The lack of religion has never been mentioned on mine. The BBC is reporting on employer bias based on religious leanings.
“There has been a privatisation of religion,” said Michael Wallace, a sociology professor at the University of Connecticut and co-author of the recently published studies. “We’re perfectly willing to acknowledge the right to religious freedom, but we prefer that religion not be present in public places like schools or workplaces, where there will likely be people with diverse religious beliefs.”
How much more logical can you get, frankly? America needs to quit thinking of themselves as a “Christian” nation and accept the fact that their supposed melting pot history has resulted in other religious faiths bubbling under the surface and adding flavours that may or may not mix well with what Christian thinking has brought to the kitchen thus far.
Christian groups are still trying to push their religion into the public sphere though, and I see no signs of them stopping. They hold little regard for the faiths of other culture in their country – or the lack of faith.
Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. When asked to rate each group on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100 – where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating – all three groups receive an average rating of 60 or higher (63 for Jews, 62 for Catholics and 61 for evangelical Christians). And 44% of the public rates all three groups in the warmest part of the scale (67 or higher).
Hindus, Buddhists and Mormons hit the middle somewhere and atheists and Muslims ranked 41% and 40% respectively.
Religious groups are rated more positively by their own members than by people from other religious backgrounds. Catholics as a group, for example, receive an average thermometer rating of 80 from Americans who describe themselves as Catholic, compared with 58 from non-Catholics.
Kind of a Duh! fact, but there you go.
Knowing someone from a religious group is linked with having relatively more positive views of that group. Those who say they know someone who is Jewish, for example, give Jews an average thermometer rating of 69, compared with a rating of 55 among those who say they do not know anyone who is Jewish. Atheists receive a neutral rating of 50, on average, from people who say they personally know an atheist, but they receive a cold rating of 29 from those who do not know an atheist.
Part of that probably comes out of the sad fact that some atheists still feel like they need to hide their non-belief from friends and family so people probably don’t realize they do in fact socialize with atheists on a regular basis.
we remain the most reviled group in America, and it’s going to stay that way as long as we continue to hide. I know that there are many of my fellow atheists who have genuine reasons to hide. The discrimination is real. Not everyone can be a Dr. King, Rosa Parks or Harvey Milk.
But more of us need to speak out. As more and more of us come out of the closet with our atheism, it will be harder for ordinary Americans to keep their misconceptions. Hatred and revulsion of atheism are based on ignorance and misinformation that’s perpetrated by outdated religious dogma. When Christians, Jews and Muslims discover that their friends and neighbors, people whom they’ve known and respected for years, are atheists, it will be hard for them to remain biased.
Until then, though…