World Religion News:
Ten years ago University of Minnesota sociologists conducted research showing that, among a long list of racial and religious minority groups, atheists were the most disliked group of people in the United States. Last month they followed up with new research that shows that Americans still have negative opinions of atheists and the non-religious–and now they have a good theory about why that is.
Survey data collected in 2014 shows that, compared to data collected in 2003, Americans have sharpened their negative views of atheists, despite an increase in people identifying as non-religious and an increase in public discussion of non-belief.
The findings of this most recent survey support the argument that atheists are persistent cultural outsiders in the United States because they are perceived to have rejected cultural values and practices understood as essential to private morality, civic virtue, and national identity. Moreover, any refusal to embrace a religious identity of any type is troubling for a large portion of Americans.
Yeah if you are an Evangelical, I really DON'T share your vision of American society.
And if by "elite" you mean a critical thinker who is not easily duped by superstitious nonsense, and believes they are intellectually superior to those who are, then yes guilty as charged.
I guess the same probably holds true concerning "perceived to have rejected cultural values and practices understood as essential to private morality," if by that they mean Judeo Christian values, as well as rejecting a "national identity" if that national identity means describing oneself as a Christian.
So great it appears that I have confirmed all of the reasons that certain religious groups may distrust and even fear those of us who identify as "Atheists."
However I would argue that some of those reasons are also WHY some of us defiantly argue for the integrity of the title Atheist.
I cannot speak for the entire group as we are wildly eclectic, but for myself I have eschewed the safety of the less threatening label "Agnostic" because for one it does not adequately describe my point of view, and two I do not believe it right to judge people solely on their beliefs, or lack thereof.
If you want to dislike me, dislike me because I am an arrogant asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. THAT is a legitimate reason to dislike me.
However if you dislike, or distrust, me based on the fact that I do not attend your church, or worship your god, then I reject the legitimacy of your feelings.
For they are not based on anything to do with who I am, but only based on the misconception of the label with which I identify.
A misconception by the way which is changing ever so slightly every day, until at some point the labels will mean nothing, and all that will remain is the content of our character.
As it should be.