Atheists

Isobel - posted on 03/29/2012 ( 61 moms have responded )

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http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/201...



More distrusted and disliked than Muslims in America (not that I think it's ok to distrust or dislike them either)...but at least we're talking about that problem.



So...do you agree with these findings? I think a lot of people around the world would be SHOCKED to find out just who they know that is in the closet about being an atheist.

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Yes I do agree with the findings. I've dealt with enough nonsense over the years when people heard I was one. Such as the condenscending look and, "Jen you're not an atheist, you're far too nice of a person to be one.' and my favorite, "Maybe if you prayed once in a while, you wouldn't be so sick.'



There are others but I'm honestly not bitter about it, just tired.



I work hard, I pay taxes, I raise my child, I try to participate in government, I give to charity.



I just believe in one less god than the majority of people in the US.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/04/2012

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@ Tracey Howard "The only people I know who have a problem with religion are the religious ones,"



I completely 100% disagree. I have met so many agnostics or atheist that have HUGE issues with religion, and that is why they do not have any faith or beliefs in God or other deities. I have also met plenty of religious nuts that even if you do believe, just another faith, they try to convert you to their "better" faith. This does not make a blanket statement for those that believe or don't believe....but I found your statement to do just that.

Johnny - posted on 03/29/2012

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"An even more recent article revealed that the reason people dislike atheists so much has to do with trust (cite). Many people are skeptical that someone who doesn’t believe in God would do the right thing, given that they don’t imagine that a higher power is watching them and keeping score. "



This is the part that just blows me away. They are suggesting that I am not trustworthy because I don't need someone watching my every move to ensure that I behave properly???? Not only is it totally off base - the crime and incarceration rates of atheists are lower than for the rest of the population - I just find it immature and silly. Do you still need Mommy & Daddy to watch you to make sure you play nice? Seriously!

**Jackie** - posted on 03/29/2012

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I don't ever recall meeting someone and asking them what their religious beliefs are lol. I really don't care. I was raised Catholic but now that I have my own family we don't go to church. We are raising our daughter to be a good person and pray when she needs help and when good things come to her because God listens all the time. Other than that, if you're an atheist, buddhist muslim, or you worship The Wiggles, I don't care. Doesn't define someone in my opinion

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Jenny - posted on 04/05/2012

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Thank Mary N. It's very hard to understand when i'm surrounded by people that take their faith seriously. It blows me away that others have no issues. Happy for you all that experience this.



I wouldn't compare a difference in faith with a differing preferance in food! Not the same thing at all. People don't go to war over vanilla vs chocolate but they do over religion.



Shelly B thanks for explaining your point :) I agree we can get along in the wider community without our beliefs interfeering. Like at work in the office, it never matters what anyone believes, religion is like a taboo subject in the workplace, rightly so, to keep people amicable and focused on working together to reach the same goal.



However, what I don't like about Christians is that underlining everything they do (even if its not outrightly religious) it's them trying to show you the "shining light that Jesus can bring into your life". Exemplified by this statement "My Beliefs are fundamental to my whole life. I place God above all things. I also wanted to serve our community and show a little of Christs love through our playgroup."

In response to that attidue, i'd have to be like "I accept your love, but I don't accept Christs...."

Having been a Christian, having placed God above all things (well at least tried to) I can't help but be secptical of peoples intentions when their beliefs are fundamental to their lives.



I wish it was just about showing the community love. Period. Not attached to something else. I find that kind of manipulating.



I would rather take my kid to non-religious community activities like Kynder-Gym.



Ugh, I guess i've heard too many preachings about how to secretly start showing the love to your neighbours, building up a relationship with them with the end goal being that eventually you can talk to them about Jesus.



Sorry, that this is going off on a tangent.

Amy - posted on 04/05/2012

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Lol this one is awesome for me...I was raised in a strict relegion & although I do not practice it all anymore I still firmly believe in God etc! Nothing can shake my faith. My husband (of 9yrs) is an atheist. Its all about respect...we can love each other without believing everything the same. In fact we are opposite in soo many ways from politics to coke vs pepsi lol. My son is being brought up that he can believe what he wants (because guess what...he will eventually anyway lol) My son does go to a private school that teaches about God but he goes because they have an amazing program, at first my husband was unsure but after kindergarten he was convinced because of the level of education he is receiving. Secondly although it makes my husband a little uncomfortable sometimes at school functions (he's not a big fan of lots of people but also that he is one of the miniority in the group because most do believe in God) not one person there has said one bad/mean thing to my husband...they know he is athiest & although they probably say a quick prayer every time they see him ;) they don't treat him any differently. Thats my story so I guess I don't think the article is right but that is also only in my little bubble...btw I do have other friends who are atheists & they know I believe in God, it is just about respecting others in my opinion

