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All in the family? Not for atheists
Marrying an atheist can lead to family problems, a new survey says.
June 24th, 2014
08:03 AM ET

All in the family? Not for atheists

By Sara Grossman, CNN

(CNN) When Americans think of their future in-laws, they approve of nearly every type of person - except for atheists.

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center aimed to examine political polarization. It asked Americans whether they would be disappointed if a close family member married someone of a different race, country, political party or someone who doesn't believe in God.

Less than 20% of Americans said they would be unhappy if a close family member married someone from the opposite political party and only 11% said they would be upset if that person was of a different race.

But 49% of Americans said they would be disappointed if their family member married an atheist, making nonbelievers by far the most stigmatized group in the survey.

Conservatives overwhelmingly held reservations about secular Americans, with 73% saying they would be less than thrilled if a family member tied the knot with a nonbeliever.

Somewhat surprisingly, liberals also said they were uncomfortable with such a union. Nearly a quarter of Americans who call themselves “consistently liberal” and 41% of “mostly liberal” respondents said they wouldn’t want an atheist to marry into their family.

The poll is the latest evidence of the hard road atheists travel in the United States.

According to separate studies, atheists are more likely to face job discrimination, political pushback and general distrust.

Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide

Discrimination against atheists is “rampant,” said Dave Muscato, public relations director for American Atheists, an advocacy organization that fights for the separation of government and religion.

“There is a stigma against atheism because there is so much misinformation about atheists,” Muscato said in an e-mail. “Atheists don't hate your god, we aren't evil, and we're nor immoral; we are simply not convinced that your god exists.”

One of the most common stereotypes about atheists is they are angry white guys, said Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California who has studied secularism.

The reasons for this animosity toward atheists are multifaceted, he said.

For one, religion has been a major part of American culture since the country was founded, and many Americans continue to associate nonreligiosity with immorality.

Further, thanks to practices such as the Pledge of Allegiance, many Americans associate God and religion with patriotic values and atheism with being un-American.

“There’s a stigma for being anti-black, there’s a stigma for being anti-Jewish, there’s a stigma for being anti-gay,” Zuckerman said. “There has never been a stigma for being anti-atheist.”

Behold, the six types of atheists

Zuckerman and Muscato said that atheists need to come out of the shadows to gain more mainstream acceptance.

“Pretty much everyone knows at least one person who's an atheist,” Muscato said. “They just may not know it, because the prejudice is so strong that atheists have reasons for not talking about their atheism.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Discrimination • Prejudice

soundoff (945 Responses)
  1. lewcypher

    Today's religions and the belief in god(s) is just a perpetuation of our ancestors ignorance. Fortunately knowledge is becoming ubiquitous.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
  2. tnfreethinker

    I would not be happy if my children married someone of any religion. Free thinkers only.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
    • bostontola

      lol.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        He/she is serious.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • bostontola

          Either a troll or a dolt.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Eh, I won't lose sleep over it!

          I was actually hoping you were right!

          June 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • bostontola

          I like to give the benefit of the doubt.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ok, now I hope it is just a petty attempt at trolling.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      You are in the minority. Most atheists do not have that narrow-minded point of view as you.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
      • bostontola

        I think he was making a joke, like from Austin Powers:
        "There are only two things I can't stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures... and the Dutch."

        June 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I sure hope so.

          "If there is one thing I can't tolerate, it is intolerance."

          June 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • bostontola

          lol. I think so because there are some pretty free thinking religions out there.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I bet you they belong to an organized Secular Humanist group.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        It is not narrow-minded to want the best for your children.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          So you are fine with them choosing to believe in God?

          June 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          OF course not, I want what is best for them. And choosing to believe lies is not best.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          God is not a lie. God exists.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          All revealed god's are lies. God of the Bible, Torah, Quran, all revealed god's.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Were you joking when you said you would not be happy if one of your children married someone of any religion?

          June 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          Do you have reading comprehension problems?

          June 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't.

          Bostontola thought you were joking. Like, you were being ironic – calling yourself a "free thinker" but not demonstrating it.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          I can claim to be a free thinker with absolute confidence because it is true and demonstrated. I am raising my children to be free thinkers also, so there is almost no chance they will turn to fake god's.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • fintronics

          Why would you be happy if your child married someone who was brainwashed by religion?

          June 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • fintronics

          "God is not a lie. God exists"

          Again with the wild claims and no evidence.........

