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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. basedrum777

    I think its funny that people are this way considering the Atheist population is growing. I can understand the angry white guy stigma as I'm a white guy and have been very angry with believers of various religions. Most of that stems from their insistence on using a book written by man 2000 years ago to justify whatever it is they want to do. Including discrimination, war, etc.

    If a person forces you through conversation to take a long look at your beliefs and choose whether they make any sense in a modern world they should be revered not shunned.

    June 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
  2. qsmurf

    Like it or not, admit it or not, I think that a majority – yes, a majority of people in this country are in fact some version of Atheist or Agnostic and only claim to belong to one cult or another simply to make others more comfortable who still rely on the crutch of their religious beliefs in order to maintain some perceived morality that they think they wouldn't be able to maintain without those beliefs.

    The longer religionists try to push their insistence that all people must live under their version of morality, the longer this country will languish and not advance.

    Religion holds us all back on not only an individual level, but on a larger, connected level as well!

    June 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • Alias

      Many many many christians have their own personal interpretation of some parts of the bible. I was always amused by the way they would find a way to reconcile their religion to something that they could accept, and go happily along ‘knowing’ they were the one who had it right.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  3. Vic

    The linked to Pew Research Center survey —it is a long and comprehensive survey, you need to navigate to the section pertaining to atheists to look it up— above notes that "Doesn't matter" includes "Don't know" responses.

    The Breakdown:
    Unhappy 49%
    Doesn't matter 47%
    Happy 4%

    Early on:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/24/all-in-the-family-not-for-atheists/comment-page-1/#comment-3034250

    June 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The "breakdown" for the consistently conservative:

      Unhappy: ............. 73%
      Doesn't matter: ... 24%
      Happy: .................... 2%

      73% is a staggering number.

      June 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • Vic

        I am surprised that you mistook that!

        It means that 73% of the Consistently Conservatives are Unhappy with marrying an atheist.

        June 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "I am surprised that you mistook that!"
        ---------------
        Vic I didn't mistake anything. You wrote exactly what I said.

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

      Clarification:

      The "breakdown" in the OP —Original Post— is regarding the general population's feeling about marrying an atheist, the article's subject matter.

      [
      The Breakdown:
      Unhappy 49%
      Doesn't matter 47%
      Happy 4%
      ]

      June 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
  4. patrick90210

    It's not surprising that the higher level of education someone attains, the less likely he or she is to believe in supernatural beings.

    June 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
    • Alias

      But is it true that more educated people tend to be Science Fiction / Fantasy fans?
      Or do I just work with too many geeks?

      June 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        And Monty Python fans... NEE!

        June 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        and we prefer the term 'Nerds'

        June 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Alias

          I Now see that I overlooked an important point in my original post – The field of study.
          Geek is a compliment among programmers, but not so much in physical sciences.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Here's a delightfully geeky graph to help you decide "geek or nerd". I'm a geek, for all that I foolishly chose to pursue a career in the creative arts.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2442364/Are-geek-nerd-Scientist-creates-graph-explains-difference–tells-YOU-scale.html

          June 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        More important than geek or nerd is:
        Trek or Wars?

        June 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Trek all the way my friend... Gene was a visionary

          June 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • tallulah131

          You forgot one: Who.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Oh yes... I can't believe I forgot the Time Lord. Probably because I'm not wearing my Tardis socks today.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • fintronics

          gotta love that groovy British phone booth!

          June 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
  5. qsmurf

    This is actually great news! That "nearly half" statistic just 10-20 years ago would have been much, much higher...I'd even dare say it would have been closing in on 100%.

    While there is still much ground to cover – including removing "god" from the pledge as well as our currency and presidential inaugurations – much ground has in fact been covered in recent years.

    The somewhat depressing part of this study for me, is that liberals still cave in to their childhood indoctrination apparently just as easily as conservatives.

    Religion – not only the world's ultimate dividing force, but also the most non-discriminate distributor of ignorance regardless of political affiliation.

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

      People use religion to justify their bad behavior. Even without religion, people find other things to justify their bad behavior: science, economics, property, politics. If the non-religious and liberals gain political power, we'll just have another group of power mongers with their rifle sites set on us.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
      • qsmurf

        That may very well be, but with religion there is a strange phenomenon that occurs that makes people either ignore, dismiss or miss entirely the fact that religion gets a free pass when used against others, whereas most other things that people try to use to justify their bad behavior are typically called out and recognized as ridiculous excuses by most people.

        I no longer give religion a free pass on its bigotry, prejudice or intolerance. I just wish more people would start doing the same and calling it out more often rather than just conveniently overlooking when religion oversteps, yet again.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have no problem calling out religion. I have never given it a free pass on its bigotry, prejudice or intolerance. I even call out non-religion on its bigotry, prejudice or intolerance.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • qsmurf

          I disagree with your overall paranoia of liberals, science, economics, and whatever else you think has any remote resemblance to the way religion is used against others.

