Author Topic: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?  (Read 640 times)

Fraxxx

Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« on: September 11, 2012, 02:37:37 PM »
Found this somewhere else and thought it was an interesting read.

(1) America was settled, at least initially, by religious fundamentalists who wanted to set up a sort of theocratic republic (before anyone jumps down my throat and says, "The founding fathers were not Christians" - yes, I know, I'm not talking about Jefferson or Paine or Franklin, the people who signed the Declaration of Independence and wrote the US Constitution - I'm talking about the people who went to America in the 1600s. This left a DEEP cultural idea in the American people that they were a 'chosen people' living in a 'promised land' etc. God loves America; so for an American not to love God back is seen as a sort of treason.


(2) The popular religion that developed in the USA, especially along the frontier and in the South, was anti-intellectual. Unlike in Italy, where the Catholics have a hierarchy and a trained priesthood, the dominant form of Christianity in the USA comes out of evangelical traditions and 'revivalism', where anyone with a spattering of Bible knowledge and a good shouting voice could start a church. This led to a very simplistic, literalist, bible-based theology. The broader education and humanist philosophy of the priests in catholic (and anglican and lutheran) churches in Europe mitigated against this trend and produced a religion which is in some ways more 'porous'.


(3) More generally, the USA has an anti-intellectual culture. In most of continental Europe people look up to and respect 'book learning' and being a civilised, cultured human being. In the USA (in most parts) this would be looked down on - it's what you DO that matters, how much money you make. This anti-intellectualism means that those who have a rational, scientific view of existence can easily be criticised as being 'out of touch' with 'good honest god-fearing Americans'. (Read in redneck voice): 'Them danged atheists thinks they is better than us folks, just cos they done got themselves a college edjikatishion'. It's like the horrible reverse parody of the democratic ethos.


(4) Being part of a protestant church is a major commitment. It's not something you just do as a social ritual, like catholicism can be. You have to make a choice, profess Jesus, get baptised by immersion, sign the members' roll, turn up to meetings, sit on committees. This tends to harden the edges of the 'in-group' and the 'out-group'. In a catholic country, everyone (or nearly so) is culturally catholic, even if they do not believe in god or go to church; you can't be a 'cultural baptist' - you are either In or Out (and, according to the Ins, everything Out is evil).


(5) After the second world war, the USA had a massive internal propaganda system designed to attack socialism and the left. Communists were 'atheists', Communists were bad and anti-American, ergo atheists were bad and anti-American.


(6) The USA does not have a good welfare system. Indeed, the whole country is based on a sort of individualist myth, where the only reason that one guy is working 70 hours a week and struggling to get by with two minimum wage jobs and no healthcare, while someone sits by their pool and has a private jet, is that the first one is 'lazy' (i.e. unfavoured by God - remember, Protestant God Wants You to Work Hard) and the second is 'hardworking' (i.e. Blessed by God). This means that: (i) there is a lot of fear - fear of sickness, fear of unemployment, fear of annoying the boss, fear of random economic actions outside your control. Fear drives people into fearful, nasty, exclusive versions of religion - a 'hunker down' against 'the world'; (ii) people need the social network and support provided by a church, because the state provides so little - thus atheists are a threat to people because people are terrified of being convinced by them, having to leave the church, and thus losing their social network and support system.


(7) This is the crucial one - it draws on 1 and 5, but goes beyond them and is vitally relevant today: There is, in the USA, a thing called 'Christianity' that has little to do with Christianity as it is generally understood in Europe, or in the longer view of the Christian tradition. It is a heavily nationalistic, militaristic, masculine, authoritarian cult, with Jesus as the Cadillac-Driving All-American Hero who has come to save his Chosen People from Gayness, Socialised Medicine, Arabs and Long Haired Hippies. This might best be called, "Amerireligion". This was deliberately created after the 1960s by the American right, who wanted a way to stop the changes begun by the Progressive Era and the New Deal and to restore the dominance of the old ruling class. The civil rights and anti-vietnam war era brought it to a head. The right saw an opportunity to appeal to the gut-instincts of the white working class blue collar American male by playing on his prejudices - particularly on matters such as race, alternative lifestyles and the sexual revolution. So there was a deliberate demonisation and vilification of those who were seen as 'different' from that red-blooded white-skinned American male ideal - they were 'liberal hippy tree hugging dirty commie atheist bastards' - not to be trusted, because they were 'anti-American' (when 'American' is defined by the hard right). So, basically, American christians hate atheists because their religion is really a sort of tribal nationalism, and they've been played for fools by right-wing politicians.


How do you get poor and middle class people to vote for tax cuts for billionaires, constant war, erosion of civil liberties, and destruction of public services? Easy, tell them that if they don't American Jesus will cry - and then the Gays and the Foreigners and the Nasty Atheists - and all who don't Love American Jesus will continue to shaft them. Why are they unemployed? Not because NAFTA killed the jobs, but because God angry with America for teaching evolution. It's the ultimate 'bait-n-switch'. So what's the answer to the current economic crisis - the worst in American history since the Great Depression? Is it a massive public investment and job-creation programme like FDR did? No, that would be Communistic Atheism. Instead, we must appease the All-Blessing God of America - by banning pornography!