          June 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          fintronics

          I'm not brainwashed by religion. Nor is most people I know from a religious background. Fortunately I was raised in a household that allowed me to make my own decisions. I am a free thinker, too.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          It is impossible to be a believer and a free thinker. Free thinkers see past the BS. You are not there.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • fintronics

          I respect the person that states "I believe God exists"...... but that's not you...

          June 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I believe God exists. I know he gives evidence of his existence. It is greater than the evidence that fintronics preaches about how I shouldn't believe.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          You are delusional.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          How do you know you are not delusional?

          June 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • Woody

          "God is not a lie. God exists." – Dalahäst

          Nobody in the history of the world has ever produced an iota of credible evidence, let alone absolute proof of the existence of any god. So your belief is just that. YOUR belief.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Woody, do you believe that or know that.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • Woody

          "Woody, do you believe that or know that?" – Dalahäst

          The very fact that atheists and agnostics exist, proves that no absolute proof of god has ever been produced. If absolute proof of a god were produced, the question of "belief" wouldn't exist. It would be like questioning the existence of gravity. If anyone produced absolute, indisputable proof of any god, everyone would know his or her name. Their picture would be on the front page of most of the newspapers in the world. They would be interviewed on CNN. They would likely be nominated for a Nobel Prize. Since I'm not aware (nor is anyone else) that any of the above has transpired, I can say with confidence, that yes, I know that.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Nice theory. But there is no sound logic or reasoning behind that. It is your opinion.

          Again, how do you know that? Or do you just believe it? Have you considered every possibility of God's existence?

          June 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Why is The Bible the worlds best-selling and most widely distributed book?

          June 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          Have you ever read the bible? If you have, and if you are still a believer, you didn't pay attention. And how can you discount all other god's if you haven't even read your own book. And I mean READ the book. Not study the 50-60 bible verses covered in your church. I find it mind-boggling how little Christians know about the bible.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          tnfreethinker

          No. I haven't read the whole Bible. I just read the verses my pastor cherry picks for me and don't even bother considering the rest. We don't need to know the whole Bible. All we need to know is Jesus is a Republican and he supports our troops.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          The Jesus of the bible, had he actually existed, would have most definitely been a liberal.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          He did exist. I'm probably more liberal than you.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          Promote Atheism. Read your Bible.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • nojinx

          Whatever the reason, it is no more evidence of truth then the popularity of the most popular stories prior to the Bible's existence is evidence of truth.

          Ad populum fallacy.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Ad populum fallacy was committed when somebody said if it was true it would be on the front page of every newspaper.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Jesus probably existed, but neither of us was there, were we?

          This "Christ" character, however ...

          June 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Jesus Christ still exists and is available.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          No thanks, I'm good without god.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You can be whatever you want in your imagination.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          I prefer reality. You should try it.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          In reality you are not a free thinker. You just imagine you are and like how that makes you feel.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          Well you said it, so it must be true. lol. Just like your imaginary god. You say he's real so he must be. Free thinkers don't make extraordinary claims without proof. It's funny how my screen name perfectly fits me and so annoys christians.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think it fits you well. I have no problem with free thought. I just get annoyed when someone who self-describes themselves as a free thinker fails to demonstrate it.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
        • tnfreethinker

          You just don't get the concept of free thought. It's a side effect of religion.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          "Jesus Christ still exists and is available."
          A theologian may agree, but not a professional historian. I thought we were talking about the historicity of Jesus?

          June 25, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • econoneohwhat

      My worst fear is that I have kids and they grow up to be religious fundamentalists so completely understand where you are coming from.

      June 24, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
      • tnfreethinker

        Thank you for your comment. As long as you teach them to think for themselves, you have nothing to worry about. Free thinkers do not choose religion. People who choose religion are either indoctrinated or brainwashed.

        June 24, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Keith

          Sorry that is not true, Old Hippies raise marines, Atheists raise fundamentalists, Farmers raise rocket scientists.

          I know a family of Buddhist that has a child in some Christian Cult, it was devastating for them. They would have preferred she become an atheist.