          And as I already said, most other things that people try to use to justify their bad behavior are typically called out and recognized as ridiculous excuses by most people.

          You seem to be under the impression that most people actually call religion out when they in fact don't. You can't simply cite some opposing ideology and say it will have the same effect as religion just to make yourself appear more objective than you actually are.

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

          I'm not paranoid of liberals, science or economics. I just think blaming religion for all the world's problems is too simplistic to be sufficient. Other things like politics, knowledge and money play a big role, too.

          Why have there been so many atrocities committed by those who weren't religious? Who actually opposed religion?

          My religion, I believe, encourages me to be intentionally kind and forgiving, especially to those different from me. There is a lot of good that can come from a religion.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • nojinx

          Yes, but those good things do not need religion to come about. Often they can come about on their own merit.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          How do they come about on their own merit?

          June 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • nojinx

          Through the desires and efforts of those who seek them for the value they find in them.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          It's called being in a cooperative society Dala, perhaps you've heard of it?

          June 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No, that is not what it is called. There are a lot of people who aren't cooperative in society. Can they just get better on their own merit?

          June 24, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • nojinx

          If they have the desire to do so, of course.

          June 24, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          And how do you define these values?

          June 24, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          If you want the most simple answer I can give dala, then it's mirror neurons.

          June 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • nojinx

          Dalahast: "And how do you define these values?"

          I am not sure what you are asking here. Are you asking how the values are identified? I don't think so, as that would indicate you require god to recognize the kindness and forgiveness you mentioned. Can you clarify?

          June 24, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
  6. Strand

    I think this is because Atheism is akin to being anti-christian amongst many people. I can honestly say that growing up I related atheists as people who didn't want to be a part of society. Now I know that is not the case because for all practical reasons I am an atheist. And I suspect there are alot more atheists than are willing to admit it is just they know that will not be as accepted by family and friends, so it is choosing to be apart of a minority once you realize it.

    June 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Some christians spend a lot of energy misrepresenting atheists. I can't help but wonder if it's out of fear that acknowledging the existence of non-believers could threaten their own beliefs.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
      • basedrum777

        ding, ding, ding....

        June 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Some atheists spend a lot of energy misrepresenting Christians. I can't help but wonder if it's out of fear that acknowledging the existence of believers could threaten their own non-beliefs.

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

          We don't misrepresent Christians – they behave, we observe and point out, and they cry foul that we are pointing out their bad behavior which they are trying to justify with their religion.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          No. There are some people that do misrepresent Christians on this blog. I've had some go so far as hijack my name and post disparaging things to make me look bad. I know you imagine you guys can do no wrong. But you have the same human nature and flaws as everyone else.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • billmeier

          I'm an atheist, and I don't like them either. Don't really care for loudmouths on either side, really.

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

          I agree.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
      • nojinx

        It is a need to demonize a feared type. Assigning negative attributes via generalization is just one method.

        Demonizing is something many do for propaganda purposes. It is not inherent to theism or non-theism but can be practiced by anyone.

        For examples, see many of the other comments from theist and non-theist alike.

        >

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

        It is a need to demonize a feared type. Assigning negative attributes via generalization is just one method.

        Demonizing is something many do for propaganda purposes. It is not inherent to theism or non-theism but can be practiced by anyone.

        For examples, see many of the other comments from theist and non-theist alike.

        June 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • tallulah131

          It is my personal belief that fear is a greater motivator for christians than any sort of compassion.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You are the one probably motivated by fear and projecting that onto "all the Christians".

          June 24, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • new-man

          Dalahast, I have to agree with you here. The only ones I see on this board who are fearful are usually many non-believers, who then go on to twist and totally misrepresent scripture.
          Tal, there is no fear in love. perfect love removes all fears. when you get that in your spirit you will stop "projecting your fears". you're not fooling anyone.

          God is Love. Seek Him.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • nojinx

          I have love, so what need for gods?

          June 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • tallulah131

          You still here, Dala? Oh yeah, I guess school is out for the summer.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You are making fun of me for going to school?

          June 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          new-man

          Yes. I'm just glad most atheists do not act like them.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • fintronics

          Yes, thankfully most Christians don't act like dala

          June 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • tallulah131

          No, dala. I am commenting that school is out for the summer, so you have more time to spend on the belief blog. But shouldn't you go outside and enjoy the free time before the next school year starts?