Krista - posted on 04/05/2012

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In none of these activities have our personal religious practices ever come up. About half of my daughter's preschool classmates are not members of that Baptist church (or any other). Do their parents believe in "God"? I don't know, and frankly I don't care; to the best of my knowledge, neither does anyone else. It's just a really good program at a reasonable price, open to the public. It's not overtly "Christian" in it's preschool; they reserve those teachings for their church members during Sunday bible school and services.



That sounds fantastic! I'm envious. There are very few summer camps around here, and the most widely attended one is VERY religious. From their website: "We are a biblically based, Christ-centered camp. Jesus Christ is the center of every camping experience and Lord of the camp, 24 hours of the day. Those governing and leading do so as His stewards. The camp is open to serve the needs of the entire church family. Our main thrust is the summer camping ministry meeting the needs of children and youth. Our secondary ministry focus is families and adults. We want each camper to discover Jesus Christ for themselves, to grow into the moral freedom of unselfish love in Jesus Christ, and to develop a living style compatible with this freedom. "



Um, yeah. I don't think I'll be sending Sam there. He can go join Boy Scouts instead.

**Jackie** - posted on 04/05/2012

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Mary, this is off topic but I just have to say I really admire what you are doing with your child! Sounds like your three year old is really exploring and getting a lot of knowledge, not to mention all of the friends he/she will be making.





Growing up my parents were very Catholic but I don't ever remember my mom asking my friend's parents what religious they were before I slept over. I'll never forget my mom dropping me off at my friend's house for a sleepover party. The father answered the door with no shirt on and just boxer shorts with a bag of chips in his hand. My mom froze and grabbed me by my hand and gave him our present and said "Oh I'm so sorry Jackie can't make it, she isn't feeling well but we wanted to drop off this present". I didn't say a word because I was scared too lol Had nothing to do with religion.



P.S....he was not a hot dad.

Jenni - posted on 04/05/2012

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My Atheism hasn't affected my relationships with other people. It just doesn't really come up. I'm not saying there aren't people like that. It's just that I don't really know many narrow-minded, non-accepting theists in my life.



The people I do associate with who are Christian are generally quite accepting. Some know I'm an Atheist, and we just don't really talk about their beliefs or my non-belief. I'd say most of them would be considered moderate-spiritual theists.



I do acknowledge that atheism is frowned upon by many people. I had a lot easier time admitting to be a Christian (when I was) than I do now, admitting I'm an Atheist. I am slightly hesitant if the topic arises. But so far, I haven't had any negative experiences when I've told people. I think geography might play a part in how Atheism is viewed. I imagine in the Bible belt of the US, I may be treated much differently than I am here.

Mary - posted on 04/05/2012

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Jenny, I think some of us think other people's beliefs are "no big deal" because, for us, they really just aren't. I understand, from other posts on the topic of religion, that you grew up in a family and community where one's religion is a huge defining part of one's identity. However, for many of us (myself included) it really isn't that big of a deal.



In my general area, there is a huge diversity of religious beliefs, and always has been. Luckily, what that has meant around here is that no one really makes a big fuss about what their personal beliefs are when interacting with the community at large. That sort of thing is reserved for Sunday services. When I'm interacting with neighbors, other moms at any of my daughters activities, coworkers, or any other venue not religiously affiliated, religion just isn't a topic that often comes up. If it does, it isn't an in-depth or controversial discussion; it is usually just a casual reference to what synagogue of church someone might attend (and usually it's related to some open activity they are sponsoring, such as a free Easter egg hunt, tot-swap, or a youth-group type of thing). There is a lot of co-mingling at these types of events, and no one (not even the priests, rabbis or ministers) really cares to much about the personal religious beliefs or non-beliefs of those attending.



