) indicated there were reasons why they “might not vote for an atheist if one received their party’s presidential nomination”.
•  The same poll found that a majority of Americans surveyed held “mostly unfavorable” attitudes about atheists (52%, vs. only 34% “mostly favorable”).
Results of Gallup polls reveal that:
•  In 2007 53% of those surveyed said they would refuse to vote for an atheist for president, based on [methodology?].  This represents a 5% increase from the previous survey conducted in 1999, which is (probably) outside the margin of error.  Comparing the results over the past 50 years revealed the largest drop in anti-atheism occurred between 1959 and 1978 (74%-53%) but that this figure has been hovering around 48-53% ever since then. 
•  Atheists are the only minority demographic for whom less than 50% of survey respondents would be willing to support for president.  This is far lower than for Jewish (92%), African-American (94%), Catholic (95%), female (88%), or gay (55%).
•  Incidentally, as of 2008, scientologists have replaced atheists at the bottom of American favorability ratings. Woo-hoo!  This in itself does not indicate that negativity toward atheists is declining substantially, only that Americans currently dislike scientologists even more.
A national telephone survey conducted by the evangelical Christian research group Barna reported that atheists and agnostics reported higher rates of stress among atheists.
•  Barna 1995 reported that 92% of born-again Christians held negative views about atheism, as opposed to 50% of non-Christians.

Edgell et al 2006 study on religious tolerance – key findings:
•  Nearly 40% felt that atheists were a group that “does not at all agree with my vision of American society”.  This was a greater proportion than for muslims (26.3), gays (22.6) or hispanics (20). 
•  47.6% of respondents would disapprove of their child marrying an atheist.  This is also higher than for other racial or religious minorities.
•  Particular stereotypes endorsed by study participants were that atheists were morally corrupt and that atheists were ostentatiously materialistic elitists.  According to the researchers, “Atheists are thus a “symbolic representation of one who rejects the basis for moral solidarity and cultural membership in American society altogether.”

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Posted: 02 February 2009 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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My wife and I BOTH agree that if we routinely made our beliefs public, our businesses would be negatively affected by it.  I had a lady just recently say to me “Merry CHRISTMAS, (w/ a huge emphasis on Christmas), can I say that? Can I say Merry CHRISTMAS?”  she said.  I told her that she is welcome to say whatever she likes, but that I don’t believe in any of that stuff.  A discussion pursued, and at the end, I feel that she views me in a different light now.  I live in an area w/ a lot of people that home school their children so they can brain wash them w/ their religious BS.  There’s a lot of religious zealots around here.  I remember when The DaVinci Code came out—there were people picketing w/ their signs about how you will go to hell and such if you see the movie.  I can’t wait for Angels and Demons to come out in April!!!  I personally feel quite alone in my non-belief, even though I’m living about 50 minutes from CFI in Washington, DC.  Granted, I don’t make much of an effort to meet people w/ similar dis-beliefs, but it seems that there are not that many around.  Maybe it’s just the “In Your Face” way that so many religious people live…  I routinely have people sneaking bibles and other religious propaganda into my office w/out my permission.  I need to start stocking some good Agnostic and Atheist and Secular Humanist books out there…  Any suggestions?  Nevermind, I dare not voice my opinion…

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Posted: 03 February 2009 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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here is the link.

http://atheistresearchonline.googlepages.com/home

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Posted: 03 February 2009 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Doppelganger - 02 February 2009 11:24 AM

My wife and I BOTH agree that if we routinely made our beliefs public, our businesses would be negatively affected by it.  I had a lady just recently say to me “Merry CHRISTMAS, (w/ a huge emphasis on Christmas), can I say that? Can I say Merry CHRISTMAS?”  she said.  I told her that she is welcome to say whatever she likes, but that I don’t believe in any of that stuff.  A discussion pursued, and at the end, I feel that she views me in a different light now.  I live in an area w/ a lot of people that home school their children so they can brain wash them w/ their religious BS.  There’s a lot of religious zealots around here.  I remember when The DaVinci Code came out—there were people picketing w/ their signs about how you will go to hell and such if you see the movie.  I can’t wait for Angels and Demons to come out in April!!!  I personally feel quite alone in my non-belief, even though I’m living about 50 minutes from CFI in Washington, DC.  Granted, I don’t make much of an effort to meet people w/ similar dis-beliefs, but it seems that there are not that many around.  Maybe it’s just the “In Your Face” way that so many religious people live…  I routinely have people sneaking bibles and other religious propaganda into my office w/out my permission.  I need to start stocking some good Agnostic and Atheist and Secular Humanist books out there…  Any suggestions?  Nevermind, I dare not voice my opinion…


Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists
by Dan Barker and Richard Dawkins

haven’t read it myself but seems apropos.

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Posted: 25 March 2009 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I have a deep Roman Catholic roots so I really never know. I also don’t give a damn what are you people would try to believe; its your choice. But I came to be believing that God really exist no matter what. It makes living on this earth less like hell if you know that there will be someone who’s looking after you.

I have a best buddy ho became an atheist just for a while and as long as he is not pushing beliefs down my throat like I wont we would still remain as best buddy. Its more about a choice and I think that every one is entitled to have their own loads of beliefs.

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