          June 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I go to school. And work. And go outside.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
  7. adamv8

    I don't want religious inlaws... So that's that. They are s t u p i d people.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
  8. Salero21

    Well that's because half (½) of americans though they may be overweight and obese they are still reasonable enough to know and understand that atheism is Absolute, Complete and Total Absurdity and NONSENSE. They also know by first hand experience like me, that atheist are extremely hypocritical, compulsive and pathological LIARS. Hopefully that same half will not get drunk, high on Pot in Colorado or become communists, socialists or fascists. Because then they start getting cozy with the Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE of atheism.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
    • xirume

      Your fear is palpable.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • Salero21

        Stop the Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE.

        June 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Ben

          We're trying. That's why we're atheists.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
        • qsmurf

          HA! Nice one Ben!

          June 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • Salero21

      Idolatry, evolutionism, cultism are also Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • esaggese

        Idolatry is exactly the opposite of atheism. There's no such thing as evolutionism. It is called "belief in evidence and reason". I don't think Cultism is a word either. So I agree, those things are nonsense, and they are in no way related to atheism. Point for you.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Salero21

          Cultism is word, if there are cultists then there is such as cultism. Atheism as evolutionism and cultism are also Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE. Incidentally enough my experience with atheists have been that they always end up turning to Idolatry to explain their views of the world and of religion. That's why they always turn to the RCC and hide behind the vestments of the Pope when they think is convenient.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
      • stevet88

        I think you are mistaken about your conclusion on evolution, that it is factual and based on hard evidence. As for cults, aren't all religions just large cults really? Not "meanness" intended with that statement; just curious as to why you think your religion is different from cults, smaller religions, and other large religions?

        June 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
      • econoneohwhat

        Salero, you are an Atheist when it comes to all the other deities throughout human history. Atheists just go one god further.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
    • drgreenstreak

      Your religion is your hate

      June 24, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
      • Salero21

        Love you too!!

        June 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • Salero21

      I also hope that half doesn't become corrupt, perverted and Idolaters, though many are compulsive Liars always telling Tall tales.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
      • G to the T

        Don't worry Sal – even after the rest of the world devolves into apostacy, at least we'll know there still one "true" christian out there. Keep up the good fight... /s

        June 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
    • tonecapone360

      I am an atheist and I would absolutely love to hear you explain how the refusal to believe in the existence of a magical sky wizard, for which there is no evidence, is absurd.

      I can't wait to hear this.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • Salero21

        You're a PRIME example of what I've been saying all along, because is not the absence of Evidence but the refusal and rejection of the Evidence your problem.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Strand

          What evidence?

          June 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • stevet88

          but hasn't each religion said they were the right one, and that their gods were the real gods? If yours is somehow more knowable, why do there continue to be so many religions? It is more likely that religions have been and are still a man made idea. hmm

          June 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • qsmurf

          And you're a prime example of what religion does to an already mentally unstable person.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • esaggese

      You are very sick. You should seek counseling. I hope you get well.
      Best whishes.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • Salero21

        You are growing old, that means you are one day closer to the last day of your life. God is waiting at the other end.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • G to the T

          Sal – if people like you are the ones that get into heaven, why would anyone possibly want to go there?

          On a side note – you do understand that you reinforce anti-deist beliefs? That you are actually working contrary to what the bible teaches? By your example you have probably damned more people to hell than you have saved...

          June 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • patrick90210

      People don't want an atheist in the family because they'd prefer not to have to defend their faith in their own minds. Deep, deep down, they realize their "faith" is really only fear that when they die it's all over. Well, unfortunately people, it is all over. When you die, it's exactly like what it was like before you were born. In case you haven't noticed, no one worships Zeus, Apollo, Athena, or any of the Greek or Roman gods anymore. Science and time have destroyed them. When Christianity, grows as old as the ancient religions, time will destroy it also. Why are there no parts of the bible that show it was written by an all knowing god rather than simply the men of the time. No mention of planets that couldn't be seen by the naked eye, no mention of other continents, no mention of microbiology, etc. etc. etc. in other words, NO divine intervention. Get over it. Religions' (all of them) days are numbered. Amen.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
      • Salero21

        See... your compulsive, pathetic and pathological Lying is erupting in a hateful rage and rant. That's one good reason as to why reasonable people and people of reason don't want atheists in their families if it can be prevented. Now that does not means that they are not going to Love them. However because atheists and evolutionists believe they're descendants of some sort of ape like creature or amoeba like thing. They know the genetic pool of the family can be damage by the atheist.... just kidding!

        June 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Now that does not means that they are not going to Love them."

          Yeah – it actually does or else you have a definition of "love" that I wouldn't want to share.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
      • stevet88

        I agree largely with patrick. Also perhaps I figure a few believers are "well why not believe (and be a part of some faith based community that my family is apart of already)", I think some people choose to believe even if they think it's unlikely for a few different reasons actually... Not too mention having to face reality head on is daunting to some.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
    • billmeier

      Salero, you've missed the point – atheism isn't those things...it is nothing. No god(s). That's all it is (or isn't).