I was raised Catholic, but at this point in my life, it would probably by most accurate to describe myself as just a theist. I'm not an active member of any church. My three y/o attends a preschool at a Baptist church, is attending a summer camp at our local Jewish Community Center, as well as a Vacation "Bible" school at Catholic church. In none of these activities have our personal religious practices ever come up. About half of my daughter's preschool classmates are not members of that Baptist church (or any other). Do their parents believe in "God"? I don't know, and frankly I don't care; to the best of my knowledge, neither does anyone else. It's just a really good program at a reasonable price, open to the public. It's not overtly "Christian" in it's preschool; they reserve those teachings for their church members during Sunday bible school and services.

Krista - posted on 04/05/2012

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My maternal grandparents were catholic and I would have horrible nightmares that if I couldn't convince them my religion was right, I was going to have to watch them burn. That is a serious mindfuck for a little kid.



That, I think, is one of my biggest beefs with fundamentalism. When you tell a small child that anybody who doesn't believe the way that they do is going to hell, that is a TERRIFYING thing. You're basically a) threatening them into believing, and b) traumatizing them with the thought that some of their loved ones, who may not share their faith, will wind up burning and suffering for all eternity.



If you want to raise your child within your faith, that's your prerogative. But in my own opinion, people who scare little kids with tales of hell...they're assholes.

Shelley - posted on 04/05/2012

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The point of my post was that beyond our beliefs we as the human race need to connect to one another on the grounds that we are Human Beings and live in community with one another.



The Playgroup was run for the community and the Ladies from the Church. It met in the church hall. That is connected to the church We said grace to God with the kids before morning tea and we often told Bible stories at group time.



My Beliefs are fundamental to my whole life. I place God above all things. I also wanted to serve our community and show a little of Christs love through our playgroup.

Stifler's - posted on 04/05/2012

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I don't talk about religion to people it's just not a subject you sit down and talk about randomly like oh hey so... what religion are you? Oh sorry we can't be friends if you're not the same as me...

Jenny - posted on 04/05/2012

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I'm so surprised how some of you think people's belief is no big deal. Sure it wouldn't be a big deal in a community play group session, because really, how is your community play group any different to any other play group?

It would be a different story if it was a christrian playgroup, where all the toys and books were based around the bible and all the songs sung were christian songs, and all the stories and morals told were christian ones. Then I don't think the muslims and the atheists would show up.

Shelley - posted on 04/04/2012

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I am a Christian and for 4 years i ran a community playgroup at our church. We had the greatest group of women that i have ever come across There were 4 Muslims, 5 Atheists and Christians from many different denominations. there was never a debate or issue regarding religion. It was talked about from an interest and understanding point of view. We just all enjoyed being together, drinking nice coffee, yummy morning teas and getting out of the house and watching the kids entertain one another.



I don't understand the issues around religion at the end of the day we don't always have to agree and we don't have to get into bed with each other we just need to be a community and get along and create the best environment we can for our kids.

Having said that if asked what i believe i will explain it.

Johnny - posted on 04/04/2012

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I'm finding that indoctrinating my child into atheism at the age of 3 1/2 isn't really turning out to be a lot of work or take a lot of thought. We just sort of don't end up discussing religion all that much around our house. At all. Sometimes my husband and I discuss this sort of thing when she's in bed, but since we are not interesting in passing on ouascience based).



When she's older she will have the opportunity to learn all about different religions and faiths and she can explore them to her heart's content. But right now, it just doesn't come up. And frankly, the kid is a hard core realist. If you get too into "making believe" she always reminds you that it's just pretend. She also has already figured out that Santa isn't a real person all on her own. So I have a funny feeling religion may not be her cup of tea.

Barb - posted on 04/04/2012

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My parents were fundamental Christians and were a lot like the baptists. They split up when I was around 6. But from the time I was born until then we had morning and evening worship, Wednesday worship, Friday night vespers, church on Saturday, Saturday vespers. There wasn't any room for free thought. We had learned about the second coming of Christ and anyone who didn't believe the way we did would be burned in a fire. My maternal grandparents were catholic and I would have horrible nightmares that if I couldn't convince them my religion was right, I was going to have to watch them burn. That is a serious mindfuck for a little kid.



My youngest son chose to go to church with his dad, and also some of his classmates from school to a totally different church. we had many great talks about different religions and what different people believed, or didn't and there was no judgement from me for whatever he chose to do. I can't see honesty in saying, "during their most impressionable years I will indoctrinate them with this theory, but if they somehow have their mind opened later by someone else, that will be fine". How is that even fair?

