Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas victims?

It's Christmas, which means that the right wing evangelical types are portraying themselves as victims in the "war on Christmas".  So VERY tiresome.  There are countries where Christians are persecuted but this isn't one of them.

But try being an atheist.  From Yahoo News:
GENEVA (Reuters) - Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven nations can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued on Monday. 
The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe - sometimes brutal - treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion. 
But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States which favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.
While freedom of religion and speech is protected in the United States, the report said, a social and political climate prevails "in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans." 
In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial, the report said.
This is not uniform, obviously.  In the culture where i work (academe), it's more challenging to be a church goer than not.  (How's that for irony: I'm an atheist who goes to church).  But our ivory tower is a rarified place, and Out There, the opposite is true.

Do you think it's easier to "come out" as gay, or as a churchgoer?


Ann said...

I can' t really answer the question as posed but I like saying I am a Christian and a priest -- it is sort of shocking these days. People that I spend time with don't always know it until after they know me as a person - and it is mostly like "you are?" when I say something. I don't feel oppressed. We live in the PNW where most people are "nones" -- what I have discovered is a deep sense of God or the Holy and a seeking for closer union with that "whatever it is." Church is not their thing - but ritual and gatherings and community and doing good is. I don't feel the need to "convert" them. One said if she ever did feel like going to church she would come to ours because we are so inviting and welcoming of seekers. Many do like to sit in our space and meditate - they would stop by during the day when I was in the office and just go into the sanctuary - it is so amazing in there.

Counterlight said...

Well I'm definitely much more circumspect about who I discuss religion with than I am about who knows that I'm gay.

JCF said...

In suburban Sacramento, it's easier (still) to ID as Christian than as gay.

[Good googly-moogly, I'm so happy FoJ STILL has "Name/URL" sign-in! :-) The last of the last... :-( ]