          June 28, 2014 at 10:28 am |
  3. neondancer

    My family would have been appalled if I hadn't married an athiest! We're all non-believers who place great weight on science and reason, so marrying someone who didn't believe in that would have been quite odd, not to mention terribly awkward. Dinner conversations tend to be like something out of an old Parisian philosophe's salon, if you can't present evidence for your claims, you're toast. I remember explaining to my uncle Ehtesham about my husbands LDS family, his face was suddenly a bit fearful as he asked if we were now Mormon (in spite of me clutching a glass of champagne) and there was very real relief when I said no. I imagine that must be what it's like on the flip side of the question too. I'm just very glad my in-laws are ok with their son being athiest and therefore me. Quite kindly, they've never pressured me to convert.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Atheist just means you don't believe in God. It has nothing inherently to do with science. Your family sounds just as bigoted as the conservative family that would be unhappy if there relative married an atheist. You are just switching roles. There are too many examples of religious people that fully embrace science to take your family seriously. Have fun with your "logical" conversations at the dinner table.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
      • Science Works

        Dala this one has been a blast at family reunions.

        New evidence bolsters Higgs boson discovery: Confirmation of particle responsible for mass

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623121004.htm

        The mass for our asses .

        June 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Cool.

          Statement about files and clips. The kind of clips you can only get at Lowes.

          http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/2861

          Five is alive.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • Science Works

          Oh the talking serpent gets thrown in the mix also at the reunions – but when that talking donkey shows up in the conversation – grandma says that is enough.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Science can talk. It can drive a car, too.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
      • neondancer

        Fully embracing science means embracing the answer "we don't know, so let's find out" over "because god did it/said so." A religious person can not fully embrace science without having to give up a whole lot of those "because god" answers.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sorry. But a scientist who happens to believe in God can do anything a scientist who happens to be atheist can do.

          The atheist myth that all God believers say “because god did it/said so" and stop at that is nonsense. Believers in God have contributed too much to science to take such a notion seriously.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • G to the T

          "But a scientist who happens to believe in God can do anything a scientist who happens to be atheist can do."

          Of course they can – the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. That being said, if a scientist isn't willing to follow where the evidence leads (regardless of previous beliefs) then they are not very good scientists.

          Most of the decisions we make in life are made for emotional reasons. It's only after the decisions has been made that we will seek confirmatory evidence for our beliefs. In this respect, the scientific method is still the best system we have for modeling the universe as it takes this natuaral bias into account.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
      • econoneohwhat

        4%... That is the percent of the population with advanced degrees in natural sciences that also believe in a personal god. Only 4%.

        June 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          33% of scientists believe in God. 18% believe in a higher power. 41% don't believe in either. 7% don't know or refused to answer.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • kudlak

          It's 33% of all scientists, but only 4% of scientists who are evangelical Christians, so Dalahäst is right.

          The survey also indicates that this belief runs converse to the general public, with younger scientists being more prone towards belief. So, perhaps belief wanes as one's scientific career advances?

          http://www.pewforum.org/2009/11/05/scientists-and-belief/

          June 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
  4. djbeach77

    Strange how religious people believe in an invisible being whose existence cannot be proven. Yet many of them do not believe in climate change which has been scientifically proven.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
    • Alias

      We covered this recently, so I won't argue again – but very few people deny that the climate is changing. The cause is still a topic of debate.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
      • tallulah131

        That is the problem. As long as people continue to live in denial of their own culpability in the destruction of the planet, nothing will change.

        June 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • econoneohwhat

        The cause (humans) is also agreed upon now. The results and how quickly we kill ourselves off is what is left to debate. It is really down to how severe will the drought and famine be and what percent of the population will die as a result.

        June 24, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
    • Keith

      In the history of science many things have been scientifically proven that latter were abandoned because new things were discovered. There is no such think as settled science about something as complex as Climate change.

      June 28, 2014 at 10:41 am |
      • delevin

        Keith,
        The nature of all science is tentative. Any scientific conclusion can potentially be overturned with the next piece of evidence. Which is why science does not "prove" things. We can disprove things and provide supporting evidence for others. You are correct that, as science moves forward, old ideas are refined or even replaced with better understands, better approximations of reality. With regard to anthropogenic global warming, the evidence has been mounting for some time now. The scientific consensus now quite strongly supports the conclusion of AGW.

        June 28, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • nojinx

          I agree with Keith. "Settled science" sounds like am oxymoron.

          June 28, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • delevin

          nojinx,
          That sounds as though you do not value science or what it has brought us. Our scientific knowledge advances based on the current scientific knowledge, which means that it is never settled (if it was, we would know everything). But many aspects of science are so well established and experimentally and observationally validated that it is appropriate to refer to such scientific conclusions as "settled science". That is to say the supporting evidence is so strong that it is extremely unlikely that these scientific conclusions will ever be overturned.

