Friday, June 10, 2011

Let's Be Reasonable

Some very good points made in this article. Like many of you, I'm sure, I get tired of regional stereotypes - especially when you are being lumped in (unfairly) with a whole lot of un-like-minded folks.

Article: 10 scariest states to be an atheist
Now, to a great extent, how badly it sucks to be an atheist may not depend on the state you live in. It's sort of like the red-state/blue-state myth: cultural differences in the United States break down more along urban/rural lines than they do along state lines. Is it easier to be an atheist in New York than in Texas? Maybe... but it may also be easier if you're in Austin, Texas than if you're in rural upstate New York.

Many atheist and secularist leaders I spoke to stressed this point. According to Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason (the organization responsible for many of the atheist billboard campaigns), "As for the worst states to be an atheist, it doesn't generally work that way. It depends on what part of a state you are in."
That said, things that happen within the borders of a place belong to that place statistically, whether it pleases us or not. The list of places and their ranking might surprise you:
...atheist veterans marching in the Memorial Day parade were jeered, booed, insulted, cursed at, yelled at to leave, and told they were going to burn in hell. Not once or twice by a couple of fanatics... but repeatedly, throughout the course of the parade.
...and it didn't happen in the Bible Belt.

Many are convinced that goodness, morality, ethics, and just about everything positive you can think of when it comes to humanity, come from an external supernatural Being – and apparently belief in that Being is required beforehand because He’s not just giving away that stuff freely. I’ve been told, to my face and with sincerity, that morality cannot exist in an atheist. Many people who believe this way are perfectly intelligent and nice when their judgment is not clouded by superstitions and myths.

Replacing bigotry with acceptance, or at least tolerance is helped along when prejudiced folks discover that they already admire someone who they would normally have despised because of their own bigotry. Who knows? Maybe some of these Christian Right Tea Partiers will realize that their hero, Ayn Rand, was an atheist? OK, that one embraces the edges, but this whole topic is about the edges. Here's an established list of famous non-believers, and here's a more extensive one that breaks it up by category of famousness.

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