Why do atheists inspire such hatred?
The question, "Why do atheists inspire such hatred?" was the on-screen title of a televised discussion segment hosted by Paula Zahn, which aired on CNN on Jan 31, 2007. The discussion followed a prerecorded piece about two atheist families who say they were discriminated against because of their beliefs (or lack thereof).
- Karen Hunter, identified as a "Pulitzer Prize winner"
- Debbie Schlussel, "Atty. & conservative columnist"
- Steven A. Smith, "ESPN analyst"
The questions asked by Zahn in the segment were:
- So, do you think atheists should keep their religious beliefs secret?
- Are any of you [panelists] going to defend them here tonight?
- What happened to "love thy neighbor" and that we should able to practice free speech?
- How do you believe they [atheists] are imposing their beliefs?
Some points raised by the panelists that are clearly incorrect or misleading, or based on various fallacies, include:
- Atheists believe in "nothing".
- Atheists "took prayer out of schools".
- Atheists discriminate against those who are religious (more than the other way around).
- America is a Christian nation.
- Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion.
- Atheists don't complain about cases of religion in school settings when the religion being promoted is Islam.
- Atheists are "the intolerant ones".
- Atheists mainly encounter problems in "red states", not in places like New York City.
- Everyone I know loves the Lord.
- Atheists don't have good PR or marketing.
- If atheists had "Hallmark cards", maybe they wouldn't feel so left out.
- Atheists "need to shut up" and "let people do what they do", and "stay in their [place]" (the actual word used is not intelligible, but the meaning is clear from the context).
- Atheists don't "need to shut up" because "there's a whole bunch of people in this world that we can look at and say they need to shut up, and they certainly don't". (An odd argument, to be sure.)
- Atheist are "crying wolf all the time".
- Taking prayer out of schools left a lack of morality in schools.
- Prayer was "taken out of schools" because "an atheist went to court". (In fact, regarding the two most relevant Supreme Court cases, Engel v. Vitale involved nine parents of students in New Hyde Park, New York, and the case Abington Township School District v. Schempp was brought by a Unitarian Universalist resident of Abington Township, Pennsylvania.)
Some more reasonable points:
- You are entitled to believe what you want, as long as you aren't imposing your beliefs on other people.
Atheism doesn't inspire hatred, in fact that Atheism doesn't have anything to do with hatred nor peace. It is simply rejection to Theist claims. The real question is "Why does "religion" inspire such hatred?"
Sometimes it comes from
- Religious form of nationalism
So far religion has spread a lot of hate not only around the globe, but also to the next generation and the next. Some Atheists unleash their hate against Theists, but that is not part of the teachings of Atheism. Plus, some Theists spread hate against Atheists, but also to other Theists who do not share their belief.