Sunday, December 22, 2013

Help, help, we're being repressed!

Yep, there are some deeply held religious beliefs that a good Christian just can't express in public anymore.

It's true. You just can't go around telling people that
homosexuals, and people who don't subscribe to your religion, are sinners who are going to suffer an eternity of torture in Hell without getting dirty looks, or possibly even getting fired -- even though the Bible totally tells you that that's what's going to happen! Oh, the slings and arrows. How many indignities must one Bible-clutching bigot suffer? One thing the religious have learned very effectively from the left is victimhood. They've gone from the "Silent Majority" to the terribly persecuted majority. That's some trick.

The author of the blog post above doesn't mention it, but I'm sure she also laments the fact that modern society frowns upon slavery, too, even though the Bible clearly expects us to keep slaves. This cruel, Christian-bashing society prohibits many Biblically sanctioned practices, such as the stoning to death of defiant children, adulterers, homosexuals, non-virginal newlywed women, and people who work on the Sabbath. A good Christian can't even smite non-believers and practitioners of different faiths -- along with the entire city they reside in, including every man, woman, child and animal -- with the tip of their sword without raising eyebrows. What is this country coming to?

You can't express some of your beliefs openly without backlash? Well join the fucking club.
For millennia, expressing non-belief would get you killed in almost any part of the world, and still will in many. In great swathes of the United States, being an atheist will also make you a pariah in your community. This is why Rebecca Vitsmun, the Moore, Oklahoma tornado survivor who blurted out to Wolf Blitzer that she was an atheist, was terrified that she had alienated herself from her family and basically ended her life in the community as she knew it.

According to a 2006 study by the University of Minnesota, atheists are the most disapproved of group in America, even more than Muslims. A whopping 47.6% of the 2,000 respondents said that they would disapprove of their child marrying an atheist, whereas only 33.5% would disapprove of their child marrying a Muslim. Every other minority group fared better than the dreaded non-believer.

Though some public figures like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris have made atheism more visible in recent years, and atheists have begun to bond together in mutually supportive online communities, those perceptions have not improved. In a 2011 joint study by the University of British Columbia and the University of Oregon, atheists are distrusted even more than rapists.

Non-belief is also a near-perfect barrier to holding public office. While a 2012 Gallup poll showed that a slight majority of respondents said they would vote for a "well qualified" atheist for president (58%), that number lagged far behind any other minority group. Though "nones" -- those who claim no religious affiliation (though are not necessarily atheist) -- number upwards of 20% of the US population, there is exactly one member of Congress who professes non-belief, Nebraska representative Ernie Chambers, an independent. The only other known atheist, California's Pete Stark, left in 2012. Massachusetts Democratic Representative Barney Frank, who came out as the first openly gay congressman back in 1987, hid his secular beliefs until he left office:
A few months after retiring, former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) also announced his nonbeliever status, a declaration he made more than 25 years after coming out as the first openly gay member of Congress.
That Frank felt more comfortable going public with his sexuality in 1987 than he did with his secular beliefs at any point during his House career says a lot about the stigma surrounding atheism in electoral politics. In 2011, Herb Silverman of the Secular Coalition of America told the Guardian that his group was aware of 27 members of Congress other than Stark "that have no belief in God." It's unclear who they were, or are, but none of them -- perhaps except Frank -- have since decided to speak out.
Such is the disdain for those who claim no allegiance to a deity that charitable organizations will even reject donations of money, time, and supplies from atheist groups.
Islamists are murdering Christians left and right in the Middle East and Africa, but it's a Louisiana duck hunter being suspended from a TV network that is the big threat to your religious freedom. It's atheists and their stubborn insistence that religion be kept separate from the state and the courts that is practically relegating Christians to the back of the bus. Yeah, tell me another one.

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