Religious Prejudice – Aug. 4th

There are many types of religious prejudice. Members of one religion may dislike members of another religion. Members of different religions may be prejudiced against those who are not religious. Americans used to be about 85% Christian, now it is more like 71%. About 6% belong to other religions and about 23% are unaffiliated with any religion. That does not mean that the unaffiliated are all atheists. Only about 3% consider themselves atheists while another 4% consider themselves agnostic. http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

In the past many Americans were prejudiced against Catholics, but after Kennedy became President much of that discrimination was reduced. The Jews have suffered discrimination perhaps more than any other religious affiliation throughout history, but is that a religious discrimination or a cultural one? Today people fear and discriminate against Muslims, and Donald Trump wants to ban Muslims from immigration to the country. Paradoxically after 9/11 the percentage of Americans with a favorable view of Muslims rose from 45% in May to 59% in November. The percentage of conservative Republicans with a favorable view of Muslims rose from 35% to 64%! Those numbers have no doubt gone considerably lower now. About 18 percent of Muslims in this country now report regular discrimination, the highest of any group. http://www.ispu.org/pdfs/repository/amp2016.pdf

It is interesting that Evangelical Christians are more prejudiced against Atheists than they are against any people of other religions. In 13 Muslim nations atheists can face execution under the law if they openly express their beliefs or reject the official state religion. “Atheists in modern America have more freedom and can be more open about their atheism than at any time in history. Paradoxically, this openness has led to more direct and public bigotry towards atheists than at just about any other time in history as well. Thus while there are more open atheists than ever before, there are also significant pressures on atheists to stay in the closet. Why is there so much bigotry and hatred directed at them, and why is most of it based upon misconceptions?” http://atheism.about.com/od/attacksonatheism/p/GodlessBigotry.htm

Americans will now accept a president of any religion but not an atheist. Is this a result of the cold war and the hatred of “Godless Communists”? Atheism proved the biggest negative influence on a hypothetical candidate’s viability, with fewer respondents saying they would be willing to vote for an atheist than either a gay or a Muslim candidate. A study by the University of British Columbia and University of Oregon found that people are likely to distrust atheists as much as they do rapists. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/16/atheists-discrimination_n_4413593.html

Although Christians make up the majority of Americans, in recent years they have felt that they are being discriminated against. They declare that there is a war on Christianity because people say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Now Christians feel discriminated against because people do not tolerate their prejudice against members of the LGBT community. “These groups that are attacking Christianity have a deeper and far more sinister reason for their attacks. One reason for these attacks is that Christianity is in direct opposition to the open sinfulness some people want America to embrace. As long as America stands on Judea/Christian law, groups like sodomite’s and lesbians will not be free to spread their poison across America.” http://www.theconservative.info/html/war_against_christianity.html

The first amendment gives Americans the right to practice any religion they want, but it also gives Americans the right to be free of religious influence. Many religious people think that American laws should be based on Christian values and morals. The problem is that with 1300 different Christian religious sects, all of the other sects and religions would object if the government favored one. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-schweitzer/founding-fathers-we-are-n_b_6761840.html

This is an illuminating article which gives you a good background about religious discrimination. http://www.religioustolerance.org/amer_intol.htm

 

 

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About altruist1

I am a raging progressive and a writer. I received Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Arts with a Secondary teaching certificate and a minor in Physics. I taught for about ten years, then did various jobs including welding,fabrication and traffic engineering, and am now retired. I am interested in science, energy, the environment, and architecture.
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