      June 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
  9. xirume

    Christians are afraid of Atheists because it forces them to consider the possibility that they've been deluded all along and the fear of finding out the truth is something they just can't stomach.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
    • Salero21

      See... this is why I must remind atheists that atheism is Total Stupidity anytime, all the time, every single time and Forevermore.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
      • drgreenstreak

        Belief in something such as Jesus is necessary for weak people to feel strong. They are uncertain of themselves and the world around them so they follow their particular, cultural agenda of belief that all will be well because of a wonderful fantasy.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Salero21

          You must feel stronger than Mighty Mouse. I'm certain of what and where the world is heading and IS NOT Heaven.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
      • drgreenstreak

        you see Salero21 is becoming frustrated... running out of quips and put-downs. Salero21 is scared to death of atheists.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • Salero21

          You must be scare. If you're is because of your conscience if any left. Being an extreme hypocrite a compulsive and pathological liar is a big heavy load in the conscience of those who have any left.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • chazthephoenix

          I am not scared of Atheists, I feel sorry for you. You have not had the great eye-opening moment when you realize we are not just some genetic mishap on this planet.

          I will gladly tell you how Jesus has changed my life completely. I couldnt have done this radical a change by myself, in mown power. It really is sad when Atheists have to bash something that they don't believe in. You are free to believe whatever you want to believe. I will pray that you see The Light. I just don't understand the hate you spew for someone who believes in something you don't. If that isn't evil, I don't know what is. And if there is evil present, then there has to be Good present...ie Jesus.

          Have you ever seen someone possessed by a demon? Someone you know and love that acts totally crazy and opposite from who you know them to be? Have you ever looked in the mirror when really angry? Is that any way to live?

          Because once you acknowledge there is evil, you acknowledge there is good.Which proves there is a God.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • nojinx

          I've never thought we were just a genetic mishap yet I am still an atheist. You present a good example of misconceptions about atheists for other readers, though, so thanks.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I would never deny someone a crutch if they need one, Chaz. If you are happy with your religion, then good for you.

          But there is no need nor desire for your pity. I don't believe in gods, because there is no evidence that gods exist. I am an honest person so it was very liberating to let go of a lie I believed because I was raised in an area where belief was simply taken for granted. I don't need a god to be a good, happy person, but if you do, Chaz, then by all means believe whatever you need.

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

          @chaz = " I feel sorry for you"

          The feeling is mutual

          June 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
      • esaggese

        I just realized you are a troll (no one can be that stupid). So folks, please, don't feel the troll. I will stop myself.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • Salero21

          Yes folks don't feed these troll esaggese.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Athy

          Salero is a long-time well known troll that is generally ignored by most of the savvy posters on this blog. Good to see that you quickly discovered this on your own.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • Salero21

          Oh yes athy is another troll.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • tallulah131

        At least all people can take comfort in knowing that their child will never marry a troll. Because who would want to date, much less be married to someone as useless as a troll?

        June 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • Salero21

          Are you useless or just a troll? I mean, given the FACT that this is a Belief Blog then; what are atheist doing here? See... that makes you the Troll. That's why I say that atheists are Compulsive and pathological Liars.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • fintronics

          I mean, who wants to live under a bridge??

          June 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Apparently sally is okay with it. Or maybe he just likes to think his mom's basement is "under a bridge".

          June 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • fintronics

          LOL.....

          June 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
      • eldaveablo

        "Total Stupidity anytime, all the time, every single time and Forevermore."

        Just like mis-use of capital letters.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Salero21

          OMG.. ELDIABLO is another Secret Agent of THE GRAMMAR GESTAPO OF THE INTERNET!! He is going to pick me and poke me with toothpicks all the while yelling to me at the top of his voice, DIE, DIE, DIE. He/she/it will do that till I die and be no more. OMG!

          June 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • billmeier

          Sal, you just used your lord's name in vain twice...that'll be 50 pushups.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • fintronics

          He's storing wrath! STORING WRATH I TELL YA!!!!

          June 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I'm not afraid of atheists. I generally don't even think of you guys until you ironically flood the religion blogs.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
      • Salero21

        Yup, is a phony how they do that. Must be some sort of conscience problem. Which means they may still have such a thing as a conscience. The Scriptures texts of Rom. 1:19-32 comes to mind as well as Psalms 14:1 & 53:1 about such men.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
      • billmeier

        This is an article about how half of America doesn't want an atheist in the family...just when we thought we were out, you pulled us back in!

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

          I'm the half that doesn't care.

