A Washington Post article hosts an atheist conversation - primarily a FAQ, starting with Why do Americans still hate atheists?

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I have what I think is a perfect response (sorta). Last night I read an essay, published in a journal.

If you can find it, get Amandine Barb's 2011 "An atheistic American is a contradiction in terms": Religion, Civic Belonging, and Collective Identity in the United States. European Journal of American Studies.

It was a very well written, fascinating article about the historical and traditional treatment of atheists as "other", about continous atheist stigma, about how religion has throughout our history defined the civic and moral boundaries of society, and also touched slightly on legal history pertaining to atheists as well. I highly recommend it and I think its contents would do well to answer you question.

Sometimes I could just KISS Google!

 

“An atheistic American is a contradiction in terms” Religion, Civic Belonging and Collective Identity in the United State, by Amandine Barb.

Personally, I like atheists. I think they go well with white wine and scalloped potatoes.
No fava beans and a nice Chianti?!?
Nope. White wine because atheists are the other-other white meat.

I just scanned a few of the comments on the original WP article ... and I have to wonder some of the theist commenters even bothered to READ it.  Crap like "They put hate ahead of decency and morality without hesitation" and The disdain towards atheists is often just a reflection of their condescending opinion of others, and their desire to instruct others in their 'truth'" are just a couple of the lovely bon mots, and tell me that these people would rather believe the stereotypes and the agitprop their preachers use to describe us rather than actually bother to get to know an atheist in person.

I was encouraged by the article, but for some people, such writing simply has no impact.

That was a fun read.  I have come across or contemplated these questions myself.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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