          June 28, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • Keith

          I dont' have any problem with the science of climate change. I do have a problem with the politicians and their proposed remedies. Al Gore did a bigger disservice to science with his involvement than anything else because he fed the fire of politics.

          June 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
  5. blessed137

    I dont have anything against an atheist, such as personal hatred or dislike (love your enemies), there unbelief is between them and God. However a beliver (except carnal) and a nonbeliever dont have much in common and there will always be conflict between them, so I dont see it working out in the long run. Not saying it wont, just not likely. nonbelivers live for the world, belivers live for God. As for a nonbelieving family member, every christian wants everyone to receive Jesus and a nonbeliving couple would only fuel each others unbelief. Either way would i be happy about it? no. However I cant force others to do what I want them to do. Its their choice. I can choose to remain in peace and let go and Let God.

    June 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      It always amazes me when people write drivel like this... but don't recognize the blatantly idiotic cult-speak that they are regurgitating... You make me feel sorrow for the future of humanity (sad face)

      June 24, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
      • pilot2011

        Aren't you tired of being such a negative person? The cult you are in makes me sad for humanity. (sad face). For real, I feel sorry for you that you can't see beauty in anything.

        June 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          LOL... You're a funny asshat... expressing your ill-formed perceptions about me.

          June 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • fintronics

          A lot of azz-sumtions there pilot.....

          June 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, and his religious wife have been married for almost 20 years. My atheist brother-in-law and his Jewish wife – over 20 years.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
      • blessed137

        beliver's i was speaking of are christian. Yes there are many marriages of difference of faith. I didnt say they never work out, I said not likely. I was giving my point of view from my faith. not other beliefs. Akira, the difference I am speaking of is from the christian moral of living for God and doing what God desires. Nonbelievers cant do what God desires, they dont believe him. I wasnt saying that nonblievers are purley bad people. Most people in general regardless of their faith do have moral qualities and try their best.

        June 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • blessed137

          You misunderstood what I wrote.

          June 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
    • Keith

      Living for anything other than yourself is a wasted life.

      June 28, 2014 at 10:44 am |
  6. fweioff

    Good. I'm not marrying into a family of weak-minded, ignorant, irrational, brainwashed nutjobs anyway.

    June 24, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    • neondancer

      If you marry an atheist, there's a good chance their family is still going to be religious. I was lucky that I was born into a non-religious family, but most atheists come into it on their own, so you still have to deal with the in-laws trying to get you to go to church.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
  7. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    This Pew survey on polarization keeps giving and giving, though this is the first time I've seen it referenced here on the Belief Blog.

    Of the consistently conservative, the numbers who are "unhappy" about an immediate family member marrying:

    A Republican ........................................................ 1%
    A Gun owner ......................................................... 1%
    A Born-Again Christian ....................................... 3%
    Someone born and raised outside the US .... 7%
    Someone who didn't go to college ................... 8%
    Someone from a different race ....................... 23%
    A Democrat ......................................................... 39%
    Someone who doesn't believe in God ........... 73%

    For consistently liberal:

    A Democrat .......................................................... 1%
    Someone from a different race ........................ 4%
    Someone born and raised outside the US ..... 7%
    Someone who didn't go to college ................. 17%
    A Republican ...................................................... 23%
    Someone who doesn't believe in God ........... 24%
    A Born-Again Christian ..................................... 27%

    So consistent conservatives hate / fear atheists nearly TWICE as much as Democrats?

    The antipathy to atheists in this data is while unsurprising, really staggering to see it in the numbers.

    and:

    "Somewhat surprisingly, liberals also said they were uncomfortable with such a union. Nearly a quarter of Americans who call themselves “consistently liberal” and 41% of “mostly liberal” respondents said they wouldn’t want an atheist to marry into their family

    I would reword this to say that the consistently liberal are slightly less unhappy with an immediate family member marrying an atheist as a born-again Christian.

    June 24, 2014 at 11:55 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – I left one out:

      Consistently liberal, "unhappy" about an immediate family member marrying a

      A Gun Owner ......................... 31%

      This was the biggest "unhappy" category for the consistently liberal.

      June 24, 2014 at 11:58 am |
    • 2irishanml

      They better get used to it. Atheists are a rapidly growing group. Churches are losing not gaining as far as population compared to members. I was raised to believe in god. I now lean towards the non believer, but have an open mind.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      What I note, is that the consistently still racist South would still rather have their daughters marry a black man than an atheist...