**Jackie** - posted on 04/04/2012

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Speaking of children...I think when it comes to my daughter (and this is premature because she is only 16 months) I am just going to teach her to be a good person and believe in God. If she decides that she is an atheist or agnostic or buddhist etc,...well then I will support her. I wouldn't feel like a good mom if I preached to her or forced her to believe what I believe.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/04/2012

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OK with all this talk of religion, it got me interested in seeing what the hell my daughter may be being subjected to at this Youth group she likes to go too. She "only" likes going because it is a church in our neighbourhood (only 3 blocks away) and ALL the kids (teens) go for something to do on Wednesday's. They all seem to enjoy it, they play lots of games and have fun. However, I know they are also subjected to some of their religious views.



It is a Baptist church. So, after doing some reading, this religion does not sound to bad to me. It doesn't sound like they push their religion onto other's. They are accepting of everyone and allow each to make their own choices on how or what the believe. Of course, they believe in God and talk about Jesus and such. Not so much my cup of tea but whatever, it isn't about me, it is about my daughter and her exploring until she finds what she believes.



As long as she does not come home preaching to her family, I am "good" with it. Or she starts acting weird and "living" by God, I am "good" with it. ;)



Most Baptist traditions believe in the "Four Freedoms" articulated by Baptist historian Walter B. Shurden:[41]

Soul freedom: the soul is competent before God, and capable of making decisions in matters of faith without coercion or compulsion by any larger religious or civil body



Church freedom: freedom of the local church from outside interference, whether government or civilian (subject only to the law where it does not interfere with the religious teachings and practices of the church)



Bible freedom: the individual is free to interpret the Bible for himself or herself, using the best tools of scholarship and biblical study available to the individual



Religious freedom: the individual is free to choose whether to practice their religion, another religion, or no religion; Separation of church and state is often called the "civil corollary" of religious freedom.




I especially respect their view on Religious freedom. Now, that works for me.... I feel more comfortable now, not that I didn't before but, I am less curious or raised eyebrowed. ;)



I think it all depends on which Christian religion you encompass, some I believe are very pushy and are willing to push their views. Although, this is not true for all of them, just some die hards. Of which, is true for any religion or non-religion. People can just get carried away with what they believe, religion wise. These are usually the ones I stay as clear from as I can, since they apparently do not respect another's beliefs.



ETA:

I have questioned my daughter previously, so I was kinda aware but I had not actually researched it until now. Everything I have read, is exactly what she told me. Which would be exactly what they told her. I am feeling fine with it. ;)

**Jackie** - posted on 04/04/2012

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I'm just throwing this out there....aren't Christians supposed to accept everyone? I was raised to forgive, trust, be patient, have faith, and treat people the way I feel I should be treated if I were in their shoes. JUST SAYIN'.

Jenny - posted on 04/04/2012

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I think this is true for people who take their beliefs seriously.



For a christian who takes his/her belief seriously I do believe that they would initially distrust and dislike a person if they knew they were atheists. Most christians I know believe that there cannot be a moral code without God, so I understand how they would be weary to trust an atheist because they would automatically assume atheists do not have a strong moral basis and therefore are wicked and diceitful and are selfish.

Lady Heather - posted on 04/04/2012

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This is so strange. Probably every second person I meet is an atheist. I don't think people are as concerned about that stuff here.

Krista - posted on 04/04/2012

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It CAN be tricky, Jackie. When it comes to faith, if you're in the majority, or even a commonly accepted minority, you feel absolutely no apprehension about disclosing your faith. Not that it's the first thing you mention, of course, but if you DO let something slip in conversation, I would assume that you don't immediately think, "Oh shit...is this going to be an issue?"



I'm fortunate enough that my immediate friends and family are cool with my being an atheist. Even so, in other settings I sometimes find myself biting my tongue, like when a senior manager at my work was talking about some luck we'd had, and said that "God is smiling down on us, folks!" I just sort of nodded and smiled, but it was one out of countless moments where I've been made very aware that I AM in the minority. I wasn't offended by it, of course -- but it just kind of jolted me out of the discussion, due to being reminded that most people ARE believers, and wondering what they'd think if they knew that I'm not.



And there ARE a lot of atheists out there, particularly in very religious communities, who really genuinely feel like they have to hide who they are, because they fear that they'll be looked at differently, or that their kids will be shunned, or what-have-you.

**Jackie** - posted on 04/04/2012

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Barb, wow I didn't even think of that. I am ignorant as to what it feels like to be, for lack of a better word, a minority when it comes to religious beliefs. I am Catholic and in my town, we are surrounded by them. I never even thought about the eating and drinking limitations.





