But not necessarily in that order.
A study out of University of Minnesota looked at how Americans viewed various groups, and found that:
Americans’ disapproval of Muslims has jumped to 45.5 percent from just over 26 percent 10 years ago, the last time the question was asked.
In all, the survey revealed some fairly hateful, unloving people. (From Religion News Service):
Almost half of those surveyed — 48.9 percent — said they would disapprove of their child marrying a Muslim, up from 33.5 percent in 2006.
The spiritual but not religious are mistrusted by 12 percent of Americans, while almost 40 percent of Americans say the rise of the “nones” is “not a good thing.”
Disapproval rates for several minority groups have grown — Jews, Latinos and Asian-Americans experienced 10-point jumps in disapproval, while recent immigrants, conservative Christians and African-Americans grew about 13 percent each.
I’m not surprised that, in a group of about 2,500 Americans, “religious belief remains a measure of trustworthiness and belonging.”
Because when it comes to criminality, materialism and a lack of accountability, and the “politicized identity that is intolerant or combative,” we never ever see any of that in the religious community…do we. It’s always those damned atheists and their hate and discontent that’s always in the media riling people up…isn’t it.
I do, however, consider defining atheists as “cultural outsiders,” from the outset, betrays an inherent prejudice that corrupts the study’s conclusions. Who could consider Thomas Edison, Langston Hughes, Carl Sagan, George Carlin, or Ayn Rand cultural outsiders in America? What about Steve Wozniak, Bill Maher, Jodie Foster, Mark Zuckerberg, Brangelina, Billy Joel, and Howard Stern? While atheists and agnostics are unquestionably a minority, to assume, ignoring obvious evidence to the contrary, they are cultural outsiders is a corrupting preconception that renders this study unworthy of the eye strain necessary to take it seriously.
And speaking of seriously…seriously…any scientist that says we need to study why Americans are hating on Muslims as much or more than atheists is either a) not watching enough TV, b) not surfing internet/social media news, (check that browsing history!), or c) looking for another grant. Or all three.
Goddammit, religious beliefs (or the lack thereof) are not supposed to separate, in my book. What if we all just appreciated one another’s unique perspective, she said, a little red-faced that she sounds so lame.
Well…he said smirking…it wasn’t my people burning ya’ll at the stake and such. That is…when you weren’t busy killing yourselves.
Religions haven’t been…historically…all that tolerant of unique perspectives. That’s a relatively recent phenomenon. Due in no small part, in my opinion, of the exodus of young peoples from the pews.
I know. But I promise if people read at least my particular text, they’d see we are absolutely not supposed to be naughty to people who don’t look and smell like us. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
That is the message. I don’t even think it gets lost in Scripture. Kind of obvious, really.
If we want tolerance we have to preach it. Religious and secular clergy alike. That ain’t happening. Hence the exodus. Not just from religious institutions but political ones as well.
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