          A significant number of atheists doesn't want a believer in God in their family, either.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • fintronics

          @dala.... "A significant number of atheists doesn't want a believer in God in their family, either. "

          Dang! your azz must be sore! cauz you sure do pull a lot out of there!

          June 24, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          fintronics

          Did you look at the data from the study? They asked atheists the same questions. My ass.

          June 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • fintronics

          I just re-read the article............... I don't see any mention of what you claim...

          June 25, 2014 at 10:30 am |
  10. pmmarion

    Tough! They will get over it. lol

    June 24, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
  11. tallulah131

    I suspect that there are a lot more atheist in-laws out there than people suspect. Sometimes it's just polite to nod and say nothing when in company of people who can't understand why their personal faith is not universal.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
  12. tallulah131

    Smart guy, your dad. Some of the worst people I've ever met went to church every Sunday and prayed before every meal.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
  13. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I know a lot of fancy dancers,
    people who can glide you on a floor,
    They move so smooth but have no answers.
    When you ask "Why'd you come here for?"
    "I don't know" "Why?"

    June 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
  14. lbdukeep

    I don't get families that would "disown" a member of their family because – they are different in beliefs! What is wrong with folks. If my son or daughter wanted to be an athiest, I'd still love them. Its their choice. AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION GUARANTEES FREEDOM OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS! All you atheists who have been disowned, you can be my family. I can't support you financially but I support you spiritually. SO MOTE IT BE!

    June 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
  15. theeicemancometh

    If atheist believe God is nothing more than a figment of someone's imagination. perpetuated through the years by dumb / stupid people. Why do they let it bother them so?

    Why the worry.

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

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

      June 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • lewcypher

      because these same dumb stupid people become politicians and or people that influence politcians to make laws that dictate your life based on iron age religions.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      That's a rather silly question! Maybe if Christians learned to keep it in their homes and churches and didn't try to use it to intervene on rights, there might not be an issue.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Well, personally I believe that belief in god is a cultural habit perpetuated by the indoctrination of children and people in need of some sort of social connection. The words "dumb/stupid" are your own.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
    • littleln

      I don't believe that religious folks are dumb or stupid. I just believe that they have come to a different conclusion than I have. I conclude there is no god. It is not a big deal to me. The big deal arises when I have doors slammed in my face over it. I'm still a very very conservative person despite my atheism. People do not even bother to get to know me if they know I'm a non believer, it is very frustrating. I've stopped discussing it at all and tend to smile and nod a lot. But if I'm pressed I will tell the truth about my beliefs because honesty and integrity are very important to me.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • eldaveablo

        ^^^THIS!^^^

        June 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
      • fintronics

        Do you live in the bible belt? ... just curious

        June 24, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
    • stevet88

      Those same religious people vote and treat others based on their supernatural beliefs, sometimes that's a good thing that helps more than hurts, and sometimes people do not so great things for religions that are likely man-made.... The main reasons that come to mind, beyond that yeah sure live and let live. Another persons beliefs in something i think doesn't exist doesn't bother me, though it may be a little bit curious at times. 🙂

      June 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
    • Strand

      Why the worry? One only needs to look at the Middle East and radicals taking over coutries because of their differences in religious beliefs to understand why? One only needs to look at the myriad of third world countries spawned by a catholic regime who teaches them not to protct themselves with condoms while millions get infected with aids.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
    • chazthephoenix

      because the demons in them recognize Jesus, and are fearful. Rea fit in the bible...same thing happens. was it Luke 15? sorry, thats probably not correct...it was when Jesus went into the temple and started preaching. The man possessed recognized Jesus for who he was....and was scared

      yes Atheists, even YOU are mentioned in the bible. Described perfectly

      June 24, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
      • fintronics

        Oh those naughty demons! ..... bad demons! bad demons!!

        June 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Unbelievably, they are still constantly surprised when we call them idiots

          June 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
    • billmeier

      We're not worried! It's all of you who bring it up.

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

      Ice, we're not worried! It's all of you who bring it up. I can honestly say that if nobody ever asked, I wouldn't ever give this any thought.

      June 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • nojinx

      I can't speak for everyone, but I believe it is because the dumb, silly people bought Fox News.

      June 25, 2014 at 12:01 am |
  16. writingto11

    Atheists will continue to be stigmatized because most of us don't talk about it or have any outward indication of our lack of belief, so believers are unaware how many of us are around. And the ones who do talk about it can be annoying and self-righteous, even when they have a perfectly reasonable belief that mangers don't belong at city hall.

    (I personally don't mind public religious displays, but atheists are within their rights to object to them.)