      June 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Yes, even a black foreign Democrat.

        June 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          All heinous crimes to be sure...

          June 24, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          Of course. You can still spend eternity in the afterlife with a black foreign democrat, not so with an kind, generous atheist, so what would be the point?

          June 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
  8. moiraesfate

    Gee, how NOT a surprise this is.

    June 24, 2014 at 11:41 am |
  9. bostontola

    “There’s a stigma for being anti-black, there’s a stigma for being anti-Jewish, there’s a stigma for being anti-gay,”

    Ignorance fades over time. Race, se.xual orientation, etc. are harder to hide than atheism. Society was forced to deal with those prejudices, and still is. Atheism is small and so easy to hide that there is no strong societal force to deal with that prejudice. Add to that, many atheists don't care, and some like being different than the average bear.

    June 24, 2014 at 11:41 am |
  10. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    “Pretty much everyone knows at least one person who's an atheist,” Muscato said. “They just may not know it, because the prejudice is so strong that atheists have reasons for not talking about their atheism.”
    ------------–
    This about says it all I think.

    June 24, 2014 at 11:20 am |
  11. Reality

    In my immediate family, most of the guys to include myself are former Catholics but are now atheists. The women, on the other hand, still cannot shake the shackles of Christian brainwashing that started at a very young age.

    June 24, 2014 at 11:20 am |
  12. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    First thing that came to mind when I read this piece was your Father's quote Akira...

    June 24, 2014 at 11:11 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I think you should quote it again in a new thread...

      I need it anyway...I forgot to copy it to my collection.

      June 24, 2014 at 11:51 am |
  13. rjf2014

    You believe or dont believe what you want to and i'll do the same. I dont get what all the fuss and arguing about is for, it doesnt get anyone anywhere. Live your life with or without religion whatever makes you happy and thrive but have common respect and decency for those who may have different ideas and beliefs. People make it so much tougher then it should be.

    June 24, 2014 at 10:59 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Well, that's not what We believe. In fact, We are going to make it a law that you have to believe what We believe. And if you don't like it, too bad! We are right and your laissez-faire attitude towards exclusivity is wrong and you are definitely going to whatever place We determine is the correct Hell. But we love you and please give us your money to support what We believe.

      June 24, 2014 at 11:14 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        The above is in response to "I don't know what all the fuss is about." I don't think most atheists could give a rat's ass less what idiocies some people want to believe in... but when they start to legislate their crap on us... the trend is for atheists to resist encroachment on OUR freedoms. It is bad enough religious imbeciles continue to out-breed us like the movie Idiocracy... but someone has to be a sane secular voice in this country.

        June 24, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • fintronics

      Forcing your personal beliefs based on mythology into public law is part of what the fuss is all about.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • G to the T

        It does strike me as disingenous that anyone could not realize this is the case.

        June 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
  14. colin31714

    Another benefit to being an atheist. It is more difficult to get married........

    June 24, 2014 at 10:41 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Don't forget guilt free masturbation.

      June 24, 2014 at 10:56 am |
      • G to the T

        "free masturbation"

        Where!?!? Oh... nevermind...

        June 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
  15. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    @bchev – I also have encountered many reasonable Chaplains (not just the Army)... they are typically a breed apart from the average religious con-men.

    June 24, 2014 at 10:33 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Don't know why this posted up here.

      June 24, 2014 at 10:36 am |
      • Alias

        It happens to all of us.

        June 24, 2014 at 10:41 am |
  16. Vic

    Most people differ on who God is and what He wants from us but Atheism is a whole different ball game.

    "Attorney Jan Schlichtmann went too far."

    Just like attorney Jan Schlichtmann went too far in his demands for restitution beyond reason, Atheism in theory and anti-theism in practice went too far in claiming there is no God.

    June 24, 2014 at 10:07 am |
    • Vic

      I believe that's how most people perceive Atheism.

      June 24, 2014 at 10:13 am |
      • kudlak

        Vic
        Then this is just a stereotype of atheists they ignorantly hold on to then, right? Just another typical prejudice.

        June 24, 2014 at 10:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Atheism does not declare there is no god. It merely speaks to disbelief. We don't believe due to t overwhelming lack of evidence for any god, that's not to say that if adequate evidence were provided by and backed we wouldn't consider it. It is a closed mind that shuts off all possibilities. However I would wager that the immoral god you believe in is the least likely to exist but once again I can't be 100% certain. To say it goes too far is hypocritical when you yourself have no evidence to support your god, so we can say your claims go too far.

