I am just curious about this because I don't hear about it. I hear about Atheists being shunned and hated but not that much about any actual physical harm outside of intense mental/emotional harm. This question is only intended in the U.S. I know it happens in other countries. I am just wondering if Atheists need to fear this in the same manner as a homosexual would fear beatings and being killed?

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http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/downey_24_4.htm
This is a good article on the subject. I don't think your discussion is a network question though.

That is a good article, thank you. I have reposted this question hopefully I'll get a few more responses. I've personally have never been attacked or threatened and was curious if this was an actual threat to other atheist or a unneceessary fear. I understand that there is a definate fear of shunning and verbal abuse it's just that i've never heard of actual physical abuse because of atheisism.

I'm dead tired and this may come out garbled. I ran into someone Friday evening who started the conversation with "I like your bumper sticker".  I was up since 1 in the morning and it was 5 PM when I met this guy. I didn't catch on until I left, but he was angry with me and was picking a fight. I had spent the morning from 10 am researching a printer, going out to Microcenter to pick one up, bringing it back to the bar to install it in the office and other troubleshooting and training. So, around 5, I found myself with someone who wanted to know more about me, so I announced to the whole bar that I am a strong Atheist. By the way, my bumper sticker says "Can I teach evolution in your church?" So in response to my announcement he said that I was really an agnostic because I don't know if there is a God. Without waiting for me to respond he offered the argument that I don't know how the Universe came into being, so I have to say that it must be God who created the universe. I just bowed and spread my arms at the I don't know and smiled at the God must have created it. I was thinking that I was very tired and wanted to just go home. So, with the smile still on my face I turned to go while I wished everyone a good night. Right now, I have had an hour and a half sleep and it popped into my head that I might have avoided a physical fight (or at least a very loud argument) by the skin of my teeth. What a wonderful world!    :o)

I march all over Buffalo, New York (a very Catholic city) wearing my atheist t-shirts and sweatshirts.  About all I get is, "I like your shirt," or "I agree with you."  Now I am large and a bit weird looking, but...

Once I exposed to my ex supervisor that I was an atheist and was smacked in the back of the head, and no longer allowed to eat lunch with him and his people...does that count as violent?

Here are a few examples in the US that have made it the media.

1.  Nadia Smalkowski - high school student in Oklahoma.

2.  Damon Fowler - high school student in Louisiana.

3.  Jessica Ahlquist - high school student in Rhode Island.

In the Smalkowski case, her family backed her, and her father was put on trial for a crime of violence, which he did not commit, by a good xtian prosecutor who knowingly used perjured testimony.  I'm sure there are many more examples of xtian hatred and bigotry than this. But what strikes me most in these examples, is the heroes of these 3 stories are all children. And, the bloodthirsty mob are the followers of the "Prince of Peace" - child abusers - one and all.

Ironically, I am both atheist and gay.  And besides some verbal confrontations an threats like "you're going to burn in hell", I've experienced no beatings, physical or otherwise harmful nature.  And I live in the Bible belt!

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