Whenever I come out Atheist .. they assume I must have no ethics or morals whatsoever and that I am willing to do just about anything --- like lie, cheat and steal.

Anyone else have this happen to them?

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yes that happens to me as well, they ask if i worship the deveil 

Yes franky that's exactly what I'm talking about here. The reaction is either you are immoral and would do anything depraved, and/or you must worship Satan and/or you are mad at god. It drives me nuts!

my friend was trying to tell me that everyone who gets sent to jail and/or prison is an atheist because a christian would never commit a horrendous crime. we went online and looked at the stats, after i proved to him that less then one % of jail/prison inmates are atheist he continued to say that they all became christian after getting sent to prison. seems like no mater how much proof you show them they will always be blinded by their religious beliefs.

I worked in a prison for several years teaching inmates "life skills" and everyone is surprised to learn how few atheists reside there. Some rationalize that atheists don't reveal that on their personality profiles. I am here to tell you, the scariest prisoners are those who link aggression with religion. Few christian prisoners have a healthy sense of self, or other, or community in their dealings with other inmates and guards. They tend to be authoritarian, self-centered, action oriented, hold strong values that they impose on others without discussion. If I were younger I would do a study to find if my observations are correct. 

Wow Joan, very insightful! I would argue that they are highly egotistical, and that the authoritarian personality is a direct result of thinking that you know best and far better than anyone else, of being supremely self-confident and possessed of a sense of personal conviction that carries far beyond the limits of modesty, humility, or even a healthy dose of skepticism concerning your own self-worth. They have an inflated ego because their religion gives them this license; it tells them that they are god-like, immortal, connected to the divine, and that they have a direct connection with god himself, that they are his special interest and the whole world was created just for them! What an egocentric perspective on reality they have! And it is all taught to them from cradle to grave. No wonder there is no reasoning with them! They would have to accept a degradation in self-value, and really, who willingly does this without great inner strength, or a great tragedy in their lives, or both?

Jedi you said that so eloquently. I agree.

Yes Joan it is a common misconception that Atheists are all convicts or something. When in reality the prison population is full of believers.

Joan I would love to hear more stories of teaching in the prison system.

Joan a study about your experience would be awesome.

Steph, I have taken so many strange and interesting paths in my life and I write about them in little snippets. My book, "A Splendid Heresy" is in the making. 

Thanks for your interest. 

Ooh, that sounds worth the reading! When can I expect my copy? ;-)

I would love to read your book Joan. And so would Jedi .. there's real interest here.

Well, they assume the same for me, but n my case, they are right! :o)

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