Also Krista, lmao

Barb - posted on 04/04/2012

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LOL Jackie, i never felt for a moment that you disliked me.



Some people, however, let their religion define them. Example: Because of religion, they don't drink wine, they don't eat pizza, they would rather tell me how i should live, than laugh with me.



But that is besides the point of the OP.. Where Atheists are the most hated group.. I was giving an example of how it affected me. I made a decision to hide my beliefs because i had read an article about Atheists being the most hated group, and did not feel my beliefs would be well received and chose to remain silent.



I'm a hypocrite, and i'm intolerant of those who are intolerant :)

Krista - posted on 04/04/2012

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Pizza and wine on a week night? Now THAT's a belief system I can get behind!

**Jackie** - posted on 04/04/2012

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Barb, I don't want to upset you and I know this is way off topic but my heart goes out to you :) I don't hate you at all! I feel bad for the people that define someone based on their religious beliefs. Who cares? Are they nice? Are they there for you? Do they make you laugh? Do they enjoy pizza and wine on a week night even though they have to work the next day? (lol) These things are more important to me

Barb - posted on 04/04/2012

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That's cool Tracey, so maybe i should have said something. It was at the sentencing hearing for the men who killed our son. And i don't want to change this debate, but, i think i didn't say anything because:

1. it would have upset my family, who was already on edge and suffering.

2. I knew atheists/agnostics are the most hated group in America, and if the Judge (the sentencing was done at the Judge's discretion, it was not done by a jury) knew i was, would it have made a difference in the sentencing? I know legally it couldn't have, morally it shouldn't have, but it still might have.



So yeah, time and place for everything, right? No weddings, no courtrooms, not among people you want to keep as friends.

**Jackie** - posted on 04/03/2012

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Oh tell me about it. I just kept stuffing my face with this spinach stuffed pasta so I didn't have to talk.....well...ok and they were super delicious lol.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/03/2012

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You know with people like that, either side that is. You tend to see my face go red (I am a redhead with very pale skin, so it goes really red) and quickly see me abruptly push out my chair and swiftly walk the fuck away.



I cannot stand anyone pushing religion, it doesn't matter what faith (or non-faith) they come from...

Krista - posted on 04/03/2012

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Wow -- yeah, that WAS incredibly tacky, Jackie. Unfortunately, assholes come in all faiths (or lack thereof).

**Jackie** - posted on 04/03/2012

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I have to say I disagree...I only have one example but it was the only time I witnessed someone so close-minded that I almost didn't want to surround myself with them anymore.



I was at a wedding and during the reception there was an older woman who was speaking about how God lead the bride and groom to each other. The cousin of the bride chuckled under his breath but loud enough for everyone at our table to hear. For the next 10 minutes or so he dared us to educate him about God. He went on and on about their being no God and how it is just impossible.



Not only was this not the time to preach to us when we are all clearly trying to change the subject but really....at a wedding? really?



No one at that table, all of whom I knew well and knew believed in God, was trying to convert him. I just prayed for him. Keep your beliefs to yourself...especially when no one gives a sh*t about some lecture Tom Cruise gave on Oprah.

Tracey - posted on 04/03/2012

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The only people I know who have a problem with religion are the religious ones, and if the only subject they are going to discuss is religion I don't want to have a drink with them.



Barb there is a non religious swearing in court - You do affirm that all the testimony you are about to give in the case now before the court will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; this you do affirm under the pains and penalties of perjury?"

Barb - posted on 04/02/2012

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I recently watched an interesting documentary called: "Why I am no longer a Christian" You can find it on YouTube by Evid3nc3.



Laura, you are right, the atheist message is off putting by being condescending. I've done it myself, called god someone's imaginary friend. In the video he shares the insight that in order to have someone see something from your perspective until you are willing to look at it from their perspective.



Oddly enough, just my own personal experience, it did come up to strangers that i was agnostic. My sister and her husband are christians and have lived all their lives in the church. They were missionaries and now work at the general conference for their denomination. I went to visit my sister and we went to a lunch with some of her church members, who of course asked me what church i went to. Bless their hearts and my poor sister's because apparently it never occurred to her to have this conversation with me before introducing me to her peers.



