Scott Adams has a good post up on atheism and its perception in society since 9/11. He also points out that there are 2 books promoting atheism on the best seller list right now. That's a good point.
I'm not quite sure if there's been much progress toward tolerance of godlessness in this country. Actually, right after 9/11, things got worse for awhile as part of a knee-jerk reaction against all non-christians.
I even lost a job over it in 2001, I'm certain of it but there's no way to prove it. I was a temp working toward regular hire when I was derailed by a casual comment uttered in the break room where the TV was on showing the prep for the war in Afghanistan -- the newspaper had an article about how some local atheists were offended by there being so much God-centrism in America's rhetoric and commemorations (I am paraphrasing), that they were as equally horrified and disturbed as any American by the events of 9/11 but were, just the same, offended by all the official government religiousity. A couple of the good old boys said that they oughta send them damned atheists over to Afghanistan. Since I didn't respond to that with a "hell yeah", they asked me if I was one of them. I said it didn't matter if I was one of them or not, they had the right of free speech and were not being un-patriotic. (I'm not crazy about the idea of fist-fighting a couple of big strapping men, so I tried to be tactful in my response. I never mentioned my (lack) of beliefs as I felt that it was irrelevent... or should have been.) The VERY same afternoon, I was called into the office and told that business was very bad since the attacks and they would be letting me go, and unfortunately other people (referred to as "real employees") would be laid-off as well. It was a very small company, family-owned business and gossip makes the rounds. Funny I hadn't heard any scuttlebutt of lack of sales. The whole thing was bullshit, their business was not subject to declining that quickly. But if you are a temp, you are let go with no notice and no reason needing to be given to anyone.
Of course, there has been a whole circle of events that have happened since 9/11, and maybe Scott has a good point, things may be coming around. Of course, the more of us who "come out", the more acceptance there will be when people begin to realize that some of their favorite people are actually non-believers. Check out this list. Anybody there that you like? Think about it... hating someone for not believing what you do... is that really the way you want to be?
I still think there's a loooong road ahead for us, we are still in a place where I am not comfortable with divulging this particular aspect of myself freely in all situations because I would fear... oh... I dunno... being killed. I don't think we're quite there.
Links and Tags: This carnival of the godless is at Hellbound Alleee on Sunday - religion - atheist - Dilbert - 9/11