      "Science is answers that may never be questioned. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."

      June 24, 2014 at 10:17 am |
      • kudlak

        I think you mean "Science has questions that may never be answered. Religion has answers that may never be questioned."

        June 24, 2014 at 10:25 am |
      • mk

        "Science is answers that may never be questioned. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."

        Are you trying to say: "Science is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."

        I like it.

        June 24, 2014 at 10:27 am |
      • awanderingscot

        knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. atheists imagine they have knowledge and absolutely have no wisdom.

        June 24, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Two different things fooltard! Stop trying to make yourself appear intelligent when we know you're not!

          June 24, 2014 at 10:48 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          The tomato is a 'stand alone' fruit....

          June 24, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • nojinx

          What if it is a tomato salad? Is it still a fruit salad?

          June 24, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        kudlak: Yes that is what I meant...sorry.

        June 24, 2014 at 10:47 am |
    • G to the T

      "Most people differ on who God is and what He wants from us but Atheism is a whole different ball game."

      That you would assume monotheism and use "God" instead of "god" (or "gods" for that matter) shows just how much people can differ in their views on god(s) from you. I would contend that their beliefs can be just as oppositional to your beliefs as any atheist might be.

      June 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
  17. lunchbreaker

    I would guess that it happens quite often but the in-laws don't know. I have never told my family I am a non-believer nor that my wife is. If an atheist is marrying into the family, most likely thier is already an atheist in the family. A more inportant question is would you accept your own child if they told you they were an atheist?

    June 24, 2014 at 9:12 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      My daughter's in-laws figured something was up... when she refused to get married in their little archaic church and had to be 'blessed' or some such nonsense by their pastor. She preferred to get married at the courthouse without all of the religious mumbo-jumbo.

      June 24, 2014 at 9:24 am |
  18. Theo Phileo

    "Conservatives overwhelmingly held reservations about secular Americans, with 73% saying they would be less than thrilled if a family member tied the knot with a nonbeliever."
    ---------------
    This is not discrimination, this is merely the bearing out of scripture that commands believers:

    Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God..." 2 Corinthians 6

    “Bound together” translates a participial form of the verb heterozugeo, which means, “to be unequally yoked.” Paul drew his analogy from Deuteronomy 22:10, where the Mosaic Law commanded the Israelites, “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” Those two animals do not have the same nature, gait, or strength. Therefore it would be impossible for such a mismatched pair to plow together effectively. Nothing in the context would lead to the idea that he is referring to earthly issues of human endeavors. In Paul’s analogy, believers and unbelievers are two different breeds and cannot work together in the spiritual realm. He called for separation in matters of the work of God, since such cooperation for spiritual benefit is impossible. The false teachers were eager to blend the people of God with the pagan worshipers, because that hinders the gospel. That is what this text forbids.

    And let us never forget that marriage is not only a physical union, but rather is primarily a spiritual union. And when a pair can come together in marriage and one is a believer, and the other is not, it is only evidence of how neither take spiritual matters seriously.

    June 24, 2014 at 8:35 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Blah blah blah...more tripe from you!
      Marriage is not owned by Christians. In order for a marriage to be legal, it must be accompanied by a license issued by the government. Set that tiny fact aside and marriage type unions have been happening long before man ever invented your imaginary friend. You might wish to do some research on the TRUE FACTS about marriage before trying to act intelligent (we know you're not).

      June 24, 2014 at 8:42 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        Blah blah blah...more tripe from you!
        Marriage is not owned by Christians. In order for a marriage to be legal, it must be accompanied by a license issued by the government. Set that tiny fact aside and marriage type unions have been happening long before man ever invented your imaginary friend. You might wish to do some research on the TRUE FACTS about marriage before trying to act intelligent (we know you're not).
        --------------------
        You truly are an immature and vulgar person. It would seem that your only lot in life is to belittle that for which you very obviously are repulsed by, having never given any serious discussion as to why you are so repulsed, as well as never giving any solid reasoning or justification.

        I never said that marriage is "owned" by Christians as you put it. But, point of fact, marriage was the very first human insti.tution, and it had it's genesis with God who joined Eve to Adam. Man has since taken charge over the insti.tution, as he should have, since dominion over the earth has been given to him, and Christians obtain judicial papers granting legal status to marriages because of Romans 13, but the authority over marriage does not rest with man. It is God who maintains authority over that which man is given the responsibility of being steward.