I have to say, they were still nice to me, still are nice to me, the pastor's wife and i found a connection through our restricted diets and email each other on the health benefits of whole foods that we find. I was also respectful of their beliefs and their right to have them. Perhaps that is what lead them to show the same consideration towards me, or the respect they have for my sister.



My sister recently came to visit and i noticed when her and her husband would have a conversation with my very atheist husband, they keep it to farming and his interests.. when they have me alone and a conversation with me, it's about beliefs.



I do admit to hiding it once, when i had to take the stand once in court and i had to raise my right hand and swear to "god" that i'd tell the whole truth and nothing but.. i wanted to tell the judge.. "hey, i'm agnostic at best, a pinky swear would hold more meaning, but, whatever it takes." Wasn't the time or the place for my beliefs i guess.

Isobel - posted on 03/31/2012

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yeah, the atheist message hasn't been helpful...they should change their tone from mocking to explaining that they're not assholes

Sarah - posted on 03/31/2012

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how would you know, i mean do people say hi im sarah im 33 i live in scotland and im an atheist. its as bad as peopple who are gay, they will introduce themselves and say im whoever and im gay, i never introduce myself as straight.

i dont believe in god because so many awful things have happened to me personally and i think if he does exist he should be fired, cos he sucks at his job.

if i cant see i dont believe it.

i think other people though should keep their nose out. religion, football, and politics always cause trouble, thats why i have nothing to do with any of them. i like my conversations nice and friendly

Jenny - posted on 03/31/2012

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People can be pretty dumb. I think more atheist public service education campaigns are necessary. "Atheists are good people because it's the right thing to do." "You can be good without god." "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." People seem to need to hear things plainly laid out before they believe it.

Stifler's - posted on 03/30/2012

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No haha it's probably christians who think "Atheists" is synonymous with devil worship.

**Jackie** - posted on 03/30/2012

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Ok there's an example. MeMe, you and I have been in a lot of debates together and I'm pretty sure we've agreed 9 times out of 10. I had no idea you were agnostic until now and I still like you!



I really think that anything can be taken to an extreme. I mean okay I might have gotten worried if I went to my boyfriend's house and saw a devil shrine or every time I brought up any topic someone whipped out their bible and started lecturing me. I don't think I would ostracize myself from them but I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't frighten me lol



I've called someone a holy roller before and I've told someone they need Jesus before lol both were sarcastic but both times the people were waaaaay over the top.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/30/2012

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IMO - this is the least part of a person that defines them. I know many people of Religion would negate that but whatever. You are not who you are because you believe in God or not. You are who you are because of your personal moral system.



I know some very religious people that I wouldn't touch with a 10' pole, let alone in my home; I know an Atheist or two, that I would never trust. So, it is not the religion it is the person and how they conduct themselves. ;)



ETA: Amen Jackie. Feel the same way. If someone doesn't like me for my (agnostic theist beliefs), no stink off me, I am quite alright with that.;)

**Jackie** - posted on 03/30/2012

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I agree with Mary. It was definitely a while before I found out my husband was a democratic methodist. I, being a republican catholic, did NOT care. I was in love with him and didn't give a crap about his political views. I didn't marry him for his religious beliefs....or his cooking (heh).



Anyway, if someone decided not to talk to me anymore because I was catholic...well I would consider that a blessing. I wouldn't want that person in my life anyway.

America3437 - posted on 03/30/2012

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God exists but it is up to you if you seek him or not. Judge not least ye judge thy self. It is your decision to make. I could care less who you believe in or not. If you choose not to believe in God then that is your right and I can respect that.

Mary - posted on 03/30/2012

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I'm actually not all that surprised by these findings.



To be clear - this does not mean that I personally distrust or dislike atheists as a whole. I don't base my opinions of any group or individual on their stated belief system (or lack thereof). I base that opinion after I get to know them, have interacted with them, and seen their words and behaviors in action. Like Jackie, I rarely even know what a person's religious beliefs even are until I've gotten well beyond the passing acquaintance phase of the relationship. By then, I've usually already developed a pretty fair sense of whether or not I "like" them, and their belief system has little to no impact on that opinion.



The reason these findings don't startle me is that I find that mankind has, throughout history, exhibited a tendency to cling to an "us against them" mentality. It's not just religion that has this affect; we have also done this with race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, geographic location, financial status...the list goes on and on. Society seems to have this innate need to make someone the boogeyman, and rally around whatever common ground they share.