    June 24, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I don't mind religious displays as long as they are not publicly funded. I don't even mind that, as long as concessions are made to display all faiths and non-faiths equally and fairly.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
    • stephmar86

      The only time I get annoyed with the religious us when politicians use their personal beliefs to try and dictate laws (i.e. abortion and gay marriage). A news reporter from England (the country who is more religious that the US) said that if a politician were to use the word "god" in an election speech, they would lose votes because even though the country is religious, they know that religion has no place in politics. The opposite is true in America. If a politician uses "god" or scripture in elections speeches, they are likely to get more votes because religious people seem to think that their religious beliefs are more important that anyone else's. This country is not just Christian, that is one of the up sides of freedom of religion. Therefore, laws cannot be made based off of one religions belief structure, because something that Christians find immoral or wrong are not considered immoral or wrong in other religions.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • qsmurf

      As far as I'm concerned, these types of beliefs belong in a person's home or church...and leave it there.

      They can accompany you along when you go out anywhere else, but like that annoying dog that won't stop barking it needs to have a muzzle put on it.

      And if we can't even realize how much our laws, government and policies have been negatively impacted and infected by religious dogma, we are – as cliché as it sounds – in worse trouble than most think!

      June 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
    • billmeier

      That's well put. I have always felt that the best thing about being an atheist is that religious matters, public or private, are none of my concern. I don't care if other people want to display their religion in public. If I'm swept up in such a display because I am part of a group, I've always just put my head down silently until they're done. I've taken communion at a wedding to be polite because I was in the wedding party. I have been invited to baptisms and shot photos for families during religious ceremonies. None of it ever bothered me. I am no fan of the angry atheist, either.

      June 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
  17. pleazenufalready

    ....AND....the biggest reason why is that so-called "christians" don't really live, support or even know how a a real christian, per the bible's teachings, should act or live their lives. Where's the acceptance?.....where's the forgiveness? Jesus would take one look at most of these people, who are supposedly attempting to emulate his ways, and puke.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
  18. auntiekale

    "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."

    ...then remove the silly god word added in the '50's during the commie "scare" and stop warping the minds of our young with talk of deities and living after you die 🙂

    June 24, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
  19. Alias

    This would in part have to do with the way people value themselves.
    Most of us want our children and grandchildren to be like us in many ways. We therefore will have a tendence to want our children to marry someone we see as being similar to us in certain ways.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
    • tallulah131

      It's definitely cultural, sure. However, it would be nice if people could look past their personal prejudices and accept that their loved one wishes to be with someone who is not exactly like their parents.

      June 24, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
      • Alias

        We are all only human.

        June 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
  20. hilikus1027

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

    Maybe it's different in places that aren't in the bible belt...but the consequences of "coming out of the shadows" for me have been pretty drastic. I'll answer if directly asked (usually), but at no other time will I say anything.

    June 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      If it's not too personal, what were the consequences?

      June 24, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • wilmawonka00

        I can not speak for hilikus1027 but I can speak for myself. I am an atheist living in the bible belt and I can tell you, without question, that when my beliefs or lack thereof became known, it was as though someone turned the light on and the roaches went back in their little holes. Okay, maybe a bad analogy.

        I was raised Christian – Methodist to be exact and my great-uncles actually attended Seminary under John Wesley. You Methodists will know what that means.

        I did all the stuff – church school, confirmation, guest musician, taught sunday school, etc.. When I became an adult however, I became the doubting Thomas and then ultimately could not allow my mind, and soul, to lie to myself anymore. I just wasn't buying it.

        I am not anti-religious. I understand and support one's belief in, whatever. I understand that people find their own comfort and guidance in religion.

        The truth is, my religion never came up in conversation and to me, it didn't seem like a big deal. Here in the south however, you are assumed to be Christian. I am not southern so that assumption never occurred to me.

        When the issue was finally raised i.e., when everyone decided to do a group prayer and I opted, respectfully, out. True colors came out. I have to say for a group claiming to be non-judgmental, southern christians are incredibly full of hypocrisy.

        I got everything from, "you're too nice to not be a christian", to "..but you know the Bible" which was usually followed by a mouth agape.

        Over time, my friends have scattered. Sure, they're nice when I see them but the judgement comes solely from them, not me.

        June 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What is interesting is it work the other way, too. Some atheists are very judgmental toward me. I chalk it up to human nature.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "Some atheists are very judgmental toward me" Gee Dala, I can't for the life of me guess why that would be...

          June 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Thanks for sharing. I live in the West where the topic does not come up as frequently as it does in the South or the Mid-West but nevertheless it remains the disbelief that dare not speak its name.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Some atheists are just as judgmental as the religious people they profess to be better than.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • fintronics

          @Wilma.. "The truth is, my religion never came up in conversation and to me, it didn't seem like a big deal. Here in the south however, you are as-sumed to be Christian. I am not southern so that as-sumption never occurred to me.

