It’s Not Easy Being Heathen

A University of Minneapolis survey has revealed that atheists are America’s most distrusted minority. According to a University of Minneapolis press release (emphasis added),

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.

The survey found that 47.6 percent of people interviewed said they would disapprove of a child’s wish to marry an atheist, compared to a mere 33.5 percent disapproval for marrying a Muslim.

According to an ABC News commentary by John Allen Paulos (author of the crappy book Innumeracy,

Many of those interviewed saw atheists as cultural elitists, amoral materialists, or given to criminal behavior or drugs. She states, “Our findings seem to rest on a view of atheists as self-interested individuals who are not concerned with the common good.”

Huh? What’s wrong with a little amoral materialism and self-interested anti-social behavior?

On the other hand, it doesn’t exactly help the atheist PR case that the two worst mass murderers in history — Stalin and Mao — were both doctrinaire atheists. Atheists like to bitch about things like the Inquisition or the witch hunts, but those would have been slow days for Stalin and Mao.

But seriously. What almost none of the commentators on this study noted was that the low opinion of atheists is almost certainly motivated by prominent media coverage of atheist idiots like Timothy Shortell, Natalie Anger, and Michael Newdow. When most of the atheists that the average American hears about are raving lunatics who seem to have nothing better to do than be offended by every public display of religious belief, it is hardly surprising that so many Americans think atheists are completely alien to their values.

Thanks guys!

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