        And he has done a poor job of it by redefining terms to permit the union of that which God has never intended to be together, all in the name of man's "god" of lust.

        June 24, 2014 at 8:56 am |
        • Doris

          Theopatra: "You truly are an blah blah blah....."

          OK that paragraph had zero value. Just more sanctimonious claims from fruit loopy.

          Theopatra: "I never said that marriage is "owned" by Christians .... and it had it's genesis with God who joined Eve to Adam. ... because of Romans 13, ... It is God who ...blah blah blah"

          Again, nothing but self-righteous BS.

          Theopatra: "And he has done a poor job of it by redefining terms to permit the union of that which God has never intended to be together, all in the name of man's "god" of lust."

          Good grief, dufus – couldn't you manage anything in your post except sanctimonious BS?

          June 24, 2014 at 9:19 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Where did Adam and Eve's sons find women to marry?
          Did they schtup their sisters or did God create a couple of more rib clones?

          June 24, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "You truly are an immature and vulgar person"

          Says the one who thinks the Holocaust was justified. Says the one who has an imaginary friend. Such hypocrisy coming from you.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • jhg45

          doc, read the book and find the answer you only have to go 5 ch. deep and Doris, it is a blah not an blah.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          jhg: You mean the tripe where is blatantly lies and claims people lived hundreds of years and yet we know given the time the bible was written that most didn't make it to adulthood. Such a foolish thing to accept!

          June 24, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • primewonk

          "But, point of fact, marriage was the very first human insti.tution, and it had it's genesis with God who joined Eve to Adam"

          Again, marriage existed for thousands of years BEFORE your Abrahamic god was cobbled together from various minor deities worshipped by nomadic bronze-age shepherds in the Middle East around 3,000 years ago.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          “The Bible: proof that gullible people will believe any dumbass thing that you tell them” ~LET

          June 24, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Where did Adam and Eve's sons find women to marry?
          Did they schtup their sisters or did God create a couple of more rib clones?"
          --------------
          They married siblings of course. It was only later that God forbade this.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Actually, here's a good article...
          http://www.gotquestions.org/Cains-wife.html

          June 24, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • mk

          "They married siblings of course. It was only later that God forbade this."

          At what point does your god get to change the rules? He hasn't published any books, revealed himself or smited anyone recently, so if he changed a rule today, how would you know? And why would he need to change a rule to begin with? Did he not think that one through?

          So many questions, so few logical answers.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          mk,
          You should read the article I linked. It has nothing to do with "changing a rule." God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so He never changes. Throughout time, because of the progressive nature of revelation, God has chosen to govern His dealings with man through covenants. Each reflective of God's own nature, as well as a foreshadowing of future revelation. You would do well to study an introductory course in covenant theology.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • Doris

          new (or the next) covenant = our God needs a makeover....

          June 24, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • kudlak

          Theo
          "man's "god" of lust"
          You do realize that many of the first same se x marriages were of couples who had already been together in monogamous relationships for decades?

          June 24, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • mk

          Phil: Over 30 years of religion has taught me that all the studying in the world won't answer or explain the inconsistencies and illogical words of the bible. Not to mention that every religion, denomination, sect, group, headmaster and parishioner has a different interpretation of the very same book.

          I'll stick with something a bit more sound: common sense.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • timcrall

          You probably shouldn't use "fact" and "Adam and Eve" in the same sentence...

          June 24, 2014 at 11:54 am |
    • awanderingscot

      the fool has said in his heart there is no God. who would want to be married to a fool?

      June 24, 2014 at 8:50 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Oh my TOT; you're rather stupid! Did you honestly expect the writers of the book not to throw in tiny bits of fear-factor? If they didn't throw in tiny bits of fear-factoring statements, they risked the true FOOLS wandering away and if those TRUE FOOLS wandered the belief would crumble. Sadly we still have humanities greatest blemishes (YOU AND YOUR ILK) spreading the stories but that won't last much longer, people are leaving the belief system at rapid rates.

        June 24, 2014 at 8:55 am |
        • awanderingscot

          what fear factor was mentioned here? your hate and animosity are predictable, another reason for not marrying an atheist.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:07 am |
        • Doris

          @Snotty: Pointing out an obvious control device inherent in many religions and the gullibility of those who fall prey to it is not hate – it's just telling it like it is.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I'm not married to an Atheist but my common-law husband is one. I merely explained to you why they would put such a verse in and you blindly fail to comprehend....your ignorance is not my issue but it is a true indication of how unhealthy for humanity and our survival you are.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:32 am |
      • kudlak

        That may have been true, back in the day before science could explain where things like lightening actually came from, but it's a whole different story these days. Now, the fools are the ones who deny science simply because it contradicts their holy book.