          When the issue was finally raised i.e., when everyone decided to do a group prayer and I opted, respectfully, out. True colors came out. I have to say for a group claiming to be non-judgmental, southern christians are incredibly full of hypocrisy."

          Exact same situation here Wilma... I am also an atheist in the bible belt. Fortunately, I live in one of the more progressive areas in my state. I believe the influx of people from other areas has helped me survive here. I am in a musical group/band. The other two members of my group are Christians. When I first got into this group, before things got going, because I didn't want any "issues" later on, I asked them if they had any problems with me being an atheist... they both said "no problem as long as you don't have any problems with us being Christians". I told them "no problem at all" and everything's been fine. One of the guys told me he has a friend who's a wiccan, another friend who's a pagan, and another who's an atheist. However, I believe this is a unique situation for this area.... Unfortunately I HAVE experienced quite the opposite atti-tude many times as you described.... and that is unfortunate indeed.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • tallulah131

          That's terrible, wilma. It's astonishing how fearful some people are of minds that are not exactly as their own. Still, it's nice to know who is really your friend and who isn't.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • wilmawonka00

          @ Dalhast – Curious that I never tried to convince a Christian that they shouldn't be Christian. In fact, I am more than willing to discuss religion with them and have never, and I mean never, suggested that THEY are wrong. I have never had a conversation where a Christian person didn't try to convince me that I am somehow, less than.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • jonathanlk

          I definitely consider the human aspect of people first abover their ethnic origins or personal ideologies so I am essentially for everybody, well wishing. But being an Athiest sometimes gets me bullied. Being an Atheist would most likely be held against a politician trying to run for an office. Though, 'Catholic' was a definite mark against you prior to Kennedy running. The last time I was at Church which I used to attend in order to not upset my mother in law, I was explaining to the minister that there was an ample amount of evidence to suggest that evolution is a phenomena. He accused me loudly, saying 'You must be one of those Liberal Communists!'. I don't know how he arrived at that but I felt socially intimidated and rather than argue, just denied being a liberal communist. At a large Thanksgiving dinner I hosted one year, after I let my father in law say grace, he announced that he expected his daughter to 'drop into hell, hand in hand with' (me) because she married an atheist (implying me of course). His wife shouted 'zip it!'. So there was at least one deist who knew that was socially appropriate, and was willing to stick up for me. At the dinner were also Orthodox Jews, a Muslim, a Catholic, as well as the Evangalist Christians. Most of us are able to accept different ideologies exist. I suppose I was the only non-deist, but that's how it is. But I'm sure he would not challenge the Catholic, Jew, or Muslim, so to me it is just deist intimidation. It only makes me feel sorry for the person doing it. Let's all try to rise above this.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • wilmawonka00

          Fintronics – You and your group of friends sound like good people.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          wilmawonka00

          I have had atheists try to convince me I shouldn't be a Christian. At least 5 today.

          They have suggested I'm wrong. And delusional. And brainwashed. And mentally retarded. And schizophrenic. And childish. And anti-science.

          Most atheists are like you, in my experience. But not all.

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

          @Wilma... Thank you!. ... From my experience, I've found the musicians I've been involved with to be more open to wordly views, not so set in their ways, for lack of a better description....

          June 24, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • wilmawonka00

          @ Dalahast "I have had atheists try to convince me I shouldn't be a Christian. At least 5 today.

          They have suggested I'm wrong. And delusional. And brainwashed. And mentally retarded. And schizophrenic. And childish. And anti-science."

          I would argue that this group of Atheists that you have encountered, is also anti-religious and are a breed apart.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          wilmawonka00

          They are a very vocal minority.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Alias

          Dalahast
          Maybe you shouldn't seekout groups of atheists and confront them?
          Taht may have something to do with them telling you the truth that you want to deny.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Alias

          Why not confront them? Each one of them seems to be preaching something different. I confront them when they say the "truth" like I am brainwashed or have been indoctrinated into believing something.

          Or they simply share opinions and insist it is the "truth".

          June 24, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • fintronics

          @dalah........ nonsense... you have personally made statements on these blogs that are false and there is nothing wrong with calling you out on these statements......... claiming "I know god" without providing evidence is wrong. you BELIEVE you know god, that would be correct. "God is real" ..... wrong..... "I BELIEVE god is real" correct.......

          Belief does not equal "know"

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

          I do know God is real.

          You believe I don't know. But you don't know that. How can you know what I know?

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

          He can't and it is irrelevant. Even if he could know that you believe you know, that would only be evidence of you state of being convinced.

          Claiming to know or believe something is irrelevant. Can the knowledge/believe claim be backed up? If not, it is illogical to give it weight or validation.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • fintronics

          I don't know what you know, that's why I ask you to provide evidence for what you claim to know. which you fail to do.

