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Christian privilege in U.S. reinforces prejudice against non-religious: report

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Though atheists face less persecution and discrimination in the United States as compared to many other countries, nonbelievers are still often viewed as "lesser Americans," according to a new report released by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).

The international umbrella organization for humanist and atheist groups published "Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Non-religious" (PDF) to mark the U.N.'s Human Rights Day on Monday.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution has succeeded in creating "an exceptionally open society," according to the report. But atheists and nonbelievers are still marginalized, culturally and even legally.

"[T]he U.S. has long been home to a social and political atmosphere in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans or non-Americans..."

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