Who’s The Most Disliked Group In The U. S.?

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots.  This is one nation under God.”

These are the words of former President, George H. W. Bush at a press conference, August 27, 1984.  

The Washington Post reported on a recent poll.   When 2,000 randomly selected people were asked which group they would disapprove of their child marrying, 48% said atheist.  Only 27% of white parents disapproved of a marriage to an African American.

When asked which groups did not share American values, 40% said atheists, only 26% said Muslems.  Even gay marriage advocates only scored 22%. Thus, atheists are disliked twice as much as any other group they were compared to.   

Nonbelievers do discuss this from time to time.  Should they be more accepting and less critical of faith?  Should they be more strident and in-your-face?  

If we look at other groups who were once in the position atheists find themselves today, homosexual and black people, plus women, it is hard to say one approach only was the key to acceptance.  All had in-your-face factions, and lets-be-nice ones as well. Both factions seemed to have helped.

My own theory is the average member of the public first dislikes people who are different because they do not change. Later, they realize the different people are not going to change.  So, eventually, this average person says, “Well, OK. They’re different, but I can live with that.”

Most atheists will not be changing. Maybe in time, people can live with that.


14 Responses

  1. Bob

    CNN recently did a review of the movie, “The Ledge”
    The title of the review is, “New Atheist movie ‘The Ledge’ evangelizes godlessness.”

    I think this title says it all Jon. I think the problem about why atheists aren’t accepted is because theists are thinking of us in the context of themselves and how they think. They don’t get yet, that we don’t think like they do.

    The above title suggests atheists evangelize. Well, that misses the point. They think we are competition. But its not that we are competition, its that we’ve completely stepped out side of the box and are hovering above it, below it, on the sides of it, and looking in, and observing religion in ways they can’t unless they too decide to open up the door of the box and step outside and examine what’s in the box of religion and supernaturalism. As long as they stay in the religion supernaturalism box, they will see us as a threat, as competition, when in reality, we are just observers stating what we are observing.
    I think that’s why we non-theists come off as strident sometimes to theists. Because when you are seeing all the different dimensions, interelations and angles of the box from the outside, it can be frustrating when people in the box insist from their walled in view that everything looks this way, and only this way forever and ever into eternity.

    1. Bob 3:11 Good observations. It does seem like nontheists are seen as threat, and, thus disliked so much. If only theists could see nontheists as “that group over there we should not bother by putting our stuff in the govenment we own together with them….” things would go along so much better.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      Bob; “Amen, brother”.???? Religeous overtones. sounds like that dreaded Abrahamic tradition.
      One would think a purist nonbeliever would say “yay man, dude”, “Right on man”, or “You got that right”.

  2. Bob

    Wanna, you should address Jon’s comment on religious people messing with the government.
    “If only theists could see nontheists as “that group over there we should not bother by putting our stuff in the govenment we own together with them….” things would go along so much better.”
    Jon makes an stellar point.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      Bob; I don’t think I need to. I believe Jon knows my position, at least he should by now, as should anyone who have read my past posts.

      1. How is the total lack of religion in government better than having involvement of religion in government? What you stated is a totally unproven, and I would say false, premise.

  3. freddy

    Bob & Jon:

    It’s OK for you guys to be atheists. Believe – or don’t believe – whatever you want. Why atheists are generally not well liked has nothing to do with Cristians being jealous over your intelligent insight, “ability to see things in different dimensions, or see things outside of the Christian box.” It’s because of the arrogance and ignorance in which atheists (like you) expound your views and how you belittle Christians for believing. You infer that believers are ignorant, blindly obedient, make references comparing Jesus to Santa Claus etc…. Believe what you wish , but let me do the same. But don’t preach like you have all the answers and all believers are weak or stupid. Don’t be critical of believers for believing and judging, when that seems to be how much of your time is spent on this blog.

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