Excerpts From: "atheism In America"

The following are excerpts from an article about the plight of atheists in America today. You can find the article here: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d2239780-4d4e-11e1-8741-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1lZYjb6bG


"Psychotherapist Marlene Winell, who practises in Berkeley, California, specialises in “recovery from harmful religion” and advocates religious trauma syndrome as a psychological diagnosis. 'There are so many places in the US that are just saturated with religion. Everything is interwoven – their families, their schools, their business – so that if you were not part of the club, part of the group, you get ostracised and people go through really horrible experiences of not belonging any more.' If that sounds like the experience of leaving a cult, perhaps that’s because, as Winell argues, 'in its raw form, fundamentalist Christianity that believes that the Bible is the word of God is basically a giant cult.' "

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"Researching his PhD, the sociologist Chris Garneau of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that, although people who self-identify as atheists are more likely to experience stigma than other seculars, such as agnostics and humanists, those who are out are significantly less likely to report psychological distress than those who struggle to keep their dissent silent."

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"Things could be starting to get better for atheists in America. Both Speckhardt and Silverman claim that the number of people who don’t believe in God in the US has more or less doubled over the past decade, with even faster growth among the young."

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"When it comes to identifying the main cause of atheism’s recent growth, most people agree. “It’s all about the internet,” says Silverman. “The reason that atheism is on the rise is because there is no way that a person who is an atheist can think they’re alone any more."



shannonymous shannonymous
18-21, F
1 Response Sep 21, 2012

But, you see? My opinion about God and what I may or may not believe is no one's business unless I choose to make it someone's business.

I have little tolerance for athletes that thank their "Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ" when giving an interview. I also have little tolerance for atheists who call every religion a cult. Angry atheists seem to be just as cultish as the fundamentalist Bible thumpers.

I know people who go to church every Sunday. I have no issues with them. I know people to go to Bible study. Again, no issues. I know Orthodox Jews who are pretty strict with their religion. I know agnostics, atheists... I guess I've been around.

I only talk religion with a handful of them. Only the ones I love and trust. Hell, I don't even talk about religion with my own damn family.

Why do we seem to spend so much time defining all the details that make us different and that drive us apart? I don't get it.

Well said, Penny!
I disagree with any ideology that tries to force itself unto other people. I do, however, believe in respectful, mature debate. It's OK to have different opinions, as long as you don't hit other people over the head with a Bible (or with Dawkin's God Delusion...).

I have no issue with people who go to church every sunday either. I'm just saying, I wish I didnt have to be one of them.

Btw...the article, well worth the read if you have time

oh and another 'btw'...how can something be a cult when you don't know anybody else who is in the so-called 'cult'??? at least not that you know of anyways. I can think of one person I know who MAY be an atheist...and guess what...she has to go to her buddhist temple more than i have to go to church! I don't think you could call us part of a cult though because we rarely ever talk about are non-belief in god, but yes, I'm sure we both feel a lil bit angry that our lives are being dictated by others who expect us to believe what they do and that we have to keep our thoughts on the subject private out of fear.

Shannon, read what I said. I didn't say YOU were an angry atheist. I didn't even know you were an atheist until today, which is exactly my point. You don't throw it in my face. :)

well i guess i dont get why you posted that. I get that you feel strongly about people not shoving their religion (or non-religion) down your throat, I think everyone would appreciate that from others. But um, there's a lil bit more to it than just being a lil annoyed at people who have no manners...and atheism and christianity in america are like complete opposites when it comes to 'cult'-like. When people are not allowed to live their lives honestly for fear of repurcussions from the dominant culture, THAT is cult-like. Atheists dissing christianity (which is usually not when they live in a christianity-dominated society) are far far far from the definition of 'cult'...though I'm not condoning their behavior either as it is disrespectful (whether they are asking for it or not).

Not all Christians are Bible thumping idiots. There are many Christians that are just like atheists.

I understand that. I'm not saying that they are, I used to be a christian myself and I lived in a household that was not very christian, at least not actively. I studied the bible on my own and decided I was going to be a devout christian despite it being weird to my immediate family (and most people). I didn't tell my mom and her bf and my siblings that they all needed to be like me or that they were wrong for not being interested in it like I was. I didn't tell my friends at school that they needed to be more interested in the bible like I was. So yeah, I know not all christians are like that because I used to be in the reverse situation...except that I DID have the freedom at least to choose to be christian and even be open about it (despite it being weird to the people I lived with and interacted with on a daily basis). I wasn't *ostracized* for it. And I sometimes wonder if that period of my life influenced my mom a little bit to become a born again christian (which sucked for me).

:(

lol what???

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