The level of cognitive dissonance must be overwhelming. Faced with that, no wonder so many American Christians act with rage and hostility to the mere presence of atheists.
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Sikotic™

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 10:05:47 PM »
This thread is appalling.

Jesus does drive an Escalade, he showed me it once.

And God would love 'Murica more if all the gays died of AIDS.
 

bouli77

Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 01:53:06 AM »
i don't think they're hated that much... sure some bigots like steve harvey shit on them on national television and in their books, and you can get mean mugged for saying you don't believe in god but it's not that bad. being a muslim can be harder.
 

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 02:14:12 AM »
im a devoted Baptist, and i dont mind Atheist's as long as they dont push their beliefs down my throat, i dont go pushing my beliefs and try to convert or make every atheist think the way i do and i dont think they should do that to me either

believe what you want, ill respect it, until you try to push your beliefs on me or tell me my beliefs are wrong then we have a problem...
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Fraxxx

Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 03:15:58 AM »
i don't think they're hated that much... sure some bigots like steve harvey shit on them on national television and in their books, and you can get mean mugged for saying you don't believe in god but it's not that bad. being a muslim can be harder.

From the experiences of others I'd say believing in no god at all seems to be a lot worse to many Americans than just believe in Allah.
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Hack Wilson - real

Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 02:53:46 PM »
atheists are mostly ignorant


then again so are most super religous folks :D
 

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 03:07:53 PM »
Ont eh real though, Athiests can be as irritating and annoying and preachy as people of faith.

Just like a christian/muslim/etc. can't say without a shadow of a doubt that God exists, a fuckin athiest can't say that God does not exist. Both sides of the argument are egotistical.

Let's be honest: none of us know shit in the long run.........and Jesus does drive a Escalade.
 

Russell Bell

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 08:03:21 PM »
The reason you (whoever wrote that) think that is because in the US there has always been a semblance of free speech, so you get the sane voices and also the crazies from all sides mixed in.  Its the price of freedom to have retard voices front and center, and thats fine with me, cause im free to call them fucking stupid.
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Fraxxx

Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 02:13:06 AM »
Ont eh real though, Athiests can be as irritating and annoying and preachy as people of faith.

Just like a christian/muslim/etc. can't say without a shadow of a doubt that God exists, a fuckin athiest can't say that God does not exist. Both sides of the argument are egotistical.

Let's be honest: none of us know shit in the long run.........and Jesus does drive a Escalade.

I'm with you on atheists being preachy. But there's not even one point deists can make for their case, while everything we can explain at this point can be explained without god's existence. So it's not really a 50:50 chance here.
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Sikotic™

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 09:30:56 AM »
Ont eh real though, Athiests can be as irritating and annoying and preachy as people of faith.

Just like a christian/muslim/etc. can't say without a shadow of a doubt that God exists, a fuckin athiest can't say that God does not exist. Both sides of the argument are egotistical.

Let's be honest: none of us know shit in the long run.........and Jesus does drive a Escalade.

I'm with you on atheists being preachy. But there's not even one point deists can make for their case, while everything we can explain at this point can be explained without god's existence. So it's not really a 50:50 chance here.
Oh no doubt I'm with you on that one. I lean more toward the athiest perspective on things more so than anyone else. As long as there are things that are unexplained in the universe, some idiots will automatically attribute it to the God of some book. Even though logically, that's not accurate.

Or anytime something good happens to a person they thank God, but they never thank him when something bad happens lol.
 

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 10:32:41 AM »
Just my 2 cents.

I'm Catholic, but I can give two flying... what anyone believes, because in the US you can believe what you want to. I think the younger generations (Gen X and Millennials) both seem to not be as hateful as older generations (Lost Gen and Baby Boomers) about if someone believes in God or not. But to be fair, Americans who hate atheist also hate Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist, and any other religion not Christian or Jew. Hell, some even hate Catholics and Jews. It's an aging demographic that just happens to be the dominate voting group right now though.

Overall the pressure that atheist feel causes them to get super defensive and "preachy" about what they believe. Working at a college, atheist are a minority here, but they are the dominate group when it comes to pushing religious discussion and those that have a religion feel discriminated again. Now how does that work? Simple, those with faith come to college with an open mind, and those without faith use the teachings in college to drive religious discussion to prove there is no God. It's a very strange dynamic. But it also goes to show, atheist can be just as hateful as those with faith.
 

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2012, 11:30:00 AM »
Definitely. Athiests can be very hateful.

God, one of the worst examples of Athiests being ridiculous was my college graduation. The dean of the Science and Mathematics colleges at my university gave a speech before we went to accept our diplomas. Basically, instead of giving us optimism about our futures (hasn't been much optimism since '08 anyways lol), he just decided to shit on people of faith for 20 minutes. Ridiculing the idea of a deity and a higher power, etc.

