From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.
Oh. Well. That explains the tears and yelling from the in-laws-to-be 26 years ago last week.
Knowing how most Americans regard Muslims and homosexuals, though, it’s rather scary to see us ranked below them.
Edgell also argues that today’s atheists play the role that Catholics, Jews and communists have played in the past–they offer a symbolic moral boundary to membership in American society. “It seems most Americans believe that diversity is fine, as long as every one shares a common ‘core’ of values that make them trustworthy–and in America, that ‘core’ has historically been religious,” says Edgell. Many of the study’s respondents associated atheism with an array of moral indiscretions ranging from criminal behavior to rampant materialism and cultural elitism.
And we’re even worse than Communists! Jebus. What have we done to America?
Criminal behavior? They’ve confused us with Republicans. Rampant materialism? I thought that was the American way! And again, they’ve confused us with Republicans. Cultural elitism? Umm, well. Hmm. That one fits, I suppose, but why would anyone think that was a bad thing?