Will 2012 Be the Year of the Atheist?
By BRANDON G. WITHROW - THE HUFFINGTON POST - RELIGION
Added: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 00:02:52 UTC
"Coming out" now may be a clichéd term, but as the "We Are Atheism" project has shown, it hasn't entirely lost its currency. The new organization encourages others to be open about their atheism, an act that is more than a confession; it holds the real risk of losing family and friends.
By affirming "it's OK to be an atheist" and encouraging video testimony from those who have already made the journey out into the open, "We Are Atheism" hopes to help others do the same. There are, however, serious hurdles for the no-longer-closeted to overcome.
According to the recent Public Religion Research Institute's "2011 American Values Survey," 67 percent of Americans are "somewhat uncomfortable" with the idea of an atheist as president, with 48 percent being "very uncomfortable." Muslims fare better here than atheists, and in the current political climate, that's saying something.
Even more shocking, a recent study by the University of British Columbia showed that when it comes to trust and atheism, "only rapists were distrusted to a comparable degree."
Being an open atheist, then, is a path toward marginalization.
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A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.
Robert F. Worth - New York Times Comments
A great article about Jerry DeWitt and the growing presence of atheist communities
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Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins
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Cara Santa Maria (Senior Science Correspondent, Huffingtonpost.com) leads this week's panel on 'The Point' to discuss these issues and more with Michael Shermer (Publisher - Skeptic Magazine), Sean Carroll (Theoretical Physicist - Caltech), and Edward Falzon (author of 'Being Gay Is Disgusting').
Kimberly Winston - Washington Post Comments
Last weekend, the Atheist Film Festival showed more than a dozen films about separation of church and state, freedom of religion (and no religion), the conflict between science and religion in public schools.
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