        June 24, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          before science could explain where things like lightening actually came from
          ------------–
          Really? Because I thought that science cannot explain exactly how atmospheric collisions of ice crystals can cause electricity...

          June 24, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • kudlak

          We may not know all the answers yet, but we're a far cry from still believing that some god literally hurled lightening bolts at their enemies, like they did back when the Bible was written.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:30 am |
      • colin31714

        Your wife?

        June 24, 2014 at 10:41 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Do you honestly think anyone would be that foolish? We can hope he didn't marry or procreate.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:49 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        The logic of a cultist.

        June 24, 2014 at 11:31 am |
    • Alias

      Actually Theo,
      this is a cultural thing. They want their children to be the same race as them. 3.000 years ago people were more clearly divided by tribes, and the idea of having children who were not pure blood jew was offensive. The scripture was a little loose sometimes in seperating race/tribe with religion.
      You may remember the head jews in israel tried to urge american jews to may within the race, and it rubbed a lot of american jews the wrong way.

      June 24, 2014 at 11:41 am |
    • G to the T

      "This is not discrimination, this is merely the bearing out of scripture that commands believers:"

      Just because it's in the bible doesn't mean it isn't discriminination...

      June 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
    • neondancer

      Since I'm not Christian, I really don't feel any of this has any bearing on my marriage. Nor does it have any weight on a Buddhist marriage, a Pagan one, or any other religion. Christian rules only apply to Christian marriages and contrary to popular belief, Christianity does not hold a monopoly on marriage. Now go switch into some 100% fiber content clothes and put down the shrimp if you're going to start claiming every word of the bible must be obeyed.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
  19. TruthPrevails1

    When the vast majority of your country is Christian, you would expect the stats to sway to that side.

    June 24, 2014 at 8:17 am |
    • Doris

      Yes. Also, they really should be showing a breakdown of the age ranges questioned.

      June 24, 2014 at 8:34 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Exactly.
        Millenials care a lot less about religion than their parents.
        Old prejudices die slowly, but they do die. Hate for the irreligious will be bled out of the culture in the coming decades, just as overt racism is dying.
        In 1958, only 4% of Americans were in favour of interracial marriage.
        Even at the very end of the century, support for interracial marriage was only at 48%.

        When my parents were married, they couldn't get approval from their respective churches because neither would convert to the other's religion. It was the clergy's opinion that a marriage between a protestant and a catholic was doomed to failure.
        40 years later, they're still together and they still identify with their own sects.

        Today's kids don't care much about religious affiliation and their kids will care even less.

        June 24, 2014 at 9:10 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          My parents married in 1965. The Salvation Army wouldn't marry them because Mom was four months pregnant. Today it is very rare to see that happen.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          The Salvation Army marries people? I thought they just hung around street corners and begged for change during the fake christian holiday.

          June 24, 2014 at 9:51 am |
        • bchev

          My wife and I got married 3 years ago while she was 4 months pregnant. We lucked into finding a rather great Army Chaplain whose response was "Meh, these things, they happen". I'm an athiest but she really wanted to do a Catholic wedding for her family, and he was great and made it work. There are people across the spectrum who are willing to be reasonable, they just aren't the majority. Yet

          June 24, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Yes LET. It is my 'family' church, not that I enter one outside of doing so to show respect for the people the service is about.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:09 am |
        • kudlak

          They're a full denomination up here in Canada. I have more respect for them than any other religious charity. They actually seem to be interested in helping people.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kudlak: Where in this great country are you? I know Doc is Toronto area, hotairace is Calgary; AtheistSteve and I are on the beautiful East Coast in NB.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • kudlak

          TruthPrevails1
          I'm also in Calgary, and counting myself lucky that my house is up a long hill, well away from the river.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          To temper my sarcasm... I agree, the SA does at least appear to give a crap about some people... but I have an angry Pavlovian response to those cursed bells.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:31 am |
        • kudlak

          LET
          No bells up here, but you still do get the occasional brass band.

          June 24, 2014 at 10:37 am |
  20. Robert Brown

    Unequally yoked

    June 24, 2014 at 8:14 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.