A 2006study in American Sociological Review shows that, while both divisions among American Christians and negative perceptions between people of different faiths are eroding, there is still one group that Americans don’t trust: those who choose to remain outside of communities of belief. Further research shows that atheists are perceived about as favorably as Muslims. Not believing in God constitutes a social mōs on par with one of the most maligned religious groups in the current American zeitgeist. (At least one op-ed has called for a political alliance between Muslims and atheists on the grounds that much of the current vitriol in American politics is aimed at these two groups.)
The most fascinating question here falls outside of quantitative analysis: what does an atheist look like?
Yet, his “pessimism” lies in thinking change is unlikely, not that change is impossible. When discussing police brutality and criminal justice, he reminds his readers that “democratic will” has sanctioned and allowed the abuses that flow from these practices.
A new report on global religious identity shows that while Christians and Muslims make up the two largest groups, those with no religious affiliation—including atheists and agnostics—are now the third-largest “religious” group in the world.
Whatever you think of essayist
Christopher Hitchens, you have to admire his willingness to have a debate about
God with just about anybody. Since he wrote God
is Not Great: Religion Poisons Everything, he's taken on theologians,
rabbis and Fox News pundits.