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

          It's very simple.... you make a claim = "I do know God is real" provide the evidence for that claim...

          '

          June 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I do know God is real. And I test that knowledge everyday. I don't have to prove that to you in order for me to know that. The only thing you are responsible for from where I sit is what you type into your box and post on here. And that does not display the logic, reason and rationality you imagine it does. I don't trust your opinion on the matter. Sorry.

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

          Knowledge never needs to be proven when it is first believed

          June 24, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I first didn't believe in God. And then He proved himself.

          June 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • fintronics

          Wow... what a total load of deluded bullcrap!.... A claim without evidence is nothing more than just a claim....

          Your twisted word salad spin of "you don't know what I believe that I believe that you know that what I believe I know" is laughable.... you are entertaining, and sad at the same time...

          June 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          What kind of evidence do you want? Usually the evidence people request describes their interest in an idol or power that will serve them.

          Part of my evidence is based on what people produce. If you produce arrogance and narrow-mindedness. I don't want what you have. If you produce love and kindness. I probably will want what you have.

          June 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • fintronics

          What you produce is wild claims based on nothing more than your imagination and belief that mythology is reality.... I don't want that.

          June 30, 2014 at 10:01 am |
      • hilikus1027

        Some of it is personal...and long, so I won't talk about that part here...but some of it is not. I've lost a job (very short version), I've had pretty extreme reactions at another place of employment – ex: signing me up for every christian newsletter that could be found (to the tune of roughly 400 a day to my work email), inviting people to come speak to me in my name (at the office). Sending out religious chain emails with my name and phone number on them, singling me out at meetings, asking in front of the crowd if I was "going to sue" if they prayed, refusing to sign any write up or disciplinary action I took because as an atheist "I could not be trusted", having religious material and people sent to my home...mean spirited stuff.

        I've lost a fiance, I've lost friends. I have friends who have made it their mission to save me...which is really wearing, and makes me not want to be around them. (to be fair, though it was the reason used, I'm pretty dang sure it wasn't the only reason for the fiance).

        It's not like I'm some in your face person about anything, much less religion. I used to only tell when invited many times to religious events, when a conversation I was involved in turned religious, or when directly asked. I've had to cut that back to only when directly asked...and only then sometimes depending on the situation. I really like where I work, and live. I'd prefer something as simple as my not believing in the god someone else does to ruin that.

        June 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • wilmawonka00

          yikes

          June 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Thank you for sharing that – it's pretty harsh. From your 'bible belt' reference in your first post, I presume you live in the South?

          June 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          That kind of workplace harassment is illegal and just shows their true faces. The only thing you can do about piss-poor friends... is find better ones. My condolences.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I'm sorry. It's terrible that in this day and age these individuals still feel the need to behave like bratty children when faced with someone different than themselves.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • fintronics

          I have no doubt in my mind..... if I mentioned the fact that I am an atheist at my workplace, my head would be immediately on the chopping block...

          June 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • hilikus1027

          @ I'm not a GOPer

          Yes, North Carolina

          @Lucifer's Evil Twin

          It absolutely is illegal (some of it)...but the consequences of fighting it far outweigh the benefits. It may be selfish of me...as I know others deal with the same thing...but this is a fight I never wanted, and prefer to stay out of it as much as possible.

          June 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • fintronics

          Yup, me too (North Carolina)

          June 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          No coincidence that the Freedom From Religion Foundation chose to hold a "Freedom From Religion" convention in Raleigh, NC a couple of months ago then.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • fintronics

          Recently a politician was attempting to insti-tute a "state religion" here..

          June 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          An North Carolina is infamous for trying to uphold their ban on atheists holding public office.

          Nevertheless it remains unConsti.tutional.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • nojinx

      Hopefully the growing acceptance of non-belief will ease the issue for you over time. I certainly strive to see the stigma of non-belief eroded, but it is much easier where I live.

      June 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Your post reminds me of the "Atheists in the Bible Belt: A Survival Guide" topic from last month:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/24/atheists-in-the-bible-belt-a-survival-guide/

      I liked their topics:

      You may be lonely, but you aren’t alone
      It’s no fun debating fundamentalists (maybe here, but not your neighbor or coworker)
      People will think you worship Satan
      Sometimes it’s better to stay in the closet
      Don’t be the ‘office atheist’
      The Internet is your frenemy
      Some people take Bible-thu.mping literally
      Have a sense of humor

      June 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
      • fintronics

        "office atheists" don't last long in the office down here...

        June 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          It's good advice.

          Religion has no place in the workplace anyway, but I know things like group prayer and 'team invocations' do happen.

          June 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • chazthephoenix

      my wife had a similar experience. Very graphic visions and a radical change. It wasn't easy, but she is such a blessed person now....

      June 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
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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.