I mean, that's cool he feels that way, but not during a damn college graduation. On top of that, there are tons of people of faith who are graduating. Just because they are all science students doesn't mean they don't believe in a God. There were plenty of muslims, christians, buddhists, etc. who were not only graduating but had families with the same beliefs who were there to support the graduate. I AGREED with almost everything the guy said but i was offended because it was the wrong place to say those things and inappropriate.

And also, I grew up around a lot of people who were Christian and despised Catholics. My friend's dad used to shit on Catholics all day. I ate dinner at their house one time and when he went on his rant, I asked him "Well, both Christians and Catholics believe Jesus is their savior, so why are you focusing on everything else and not the most important thing?"

He never really liked me much after that lol
 

Hack Wilson - real

Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2012, 11:31:22 AM »
Definitely. Athiests can be very hateful.

God, one of the worst examples of Athiests being ridiculous was my college graduation. The dean of the Science and Mathematics colleges at my university gave a speech before we went to accept our diplomas. Basically, instead of giving us optimism about our futures (hasn't been much optimism since '08 anyways lol), he just decided to shit on people of faith for 20 minutes. Ridiculing the idea of a deity and a higher power, etc.

I mean, that's cool he feels that way, but not during a damn college graduation. On top of that, there are tons of people of faith who are graduating. Just because they are all science students doesn't mean they don't believe in a God. There were plenty of muslims, christians, buddhists, etc. who were not only graduating but had families with the same beliefs who were there to support the graduate. I AGREED with almost everything the guy said but i was offended because it was the wrong place to say those things and inappropriate.

And also, I grew up around a lot of people who were Christian and despised Catholics. My friend's dad used to shit on Catholics all day. I ate dinner at their house one time and when he went on his rant, I asked him "Well, both Christians and Catholics believe Jesus is their savior, so why are you focusing on everything else and not the most important thing?"

He never really liked me much after that lol

damn that must have been one awkward speech!  haha
 

rayallen0

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2012, 11:34:25 AM »
Think it matters where you live...atheists are pretty well accepted in washington...
 

jeromechickenbone

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2012, 11:45:21 AM »
It's funny because evolutionists are just as fanatical as religious people, it's also a religion effectively.

I was an atheist/agnostic for many years, so I def don't shun them. I know most people become that way cuz they feel like religion is bullshit, at least that's why I did.
 

rayallen0

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2012, 11:48:59 AM »
For me it just isnt a big thing...havent thought much about it. So agnostic i guess. Just is amazing how people choose and pick what parts of religions to use. Like the christians who get bible verses tatted on them.
 

Hack Wilson - real

Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2012, 05:38:48 PM »
i think all athiests need to be crucified
 

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2012, 06:49:38 PM »
Well atheists are just as fucking misguided as those who believe in some sort of fairy tale. They pretend, or "have faith" they know the truth about the world. Agnosticism is where it's at.
 

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2012, 08:50:26 AM »
So many labels. I just like to believe in science and let my 9th grade science text book be my guide.
 

Fraxxx

Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2012, 08:57:58 AM »
Well atheists are just as fucking misguided as those who believe in some sort of fairy tale. They pretend, or "have faith" they know the truth about the world. Agnosticism is where it's at.

Not really. Or you misinterpret Atheism. Knowledge - Buy!
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Hack Wilson - real

Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2012, 06:42:01 PM »
funniest thing is athiests on their death bed who suddenly switch sides
 

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2012, 07:08:34 PM »
Well atheists are just as fucking misguided as those who believe in some sort of fairy tale. They pretend, or "have faith" they know the truth about the world. Agnosticism is where it's at.

Not really. Or you misinterpret Atheism. Knowledge - Buy!

Yes, knowledge - buy buy BUY! However Atheism is defined as the belief that there no deities. How do these people know? Lack of proof? Shit, maybe a deity is a influencing force of matter that is unquantifiable by modern science, maybe one that would answer a few questions about the human species. The fact is, we don't know. My idea could be as bullshit as Billy Graham or Neil Degrasse Tyson's theories are. At the end of the day, you don't really know what is beyond our myopic outlook, so it's best not to make assumptions.

Agnosticism = BUY
 

Sikotic™

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Re: Why are atheists so hated in the USA?
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2012, 07:14:03 PM »
Well atheists are just as fucking misguided as those who believe in some sort of fairy tale. They pretend, or "have faith" they know the truth about the world. Agnosticism is where it's at.

Not really. Or you misinterpret Atheism. Knowledge - Buy!

Yes, knowledge - buy buy BUY! However Atheism is defined as the belief that there no deities. How do these people know? Lack of proof? Shit, maybe a deity is a influencing force of matter that is unquantifiable by modern science, maybe one that would answer a few questions about the human species. The fact is, we don't know. My idea could be as bullshit as Billy Graham or Neil Degrasse Tyson's theories are. At the end of the day, you don't really know what is beyond our myopic outlook, so it's best not to make assumptions.

Agnosticism = BUY
Beautifully put