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Not surprising. When one is ethical and/or moral for the sake of being so, having rejected the concept of sin, which is ridiculous dogma, they do not profit from their being good and are smart enough to know that being bad will only land them in prison. The Christian on the other hand is only good because he wants to avoid hell, and probably also because he knows, at least at the back of his mind, so to speak, that every bad thing he does, even things that are against the law, can be forgiven. It's their bumper sticker slogan: "NOT PERFECT, JUST FORGIVEN." This is a crock of shit, of course, and demonstrably so. No matter how much the pastor or priest argues that only sins sincerely confessed or tacitly spoken in prayer on Sundays can be forgiven and that the supplicant must strive toward "doing better." One is reminded of the advertising slogan for Martin Scorsese's breakout movie about minor mafiosi in New York City, a picture called Mean Streets. I have never forgotten the brilliant one line slogan on the one sheets and print ads for that film: "GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY, GO TO HELL ON MONDAY." I began to think maybe Scorsese was a brother. Maybe he finally broke free of his Catholic indoctrination and started straying from church delusion. Coppola's third Godfather makes the same point: If you can be forgiven of anything including murder, you can commit all of the inferior sins all you want. Just said a dozen Hail Mary's, take an aspirin, and call me in the morning. Note that in the photo the slogan from the Scorsese is in Italian.

A direct link to see the article on a single page: http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/why-atheists-make-85-pe...

Some snippets: (ellipses and emphases mine)

Atheists Are 0.07% of the Federal Prison Population, Threatening Fact for Christian Fundamentalists

Religious fundamentalists often proclaim that if atheists don’t like their Christian America they can leave. It's worth reminding them that if every atheist left, America would lose 85 percent of its scientists (not that the fundamentalists love science) and a fraction of one percent of its federal prison population.... When [the Federal Bureau of Prisons, in a 2013 report] say that less than one percent identify as atheist, they actually mean 0.07 percent....

So how can this be? When the religious right is constantly claiming a moral authority in this country, how can it be that they make up more than half ... of the prison population?...

One cannot overlook the importance of race on this issue. African Americans make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, and only 14 percent of the drug-using U.S. population, yet 37 percent of those arrested on drug charges in the U.S. are African American....

Other social issues factor in as well, as Croft points out, like education and wealth. In poor communities lacking well-funded education, many young people turn to crime to pay their bills and feed their families....

The Freedom From Religion Foundation made a similar statement in its news release on this subject saying:

“Another reason for the low representation of atheists in prison is that atheists tend to be well educated and have higher than average socio-economic status. Prisoners tend to be less educated and poorer than the average American. This points out a flaw in American society, not in atheists' morality.”

So while the Christian Right is wrong to claim any ownership of morality in this country based on its personally held religious beliefs, it would be wrong for atheists to do the same. Of course, race and poverty play a much greater role in our penal system than anyone’s religion, and it would not appear that any religion, or lack thereof, plays any significant role in the majority of crimes committed. But it seriously disrupts the Christian right argument that you need to believe in God to live morally.

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