I want to ask a question. If you were going to buy a house in a neighborhood, and the agent had to disclose who your neighbors might be, who would you rather live near, an atheist or a sex offender? Before you answer, consider that in polls over the last decade, atheists have been placed as less trustworthy than rapists. That’s disconcerting to me as an atheist. But the reason, I believe we as atheists are viewed so poorlt is because how we’re presented in media.
Atheists are not the bad guys, in fact if we look at prison statistics, its those that identify as Christian who are the worst people. Almpost 70% of those in Federal prison today, for crimes ranging from white collar (tax evasion) to murder (sone, multiple murderers) self identify as Christian when they come into the system. So why is it that atheists are viewed so poorly among the general population? A person may identify as a Christian and kill 5 people and that person, generally, is viewed better than any single atheist?
If it weren’t for the media, who portrays everything bad in the country – mass murders for instance – are committed by an atheist. None of them may ever consider that those people that do those things, murder, rape, peophilia, could ever have come up in the Catholic church, or be a member of some Protestant denomination. How many atheists , exactly, are accused of abusing children versus those that claim some sort of religious privilege?. The ratio is so small it doean’t desereve publication because it would embarass all of those that have decided that it’s atheism that is destroying society in stead of recognizing the truth: religion poisons everything,.
2 thoughts on “Atheists are Not “The Bad Guys””
I agree that media depictions matter here. I also think that much of how we are perceived can be traced back to what many of us older folks were taught as children. For example, I learned that atheism was basically the same thing as Communism at a time when the Soviet Union was not just our strategic enemy but an existential threat. The association of atheism with pure evil was well-ingrained even though I did not come from a Christian fundamentalist tradition.
The Soviet Union was the Evil Atheist Empire. Although, I don’t remember actually knowing what atheism was when I was young. I do remember being surprised to discover that what I felt, that is, non-belief, had a name, but I was in my late 20s then. I am not sure how that term got missed by me, but it did.