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Theistic Bigotry: The Reality of Denying Fantasy

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A RANELLI RUMINATION

While religionists in the U.S. continue to enjoy a privileged status for their unfounded beliefs, unbelievers face increasing acts of life-altering prejudice and discrimination by America's pious.


Atheists are, by every metric measured in polls, still the most distrusted and maligned minority, which now make up a healthy 10.7% of the U.S. populace. And the "crime" against society atheists commit with each breath--a lack of a belief in the supernatural due to an overwhelming lack of evidence. Often, this victimless thought crime carries harsh punitive consequences to the unbeliever--being ostracized and harangued by family and friends, loss of career, immovable bulwarks blocking entrance to public office, jeers, sneers, and occasionally even reprisals of violence. [1]

Author Sam Harris, in his October 2005 article, "There is No God (And You Know It)," [2] perhaps encapsulates this senseless absurdity of theistic bigotry best:  "Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma; however, that places the atheist at the margins of society. The atheist, by merely being in touch with reality, appears shamefully out of touch with the fantasy life of his neighbors."

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Indeed, when the courage to exclaim openly one's confirmation of mere reality leads to palpable prejudice--rather than to stay hidden in the shadows of ancient dogma for societal acceptance, then one thing becomes abundantly clear: faith needs more criticism and scrutiny, not less.

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Frank J. Ranelli is an independent scholar, skeptic and critic, author and essayist. His erudite and iconoclastic style of provocative writing has been extensively published in a variety of news outlets and across (more...)
 
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