Initially, the majority of American citizens were Christian in some form. The bigger dividing lines (among this "majority") were ethnic background and race. I find it almost laughable, but even as recently as the mid-60's, my great-grandmother, a Polish immigrant, was highly distressed that my father was marrying "that Irish girl". She was the same race and religion as my father - it was just her cultural heritage that differed. For a very, very long time, people stayed within the confines of their set "groups", and these groups only rallied together they felt jointly threatened by another outsider.



WW I and II had a big impact on blurring the distinctions of ethnic, religious, and racial boundaries. Suddenly, that Irish, Italian, Catholic, or Lutheran neighbor was on the same "team", fighting alongside you. Their impact on racial distinctions wasn't as great, but it started there, and was further solidified during the Vietnam War. In Vietnam, Americans found themselves rallying together against not just a foreign "evil", but their own government as well - and racial differences became of lesser import. 9/11 again brought the country together against a new common enemy - the Muslims.



In the aftermath of each of these great conflicts, society began blurring the lines that divided these groups. Friendships and intermarriages occurred, and gradually erased those former feelings of distrust and dislike. To me, the Atheists are just the newest "outsider" for some to rally against. Humans seem to have this innate need bond together against someone or something; we used to fight over the differences between denominations, moved on to the Christian vs. non-Christian, and now we are approaching the theist vs. atheist struggle. Form a sociological perspective, these findings make sense to me with where we as a society are right now.



It also, based on history, gives me hope that these feelings of mistrust and animosity are not permanent, but rather, a transient period of change.

**Jackie** - posted on 03/30/2012

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LMAO I'm so happy someone else pointed out that Anthony is hot. He can put his blue on me any day. OK I'm done lol

Helen - posted on 03/29/2012

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my opinion is it doesn't matter no one knows for sure god exists im not sure i believe in spirits ect but god ??????? either way if we believe or not no one should fall out ect to me religion is same as color of skin or hair color its doesn't mean a thing i am white with black hair and unsure if i believe if sum-one is black with purple hair and attend church every day they just the same as me its all a matter of likes and dislikes you wouldn't fall out with your friend if she liked hot-dogs and you didn't so why fall out if she likes god and you don't ........................................

Johnny - posted on 03/29/2012

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I'm sorry Jackie, but if you worship the Wiggles, I do not wish to break bread with you ;-P

Jodi - posted on 03/29/2012

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Well, for me personally, this makes no sense. I know many christains/catholics, and some of them are the most judgemental and untrustworthy people I know. Although, the majority of catholics I know are wonderful people. I only know a few atheists, and have no bones with any of them. I don't get the whole "having a diety with which to be held responsible" idea, they hold themselves accoutnable, as we all should. We shouldn't need a diety to tell us how to be a good person, but to guide us down a righteous path in life. Being a good person does not take a diety to figure out.

Krista - posted on 03/29/2012

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You're such a badass.



All right, then Teresa. We'll hoist a Shirley Temple together if I ever make it down your way. Deal?

[deleted account]

Smoking is worse than drinking (forget about the fact that I'm allergic...). Drinking I've DONE a bit in the past. Smoking does not appeal to me... well, except when I tried smoking empty sticks when I was 11.....

[deleted account]

Now that I actually looked at the link (sorry).... I wouldn't share a beer w/ an atheist either, but then again... I don't drink. ;)

[deleted account]

I have to say that I'm a little shocked at that information! I never knew, or would have thought, that Athiesm was something to fear so much. I don't agree with discrimination of ANY of those groups of people but, as an Athiest who only recently came out of the closet, I am truly shocked that so many would have such a fear of MY views on religion or my lack of belief in god(s). I do realize that there are always extremists for every group, and athiesm has some wackos out there who tend to spoil it for the rest of us by giving the world an inaccurate view of athiesm or the typical athiest.



It has been my experience that most athiests were at one time, people of faith. Most came to be athiests through careful thought, consideration and study. Being an athiest doesn't mean we have no respect for those with faith. It doesn't mean that we can't still be friends with those who believe in god. I still have many friends and most of my family who are believers. However, in the process of my "coming out", I came to understand that sometimes, just BEING an athiest is offensive because having the view that there is no god suggests that anyone who DOES believe in god is either dillusional or crazy or somehow less intelligent. I don't believe that for one second. I actually lost a friend over that very issue. In voicing my newly "outted" opinions on God, I unintentionally hurt a friend and regret it to this day.

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