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Theistic Bigotry: The Reality of Denying Fantasy

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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."

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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